The Birmingham Whisky Club Blog :: Going With The Grain

May 23, 2017

On The Blog

Richard has picked an interesting theme this month… Grain whisk(e)y. Now, we have been lucky enough to sample some delicious grain whiskies in recent tastings, but if you’ve missed out it’s time to get to grips with Grain!

This month I’ve taken a focus on grain whisky. I’ve taken two that you can find fairly easily in the Larceny Wheat and the Bernheim but rounded off with something even more different in the Exceptional Malt. If you’re feeling adventurous I would recommend try a dram of Floki young malt should you be able to find it. It isn’t technically whisky as it has only been aged for two years but it follows the Icelandic tradition of weird food and drink and for this particular batch they decided to create their own version of peating by using sheep’s milk and smouldering dung. The smell is…. acquired but I’ve got to say I was really impressed with the taste for a young malt and I found the smell worked well once I got over the childhood memory of visiting a farm! They will be releasing their first whisky later this year so it may be something to keep an eye on.

What: Wheat :: Larceny Kentucky Wheat Bourbon, 46%, American Whiskey

Where: Tried at Whisky Birmingham, but fairly widely available.

Nose: Brioche and Butterscotch.

Palate: Alcohol kicks hard initially but then the caramel comes to the fore and it finishes buttery smooth in the mouth. Adding a touch of water really helps smooth out the initial kick for me.

Finish: Sweet and smooth fading to wheat.

This isn’t a complaint but this is not a complex whiskey and that’s the thing I really liked about it. Especially with a touch of water, it just glides down your throat and leaves you with a slightly wheaty finish. If you like a cocktail I think it would make for a nice old fashioned also!


What: Wheat 7 years old :: Bernheim, 45%, American Whiskey

Where: Tried at Whisky Birmingham, but fairly widely available.

Nose: Luxardo Cherry and Bakewell tart!

Palate: Oily in the mouth, spearmint initially and then sweet. Adding water develops the complexity with stewed fruits.

Finish: Lingering mint and a long spicy finish.

This tasting note is possibly a good example of how different people taste whiskey! When I got a friend to try this after me they could barely taste any mint at all, defining the finish far more as dry and spicy and the body as sweet and smooth! I recommend trying a dram in a bar and seeing how it comes across for you. I’ll be trying it again to see if the taste is the same a second time!

What: The Exceptional Malt 2nd :: Sutcliffe and Son, 43%, Blended Scotch Whisky

WhereMasters Of Malt

Nose: Honey up front with orange airs and a meaty end note.

Palate: Anise then pomelo explodes and then fades to corn/wheat.

Finish: Oloroso Sherry with resinous hints with a medium long finish.

I really struggled with the tasting notes for this and I think if I’d had a full bottle I’d have probably drunk the whole thing working through different taste profiles I got from this. It was constantly changing subtly and had a real depth. I’ve increasingly come around to blended whisky being a good thing and this blend of Glenfarclas, Ben Nevis, Allt-á-Bhainne, Auchroisk, Glenallachie, Westport, Speyside, Macallan and more really makes me think I need a few more blends in my cupboard! Thank you again to Living Room whisky for the sample!