Next up is the Oak Cross. This is made of malts from Alness, Brora and Carron and is aged in first fill american oak and new french oak. I expect to come across some of those traditional bourbon notes with a hint of spice from the french oak. This is what I find quite fun about knowing the composition of a blend because you can test out your knowledge and assumptions about flavours and it’s always a nice surprise when you notice something you weren’t expecting.
Whisky: Oak Cross Blended Malt Scotch Whisky, 43%
Nose: Vanilla, butterscotch, floral, toast, honey, cloves
Taste: Barley sugar, malt, honey, poached pear, lemon tart, melon, pepper
Finish: Honey, pepper and tea
Summary: This has a nice malt character to it. There are also some lively elements of citrus and spice. Then there is a flora element that is present on the nose and in the background on the taste. The Brora/Clyneslish influence shows in this and to great affect. A drop of water and time helps open this up as the flavours are quite concentrated to begin with. The Oak Cross is priced at around £45 and is quite tempting at that price even though you can get good quality single malts at that price. This shows that blends can compete with single malts.
Scoring scale: My scores reflect a balance of the overall experience, availability and cost for a whisky,
1 – not to my preference
2 – tastes fine but does not excite me
3 – more to my liking and would revisit occasionally
4 – very much to my liking and would consider as a regular feature on my whisky shelf
5 – permanent feature on my whisky shelf
Image source: www.thewhiskyexchange.com