Food & Drink

Tasting the Sherry-Aged Spirits of Gonzalez Byass (2022)

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Gonzalez Byass is among the largest producers of sherry in Spain, and as any fashionable drinker is aware of, the demand for sherry barrels far outweighs the demand for sherry itself. Sherry barrel getting old provides all method of spirits a definite character, and sooner or later, Gonzalez Byass discovered it ought to be making spirits of its personal along with the underlying wine.

Throughout a latest on-line tasting a bunch of writers frolicked with Gonzalez Byass Grasp Distiller Luis Trillo and his daughter and eventual successor Rocio Trillo, tasting 5 completely different spirits made by or in partnership with Gonzalez Byass — together with gin, brandy, and Scotch whisky. After strolling by a Sherry 101 introduction, we tasted every of the spirits to extra clearly perceive how various kinds of sherry barrels (and in numerous combos) impression the completed product.

Ideas comply with — with particular commentary across the sherry affect on every included. We’ve tasted a number of of those earlier than (usually in numerous incarnations), so hyperlinks to prior protection is included for the sake of comparability and completeness.

The London No. 1 Sherry Cask Gin – A model of The London No. 1 Gin, aged in Tio Pepe sherry casks. This gorgeous gin, near the shade of yellow Chartreuse, gives vigorous aromas of licorice, allspice, and grapefruit peel, all backed nicely by aromas of mushroomy earth. A juniper bomb it isn’t, with extra of that anise/licorice word on the tongue — far more current than within the rack model of London No. 1. Does the Tio Pepe affect that high quality? Maybe, as a calmly oxidized character provides the end a winey high quality that does certainly showcase among the qualities you’ll discover in a bracingly chilly glass of fino, concluding on notes of bergamot, tea leaf, and a touch of coriander spice. Totally usable within the place of ordinary gin (or Previous Tom), and positively constructed for a Martinez. 86 proof. A- / $65 (700ml)

Gonzalez Byass Lepanto Brandy Solera Gran Reserva 12 Years Previous (2022) – 9 years in Tio Pepe, then 3 years in candy oloroso sherry casks. In 2016 this carried no formal age assertion however spent 15 years in Tio Pepe casks. Now with much less total time in barrel however 3 years in candy oloroso sherry casks , the brandy has developed a a lot livelier character, with brown sugar and molasses informing the notes of recent raisins, some strawberry, and clove-spiked oranges. That tea leaf aspect seen within the No. 1 Sherry Cask Gin lives primarily on the nostril right here, with parts of cream-heavy espresso constructing on the cinnamon-laced end. That stated, it’s about as vigorous and as candy as I bear in mind, although the floral notes seen beforehand have largely vanished. 80 proof. B+ / $50

Gonzalez Byass Lepanto Brandy O.V. Oloroso Viejo – 12 years in Tio Pepe, then 3 years in dry oloroso casks. Word the usage of dry oloroso right here, a special type of wine from the candy oloroso seen above. There’s extra of a espresso affect on the nostril right here, and a duskier high quality on the palate, once more evoking espresso and recent barrel char. Soothing and sultry because it develops, the palate finds its approach to notes of caramel flan, extra bergamot, and a strenuous tea leaf word that endures for a while. The sherry character is extra forceful right here than within the Gran Reserva, maybe as a result of the brandy on the entire is just much less candy, giving the end a vigorous, Tio Pepe-inspired dryness, calmly oxidized and distinctly infused with earthy flor. The muted sweetness provides this extra allure, and makes the expertise extra intriguing total. 80 proof. A- / $60

Gonzalez Byass Lepanto Brandy P.X. Pedro Ximenez (2022) – 12 years in Tio Pepe, then 3 years in Pedro Ximenez casks. PX sherry has a robust affect on spirits, and this brandy actually pours it on: Wealthy and leathery, with notes of cola and dried fruit, it exudes iconic PX parts from the beginning, regardless of a barely salty trace you catch on the nostril. The palate evokes smoldering tea leaves, chocolate (perhaps carob), then a daring espresso word. Candy, with notes of cane syrup and toffee, the sugariness of the brandy solely grows over time, resulting in a end that evokes brown sugar stirred into weak tea. Unctuously candy and enduring — simply the sweetest on this lineup. Reviewed beforehand in 2016 as a 72 proof providing. Now: 80 proof. B+ / $60

Nomad Outland Whisky (2022) – Blended Scotch, aged 3 years in bourbon barrels, then 3 years in oloroso sherry casks — each in Scotland — then yet one more yr of getting old in Jerez, Spain in Pedro Ximenez casks. There’s quite a bit occurring on the nostril, together with a strongly earthy and raisiny assault that feels heavy on the PX. The affect isn’t as dominant on the palate as within the Lepanto P.X., with brighter citrus, toasted nuts, and a candy molasses word that basically digs in. The latter aspect brings the PX again into focus, gently segueing to notes of blackberry jam, infused with hints of grilled mushrooms, oxidized wine (I stated Madeira again in ’17, and that’s not improper as we speak), and a few tangerine parts. A bit saccharine on the end, however Scotchy sufficient with some clear barley and spice within the combine, meriting repeated visits. Examine to our prior review in 2017. 82.6 proof. B+ / $40

The London No. 1 Sherry Cask Gin




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