It’s funny how amazing things can be the result of pure happenstance. When I first tried The Exceptional Grain by Sutcliffe & Son at a local whisky bar, I only did so because it was accidentally listed as a Compass Box release in the menu. If the bottle had been placed in a different category, there is a good chance that I would not have picked or even spotted it. With hindsight, I am very happy for the given course of events. Cause after the very first sniff, I already knew that The Exceptional Grain bore its name for a reason. And by the time I had finished my glass, I boldly proclaimed that this was one of the very best grain whiskies I ever tried – a statement to which I am still 100 per cent committed! Besides this blended grain, Sutcliffe & Son’s three-piece The Exceptional range also includes a blended malt and a blended whisky. They are both finger-licking good as well and since I bought (and opened) all three bottles in the meantime, I have a feeling you will read about them here on BarleyMania in the not-too-distant future, too.
Eye: What a beauty! A golden mane with a dab of ginger. Long, lean legs. Smooth movements… and yeah, I am totally talking about a whisky here! ;)
Nose: I still remember the first time I nosed The Exceptional Grain. I ordered it in a bar without knowing anything about it. The moment I drew it to my nostrils, I was in love. Madly in love! The scent of this masterfully composed blend is soft, caressing, warming and sweet. First and foremost, there is a lot of marzipan, lemon cake and white chocolate. Then comes organe zest and clove. Additional fruity, spicy and savory notes chime in and form a single thought in my mind: “I really wanna try this whisky now”.
Palate: The Exceptional Grain is as round, velvety and pleasant on the palate as it is in the nose. Again, my first association is cake and pastry. Among others, I get warm cookie dough, buttered currant bread and sweet banana split. Also dried yellow fruits, splintered almonds and a spoonful of slightly burnt vanilla sauce. And blueberry muffins… sticky, chewy, yummy blueberry muffins.
Finish: What an ending! The finish not only lasts for a good amount of time, but it also brings forth all of the whisky’s sublime qualities one last time. It’s fruity, spicy and – above all else – sweet. Honeycomb, maple syrup, apple strudel and sugared milk coffee are but some of the mouthwatering parting gifts The Exceptional Grain leaves us with.
Type: Blended Grain Scotch Whisky
Alc. volume: 43 per cent
Bottle size: 0.7 litres
Price range: ~105.00 Euro
More info: www.craftdistillers.com (Company) ; www.prineus.com (Prineus)