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wine review

There are a few unusual things about this spirit. For starters, it comes in a hexagonal-sided, opaque-glass bottle. You can’t see the contents until you pour. That resonates, intentionally or not, with the whiskey’s name. “Sexton” derives from an old Latin word, sacristanus, which, I gather, refers to a gravedigger whose eyes were last to witness the body being laid to rest. This also explains the image on the label of a skull in profile wearing a top hat.

Another point of interest: The person behind this product is a woman, Alex Thomas, one of few female master blenders in the world. (Note to the uninitiated: Master blenders inhabit a higher realm than mere distillers. That’s because blenders of cask-aged brown spirits must nose and taste the contents of maturing barrels and know how to blend them together in a harmonious and consistent way. A distiller, meanwhile, might be just the person who operates the still and cranks out oceans of boring vodka.)

The third oddity here is the wood. The Sexton, from County Antrim in Northern Ireland, spent four years in ex-oloroso-sherry casks versus the standard bourbon barrels. That richly fruited European wood helps supply the generous texture here, no doubt. The spirit is silky and spicy, with sweet peach and honey in the foreground along with caramel, heather, vanilla and old wood. Available in Ontario at the above price, various price in Alberta.

  • Region: County Antrim
  • Price: $49.95

Rating:90 /100

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