Bring 1 inch of water to a boil in a large nonreactive skillet. Add the asparagus and cook just until tender and bright green, about 3 minutes. Drain and pat dry.
Wipe out the skillet and set it over high heat. Add the oil and heat. Add the almonds and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the asparagus and garlic and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until the garlic and almonds are golden and the asparagus is just beginning to brown, about 4 minutes. Stir in the sherry vinegar and butter and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a platter and serve.