Ive been a fan of sherried whisky for quite some time now, which is strange as when I first started drinking whisky I found it difficult to drink and would avoid it. What happened? I can only guess that as my palate developed I started to enjoy picking out the flavours of a more complicated taste. (that and the fact my ‘Whisky Wingman’ was heavily into the sherry bomb style)
The whisky geek in me loves a good cask. The different casks giving the different finishes deeply intrigues me and its something I want to spend more time on, but that will be another article.
On a side note I was at a wine expo several months ago and they had a stand showcasing several sherries. Being a big fan of the sherry cask whiskies I confidently strolled up, explained this to them and asked for some sherry education. Several tastings later the only thing I learnt was that I’m not overly keen on sherry. Not my drink of choice. I can only really think that when it comes to sherry influenced whiskies that its what the sherry leaves behind in the cask and not the sherry itself that I’m a fan of. Maybe I just need to find some better sherries to try (open to suggestions)
The BenRiach 18 y.o PX Sherry Finish (52.4% abv)
Colour is a dark copper. The nose is dominated by sweet sherry and oak notes. The palate is sweet with a little spice, dark fruits and marzipan with hints of coffee and maybe cherry. The finish fades to slight tannins and a sweet but savoury note (salted caramel style) It is a cask strength so for me a couple of drops of water made a big difference, really opened it out as well as slightly softening the overall taste.
A very impressive whisky, one to savour and enjoy with no distractions. Probably whilst sitting in a comfortable old armchair in a room surrounded by many leather bound books.
Just a thought about the oak notes, which remain prevalent throught (not a bad thing) I wonder if the whisky was sherry matured, rather than just sherry finished, if it would have made a difference to this? The standard bourbon casks have definately left there mark here, subtly rounded off by the time spent in a sherry puncheon to round it off.
Much to recommend here.