I needed whisky. Our stocks were running low, nothing but heels in the liquor cabinet, an inch or two in far too few bottles. But I was a bit light in the wallet.. when lo and behold, what did I spy on the ground amidst the melting snow of a downtown Montreal sidewalk? A discarded or lost gift card. To the SAQ – the state-run liquor stores. I picked it up, decided to check if there was anything on it. Just in case. And there was: 50$! It was like finding a 50$ bill on the ground… only better. Because ti could only be used to buy booze. This was a good day.
And what I bought was the Bruichladdich Sherry Classic.
It is, as the name suggests, aged in sherry casks. Some people don’t like sherry-casked whiskies, either because they’re purists or because they simply don’t call for the sherry flavours. I myself don’t mind one bit. Not liking it is one thing, but being a “purist” just closes you off from a plethora of new flavours. Yes, that’s right: a plethora. A lot of whiskies, sherry-casked or not have sherry notes in there anyway.
I’ve had quite a few sherry-casked whiskies and this is just about my favourite. It’s nothing dramatically amazing, it’s just a good, solid whisky in its category – eminently drinkable – and relatively affordable too… especially when you’re given a 50$ discount out of the blue.
Oddly enough the Sherry Classic is one of the only whiskies I like to pair with a beer – a very specific beer: Bierbrier Premium Ale. There’s an aftertaste to the beer, almost a taste of nitrogen, that brings out the subtle smoke of the whisky. And the robust mouthful of sherry flavours bring out a richness in the beer. The way they complement one another is decidedly unique.