Grant’s includes a couple cask finish whiskies in it’s line-up, namely the Ale Cask Finish, which I reviewed a short while back in my “Is South Africa Ready For Ale Cask Whisky?” post, and the Sherry Cask Finish – neither of which is available in South Africa unfortunately. Luckily for me, the people at Grant’s heard of my interest in their whiskies via Twitter and kindly sent me a sample to taste.
Grant’s claimed the title of first blended Scotch whisky to be finished in sherry casks back in 2001. They even picked up a Gold at the 2010 International Spirits Challenge for the Sherry Cask Finish. Leaving the whisky in the sherry casks for up to four months is more than enough time for the cask to impart a spicy, fruity taste on the blend. The whisky isn’t a sherry bomb but is nicely balanced, leaving you with a mix of warm spices, dried fruit and honeyed sweetness. I picked up a gentle hint of oak on the nose, accompanied by more fruitiness. While drinking, my mouth felt as though it was coated with a light wax, which faded with a mild nutty finish.
So while the Ale Cask blended whisky didn’t quite win me over, I’m happy to say that the Sherry Cask Reserve does. It sports a fairly uncomplicated taste profile, but is well put together. The question now is when will we get to see this blend on the shelves in SA?
Thanks again to Grant’s whisky for providing the sample for review.