Style: Sherry sweet and Spicy
Strong entrance, distinctive meaty nose with grain signatures embedded within. Cured meat, raspberry jam and carrot cake cake filling up the body. Earthy nutmeg powdering on ginger shreds. Strong spirit spice, chilli, black peppercorn with a more subtle banana and tropical fruits hidden at a lower level.
Dense sherry carried onto the palate, cranberries, coffee jelly, cola gummies and vanilla cream orbiting around a robust, grassy, grainy, earthy core. Tsao-ko and assorted herbal fruits fired up by feisty spices. Faint floral notes with a flash of Gin (?!) signatures towards the end.
Raisins, toffee with some herbal, floral rims, things you would expect from a strong sherry cask.
I don’t usually delve into Grain whiskies too much but there is always first time for everything. Now, this is a powerful North British brushed up heavily by a massive sherry puncheon, it feels the distillate starts it life at rather high filling strength but the sherry is strong enough to carry the spirit, a very different style of grain whisky I have tried so far, a relatively sherried and volatile dram which I won’t mind when I am in the mood for an alcohol spike.
✓ [Recommended if you like the Style/ Distillery]
[61.0% | 1990 Distilled | 2018 Bottled | Single Cask | Cask Strength | Single Grain Whisky | Batch 18/107 | 181 Bottles | Matured in First Fill Sherry Puncheon | Sample Tasting | T-]
In Australia, grain whiskies are ordinarily overlooked at this age of single malts, the avid grain whisky fans normally have to rely on independent bottlers bringing in limited expressions and they often differ in quality; though now and again you do come across gems from the grain whisky producers, and more often than not they come from North British distillery, a Edinburgh-based powerhouse that traditionally uses a high-maize-content mashbill.
I had the fortune to sample this 37 year old North British bottled by the Scotch Malt Whisky Society a while ago at a society event in Sydney hosted by the charming Mr. Matt Bailey.
The nose does come across as a bit thin in comparison to earlier malts but the scent instantly grabs for attention. Our friend Jonathan proclaimed this as a beautiful grain whisky moments after nosing his glass. Coconut sugar and forest berries with a distant sweet barbecue smoke, after the initial grain spices comes more of that custard note. A slight hint of yeasty nature is present and in time the sweet caramel note becomes more apparent and as a result it feels more rounded.
An instant gratification on the palate, a smooth delivery of orange blossom and rose water embodying its fruity nature; hint of ginger before the oak starts to assert itself, but only lightly and sparingly, as a complimentary act that reflects the fact that the spirit has been well aged.
Onto the finish and the dram now releases a brush of white chocolate with a mesmerizing buttery aftertaste. It remains a comforting dram through out with just a slight bitter note in the very end to sign things off.
In my book, this is certainly a highlight out of the various bottlings SMWS released this year.