I tasted the two batches of “American Whiskey” bottled by Jop Boer (3006 Whisky). He came across a larger batch of “blended bourbon” of which the origin can’t be traced. He had bought some sherry octaves and decided to use some of them to mature the whiskey in. In total he has used octaves of 5 different sherry types to extend the maturation time of this blended bourbon, which is called “American whiskey” in order to be on the safe side I guess. I don’t know where the additional maturation took place.
Batch 1 and 2 (matured in PX and Palo Cortado) were released and I decided to taste them head to head. PX is fully oxidative sherry, Palo Cortado (especially the older variants) are also very influenced by oxidation as the flor layer has been eaten away.
Batch 1 is a notch darker than batch 2, which is no surprise (but mind you, Palo Cortado can get seriously dark too). In both whiskies, the nose is quite atypical, which makes the experiment interesting. The origin of the American whiskey is obviously present, but the combination with the sherry leads to a rather funky profile (but pleasant). So next to the base layer of glue, starch and syrup, there is the effect of fruit. With the batch 1 (the PX), the effect seems to be the smallest and easiest. It has given some extra weight in the form of shoe polish, leather, and raisin. Batch 2 (the PC) is a tad more expressive, also giving a sour/fresh note of red forest fruit, nuts and milk chocolate (Milka Trauben-Nuss) and a bit of treacle (appelstroop). 84/87
In the mouth, batch 1 seems as if the sherry was complementary to the American whiskey in the sense that the sweet and syrupy taste is prolonged. The maple syrup character of the spirit was enhanced by a more fruity syrup from the PX. A bit of polish and leather add some depth, but most importantly it’s a very sweet whiskey.
Batch 2 is assertive, yet very syrupy and oily. The sugary and starchy base of the American matches very well with the nutty and fruity character of the Palo Cortado octave. Towards the end, there is spice, rather the “bourbon way” than the “sherry way” (so on baking spices, speculoos). 82/87
Batch 1 is that powerful that the sweet, dense and syrupy side stays for quite a while, before finally giving way to the spice. It reminds me a bit of an old bourbon with many woody spices and still quite some sweetness. The main difference is that this is even sweeter. Treacle (appelstroop), raisin, PX itself, but then the starchy feel of the American whiskey. Still the best part.
Batch 2 leaves a nice spicy feel, with baking spice, pepper and clove. It is a bit saline and nutty, dusty and leafy as a Palo Cortado can be. So both corn, syrup and wood spice on the one side, and tobacco, almond and red fruit on the other side. It’s odd, but it works well. Very interesting! 85/87
Overall: the whisky world is quite traditional and the question is how experiments are received. It’s especially when an American whiskey is finished in “foreign” wood (and probably in foreign territory). First of all, when you don’t try something new, the chance of learning or encountering nice surprises is also relatively low, so 3006 Whisky should be given credits for that. Looking at the result, I have a good feeling with batch 2 (the Palo Cortado octaves). It has added a special character of red fruit, nuts and tobacco which makes this whiskey something special. Batch 1 (the PX octaves) isn’t bad either, but it has given not such a distinguished character than batch 2. It’s more something for the sweet tooth. Given this result, I’m looking forward to the other batches (hopefully coming from the other pure sherry variants Fino, Manzanilla, Amontillado or Oloroso, not from a blend). If from Oloroso (or old Amontillado) the result could be close to batch 2. The other ones are leaner so may deliver a fresher style. Let’s see!
Verdict: 84 points / 87 points.