Tasting: Lost Spirits Distillery – Bohemian Bonfire French Oak

Lost Spirits Distillery Bohemian Bonfire

Dram data:
Distillery: Lost Spirits Distillery
Bottler: Original Bottling
Distilled: unknown
Bottled: 2014/2015
Age: NAS
Limitation: unknown (single cask)
Casks: single French oak cask (ex-wine)
Alcohol: 59%
unchillfiltered; uncoloured
Whiskybase link

Tasting notes:
Colour:
deep gold
The nose starts off with alcohol (no wonder at 59% ABV), smoke and a complex multitude of aromas in the background. Let’s stay with the smoke for a bit: It’s unlike anything I’ve ever come across, completely different from what you’re used to in peated Scotches. Almost an intense floral peat smoke, or is that just the cask influence coming through? Talking about cask influence: The French oak cask (definitely ex-wine) imparts aromas of light tannins, thick grapes with skin (Uhudler, if you know the variety…), still stlightly green plums, ripe brambles, Kiwi, roses and slightly bitter marzipan. The palate is very consistent with the nose but a bit high on the alcohol at first, so let’s add a bit of water. Lots and lots of wild brambles with kernels, red wine grapes (also with kernels) and cherries all smoked over peat consisting of what formerly was fragrant roses in full bloom and heather, if that makes any sense. There’s also a hard to define sweetness (cherry-flavoured candy?) and light oak tannins coming through. Thick, chewy, mouth-watering and -coating. Just like the nose unlike anything I’ve ever tasted before and very intriguing . The thick, throat-coating, long, creamy finish has slightly more oak tannins, summer fruit sweetness and is once again very consistent with nose and palate. The fragrant peat smoke seems to last forever.

Verdict:
This is so refreshingly different from other malt distillates I probably would not guess it’s a single malt whisky in a blind tasting. Is this a bad thing? Heck no!  The guys behind the Lost Spirits distillery have an eccentric setup (first a wooden still(!) now a dragon-shaped copper still – see here) and the resulting spirit is no less eccentric. But, as different from the world of Scotch as this “heavily peated american single malt” is, it has character, style and is very quaffable and consistent throughout nose, palate and finish. Now, this distillate is not for everyone and I can see people disliking it – I even know someone who tasted this batch and didn’t like it – but there’s no denying there’s quality spirit matured in a pretty good cask in this bottle.

Score: 90/100
(Nose: 89 Palate: 88 Finish: 90)

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