Up until this point, every bottle that we’ve reviewed from Single Cask Nation has been scotch, but the independent bottler also offers a variety of spirits from around the world, several of which are distilled right here in the old US of A. In fact, they remain the only independent bottler of cask strength Wild Turkey (good luck finding one of those and for anything close to retail). For one of their latest offerings, the Single Cask Nation whisky hunters went to Lovingston, Virginia to a distillery we know well, Virginia Distillery Co. There they selected this unusual single malt aged for over five years in a Spanish Oak cask that first held Oloroso and then subsequently Pedro Ximenez sherry. Our first experience with single casks from Virginia Distillery Co. was the distillery’s own impressive Cuvee offering last fall. Let’s see how this Single Cask Nation selection stacks up.
This is an intense and unique single malt that showcases qualities of both the Oloroso and PX that inhabited the cask before the whisky arrived. The aroma explodes with rich, dark fruits: damson plums, juicy black raisins, and dried, spiced figs. All of that fruit surprisingly doesn’t overwhelm a secondary layer of gianduja, dark chocolate shavings, and milky coffee. As things open more, a soft woodshop element emerges with notes of toasted oak and sweet sawdust. The palate is lush with stewed, sugary dark fruits, but there’s also plenty of dry oak, a tart raisiny quality, and a healthy helping of roasted nuts to keep things from skewing too jammy or sweet. The finish arrives with a warming, gingery spice and lingers with coffee grounds and black cherry. A soulful and complex single malt that proves we Yanks can make whisky just as interesting as the folks overseas.
A- / $125 / singlecasknation.com