Whisky Santa must have you on his “nice” list, because this year’s special festive release features six sumptuous sherry-matured Scotch whiskies, and not a lump of coal in sight (though you can expect a hit of peat smoke!). Put your feet up by the fire, get the carol music on, and enjoy a rich and decadent variety of Christmassy whiskies. A very sherry whiskymas to one and all! – The Dram Team
A very sherry whiskymas, December 2023 Box
Lochlea, Cask Strength
This punch-packing release from celebrated grain-to-glass producers Lochlea Cask Strength represents their first ever full strength bottling. At 60.1% and matured initially in first fill Bourbon barrels before finishing in Oloroso sherry casks, expect a powerful, fruit-forward dram with a spicy hit.
Nose: Fruit punch, cigar notes, coffee beans.
Palate: Signature Lochlea fruit, Brazil nuts.
Finish: Orange syrup mixed with aged oak shavings.
Maple Syrup & Toasted Oats & Orange Zest & Vanilla
Now here is something you don't see every day: Canadian corn whisky, finished exclusively in sherry casks - we couldn't resist! Expect a Ronseal-esque "Does what it says on the bottle" tasting fiesta. How about that, eh?!
Nose: Buttery toffee popcorn and chocolate cornflake cakes, plantain, toasted oats and maple syrup with a rancio-like edge. Bonkers stuff!
Palate: Orange zest with Florentines full of biscuity, nutty, candied cherry, dark chocolate, honeyed goodness. Black tea and vanilla.
Finish: Juicy Fruit, sweet tea, and rolled oats. Mmm. Moreish.
Old Perth, The Original
The Old Perth range brings together the finest of sherry-matured malt whisky from a selection of distilleries in the Glenlivet region of Speyside, blending them into superb sherry-forward releases. Old Perth Original is their flagship release, and an incredible go-to sherry sipper.
Sophisticated sherry-sweet tones and subtle spice are the heart of this Original malt, giving way to warm dried fruits and honeyed cloves.
Heroes & Heretics, Smoke & Glory, Ledaig
This Heroes & Heretic's Smoke & Glory release showcases peated spirit - called Ledaig - produced at Tobermory distillery on the Isle of Mull. "Le-cheg" delivers distinctive, bold peat that complements the fruity Tobermory spirit style wonderfully, and the 12-year sherry butt maturation has made this a remarkably complex dram with a lot to explore.
Nose: Seaweed, peat and white chocolate.
Palate: Dried fig, black cherries and peat.
Finish: Leather, seashell and butter.
Heroes & Heretics, The Falls of Caledonia, Glentauchers
This Falls of Caledonia release from hip indie bottlers Heroes & Heretics showcases spirit from Glentauchers - a little-known distillery popular with independent bottlers, whose spirit pairs tremendously well with sherry casks. Here, just 358 bottles were matured in a sherry hogshead - smaller than a sherry butt, and tending to lend more sherry influence to the spirit. Rich decadence awaits with this Heroes & Heretics Falls of Caledonia!
Nose: Caramel toffee, almond fudge and raisins.
Palate: Biscuity with undertones of bacon, salt and dried fruit.
Finish: Leather and ale.
Master of Malt, Secret Speyside, Aged 21 Years
We bring our sherried sextet to a close in style, with this well-aged gem uncovered by the clever whisky folk at Master of Malt. Aged 21 years in an Oloroso sherry butt, this is a rare and sumptuous delight.
Nose: Honeycomb, butterscotch flavoured Angel Delight, cobnut brittle, caramelised biscuits, leading to baked apples and flaky, buttery pastry.
Palate: Vanilla fudge before an abundance of orchard fruits. Cooked apples, juicy pears, peaches, and plums are all at the party, with decadent layers of chocolate hazelnut.
Finish: Elegant spices join towards the end, lingering at the edges to bring a gentle warmth to the fruit rave that is still blaring out beats.
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