For this month we had intended to do a tasting of Scotch finished in 3 different types of Sherry casks, however we were not able to get the Glenkinchie Amontillado Cask as planned, so it ended up being more of a comparison between Scotch aged in Oloroso Sherry casks vs Pedro Ximénez Sherry casks. All three of these whiskies were great, the Glenkinchie 12 Yr Old was a solid basic scotch, the Dalwhinnie 1996, Oloroso Cask was complex and interesting and the Glen Scotia Pedro Ximénez Cask was very sweet and raisiny. In the future we hope to do a similar tasting again, but have the respective Sherry wine along with the Scotch
1. Glenkinchie 12 Yr Old
Cost: $50 – $60
Casks: ex-Bourbon casks
Nose: The nose is quite light, yet fragrant. Notes of fresh cereal and grist, some barley sweetness and a nutty note.
Palate: The palate is very fruity with notes of Madeira and sweet stewed fruits, lemon hard candies.
Finish: Lemon, The finish is of medium length with notes of cereal and a fresh greenness.
Notes: This 12 year old is the new entry level bottling from Glenkinchie, released in 2007 to replace the 10 year old. Glenkinchie is one of few distilleries which was allowed to maintain production during the WWII.
* Glenkinchie offers a scotch aged in Amontillado Sherry casks, unfortunately we were not able to get that particular bottle as originally planned, but it’s certainly a bottle we will seek out in the future. Amontillado sherry has a color between Fino and Oloroso, and is made with Palomino grapes.
2. Dalwhinnie 1996, Oloroso Cask
Cost: $70 – $90
Casks: Finished in Oloroso casks
Nose: Sweet citrus notes, with an unmistakable heather fluttering.
Palate: Rich and sherried, delicious grapes and sprinkles of spice.
Finish: The spice grown hotter on the finish, wonderfully energetic.
Notes: 1996 vintage, bottled in 2012. Oloroso sherry is a darker sherry made with Palomino grapes, produced by oxidative aging.
3. Glen Scotia, Pedro Ximénez Cask
Cost: $65 – $90
Casks: Finished in Pedro Ximénez sherry casks.
Nose: Vibrant fruit emerges first (peach flesh and green apple peels), followed by chewy vanilla fudge, a hint of salinity, then an array of oaky spices including some char.
Palate: Opens with more fudge with a little dusting of powdered sugar. Powerful, oily and a touch herbaceous with some German brandy character.
Finish: Sherried notes come through more on the finish.
Notes: Pedro Ximénez sherry (PX) is a sweet sherry made with Pedro Ximénez grapes, the grapes are laid out in the sun for several days to concentrate the sugar. Pedro Ximénez casks are more often used to finish heavily peated Scotch.