Williams & Humbert Canasta Sherry Review

Following our Dry Sack review, we decided to take a look at another popular sherry from Williams & Humbert. This time, we’ll be taking a look at the Williams & Humbert Canasta Cream sherry:

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Sherry Overview

  • Bodega: Williams & Humbert
  • Expression: Canasta
  • Variety: Cream Sherry
  • Region: Jerez, Spain
  • Age: NAS
  • Casking: Oloroso Solera, Pedro Ximenez
  • Cask Strength: 19.5% ABV
  • Pricing:
    • Drizly: From $20 / 75 cl [Buy Now]

Meaning “basket” in Spanish, Canasta is a cream variety of sherry, which means that it’s was initially oloroso wine that was then sweetened with Pedro Ximenez. Learn more about the different sherry varieties with our sherry guides.

Williams & Humbert Canasta Sherry Sky Background

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Williams & Humbert Canasta’s Robe

Williams & Humbert Canasta Sherry In Glass

Canasta is a very dark, sombre wine that is reminiscent of aged amber. Its robe is intense and showcases excellent viscosity when swirled in the glass. You’ll see rich scallops and thick legs trickling down the sides.

Williams & Humbert Canasta’s Nose

Canasta’s nose is quite intense, especially if you leave it to sit in the glass for a while. You’re looking at some primary notes of figs and raisins. Meanwhile, it reveals secondary and tertiary notes of walnuts and cinnamon. However, these are quite faint and you’ll mostly detect the dried fruits.

Williams & Humbert Canasta Palate & Mouthfeel

Williams & Humbert Canasta Sherry & Wine Glass

Overall, Canasta is very sweet. It doesn’t have any of the saliency as experienced in the Dry Sack a while ago. In the video, I struggled to speak after a sip as the high-level of acidity caused excess salivation.

However, its acidity somewhat offset and masked by its sweetness. Likewise, the alcoholic strength and its full-bodied qualities of the wine are also well-concealed by the residual sugars. Nevertheless, it isn’t too cloying and quite easy to drink.

Its primary notes will first reveal figs and raisins again. As for its secondary flavours, you can expect to experience a very mild hint of cocoa. Meanwhile, it does offer a few tertiary notes of walnut and cinnamon, which are likely produced by the oxidative ageing process.

Eventually, it leaves a relatively long finish that lets the raisin notes linger for a while. Generally speaking, it’s a vinous sherry that leaves its impression for a while before fading.

How To Drink Williams & Humbert Canasta

Fin de Siècle Cocktail

If you check out our sherry serving guide, you’ll see that a cream sherry should be served between 11°C and 12°C (51.8°F – 53.6°F). Nevertheless, I would recommend that you have Canasta a little cooler perhaps at around 10°C (50°F).

It’s perfectly acceptable to drink it in a small wine glass. However, if you’re looking for traditional nosing glasses, I recommend that you take a look at this glassware guide. Meanwhile, it’s typically enjoyed neat but you could also try a number of cocktails instead!

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Best Pairings With Canasta Sherry

Williams & Humbert Canasta Sherry & Cigar Pairing

Firstly, Canasta will likely be enjoyed alongside desserts, especially during the wintertime. You could certainly consider dishes like Christmas cake and mince pies. Yet, you could probably go a bit further with some apple or fruit pies or tarts.

Consider also blue and soft cheeses. However, I would suggest using quince or fig jelly to extend the sweetness a little while you marry the two. A few fresh walnuts with your cheese would also heighten the experience.

Otherwise, I would recommend something similar to the Plasencia Reserva Original as a good cigar pairing. It’s spicy and although it does have character, it doesn’t have too much body. Therefore, it’s capable of contrasting the wine’s flavours without overwhelming it.

Overall Experience & Value For Money

Williams & Humbert Bottle

The Canasta features an almost identical bottle to the Dry Sack except that it uses a cream rather than a brown-coloured label. It marries the brand’s heritage, thanks to a traditionally shaped bottle, with an element of modernity thanks to the updated label.

You may also notice that the cork is actually a stopper that can easily be replaced. This choice of cork is probably because you won’t likely drink an entire bottle in one sitting. Indeed, it contains oxidatively aged oloroso sherry, which is quite resilient. Similarly, the sugar content will act as a natural preservative.

Nevertheless, I wouldn’t leave it longer than a week or so before finishing it otherwise it may start to lose its flavour and turn a bit sour.

Finally, it offers pretty good value. You can expect to pay around $20 for a bottle, which is quite reasonable. If you’re looking for an entry sweet sherry to get into the wine, it’s a solid option.

Closing Thoughts

If you’re not fond of the saline flavours produced by medium sherry like the Williams & Humbert Dry Sack, the Canasta offers a succulent and rich experience. Be mindful that it is very sweet but this character marries well with the aged oloroso base.

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"A sweet, succulent, and caramelised wine that offers a rich and opulent experience."
Bespoke Unit Rating: ★★★★

Further Reading

Once you’ve finished reading our review, feel free to peruse our wide range of related content such as the following resources:

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