A new breed of whiskey is set to shake up the spirits category with its launch this month: The Sexton® Single Malt Irish Whiskey is an unexpected single malt, rich in hue, approachable in taste and memorable in flavour, and is heading to our shores from its Northern Irish home. The powerful and versatile drink goes against the grain— designed for a new modern whiskey drinker who looks for a multi-tasking malt that’s just as delicious enjoyed in a cocktail as it is neat or on the rocks.
Coming to market during an exciting time for the category, The Sexton is perfectly placed to usher in a new era for Irish single malt.
Borne of the trusted heritage and provenance of The Old Bushmills Distillery, The Sexton is the result of the unique vision and creativity of Master Blender Alex Thomas. Thomas is one of the world’s few female whiskey blenders and brings great expertise as well as bold and exciting new thinking.
Fascinated by the maturation phase of the whiskey-making process, she created The Sexton to be the perfect balance between spirit and oak. “It’s fantastic to bring The Sexton Single Malt Irish Whiskey to the United Kingdom during such an exciting time for the category. After years of experimenting with different cask profiles and laying the liquid to rest for just the right amount of time, I’m pleased to share a rich and deeply flavourful Irish single malt that is ideal for mixing in cocktails. In doing things differently, we want to celebrate those who are also forging their own path and leaving their mark on the world.”
Made from 100% Irish malted barley, The Sexton Single Malt is triple distilled for smoothness in copper pot stills and aged exclusively in Oloroso sherry butts. These sherry butts are all hand-selected, and Thomas has spent years working with partners who share her passion and commitment to excellence.
The European oak casks are air-dried for 16 months, toasted from the inside to a medium-high level and seasoned with Oloroso sherry for two years. First, second and third fill Oloroso sherry casks are used to achieve a perfect harmony between sweet sherry flavours and toasted oak notes. The Sexton is a non-age statement whiskey, which allows Thomas the freedom to select casks when the profile is just as she wants it.
The result is a rich and smooth whiskey perfect for new cocktail experimentalists or for those wanting to put a modern twist on a classic serve.
The Sexton’s rich and sophisticated spirit is matched in the style-stakes by the striking, hexagonal black bottle it’s served from, which unravels its own rich story and is set to be a covetable decanter for display in some of the country’s leading cocktail bars.
The term ‘Sexton’ comes from the Medieval Latin word ‘sacristanus’, meaning custodian of sacred objects, and is used to describe the man who prepared the grave—the last man to witness the body before being laid to rest. As such, The Sexton Single Malt challenges people to make choices every day that will add up to a life story worth telling.
The bottle has been crafted to tell the story of The Sexton. A unique skull on the bottle is a mark of its spiritual owner. Its distinguished shape and heavy composition means it requires a strong grip—and its black exterior has been designed to appeal to the creative and style conscious whiskey drinker.
The Sexton unveiled itself to some of London’s leading bartenders in suitably bold settings for its official UK launch. An immersive tasting experience unfolded in the pitch-black underground of the Clerkenwell Catacombs in East London, where senses were heightened in the surroundings of the eerie underground location as guests tried the whiskey for the very first time.
At the one-off tasting event, The Sexton signature serves were introduced – modern, fresh takes on classics, perfect for drinking in the night time hours:
THE HOLY GRAIL
50ml The Sexton Single Malt, top with soda water, 2 dashes Angostura bitters, serve over ice and garnish with a lemon peel
LOVE IT TO DEATH
50ml The Sexton Single Malt, 25ml fresh lime juice, 12.5ml Aperol, 2 dashes Absinthe, 20ml sugar syrup, serve garnished with thyme and orange peel
MOURNING, NOON & NIGHT
35ml The Sexton Single Malt, 25ml sweet vermouth, 25ml Campari, serve on the rocks & garnish with a lemon peel
50ml The Sexton Single Malt, 5ml coffee liqueur, 5ml maple syrup, 2 dashes chocolate bitters, serve on the rocks
BURY THE HATCHET
50ml The Sexton Single Malt, 25ml lemon juice, 12.5ml gomme (sugar syrup), top with soda water and add a 15ml sweet sherry float, garnish with a wedge of lemon
LAID TO REST
25ml The Sexton Single Malt, 5ml Pedro Ximenez sherry, 20ml Manzanilla sherry, 12.5ml spiced claret syrup, serve over crushed ice and garnish with mint leaves and dried spices
DEAD OF NIGHT
35ml The Sexton Single Malt, 25ml lemon juice, 20ml sugar syrup, 1 egg white, 12.5ml red wine, shake and serve on the rocks.
CHILLED TO THE BONE
35ml The Sexton served on the rocks
On the nose, marzipan, all spice and fruits follow aromas of nuts and dark chocolate. The refreshing palate reveals mellow honeyed malt and oils and finally a pleasant gentle wood finish, with mild sweetness that slowly fades.
The Sexton is available from November in high-end bars, restaurants and lounges as well as fine wine & spirits shops for a suggested retail price of £30 GBP.