Irish Single Malt Whiskey
This Blog’s inaugural review is of The Sexton. This Irish Whiskey is a new product to the market & brands itself as an “unexpected, modern-day Irish [Whiskey].” Its marketing begs your purchase; should you indulge it?
- Category: Whiskey
- Origin: Ireland
- Distillate: Single Malt (All Malted Barley)
- Distillation Method: Pot Still
- Distillery: Bushmills (?)
- Age: 4 Years Old
- Aging Method: Spanish Oloroso Sherry Casks
- ABV: 40%
- Price*: $25-$30
The Sexton is the brain child of former Bushmills employee Alex Thomas, who started this brand after being certified in distilling & leaving the company. It makes sense, then, that since the whiskey is from the same county as the Bushmills distillery, we can assume that it’s a Bushmills sourced product. Plans, however, are apparently in the works to start a new distillery for this whiskey to call home, & when that happens, we’ll have to revisit it.
One interesting note on this whiskey is that 100% of the barley used in distillation is malted, which breaks from Irish norms in both taste & tradition; Irish whiskies are almost always distilled from a combination of malted & unmalted barley, which gives them a spicy but rich biscuity character.
SO, on to the liquid inside the eye-catching bottle that, thanks to the short & fat neck, is impossible to pour without spilling a drop or ten.
This whiskey is a rich amber color; though keep in mind that Ireland, like Scotland, allows coloring, but this color is most certainly a result of the sherry cask influence. That influence comes in on the aroma too; hints of rich dark fruits come out of the glass on the nose, as well as marshmallows, funnily enough. It doesn’t actually smell like marshmallows, but that note illustrates for me a sweetness that is fruity but light & creamy, as opposed to the richer honey sweetness you’d find in many other single malts.
When tasting, you get a pleasant creamy sweetness, again reminding me of mashmallows, as well as dried fruits & honeysuckle – not too floral, not too honey-ey, but right in between. There’s also a slight apple note – bright crisp sweetness to balance out the honey sweetness & dried fruit.
If you let it sit on your tongue, it is intensely sweet & tastes of ripe fruits, but becomes quite bitter as well.
Adding a drop of water is recommended; some sweetness is traded for a nutty & herbaceous flavor, but it doesn’t get bitter, only complexity is added.
After you swallow, the flavor doesn’t vanish like many whiskies watered down to 40%; it has a rich viscosity that allows the flavor to linger.
Despite the praise, I had a bad experience with the neck pour on this one; the first pour before it can oxidize.
The whiskey had a funky sulfuric bite on the way down that turned me off, but after letting it sit for a week & popping the top periodically, that issue vanished as expected.
The Sexton is a complex single malt with character that, though not without flaw, competes in price with mass-market blends. No fan of Irish Whiskey or Speyside Scotch should pass up this bottle. I would love to see a release of this at cask strength or even 46%, but as it is, it stands tall as a tasty, unchallenging sipper at a remarkably unbeatable value.