A Rare, 21 Year Old Sherried Single Grain Scotch from Port Dundas – Scotch Whisky News

A New Source Delivers an Utterly Spectacular Sherried Single Cask
1998 Port Dundas 21 Year Old “Barrel to Bottle” Single Sherry Butt Cask Strength Single Grain Scotch Whisky (750ml) ($99.99)
“I’m absolutely in love with this selection from the team behind Barrel to Bottle.”
— David Othenin-Girard, K&L SoCal Spirits Buyer

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One of the most exciting additions to our spirits portfolio is “Barrel to Bottle.” This thrilling new project was born of three spirit enthusiasts who began bottling their own whiskies for a close group of friends. This trio proved to be remarkably adept at selecting the very best of the best, and in no time their reputation grew. It was only natural, then, that this passion project evolved into a full-fledged spirits brand—and one that has collectors taking note. With access to a treasure trove of prized casks from an unnamed distiller, the team has ferreted out the best specimens and brought them to market. The Port Dundas 21 Year Old featured here is the fruit of this endeavor. A rare sherried single grain bottling, it has precisely the kind of profile that makes whisky drinkers swoon. As our SoCal spirits buyer, David Othenin-Girard, notes, “it’s got a full rancio character with plenty of nuttiness, powerful vanilla extract, baked apple and banana.” High-proof but remarkably approachable, even without the addition of water, it is one of the most compelling grain whiskies we’ve ever encountered. Because single grain is still an emerging category, you can own this 21-year-old for just under $100—a razor-sharp price for a Scotch of this caliber. This is an excellent introduction to what is destined to be a go-to brand for Scotch collectors.

1998 Port Dundas 21 Year Old “Barrel to Bottle” Single Sherry Butt Cask Strength Single Grain Scotch Whisky (750ml) ($99.99)

Barrel to Bottle is led by Reid Bechtle and Steve and Paul Schurman. The three friends have bottled hundreds of casks for their whiskey groups. Steve and Reid started selecting casks in 2008, bottling a number of now-famous casks of Willetts. They then went on to found 1789b, a private group of booze lovers focused on selecting single cask American whiskey. Likewise, Paul was the first to identify the incredible brandies being bottled by L’Encantada from Lous Pibous and bottled the first casks for the US for the “Brandy Brothers” via K&L Wine Merchants. Few have more experience or taste when it comes to brown spirits than these three amateurs. Now they’ve gone pro! A close personal connection to one of Scotland’s most prominent distillers and blenders is their impetus. Their incredible reputation has allowed them access to this brand’s entire selection of old high-quality grain whisky. This category is still in its infancy and this secret source rolled out 53 of their best casks. The team chose the three they felt would appeal most to their compatriots in 1789b and the wider dark spirits drinker. This awesome cask of single grain whisky was filled into a sherry butt on May 21st, 1998. A nose of roasted walnuts, dried plums, dark cacao, baked pears and exotic wood. On the palate, the bold character is clearly sherry-driven although unique since we don’t have the malt. Surprisingly drinkable at the very high proof, bridging the gap perfectly between bourbon and sherry.

David Othenin-Girard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: August 13, 2020

I’m absolutely in love with this selection from the team behind Barrel to Bottle. I’m also a bit jealous that they get access to these special stocks directly from one of the big boys in Scotland, but honored they thought of K&L as the right store to partner with on these special products. This Port Dundas is the best I’ve had from the distillery since the incredible sherried Port Dundas 36 year bottled by Sovereign years ago. We so rarely see sherry on grain and the last time we saw a dark sherry single grain was a Single Cask Nation Cameronbridge 26 year. That one sold for over $200. I thought they were joking, but they were dead serious. And that whisky sold, but this one is twice as good for half the price. Let’s have a look. The color is deep copper. The nose starts with red fruit, dark old wood, roasted vanilla bean, dried plum and toasted clove. On the palate, it’s got a full rancio character with plenty of nuttiness, powerful vanilla extract, baked apple and banana. Medium to full bodied and pretty oily for a grain, I thought this one went a little dumb with a drop of water, adding astringency that’s not there at full strength. But if you keep adding 10 or 20 more drops, it returns to equilibrium and offers more obvious sherry on the nose, a beautiful creamy texture, and tons of spice on the back end. An altogether exciting addition to the grain category, but this bottle should transcend anyone’s preconceived notion of what grain is or should be.

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