A new Scotch brand arrived stateside over the summer: Spearhead Single Grain Scotch Whisky. It’s a bit of an unusual single grain offering, so I’ll let the Spearhead spokespeople do the talking.
Spearhead Whisky, which is crafted at Loch Lomond Distillery, one of the most award-winning distilleries in the world, is made from 100% malted barley and an extended fermentation time of 92 hours before distilling in a Coffey still. The continuous distillation process creates a lighter style of spirit, without compromising on quality. The spirit is then matured in ex-bourbon barrels and finished in a combination of infrared & fire toasted virgin American oak barrels. The use of infrared toasting is a first in the Scotch Whisky world and allows us to accurately extract flavours to make a spirit that’s sweeter than other whiskies. This results in a whisky that’s lighter, sweeter and more mixable.
Got all that? While most single grain whiskies use corn or wheat, Spearhead is made from 100% malted barley. That unique fact and the use of infrared toasting on the finishing casks make Spearhead a pretty interesting value Scotch, at least on paper. Let’s see how it drinks!
The nose is certainly light and spiritous, but there’s still a nice malty depth to it that builds as things open in the glass. Initial notes of sugary shortbreads and lemon zest give way to something more floral, honeydew almost, before landing comfortably on an uncomplicated mix of caramel candies and honeycomb. The palate is sweet and round with quite a lot of creamy texture. It’s not quite as dynamic as the nose, however, with a thick note of vanilla ice cream topped with caramel. Even at such a modest proof, it showcases a nice, warming spice that extends across the sip and fades gently on the finish, which is accented by lemon oil, ginger, and toasted oak. A unique single grain Scotch that makes a fine everyday sipper and even better mixer. And at a reasonable price point, to boot.
B+ / $39 / spearheadwhisky.com