Aberlour A'bunadh tastes... ummm... intense. Somehow, the basic flavor, when carried by higher proof, has a different effect on the system.. from taste buds to brain. One does not 'toss back' a dram of cask strength, just to prove you can do it. And a tiny dash of water does seem to help 'open' the flavor... (make up your own verbs).
I have a very small amount of Aberlour A'bunadh left... if I decide on a treat after my craft show, it will mean choosing between A'bunadh & Takisker. Haven't had Talisker in several years.
I used to buy... many years ago, Slivovitz Plum Brandy at 101 proof. People asked me "How can you stand such overwhelming stuff?" Easy... I sip it slowly and gently. I LIKE strong drink occasionally.