Malt Mileage Rating: ★★★★
Type: Single malt
Hyde Irish whiskey is a relatively new brand of Irish whiskey. One of its products is the Hyde Sherry Finish. The Hyde Sherry Finish is a 10 year old malt whiskey, produced from twice distilled spirit made at the Cooley distillery in Ireland, and then matured in ex-bourbon barrels and “finished” for six months in first fill Oloroso sherry casks. The sherry casks are sourced from Jerez de la Frontera in Cadiz, which is in the south of Spain.
The type of sherry casks used by Hyde for the “finishing” are called “hogsheads”, which have a capacity of about 250 litres. They are much smaller than the larger sherry “butts”, which have a capacity of about 500 litres. As hogheads are smaller than larger sherry casks (for example, butts), the whiskey which matures in the smaller casks has more contact with the inner surface of the barrel as it rests in the barrel and this means that the whiskey draws out more flavours from the wood than if it were in the larger casks.
The whiskey tastes of fruit cake, cereals, banana chips, toffee and vanilla. The Oloroso sherry casks add, in addition to the fruit cake, some orange peel, raisins, herbs and – perhaps most noticeably – a winy dryness. Soft plumes of herbal smoke form, together with jagged peppery spices and dark chocolate. Towards the finish the oak and fruit fade as the palate dries from the Oloroso influence, and the malt finally peeks through the blanket of ex-bourbon and ex-sherry wood. The spices, and a curious minerality, prickles the palate.