Very interesting observations and something I must try too. I'm going to start putting an early sealed sample to one side to compare with the open bottle later.
Like you and C_I, I remember fighting with this release in particular because it was so closed on the nose. I've followed your comments here over the years through to your last tasting note on Mark's forum with great interest.
My generalised view of many of the Rare Malts I've tried was that they were often the very definition of austere initially but with patience and time (oxidation?) they could become great personal favourites.
I wonder how much of my changing views are down to my taste adapting to the whisky and how much is the effect of oxidation or whatever.
Many thanks again gents - another illustration of where I can learn so much more from these forums than I ever get from a single tasting note from the "experts"!