- 99.0 Proof
- NAS; Finished 1 yr.
- Barrel No. 20079
I'm always a sucker for High West picks. Something about their unique finishes always draws me in. Of course, I tend to be partial to the Cognac and Armagnac finishes, but I've had some amazing wine finishes from them as well. I've also had a few that didn't do much for me, including rum and vermouth finishes. But, I know I'm always getting quality whiskey at barrel strength and with a fun twist.
Admittedly, I know very little about Grenache wine, other than that it is a red. Beyond that, I couldn't tell you if it's dry or sweet, or what notes I might expect to get out of a glass. I'm just not a wine guy. But, that was part of the allure. I've had many wine finished whiskeys, but I can't say I had ever had a Grenache finish, and I was eager to give it a try.
From the nose, though, I immediately got the impression that this was a sweeter wine. Right away I was getting raspberry jelly on toast. I got that jammy, sweet fruit note as well as a bit of a bread or yeast note. There was also a bit of black pepper spice, though, that provided a nice complement. I'm not sure if that came from the rye or from the barrel finish, but all in all this smelled delicious.
The flavor, much like the nose, was also sweet and fruity. I again got that jammy black raspberry note. It was almost like a pie filling flavor, as though it had the added sweetness from a syrup. It also had a spicy cinnamon note to it--a bit different than the black pepper spice I got on the nose. This had that sort of woody note that you get from cinnamon sticks.
I also got a bit of a dark chocolate note, which was very welcome. It provided a touch of bitterness to offset the sweet fruit notes. There was also a brighter fruit note that seemed to come through more on later pours, something between pear and cantaloupe. Whatever it was, it added a layer of complexity that I really enjoyed.
The finish carried forward everything from the nose, with the jammy, raspberry sweetness as well as that peppery spice that lingered at the back of my throat for a good amount of time. What I noticed most, though, was the lip smacking sticky quality it had. My mouth was coated in that sweetness, and I don't know if it was in my head or not, but I swear it had a certain stickiness to it.
This was a fun bottle! It was certainly on the sweeter side, but in that dark raspberry sort of way. While it wasn't an every night pour for me, I did find myself going back to it relatively frequently once I opened it up. I would certainly grab another Grenache finished whiskey off the shelf should I see one again.