Thanks to /u/xile_ for pouring a dram of this.
Now it’s time to be wrong again and try a mystery dram. Because if you don’t make it through the wall on running through it the first 20 times, then you haven’t hit your head hard enough.
Head down, let’s do this. At least I got chicken.
Alright so we originally told xile_ that we needed something a bit more peated, that wasn’t Islay, that would fit between the last whisky, an Island Scotch that was lightly peated. A Speyside if possible.
Oh, and we didn’t have anything heavily sherried.
Wouldn’t you know it, that bugger delivered. So let’s see how it tastes, shall we?
Price: N/A at the LCBO
Bottle No. 414 of 660
Cask No. 7179
Aged: 19 years
Date of Bottling: July / 13
Cask Type: Pedro Ximénez Sherry Puncheon Finish
Colour: 5YR 2/4
Nose: Grilled sausage, espresso, strawberry shortcake, perfume section at a department store
Wow. Big notes out of this one. And a lot of complexity. What some call “FWP”, or “French Whore Perfume”, for a horrible belief that French Prostitutes of low levels bathed in perfume to hide their smell, this has that quite a bit.
Also a lot of other distinctly European notes. I’m guessing this comes from Europe, as such.
Taste: Papaya, brine, plum syrup, espresso, orange, pickled vegetables
Lots of tropical aspects. More brine. Frankly, I know we asked for no Island or Islay whiskies, but that brine, mixed with the espresso is hinting at some older whiskies.
Alright. Let’s get serious. Nose was meaty and took to the (suspected) sherry well. The taste has earth, no real funk, and maybe a bit of pickling spice.
Thus I’m still sticking to… from Europe. And has sherry.
Alright, I’m thinking it’s not Ledaig. I entertained the idea, but there’s not enough funk, like a bad school dance.
Finish: Grassy, orange chocolate, malt sugar, cotton flowers, Mexican hot chocolate
Long finish. Great finish. I actually take a second to realize this is a really, really good whisky. And I start thinking that it’s punching up. Maybe it’s one of those 14 or 16-year-old whiskies that punch above their weight.
I’m incorrect, but I think that. However the earth and floral elements remind me of some BenRiachs I’ve had, so let’s go with that.
Conclusion: Okay, so I figured it was PX cask finish because the sherry doesn’t dominate. There’s an espresso flavour that signals a good use of the right kind of sherry to use to finish something (yeah, them’s fighting words, I know, my bias is showing).
I was wrong on the age, in that I’m too used to whiskies that punch up rather than ones that punch correctly. I think if you like orange more than me, the finish will be a great day. Heck I loved the floral part.
So yeah, I’m a sucker for BenRiachs, and I’m a sucker for peated ones more, and I’m a sucker for PX finishes. This is so up my alley you can call it Diagon.
Guess: BenRiach, ex PX cask, peated, 14 years?
Actually: BenRiach 19 1994 Single Cask Peated / Pedro Ximenez Sherry Finish
Scotch review #924, Speyside review #263, Whisky Network reviews #1476