Bladnoch 8yo 55% Sherry Matured “Sheep”
Our tasting notes:
The colour is a deep gold and the nose is very tempting indeed. It has a sumptuous feel and offers plenty of dried fruit (think of sultana especially with some orange peel) and cinnamon/nutmeg spice notes initially. This gives an aroma reminiscent of hot cross buns. A strong toffee and butterscotch aroma begins to come through, as do notes of cereal grains, dried grasses (imagine straw and hay) and delicate honeysuckle with time. These are all counterbalanced by the strong, prickly alcohol which gives a sharp freshness. This alcohol is what leads the palate and makes it zingy, hot and citrus-like. Once this sensation dies away, other notes quickly replace it – plenty of dried fruits and cereals (think of sultanas, orange peel and malty flour), wood spices (the cinnamon and nutmeg again with some oak), sweet honey, dried grasses and a hint of sulphuric coal smoke (this adds an extra dimension and depth of flavour to the whisky rather than being a negative note as it can be in some sherry cask whiskies). The finish begins sweetly (the honey and sultanas especially) before becoming much drier with the dried grass, cereal and oak notes prominent.
What’s the verdict?
The aromas and flavour characteristics above are all battling against the high alcohol presence in this whisky. The addition of some water helps with this and makes a good whisky in to an excellent one. With the alcoholic strength reduced the grassy and cereal notes come to the fore and balance well with the now softer toffee, sultana and honey notes. The balance is very good and it maintains its intensity without masking the more delicate flavours. This is arguably our favourite Bladnoch that we have tasted and reviewed to date. A great example of how sherry casks can be sympathetically used to mature whisky.
Notes supplied by Matt at whiskyforeveryone
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