The group had had this before, and liked it, so I was looking forward to their reaction. Unfortunately, the whisky was not good. It had a strong taste of lighter fluid (like charcoal starter). Previously, the only whisky I got this flavor from was the younger sherried Macallans, but it was never very strong. Very disappointing, not only for having spent the money on it, but for the group's missing out on a direct comparison.
So does anyone know the flavor I'm talking about? And does anyone have any idea where it comes from? Considering the whiskies I've tasted it in, I'd guess it comes from sherry barrels.
Incidentally, we also had a bottle of HP15 that was corked.
It's an old practice and now discontinued (apparently) but sherry casks rot quickly when emptied so they were preserved by the use of sulphur candles. These casks are used more than once so the sulphur will be in the system for some time yet.
This type of sulphur 'contamination' (there is 'natural' sulphur to be found in some malts) can be extreme, i.e. gunpowder/cordite/fireworks, or less so, i.e. burnt rubber/rotten, or subtle, where the flavour profile of the whisky becomes suppressed but the presence of the sulphur is not obvious.
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