I ordered a Scotch, but you brought me a glass of Chardonnay?
Notice recently a maelstrom of new flavored products, including craft beer, vodka and even Scotch that are now offered? As craft beers go, there are so many combinations of flavors available – not only fruits and herbs, but barrel flavors too; beer sees more and more time in some type of cask or another, bourbon barrels being the more popular. With vodka, flavors are at an all-time high. Scotch, perhaps high-brow beverage, has also tapped into this new style of production. Currently, we offer a handful of single malts aged in a variety of casks, mostly barrels that once were the home to some of the world’s great wines. You can find Scotch aged in sherry barrels, Oloroso barrels, Porto wine barrels, Caribbean rum barrels, Chardonnay barrels, and there’s even a Scotch that was aged in barriques from the famous Sauternes region of Bordeaux!
Scotch has always been aged in wood, which is an intrinsic part of the flavors you find in your favorite bottle. Seems like a natural next step to change up the wood, right? Maybe it’s because many people who enjoy fine wine also enjoy fine spirits, and maybe these new products blur the lines just a little. So over the next few months, I will pick a pair… a new Scotch aged in wine barrels and the wine that inspired them to use those barrels.
This lovely 10-year-old Speyside single malt matured its entire length in Chardonnay casks, which then offer a distinctive fruity nuance, backed by a hint of butterscotch and slightly toasted oak notes.This would be a Chardonnay drinker’s perfect twist to Scotch!
Barrel fermented and sur lie aged in both American and French oak, this beautiful wine is made from Chardonnay grown in two unique vineyards in Monterey County; the Zanette Ranch in the Arroyo Seco, which contributes 70% to this blend, and 30% of its fruit is from nearby Santa Lucia Highlands. The Arroyo Seco adds a distinctive pear/peach flavor, while the Santa Lucia fruit lends a tropical note.
Try the Chardonnay with dinner (gnocchi with a sage cream sauce?) and then cap the night with a dram of the Glen Moray 10 year!
Shayne Hebert, ABC Fine Wine & Spirits wine & spirits supervisor
Follow me on Twitter @abcwineShayne