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The Best ‘Sherry Cask Finished’ Whiskeys To Chase Down Right Now

Whiskey is growing year by year. As the popularity of the brown stuff widens, so does the use of new and innovative techniques. Specialty barrel finishing has become a popular way for whiskey distillers to make their drams stand out from the crowd while also adding depth and body to their expressions. Rum, beer, Cognac, and even cold brew coffee barrels are being utilized to add new dimensions to the world of whiskey. Frankly, we’re here for it all.

The ten bottles below represent one specific style of specialty cask finished whiskey: Sherry. The fortified wine from Jerez, Spain, is the perfect accompaniment to whiskey in all its forms. The rich sweetness — with notes of dry fruit, nuttiness, and a slight tartness layered in — adds an x-factor to whiskey that just works.

If you’re ready to try sherry-finished whiskey, chase these picks down right now!

Belle Meade Bourbon Sherry Cask Finish

Style: Bourbon Whiskey
ABV: 45.2%
Age: No Age Statement
Distillery Location: MGP, Aged in Nashville
Average Price: $80

The Whiskey:

Belle Meade Sherry Cask is the sherry finished bourbon that needs to be on your shelf in 2020. This award-winning bourbon is hand-selected from reserve barrels. The small-batch blend is then transferred to Oloroso Sherry casks shipped to Tennessee from Spain. The whiskey then rests until it’s just right.

Tasting Notes:

A bushel of dried fruits dominates as hints of wildflowers and caramel mingle upfront. That high-rye content kicks in with a burst of sharp spice next to dark cherries and plums cut with rich and dark caramel. A nuttiness comes into play alongside a hint of creamy vanilla-laced bread pudding that leads to a lingering note of spicy dried fruits.

Bowmore Darkest Sherry Cask Finish

Style: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
ABV: 43%
Age: 15 Years
Distillery Location: Bowmore Distillery, Isle of Islay, UK
Average Price: $90

The Whiskey:

Bowmore Darkest hails from one of the world’s oldest running scotch distilleries. This expression is aged for 12 long years in ex-bourbon barrels before it’s transferred to Olorosso casks for an additional three years of mellowing. This long-form aging imparts a deep, ruddy hue to the whisky — hence the “Darkest” moniker.

Tasting Notes:
Dark fruit punch laced with scotch greets you with sweet dried plums and dates mingling with spice, raisins, and a crema espresso pour. Creamy toffee leads to hints of spice, a wisp of smoke, oak, a dash of grainy malts, and a pinch of pine resin. The spice, malt, and toffee carry through towards a finish that highlights the dry, sweet, and nutty sherry.

Rabbit Hole Finished In PX Sherry Casks

Style: Straight Bourbon Whiskey
ABV: 46.5%
Age: No Age Statement
Distillery Location: Rabbit Hole Distillery Louisville, Kentucky
Average Price: $80

The Whiskey:

Rabbit Hole’s sherry finished bourbon was named the bourbon of 2019/2020 by the James Beard Foundation. That’s pedigree right there. The wheated bourbon is aged in alligator char barrels before it goes into hand-selected Pedro Ximenez sherry casks from the famous Casknolia Cooperage in Spain. When it hits just the right spot, the whiskey is bottled in very small batches of no more than 15 barrels per bottling.

Tasting Notes:

Caramel and cherry mix with a clear sense of the Spanish sherry cask. The ripe cherry shines through and carries notes of spice and raisins that lead towards vanilla and roasted almonds. A whisper of tartness comes through on the fruit and, finally, a dryness sets in that lingers on the tongue.

Canadian Club Small Batch Sherry Cask

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Style: Canadian Whisky
ABV: 41.3%
Age: Minimum 8 Years
Distillery Location: Canadian Club Distillery Windsor, Ontario
Average Price: $25

The Whiskey:

Canadian Club often gets ignored for two main reasons. 1) the U.S. market has yet to embrace the depth of the Canadian whisky industry. 2) There’s still discrimination against any whiskey that has “blended” on the label. All of that aside, Canada makes some damn fine whisky and this extremely small batch sherry cask finished Canadian Club is one of them.

Tasting Notes:

The white oak this whisky spent eight years in shines through the most. There’s a real sense of caramel, vanilla, and oak that leads towards a burst of sweet toffee, raisins, and plum. The alcohol stays in check as the finish leads towards a fast hit of warmth with a lasting note of sherry sweetness.

