Proprietary Barley Spirit Drink – Master of Malt

The PBSD, as I’ve just named it, is a drink that does hommage to the paxerette sherry casks of the 1960′s and 70′s. What is paxerette, I hear you ask. In short it’s a sherry reduction smeared on the inside of casks before they were put under pressure to force it into the wood. There’s a lot more info in certain magazines and books, but that is what it comes down to, if I’m not mistaken.

It was forbidden by the SWA a while ago and since then, it has become even more difficult to source ‘sherry’ casks. They said it wasn’t traditional and in some ways an addition to the finished product. The years that it was used in the whisky industry have produced stunning sherry matured whisky though. Interesting…

This drink is a barley spirit drink, with ‘a whole lot of it tipped in‘. What that means to me is that it’s a whisky with paxerette in it. They did mention on Twitter that ‘by God it’s not whisky’, but I found that statement so overly clear that it’s almost sarcastic. I approached it as a whisky with paxerette in it.

Sniff:
Proprietary Barley Spirit DrinkRed fruits, strawberry and ruby port. Thick, greasy sherry with all bells and whistles. Fruit, wood, nuts, Christmas cake and spices. I also got some of those cinnamon coffee liquers, with coffee and loads of milk and sugar. After a while though, it does smell like it’s breaking apart a little bit.

Sip:
Pretty sharp (I didn’t look at the ABV before trying this) with a very thin feeling on my tongue, but a very thick feeling on the inside of my cheeks. Weird… Sharp fruitiness with light spices. Peaches, pineapple, melon maybe. Some orange definetly. Full and greasy as you let it swim for a bit. Beefy with sweet pot roast and a dutch staple thing called ‘peperkoek’.

Swallow:
The finish goes back to the red fruits immediately. Some balsamic vinegar as well and it’s heavy. Thick, cloying but not too long though. Brown sugar in the end.

Well, it might be whisky with paxerette tipped into it. It might not. I like it, but it does feel like a load of trickery and it sure doesn’t hold itself well when nosed and tasted extensively. Some to try and have fun with, before moving on. But still, a very, very tasty drink. Just not whisky.

Proprietary Barley Spirit Drink, Master of Malt, 54.55%, € 63.13 at Master of Malt, samples available too.

3 stars

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About Sjoerd de Haan-Kramer

I'm a web developer at Emakina. I'm highly interested in booze, with a focus on whisk(e)y and beer. I like to listen to loads of music and read an occasional book. I'm married to Anneke, have a daughter Ot and a cat called Kikker (which means Frog, in Dutch). I live in Krommenie, The Netherlands.
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