Review: The Tweeddale Grain of Truth.

I’ve always been a fan of grain whiskies. When I first started drinking whisky I was lucky enough to try some well aged grain expressions which really lit my curiosity. Sine then I have tried some truly excellent single grains that more than match single malts in terms of flavour depth and complexity.

I’ve also had a few stinkers of aged grains too, but spending too long in tired casks, or indeed too short a time in a good cask, will wreck any spirt, regardless of its origins.

This release from The Tweeddale (The ‘Heritage’ brand of R&B Distillers) is rather unusual in that the grains comprising the mash bill for this spirit is comprised of a 50% wheat and 50% barley mix. The resulting liquid is then matured in bourbon barrels and then finished for a period of 9 months in Oloroso Sherry hogsheads. It has a RRP of £50.

The Tweeddale “Grain of Truth” (R&B Distillers) NAS, 46%abv, press sample. 

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In the glass it is a pale gold colour, leaving thin yet slow legs in the glass.

The nose is full of honey and citrus. It’s quite syrupy, reminiscent of fruit cocktail when mixed with the fruitier elements which linger in the background. Everything is quite subtle here, it takes a while for the flavours to fully appear. There is a warming spice here which lingers whilst a little chocolate reveals itself. There is a little sour note that lies underneath, I can’t quite pick it exactly.

The palate is quite light and almost zesty. The chocolate and spiced element continue from the nose and there is a faint touch of vanilla here.

There is not a massive amount of complexity here, what there is seems rather woody and fades all too quickly. None of the big vanilla and creme brûlée tones that I’ve come to seek in grain whiskies are present. A little muted on the palate. Given time some faint apricots and tropical fruits reveal themselves mixed with faint chocolate and a few custard cream biscuits. Very little in terms of mouthfeel, appearing rather thin.

There is a slight aggression on the finish, a touch too gingery here. It settles eventually but it is a little off-putting. In general it is nicely spiced and drying, however there is a lingering woodiness which spoils it a little.

The Grain of Truth stands out amongst other grain whiskies with the use of an uncommon mashbill and a cask finish but I’m just not sold on it. The nose initially shows promise but the palate is a little thin and lacks the complexity I was looking for.  The use of the sherry cask clearly imparts a little extra flavour, however I am left wondering if it more of a cover up than an innovation.

I was a big fan of the Tweeddale Silent Character which was a previous grain release (It was a 27 year old Cambus and priced much higher however) Maybe I’m just setting the bar unrealistically high.

I’d really like to like this, I just don’t.

You can find more tasting notes and whisky news in the Amateur Drammers Archives.

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