Redbreast Lustau Edition

Style: Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey
ABV: 46%
Age: 10-13 Years
Distillery Location: Midleton Distillery, County Cork
Average Price: $80

The Whiskey:

Ireland’s Redbreast Lustau is a marriage between expert Irish whiskey distilling and expert Spanish sherry making. Lustau takes its fresh and malted barley triple distilled tipple and ages it for nine to 12 years in ex-bourbon barrels. Then they transfer the best-of-the-best of the stock to Olorosso sherry casks from Bodegas Lustau in Spain. The result is one of the finest whiskeys on this list.

Tasting Notes:

Dates, figs, and prunes dance with marzipan, sharp spice, toasted oak, and licorice on the opening. The spices and dark fruit carry through the taste with a clear sense of molasses-y sherry sweetness and dried fruit notes. That sherry note carries on and really leans into the Spanish oak as the taste fades on the senses.

Westland Sherry Wood

Style: American Single Malt Whisky
ABV: 46%
Age: Minimum 36 Months
Distillery Location: Seattle, WA
Average Price: $80

The Whiskey:

Westland Sherry Wood is one of the finer bottles of whiskey from the deep distilling scene in the Seattle area. The American barley-based spirit is aged for at least 36 months in new American oak before being transferred to both Olorosso and Pedro Ximénez casks for finishing.

Tasting Notes:

Maple syrup-drenched banana pancakes sit next to a pile of honey-infused oatmeal raisin cookies, fresh from the oven. That maple syrup carries through as a bright note of sweet and tart kiwi pops on the palate. Banana and pear peak in as the raisins, cookies, and oak bring about a bold finish.

Glendalough Double Barrel Single Grain

Style: Irish Whiskey
ABV: 42%
Age: No Age Statement
Distillery Location: Glendalough Distillery, County Wicklow
Average Price: $30

The Whiskey:

Glendalough‘s Double Barrel combines America, Spain, and Ireland into every bottle of whiskey they produce. The triple distilled whiskey is first aged in ex-bourbon before going being transferred to Olorosso casks from the Andalusian town of Montilla, where the Pedro Ximénez grape is grown.

Tasting Notes:

Cherries, raisins, figs, and Christmas cake spices lead the way with notes of wildflowers and lemongrass. The sweetness leads towards a butterscotch note cut with cracked peppercorns as honey, maraschino cherries, dried fruit, and wet brown sugar mingle. The spiciness edges towards fresh ginger as almonds and straw carry the final moments of the dram.

Balcones Brujeria

Style: American Single Malt Whisky
ABV: 62.9%
Age: No Age Statement
Distillery Location: Waco, Texas
Average Price: $120

The Whiskey:

Brujeria from Texas’ Balcones is a very special release. Their signature Texas Single Malt is finished off in both Olorosso and Pedro Ximénez sherry casks until a whole new world opens up in the whisky’s darker corners.

Tasting Notes:

Flint, a musty wine cellar, old leather chairs, smoked walnuts, and a hint of smoky bacon cut with dates bathing in syrup greet you. Pecan pie filled with spicy raisins mix with smoked black tea and a hit of umami reminiscent of shitake mushrooms and black bean paste. The black tea lingers with a wisp of white pepper as the oaky sherry casks bring about a subtly sweet-yet-dry finish.

The Arran Malt Sherry Cask “The Bodega”

Style: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
ABV: 55.8%
Age: No Age Statement
Distillery Location: Isle of Arran Distillery, UK
Average Price: $50-$60

The Whiskey:

The Bodega just dropped on the market last fall. The whisky is a masterclass in combining Scotland’s whisky ways with the depth of Spain’s sherry casks. The whisky isn’t just finished in sherry casks, it’s only aged in sherry casks from select bodegas in Spain. This is the height of the style.

Tasting Notes:

Ripe figs and plums dance with dark cherries with a slight echo of tartness. Those figs carry through as rich toffee that leads towards sweet mandarins with a hint of orange zest sour that, in turn, leads to a very dark chocolate bitterness. The sweetness of the figs and toasty oak nature of the sherry cask stay in play until delivering a warm-yet-short finish.

Red Spot

Style: Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey
ABV: 46%
Age: 15 years
Distillery Location: Midleton Distillery, County Cork
Average Price: $120

The Whiskey:

Red Spot is a 15-year-old, triple distilled Irish whiskey that rises above the pack. The whiskey is aged in ex-bourbon, ex-Olorosso sherry, and ex-Marsala wine casks (from Sicily) for a decade and a half. The resulting barrels are combined when each one meets the highest standards of the barrel masters and Red Spot is born.

Tasting Notes:

Spicy baked apples, mango, and sticky rice, and dark cherries lead the way. Old leather and hazelnut make a brief appearance as the taste shifts from ripe fruits towards Sichuan peppercorns, bready barley, and a nice dose of toasted oak. The fruits and spice combine for a finish that lingers as it warms.

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