Sunday, June 5, 2022

The Whisky Exchange A Toast To Christmas 19 Year Blended Malt Scotch

- $120
- 88.6 Proof
- 19 years
- Scotland

This is certainly my favorite gifted whiskey ever. This past Christmas, my family gave this bottle to me. It's a Christmas exclusive release from the Whisky Exchange, complete with personalized, dated label informing me, "Congratulations, you made the nice list!"  If I knew this was the reward for making the nice list, I would have been trying a whole lot harder this whole time!

This bottle is a 19 year blended malt matured in a sherry butt.  There is no indication as to the source of the whisky, with the only indication on the bottle being that it was "Obtained from a Private Collection."  Not really sure what that means. In fact, it doesn't even identify the region(s).  It does, however, indicate that this bottling was limited to only 520 bottles.  So, a review of this particular bottle might be pointless. But, I finished the bottle, so now I'm reviewing it.

As would be expected from a whiskey matured for 19 years in a sherry butt, the nose was very fruit forward. It was full of bright and fresh berries, including raspberry and strawberry. There was also some dark cherry mixed in as well. That was all accompanied by a sweet honey note, along with some light cereal notes, and even a hint of vanilla. This was, however, very fruit forward.

The flavor followed suit for the most part. Those berries all came through, with the raspberry note being the most notable. What I loved, though, is that these fruit-forward notes were always bright and fresh, rather than being rich and dark and heavy, as is so often the case from sherry cask whiskies. 

There was a layer of vanilla, as well as a very welcome and rich butterscotch note that seemed to underscore everything. The honey sweetness I got on the nose was also there.  I also got some darker fruit notes, like raisin or fig.

On the finish that raisin note seemed to actually linger a bit longer than the bright berry notes.  The vanilla also seemed to stick around as well. It was also on the finish that a black pepper spice creeped in, adding a bit of an unexpected but welcome surprise to it all.  

I don't know where this whisky came from, but I enjoyed every drop of it. Hopefully this becomes some sort of family tradition!!

Grade: B+

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