The Crossover: Nomad Outland Whisky
The Nomad Outland Whisky starts out life as a Scotch based on spirits from Speyside but is then shipped down to Jerez to age in used Sherry barrels in Andalusia instead of having the barrels shipped up to Scotland to age up there in the cold climes the Highlands. The result is a very different take on Scotch which some may welcome and others may not.
This isn’t perhaps as novel as it may sound given that the French distillate, Chartreuse was actually made in Tarragona, Spain for nearly a century after the order of the monks was kicked out of their monastery and headed south. The French were largely unaware that their “pride of Voiron” from southeast of Lyon was made south of the border and are often incensed upon hearing it as most everyone agrees that the drink was actually much more lively and enticing when made on the Mediterranean shores.
But back to the Nomad which unsurprisingly is neither Sherry nor Scotch in profile. It does indeed create something different and the Master Blender behind it, Richard Paterson was working with the fellows at González Byass to come up with the right approach. Being a sucker for novelties, I decided to try take a chance and try it. The end results is well, “curious”.
What I can’t understand is that they say the barrels are ones that were previously used for Pedro Ximénez. For those not up on the Sherry types, this grape is fed into the production of sweet Sherry and as far as I was aware, it isn’t ever used in dry Sherry production which is dominated by the Palomino grape. This may seem like a non-sequitur but I bring it up as both in the aromatic and in the taste profile, there are distinct dry Sherry notes, specifically like the salinity of Fino. I don’t find anything that would resemble a remnant of the sweet Pedro Ximénez so I’m wondering if something got lost in translation or was simplified for the market as we all know how “difficult” Sherry is to understand.
After trying it with some of my preferred Whisky-based cocktails, I’d have to say that it seems best had straight. So far, in what I’ve tried, the profile of this spirit overwhelms most typical cocktail recipes. This isn’t surprising as it wasn’t really created for them and thus I think a new type of crossover Scotch will need a new type of cocktail.
Nomad Outland Whisky
Saline sherry notes with spicy white pepper, touch of iron, dried, potent herb, mint, tarragon, and then red cherry kirsch. Toffee and coffee notes on the mouth, cinnamon, cloves, and potent spices that give a lingering finish with the sherry notes trailing at the end. Probably there the whole time but knocked out by the alcohol. Definitely curious and an inviting drink for those it will speak to.