Here is a break down from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sherry
Fino ('fine' in Spanish) is the driest and palest of the traditional varieties of sherry.
Manzanilla is a variety of fino sherry made around the port of Sanlúcar de Barrameda.
Amontillado is a variety of sherry that has been aged first under a cap of flor yeast, and then is exposed to oxygen, which produces a result darker than fino but lighter than oloroso.
Oloroso('scented' in Spanish) is a variety of sherry aged oxidatively for a longer time than a fino or amontillado, producing a darker and richer wine.
Palo Cortado is a rare variety of sherry that is initially aged under flor like an amontillado, but develops a character similar to oloroso, with some of the richness of oloroso and some of the crispness of amontillado.
Sweet Sherry (Jerez Dulce in Spanish) is created when one of the preceding varieties of dry sherry is sweetened with Pedro Ximénez or Moscatel wine.
Cream sherry is a common variety of sweet sherry made from oloroso, with other varieties including pale cream sherry (made from fino) and medium sherry (made from amontillado).
Like kljostad, I had to go out and find some PX. Wonderful rich supersweet stuff, very raisiny, reminiscent of prune juice (but in a good way, really). Lustau is the best I've tried.
Oban: Montilla fino
Lagavulin: Pedro Ximenez
Caol Ila (new): Moscatel
Clynelish (new): Oloroso seco
peergynt323 wrote:The Mannochmore I had from a South African Sherry butt was just stunning. The sherry character was more like Sauternes than the dark, raisiny, toffee taste you get from oloroso.
Was that the Signatory Cask Strength in an oval decanter bottle?
If so - I remember it to be very light in colour rather than dark red/brown as a oloroso would be. Unfortunately I haven't tasted it (yet?). The colour (or lack of) would suggest a fino or another dry sherry type IMHO.
But then again, I'm not a sherry expert - far from. I just happen to like sherried whiskies especially some dark oloroso matured 'Laddie's.
That said - I like bourbon matured whiskies even more
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