So, let’s start with something completely different! What about some Sherry?
You ever wonder how that stuff actually tastes – even if you use the descriptor regularly? I found an older review in my little black book – I guess it’s from about October of last year? – of some generic or ordinary Sherry, let’s start with that one before we go on. If you have no clue what Sherry is, look it up, you’re on the Internet already…
Cluster’s Sherry | Medium Sweet Sherry | NAS | 15%
Nose: Tart but in a sweet way – I know it doesn’t make much sense, still… You can almost smell the grapes turning into raisins (and taste the sugar on your tongue), lively fruity, there’s a rotten component to these fruits not in an unpleasant way but that’s the best I can do to describe it…
Palate: Again, sweet and tart, really ripe red grapes (now, who would have thought that, right?), some wine or rather white wine vinegar notes almost like balsamic vinegar, summer fruits (pinneapple, grapes, peaches…)
Finish: Tart! Also the rotten note shows up here very powerful, almost like a (light) burned note
Conclusion: Good, but like I said quite generic, let’s move on to something a bit more special, does 30 year old Olorosso Sherry sound special to you? Well, it does to me! Here it is:
Gonzalez Byass | Metusalem V.O.R.S. Oloroso | 30 years old | 20.5 %
Nose: Well, who would have thought that: Raisins, deep, dark, fruity, nutty. Thick, I know it’s a strange descriptor for a nose but this.is.thick. Burned raisins. Set fire to a handful of raisins and deglaze it with brandy and you have recreated this nose.
Palate: Straight away oily entry, tart, fruity, sweet, woody, a burned note. Not really burned wood not burned plastic either, somewhere in between. Sweet and sour. Voluminous and bulky but in a classy way.
Finish: Raisins, raisins, raisins, burned raisins, a bit woody and drying after a long (raisin filled) time
Conclusion: This is something special indeed. Wow. The burned note and dryness is almost a bit to much for me. I would love to taste this at ten and/or fifteen years. And hence, I ordered some. 🙂
I highly recommend trying actual Sherry, if you like Sherry-influenced whisky! Talking about that, here is one:
Kilchoman Single Cask Sherry bottled for the Nectar
Kilchoman Single Cask | bottled for The Nectar | Destilled 09/17/2009 | Bottled 09/29/2015 | Olorosso Butt (fill number not given) | 59,4 %
Info: This Single Cask Release was distilled on the 17.09.2009 and put into an Oloroso Sherry butt until the 29.09.2014 when it was bottled at 59.4% for a Belgium company called The Nectar. Funny enough, I (unintentionally) had three Single Cask Sherry from Kilchoman and all were bottled for The Nectar. This is – spoiler alert – one of my favorite whiskies as well as Kilchomans. The review is a summary of the notes I took for all three bottles I had….
Nose: Now that I went through the trouble of showing you what I mean when I say Olorosso, I have to say: Olorosso! Strangely enough the nose also reminds me of the medium sweet sherry as well, plus some bitter peat, chocolate behind that as well, salty seaweed, bitter rotting vegetation as well as a rather off-putting note like a combination of gluey alcohol or marker pen and a freshly lit match (sulfur)
Palate: Sweet and relaxed “raisin juice” entry, then some abv salt’n’pepper spices, deep dark mocha, (bitter) peat, sugary raisins, nuts, briny, dark chocolate,
Finish: Chocolate, mocha, smoke and some tingling spices on the side of the mouth – (for me) a perfect Islay Cask Strength finish, very long and slowly degrading. I love it
Conclusion: Like I said earlier, I really love this dram. The only downside is the rather off-putting note in the nose. I had this in all three bottles (in different strength though), it gets a little better when the bottles has been open for a while but right now, with a rather fresh bottle, it keeps it from being A+. In all honesty, the dram also lacks a bit of complexity and depth for A+ but hey I haven’t found many of my A+ drams yet, have you? Tell me about it!