The result is an amber-hued and mellow whisky, complex enough to keep drawing you back in but also approachable and friendly.
Balance is everything with the Triple Wood, combining as it does the peppery notes of Virgin Oak, the more vanilla profile of the American Oak and the brown sugary influence of the Bourbon Refill.
On the palate, there are notes of vanilla and apple tart and a pronounced oak influence, while a longish, smooth finish rounds out the picture.
It’s a whisky that foregrounds the wood influence, an easily overlooked but crucial component of the whisky-making process that gives a spirit much of its distinctive taste and colour.
Within William Grant & Sons, a team of dedicated coopers work tirelessly at learning and refining their craft; the apprenticeship alone spans a labour-intensive seven years. Once qualified, the coopers set to work on staving, rebuilding and recoopering casks. Others within the distillery work solely on locating and sourcing quality casks from around the world which can deliver the characteristics the distiller is after.
Justin Strzadala, Brand Manager of Malts at William Grant & Sons Australia New Zealand, normally drinks the Triple Wood with just a splash of soda but says it is also a highly versatile spirit and robust enough to be the base for any number of cocktails.
At the launch event in Sydney, this adaptability was showcased with the whisky featuring in a Maple Syrup Old Fashioned, a Sweet and Sour and the highlight, a Tall Treacle garnished with a crisp slice of fresh apple.
The Triple Wood is also an example of a skillfully blended whisky. Sometimes wrongly seen as inevitably inferior to Single Malts, a good blend is the product of years of training and a highly developed palette.
William Grant and Sons’ Master Blender Brian Kinsman, for instance, is one of the industry’s most experienced figures, having learned his craft under the legendary David Stewart.
Blended whisky has long, long been the backbone of Grant’s, who have been in the game since the 1890s.
“Blends tend to have a bit of a negative stereotype mainly based around the fact that they priced at a lot less than the prestige single malt,” Strzadala acknowledges. “However, we are all about encouraging and communicating (the idea) that instead of judging a bottle based on its price or its age statement, why not taste the whisky?”
Judged by that simple criteria, the Grant’s Triple Wood holds up extremely well.