Last year, tradition-rich British indie bottler Berry Bros. & Rudd released a special set of whiskies drawn from single casks. Called “The Nordic Casks”, the exclusive selection included top-class bottlings from Fary Lochan (Denmark), Kyrö (Finland), Myken (Norway), and High Coast (Sweden). Going forth, I will introduce the last-mentioned distillery’s contribution. Distilled in 2013, the dram in question is an 8-year-old single malt Swedish whisky with an opulent finish in a sherry hogshead. I especially love how welll the wood has interacted with the spirit, giving it a beautiful dark color and a truly sublime character. On the one hand, the cask has instilled lots of big sherry flavors in the voluminous but elegant spirit; on the other hand, it has distributed its goods bountifully but never overwhelmingly. With this release, High Coast Distillery and Berry Bros. & Rudd have masterfully struck the fine balance between a strong distillate and an impactful (extra-)maturation. However, there is one hurdle: With a EUR 180 price tag attached to it, the bottle ain’t exactly a steal. But at least in my opinion, it is fully worth it. After all, its one of the most memorable and magnificent sherry-finished single malts I had in a while!
Eye: Shiny brown leather.
Nose: A rush of darkness: burnt brittle, baked raisins, thick plum jam, spiced gingerbread, and sparked flintstones. Overall, the bouquet’s character is dry and powderish (additionally, there’s also lots of sun-dried rosehip, perfumed potpourri, and aromatic rosemary in there). Time and again, however, a fruity splash appears and freshens up the sniffing in a most invigorating and intriguing way.
Palate: At first, there is an abundance of licorice – it’s pitchblack and strong, but also a little sweet. Next, heavily charred wood and very dark chocolate join in. Then come the fruit notes: amaretto-drenched cherries, sugar-showered redcurrants, and jellied lemon slices. On top, I get some pomelo peel, too. And – reappearing from the nosing – raisins, plums, and brittle. No doubt: The sherry cask shaped the whisky in a most impressive way, giving it a ton of flavor and complexity without overpowering or drowning it.
Finish: Once gulped down, this superbly sherried High Coast 8 Years Old echoes long and good in the mouth and throat. The whisky still feels pretty dark during the finish; yet it seems to brighten up a wee bit (as compared to how it appeared in the nose and on the tongue). Besides pronounced and slightly sulfur-ish sherry notes, the highly satisfying aftertaste also offers caramel fudge, choc mousse, whipped cream, strawberry marmalade, and blood orange.
Type: Single Malt Whisky
Age: 8 years old
Alc. volume: 60.9 per cent
Cask: Sherry hogshead
Bottle size: 0.7 litres
# of bottles: 290
Price: 180.00 Euro
More info: https://highcoastwhisky.se/ (Distillery) ; https://www.bbr.com/ (Bottler)
*** I bought the bottle as a regular customer.***