The Tasting Panel magazine

October 2015

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october 2015  /  the tasting panel  /  75 in Scotland and raised in Jerez. That is, the normal trend of Scottish distillers importing ex-Sherry casks to age their whiskies has been reversed, with González Byass acquiring already-aged Speyside Scotch whiskies and bringing them to their cellars in Jerez for finishing in Pedro Ximénez casks for a minimum of 12 months. "This is a very interesting concept," says González, "because for many years Sherry producers have been exporting Sherry in casks and some of them went to Scotland. And the Scottish people, being good administrators, found out that maturing their Scotch in casks that had contained Sherry really added to the rounding out of their flavors. So they developed that custom and we became suppliers of Sherry casks to Scotland. Eventually all of the Sherry started to be exported in bottles, so the Scots ended up coming to Jerez to purchase the casks once they were emptied. Eventually, they asked the coopers in our area to season the casks for them, for exportation to Scotland. But eventually we said, 'Why don't we do it the other way around?' So we thought about producing a whisky in Scotland, and then bringing it to Spain and aging it for another year in casks that had contained Sherry before." The result is an eight-year-old blended whisky, composed of over 30 different malt and grain whiskies that is truly unique, due to the temperature, humidity and even the winds and native yeasts in the bodega—elements that are distinctly differ- ent from Scotland, and which give very pronounced nuances to the flavors of dried fruits and raisins in this unique whisky. To be sure, the ongoing innovations of González Byass are bringing a new and refreshing "reign" from Spain to America. Vilarnau is a prestigious, finely crafted cava produced on a small and very exclu- sive scale by González Byass. London No. 1 Dry Gin is one of the few London dry gins actually distilled in London. Triple-pot-distilled, and infused with twelve botani- cals—including bergamot oil, which lends a flavorful touch of Earl Grey tea into the mix. Nomad is a whisky born in Scotland and raised in Jerez. PHOTO COURTESY OF GONZÁLEZ BYASS PHOTO COURTESY OF GONZÁLEZ BYASS

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