By Tom Freer
I have picked 5 of the most interesting drinks in my cabinet. I want to show how an aged old industry doesn’t stand still, and it’s not afraid to try something new.
The Dalmore 18 years old - Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Dalmore’s trademark style aged in both bourbon and sherry casks. It has notes of vanilla, dark chocolate and candied orange on the nose, followed by a full-bodied, spicy palate of cinnamon and stewed fruit. Easy drinking reminds me of Christmas cake
The GlenDronach - Parliament 21 years
A 21-year-old Glendronach released in 2011, aged in a mix of sherry casks. Oloroso and sweet Pedro Ximenez dessert sherry. The result is really very good indeed. This bottling shows how different a whisky can be when it is just matured in just sherry casks. A lovely sweet whisky with hints of walnuts, dark chocolate and coffee.
Balvenie 14-Year-Old - Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky
A single malt from The Balvenie. This Speysider was aged in traditional oak casks, casks which previously held Caribbean rum thus imparting some extra sweetness and warmth. The fabulous result is a well-rounded whisky with notes of toffee, fruit and vanilla. This whisky shows how different casks can affect the outcome of a whisky.
Amrut fusion single oak - India One of Amrut’s most popular bottles. Amrut fusion is a rich and warming single malt with delicious notes of fresh fruit and vanilla, followed by a smoky finish. Created from a mix of 75% unpeated Indian barley and 25% peated Scottish barley. These are separately distilled and aged for four years, then ‘fused’ together for a further three months. The result is an award-winning whisky that has introduced many people to the splendours of Indian whisky.
Buffalo Trace Barrel number 37
For over two centuries Buffalo Trace Distillery has been a pioneering leader in quality and innovation. The Single Oak Project is its most inventive and comprehensive experiment yet. It all started with 96 individually selected American oak trees that differed according to the number of growth rings per inch and growing location. Each tree was then cut into two parts - top and bottom - yielding 192 unique tree sections. A single barrel was constructed from each section. Prior to construction, the stave seasoning was varied. The 192 barrels were then charred differently. These single oak barrels were then filled with different recipe whiskeys, at various entry proofs and aged in a variety of different warehouse styles.
Something a bit geeky…. Single oak project This experiment allows whiskey connoisseurs to directly compare the impact of seven different critical variables across 192 bottles for a total of 1,396 taste combinations. None of the 192 bottles in the complete set are exactly alike. The Single Oak Project is undoubtedly the most extensive bourbon experiment ever undertaken.
The tasting profile of each Single Oak Project bourbon is truly unique, depending on the recipe, barrel seasoning
and char level, tree cut, wood grain, entry proof and aging warehouse.