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Sauternes Finish, which and why?

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Sauternes Finish, which and why?

Postby AdamMY » Sat Jan 15, 2011 4:40 am

So I have a nice little glenmo set consisting of a 750ml bottle of their Original, a long with a 50 ml bottle of each of the Extra Matured range. So tonight I decided to try what I heard from a friend that has tried all of them was the worst, thinking I like the effects of Sherry, surely other wine finishes can not be that bad. That one happened to be Nectar D'Or.

While I found the aroma incredible, the taste was rather awful. So I guess that implies the "why?" part of the subject. And as much as I love aroma's, I do still like to drink my whisky, and the taste was really off putting. The "which?" question comes into being when I was trying to think of other whisky's that are aged or finished in Sauternes casks? As I think Nectar D'or is the most widely advertised, although I do think I have heard of a few others being finished in Sauternes but not as widely known.

Although while I have yet to try Quinta Ruban, which is finished in Port Casks, it was regarded as my friends favorite, which I almost feel should warrant at similar questions, as I am not sure I know of any whisky's widely advertised as being aged in Port Casks.
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Re: Sauternes Finish, which and why?

Postby pkt77242 » Sat Jan 15, 2011 4:48 am

I happen to think the Nectar D'Or is the best of the glenmo's I have had besides the Signet (but bang for the buck I would take the Nectar any day). It is rather sweet and that can be a turn off for some people. What about the palate made it so awful for you?

The Quinta Ruban is my second fave outside of the Nectar.

As for whiskies finished in port casks, there is the Cragganmore Distiller Edition, a Benriach finished in port casks and a few others (including a Glenfarclas that is only at Park Avenue Liquor).
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Re: Sauternes Finish, which and why?

Postby pkt77242 » Sat Jan 15, 2011 4:50 am

Nectar D'Or is a sauternes finished whisky and there are some other distilleries that have done this including Benriach, Arran, Edradour and maybe even a G+M Caol Ila though I haven't had any of them.
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Re: Sauternes Finish, which and why?

Postby AdamMY » Sat Jan 15, 2011 5:07 am

pkt77242 wrote:I happen to think the Nectar D'Or is the best of the glenmo's I have had besides the Signet (but bang for the buck I would take the Nectar any day). It is rather sweet and that can be a turn off for some people. What about the palate made it so awful for you?


Like I said I thought the nose was amazing, but the taste came across as overly acidic, like stomach acid acidic, sour milk and lemon juice. Which I will say was better than that sounds, but the finish to me sat their somewhat dead, and numbing. I mean the finish was rather hollow tasting, more lemon juice, sweetness, and a mild bitter component, that despite all that comes across as empty and again "numbing."

If it tasted as good as it smelled, I might have easily been able to give it a really high score. Although in further retroflection, I feel I may have to try and get another mini and try it chilled, as the flavors are actually not that far off from a white wine with a really high alcohol content, but I personally can not stand white wine anywhere close to Room Temperature.
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Re: Sauternes Finish, which and why?

Postby The Third Dram » Sat Jan 15, 2011 3:34 pm

AdamMY wrote:While I found the aroma incredible, the taste was rather awful. So I guess that implies the "why?" part of the subject.

Before going any further (and despite my general suspicions surrounding the entire cask-finishing phenomenon and what it can potentially bring to a distillery's product in a positive sense), I'd definitely suggest you revisit The Nectar d'Or at least one more time. It is certainly (at least to my taste buds) one of the more successful in the Glenmorangie lineup.

I agree there's a quite pronounced bittersweet, or perhaps sour-sweet, flavour aspect to it. But I don't find this trait, in and of itself, a negative. It's merely yet another manifestation of what I like to term the 'yin-yang' effect that many cask finished whiskies tend to display.

While I haven't tried the Bruichladdich 1st Growth Series Sauternes (i.e d'Yquem) bottling, that one might prove an interesting, if rather expensive, alternative.

As for the array of Port finished malts in the marketplace, I think Balvenie 21 Year Old Port Cask is amongst the best of the lot... A well knit sense of integration of flavours here, with the influence of the cask finishing process seamlessly intertwined with the intrinsic aspects of the distillate. Expensive, though.

Getting back to Glenmorangie (and a few alternatives) for a moment, I don't like the new The Quinta Ruban nearly as much as the earliest releases of the old Port Wood Finish... Noticeably 'rawer' and less pleasing overall, the newer incarnation is for me. Give me a glass of the Astar any day of the week - sweet AND balanced AND delicious. The Cragganmore Distillers Edition isn't half bad, yet it pales in comparison to the Balvenie. Benriach's 15 Year Old Tawny Port Finish is, in a word, nice. But even here, I prefer other distillery releases (such as the Curiositas).
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Re: Sauternes Finish, which and why?

Postby Fscott » Sat Jan 15, 2011 7:42 pm

The Glen Moray 16, which I was just talking about in the underrated malt thread, is finished in Chenin Blanc barrels. I would say the wine finish is more subtle than the Nectar D'Or.
I agree with Third Dram that the Balvenie Port Wood is the best of the lot, and for precisely that reason: the wood finish is subtle compared to, say, Cragganmore Double Matured (in ruby Port), which I find to taste a bit like cough syrup.

As far as Glenmorangie goes, Lasanta is a 'daily' dram of mine and I also prefer the Madeira Wood Finish.
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Re: Sauternes Finish, which and why?

Postby AdamMY » Sat Jan 15, 2011 7:50 pm

I'll try and see if I can pick up another mini or two of the Nectar D'Or, if I can get two I may definitely try my theory that it might make a wonderful whisky at cooler temps.
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Re: Sauternes Finish, which and why?

Postby mlawrenson » Sat Jan 15, 2011 10:45 pm

Got a bottle of Nectar D'Or yesterday.

My opinion? As a great man once sang "It may be sticky, but I never complain..."
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