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Bothan Sherry Expression Scotch Whisky
About Bothan Sherry Expression
I’ve been using this blog as a good excuse to gain experience in spirits I’d previously missed, like bourbon and rye whiskey, for the past few years. But, I think I want to put more effort this year into learning more about the different regions of Scotch whisky, since I had mostly just tried Highland and Islay. It’s also tax season here in the US, so I was looking to find something a bit more affordable. So, luckily, the vibrant orange label of Bothan Sherry Expression Scotch Whisky caught my eye, and it happened to fit most of my criteria.
Bothan Sherry Expression is a lowland single malt whiskey that is aged in both ex-bourbon and sherry hogshead barrels. The sherry casks can impart fruity and floral notes to the Scotch, which works well with the mellow fruity notes that are associated with lowland Scotches.
While researching Bothan, I wasn’t able to verify the exact distillery behind its production. But, given the wording on the bottle and official website, Bothan Sherry Expression is most likely sourced by the brand owner, the Califonia-based bottling company Alexander Murray & Company, from one of the few lowland Scotch distilleries. The bottling company is named ofter the great uncle of owner Steve Lipp. Alexander was a barley farmer who produced the grain for local distilleries, and passed on his passion for whisky onto Lipp.
❖ Spirit: Lowland Single Malt Scotch Whisky
❖ Distillery: A Product of Scotland, Bottled for Alexander Murray & Company
❖ ABV: 43% (86 Proof)
❖ Lower Price for single malt scotch
❖ Color: Honey
❖ Nose: Fruit, Apple Cider, Cereal, Vanilla
❖ Taste: Apple, Oak, Lemon Peel, Vanilla, Honey, Slightly Thin Mouthfeel
❖ Finish: Medium, Vanilla, Spice
2 oz Scotch
3/4 oz Oloroso Sherry
1 Teaspoon Maple Syrup
6 Dashes Cherry Bitters
❖ Combine Ingredients in a mixing glass
❖ Add ice and stir until well-chilled
❖ Strain into a rocks glass with a large ice cube
❖ Garnish with a lemon twist
One of the main reasons I chose this Bothan Sherry Expression over the bourbon option was to potentially use sherry in a cocktail. I was initially thinking of a cocktail with a wine float, but that was only because I didn’t actually know anything about sherry. I thought it was a red wine rather than a fortified white wine. But, luckily, I found this recipe for The Bothy on the Bothan Official Website, which sounded just like the type of cocktail I was looking for while actually using sherry correctly.
Out of all the official recipes I’ve tried so far, I think this most successfully pairs ingredients with notes in the base spirit. The sherry and bitters pair well with the fruit notes in Bothan Sherry Expression, the maple syrup adds nice sweetness to the honey and vanilla notes, and the lemon peel garnish brings out a bit of the citrus notes. And although The Bothy is presented like an Old Fashioned, it tastes more like a slightly sweeter Manhattan.
Also, the only cherry bitters I could find in stores were Fee Brothers Cherry Bitters, and they are quite delightful. They basically smell and taste like cherry soda. I also had a bit of a hard time specifically finding Oloroso sherry, so I think any sweet sherry could be a decent substitute.
I didn’t have the highest expectations for Bothan Sherry Expression because of the cheaper than average price for a single malt Scotch, and the lack of information about the producing distillery, but I was pleasantly surprised with this lowland Scotch. In fact, it could potentially be a decent first step into Scotch whisky, since it has the typical grain funk that scotch is known for, but with more pleasant sweet fruity notes for balance.
While there’s decent complexity in Bothan’s flavor, It’s still far from my favorite. The fruit notes are bright and pleasant at first, but become a bit overly sweet and candy-like as the flavor evolves, and don’t completely mesh with the vanilla, spice and grain notes. It also has a thin mouthfeel that I tend to associate with cheaper and lower quality spirits.
But, this makes sense because Bothan Sherry Expression costs less than other single malt Scotches, so it wouldn’t keep me from recommending it to most people. And even though the price isn’t as low as most mixing spirits, I still don’t feel too bad using it in cocktails. So, if you’re able to find Bothan in a store, I thinks its definitely worth at least checking out.
As always, drink responsibly.