You may have heard of The Rhythm and Booze Project, a blues duo that’s been making regular appearances at whisky events and festivals in the UK. For example, here are Felipe Schrieberg (who’s also an accomplished whisky writer) and Paul Archibald playing live at Bruichladdich. They’ve also recently launched their first whisky, a Blended Malt 13 Years from a Single Sherry Butt, paired with new EP for fans to enjoy as they sip whisky (accessible via a QR code on the back label).
“We create a pretty gritty, raucous sound”, Archibald explains, “and in our performances we want our audience to be a part of that and enjoy it. We felt that the profile [of the whisky] really manages to capture that in alcohol form. It’s quite rich and robust, but also surprisingly easy to drink.”
Schrieberg and Archibald’s Blended Malt 13 Years is launched as part of Rhythm and Booze Records. I don’t think I’ve ever come across an independent bottler AND record label, but that’s what they aspire to be. They plan on finding other independent artists and bands to work with, and then want to match them with quality spirits, either whisky, cognac or rum.
In the accompanying press release, Schrieberg comments: “It sounds pretentious, but I really do believe that we’re just at the tip of the iceberg when it comes to exploring the sensory possibilities from combining top quality spirits and music. We want to take this combination as far as we can, and provide an unforgettable experience to anyone that buys any of our bottles.”
Nose: Initially, notes of fudge and caramel are leading the way, but also a touch of cherries, copper coins and nutmeg, along with cloves and orange zest. Then warm vanilla sauce, blackcurrants, and tobacco, as well as some forest floor and classic red fruits – more of the syrupy and jammy kind than the fresh ones. Finally, just a touch of soy. This is certainly not your average sherried malt. Taste: Proper syrupy mouthfeel, then an interesting arrival with oak spices and some earthy, malty elements. But the highlights are notes of golden syrup, Werther’s Original and tobacco leaves, with just a tinge of leather, oranges, mocha and strawberry marmalade. Also a quick hit of fennel somewhere in between. Finish: Medium length. Shifting between sweeter fruits, nuts and oak spices.
This is a blended malt that can't quite be pigeonholed, which I can appreciate. While there's plenty of sherry influence, this is not a classic sherry-matured malt. There's an idiosyncrasy that just works. You should really try it for yourself. It's now available from Dramfool.