A 2001 vintage bottling from Highland distillery Oban, forming part of Diageo’s cask finished Distillers Edition series.
Bottled in 2016, this dram was finished in Fino Sherry casks from the Montilla region. Another Andalucían town, Montilla is found to the east of the traditional Sherry heartland of Jerez.
Montilla’s wines are little known beyond the region, with only 10 out of 170 producers exporting beyond Spain, yet their Fino and Amontillado (named after Montilla) sherries are ranked very highly in their home nation.
Fino, a fragrant, dry style of the fortified wine provides the perfect cask for enhancing the slightly savoury and coastal flavours of Oban’s single malt.
The final result is a dram rich in flavours of honey, toffee, jammy fruit, grassy malt, candied orange peel, slight salt, sultanas and raisins, wine acidity, green apple, dark chocolate and coriander.
Fino sherry is not often used for whisky finishes, with the less dry wines of Oloroso and Pedro Ximenez preferred, but this is an excellent example of what it can provide.