If you’re at all familiar with The Tweeddale, it’s likely in reference to its origin story in the late 1800s. The brand was a simple, small scale blended Scotch operation operated by one Richard Day, and it appears to have been fairly successful up until World War II, when the business was shuttered.
In 2010 Alasdair Day, Richard’s grandson, revived the brand with the goal of recreating his ancestor’s recipes, which were originally built around eight single malts and one single grain. Today the brand has at least five full-time releases, plus the occasional special edition. The latest is this, “Grain of Truth”, which is made from an unusual composition of 50% wheat whisky and 50% single malt, which is then matured in bourbon barrels and finished for nine months in oloroso sherry hogsheads. No age statement — and also note that there’s a peated version of this whisky, too, which is not reviewed here.
Seasoned single grain drinkers will immediately recognize some of its classic elements, starting with a sharp and grassy character that has plenty of roasted cereal notes to display. There’s grapefruit peel and some pepper in the mix, plus that thin veneer of acetone that tends to follow along with single grain whiskies, even older ones.
The palate however is quite a surprise: A seductive shift with notes of lemon and layers of baking spice and butter cookies. There’s not astringency here, the finish showing plenty of cereal but all filtered through some sweet brown sugar notes. Some toasty oak is present here, but it’s moderated and well integrated into what ultimately proves to be a cohesive and engaging whole.
B+ / $75 / tweeddalewhisky.com