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Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Omar Sherry Type Taiwanese Single Malt

There's Omar Little. And here's a little Omar:

I bought this sample during Master of Malt's final days of US shipping. Some perspective was going to be needed once the Bourbon Type bottle was opened. Well, that 700mL has been opened, and enjoyed. The world (or just I) was ready for a comparison of the Sherry and Bourbon Types.

Distillery: Nantou
Owner: TTL, which is owned by the ROC
Brand: Omar
Region: Nantou, Taiwan
Age: 7 years or younger
Maturation: sherry casks
Bottling Date: 2018 or earlier
Alcohol by Volume: 46%
Chillfiltration? ???
Colorant? ???
(from a purchased sample)

There are no generic raisiny notes in the nose, instead it's a little meaty: beef broth and jerky, ground mustard seed. There's also plenty of yeast and spun sugar. Some maple syrup and pencil eraser. The palate has some of the nose's mustard seed note, but then heads off in its own direction. Lemon juice and a big crazy bitterness (from the spirit and the oak) follow bursts of ginger ale and cream soda. Then walnuts, a slight mineral note and more vanilla than the Bourbon Type. It finishes with a woody bitterness, or a bitter woodiness, then some vanilla + sugar. Minerals and walnuts in the background.

DILUTED TO ~40%abv, or < 1 tsp of water per 30mL whisky
The nose becomes nuttier, with a hint of cherry candy. A little bit of maple syrup. Less beef, more mustard. Similar to the neat version, but quieter, the palate does add some tangy dried apricots, dried cranberries and oak spice. Less bitterness but still tannic. It finishes yeasty and tannic, sweeter than when neat. Some maple and vanilla.

On a positive note this isn't a boring sherried thing. Yet it's woodier and more vanilla-ed than the Bourbon Type. I think it improves when diluted as all its facets start tilting towards an American whiskey-style at 40%abv. Overall there's just too much oak extraction present in this expression, especially when compared to the Bourbon Type. I recognize the unevenness of this comparison, a full bottle of one and a small sample of the other, but I'm not sure how many pours of the Sherry Type I'd desire beyond one.

Availability - Asia, Europe and the United States
Pricing - $35 to $95, depending on the country
Rating - 77

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