Type: Blended Scotch Whisky
The first thing I noticed about this was the retro-style bottle and label. That was interesting and turned out to be a premonition of sorts. The second thing I noticed was the Cadenhead’s name, which to me, and I know a fair number of fellow enthusiasts, is a sure sign of quality. The third thing I noticed was that the blend was married in Oloroso sherry casks. The last thing I noticed was the shop worker grabbing a mop for the drool pool quickly building at my feet (Ed. note…ewwwww). There has been a rumour whispered to me that Benrinnes makes up a portion of this blend as well. Hopefully they will release and confirm the parts that make up this blend.
In the glass it shows as a dark brown, almost the colour of cola with ice that has melted away. Medium legs initially both in width and length and coats the glass fairly nicely.
Nose: On the initial nose the sherry influence comes through. It shows up like musty/dusty style Oloroso. I get the scent of those 5 cent Cola bottle candies. The fruits start showing up a little deeper. Figs and raisins. The nose comes close to an almost Campbelltown funk. Not heavy at all, but a slight touch of smoke. Could be barrel usage but the nose is earthy, dunnage floor like. Maybe a bit of baking spice at the tail end of a big whiff. For a blend of grain and malt and at a decent price point this nose is very interesting and punches above its weight big time.
Palate: The initial entry is brighter than the nose foretold. Some grain showing through for sure. After a short bright burst it tames down a bit to get more of what’s expected after that nose. When the full palate is coated, the nutty side of sherry influence show up. A waxiness and heaviness is noticed and it almost turns into a really dank sherry whisky, but then the lighter side of fruits make their case. A touch of red delicious apples with peels on. Some cherry and sultanas with a bit of syrup coating on them. Even some chocolate and cinnamon on the roof of my mouth.
Finish: The finish on this one is intriguing. The spice and brightness perk up but once they start to fade, that nutty, fruity Oloroso is right there and clings for a while. It meets with the bit of spice kick and almost turns to a chocolate covered cherry. It sticks around much longer than I would expect and I am very happy with this surprise. It’s a sherry influence blend that avoids being over sherried and allows all aspects of the whisky to shine through at different times.
This is a blend that I will keep fully stocked in my cabinet as long as it’s available. It’s a delicious, interesting and fulfilling blend that punches above its weight and already changed by sipping it over the course of an hour. I can’t wait to see how it opens up with some time in the bottle. It’s reminiscent of some older style blends I have been lucky enough to try. Cadenheads revived the 7 star to showcase that a blend can be created using their vast array of top quality casks they have maturing in their warehouses and this one hammers the nail on that point.