As we are nearing the end of the 1st release of Borders Highland Single Grain Whisky (grab a bottle while you can), let’s look at the thought process behind the creation of our 1st release, and how the flavours will change with the 2nd release.
With the Borders Highland Single Grain, we wanted to produce a grain whisky with significantly more flavour than a stereotypical youthful grain whisky. We worked with a Highland distiller to develop this whisky, and we plan to continue producing this style of whisky when we build a distillery in the Scottish Borders in the future.
To achieve our aim, we used 50% malted barley, and 50% wheat. Normally a grain whisky would contain significantly less barley. Malted barley gives the spirit more body and flavour.
We matured the spirit in Bourbon casks, before finishing in 80 litre sherry casks for 4 weeks.
While you may be familiar with sherry casks in malt whisky productions, it is quite unusual to use these to mature grain whisky, particularly such small sherry casks. We then bottled the whisky at 51.7%, just a little under cask strength. This was a conscious decision differing from our other brands bottled at 46% because we wanted this whisky to stand up in mixed drinks and cocktails, as well as neat.
The result was a powerfully sherried grain whisky but one that isn’t necessarily obviously high in alcohol volume due to the lighter profile of grain whisky by nature.
For the 2nd release, we took some of this sherry casked liquid and reracked it into Bourbon casks. We still wanted the sherry notes, but to balance it slightly with more Bourbon.
Our 2nd release will also be bottled at 51.7%.
Borders Highland Single Grain 2nd Release Cask Tasting Notes:
Nose: Apples and pears (not stairs), tangerine, peach, and fresh oaky notes. The malted barley also punches through, as does a caramel note.
Palate: Chocolate, caramel, apple notes, biscuit notes, some nutty sherry and a minerally note.
Both 1st and 2nd release are great alternatives to a G&T. Mix with Soda, apple juice, or ginger beer. Remember, don’t feel you must have a G&T if you don’t like them (as I don’t). Have a whisky and mixer instead. Of course if you prefer your whisky neat it’s delicious on it’s on as well or with a little water.