Sherry and whiskey: They’re the original odd couple of the drinking world. It’s been almost three hundred years since the tipples of Ireland and Scotland first fell in love with the used wine casks of Andalusia and they’re still inseparable to this day. Modern classics such as our very own Redbreast or Scotland’s luxurious Speysiders owe their signature tastes to the inspired love song of grain to grape that took place as they aged.
That relationship has grown more complicated over the centuries and has expanded from the original sweet and Oloroso sherries that the Spaniards earmarked for northern export to include a whole range of fortified wines including sherry’s close cousins port and Madeira as well as an ever-expanding gambit of sweet and dry wine finishes. But how well do you really know your classic Oloroso from your Fino or your Pedro Ximenez? Know the difference between port and Madeira fortification? Know what to expect from a vatting of different wine finishes?
To understand the intricacies of that relationship and the balancing act between a whiskey’s intrinsic flavours and the influence of the barrel, we’ll be inviting in our friends from Mitchell & Son to discuss a range of creatively finished and classically sherried whiskeys alongside the wines that made them possible. As the perennial bonders of the Spot whiskeys and one of Ireland’s oldest wine importers, Mitchell & Son are a living link to all of this history and managing director Peter Dunne will be joining a panel from our own society to discuss whiskey, wine, and the craft of the cask.