Category Archives: Europe – Other

G.Rozelieures Rare Collection NAS French Whisky

Tasting: G.Rozelieures Rare Collection NAS French Whisky

G.Rozelieures Rare Collection NAS French WhiskyDram data:
Distillery: G.Rozelieures
Bottler: Official bottling
Distilled: –
Bottled: –
Age: NAS
Limitation: –
Casks: Ex-Sauternes
Alcohol: 40%
unknown chill filtration / colouring
Whiskybase link

France is the biggest importer of Scotch whisky in Europe – but as a whisky-producing country it’s relatively unknown, except to insiders. I certainly have never heard of the G Rozelieures products from the Lorraine region before, until blogging colleague Franck from lecavedecobalt.com asked me whether I wanted to try their wares. Oh yes, I don’t mind if I do! Peated French whisky, distilled from self-grown, local barley and double-distilled in traditional French “Cognac style” stills, that does sound interesting!

Tasting notes:
Colour:
 orange gold
The nose is definitely smoky, no doubt about that! I would call it cold bonfire smoke, rather than your typical Scottish peat, but that might just be due to the type of peat being used – and the strong wine-cask influence trailing the peat! Smoky, sweet grapes, slightly bitter grape seeds and hulls, gooseberries, mirabelles, light, fresh kitchen herbs, a touch of cracked pepper, orange peel and a hint of soap. Interestingly enough, this reminds me strongly of the Lost Spirits Bohemian Bonfire – which was also matured in French casks. Quite interesting and fresh, definitely not your typical whisky by any stretch of the imagination! Very hard to score, but I do see it slightly above average compared to my average benchmark whiskies. Continue reading

Black Mountain Whisky Selection Notes Fumées Blend

Tasting: Black Mountain Whisky Selection Notes Fumées Blend

Black Mountain Whisky Selection Notes Fumées BlendDram data:
Distillery: – (Blend)
Bottler: Black Mountain Compagnie
Distilled: –
Bottled: 2016
Age: NAS (5-6yo with ca. 2 years additional maturation)
Limitation: 3000 bottles
Casks: French spirits cask finish
Alcohol: 45%
probably chill filtered, no colouring info
Whiskybase link

Finally, the first whisky review of 2017 after what feels like an eternity of “bad nose days”. Why not start with a surprise package from France, from the guys behind the “Black mountain compagnie”. They already released two different blended whiskies, one of which I’ve reviewed here. This latest release is the same basic blend recipe, but with an added 20% of “two different smoky whiskies” followed by a marrying stage – not in Scotland, but in France. All in all about 2 years of maturation were carried out in France, so despite having Scottish ingredients, it cannot be called Scotch. Let’s take a look!

Tasting notes:
Colour: straw
The nose features an undeniable smoky note right upon the first contact. Delicate smoke, almost like burning flower petals. Light and floral with delicate vanilla notes and early spring flowers, oranges, grapes, pickled ginger, green apples, some coconut and fudge. Not an in-your-face whisky but thanks to the 45% ABV with a bit more oomph than your standard blends and more elegant. Undeniably the same base (house) style as the BM 1, but the added smoky component does add an additional layer. Continue reading

Armorik Double Maturation NAS

24 drams till Christmas 2016 #18: Armorik Double Maturation NAS

Armorik Double Maturation NASDram data:
Distillery: Warenghem
Bottler: official bottling
Distilled: –
Bottled: 2013/14-ish
Age: NAS
Limitation: –
Casks: ex-bourbon/ex-sherry
Alcohol: 46%
unchillfiltered and uncoloured
Whiskybase link

French Whisky? Why yes, the French aren’t just the largest continental European market for Scotch, they also produce their own!

Tasting notes:
Colour:
 red gold
The nose is surprisingly “Scottish” for a French whisky! This could pass for a light, young, fruity, sherried Speysider! Rather light, with a noticeable alcoholic note, paired with vanilla, stewed apples and pears, cherries, light mulled wine spices with a hint of ginger and sweet supermarket cream sherry. Very pleasant and gentle. Let’s try the palate:  Continue reading

Teerenpeli Karhi NAS

24 drams till Christmas 2016 #15: Teerenpeli Karhi NAS

Teerenpeli Karhi NASDram data:
Distillery: Teerenpeli
Bottler: Official bottling
Distilled: –
Bottled: 2015
Age: 5
Limitation: 1882 bottles
Casks: ex-bourbon with Madeira finish
Alcohol: 43%
unchillfiltered and uncoloured
Whiskybase link

Finnish whisky named after a farming tool. Finished in Madeira casks after initial maturation of 5-7 years in ex-bourbon casks? Let’s taste it!

Tasting notes:
Colour:
 amber-ish gold
The nose promises a mellow, gentle dram upon first nosing – a bit shy, yet not without character. Malty sweetness paired with vanilla up front, spearmint, oranges and apricots and juicy sultana raisins. The profile is not too sweet, however, it is more fruity than sweet and it is overshadowed by an aroma I can’t quite put my finger on. Not really metallic but also not really in the grassy direction – maybe just something picked up from the Madeira casks? Definitely interesting and pleasant, but not earth-shattering so far. Let’s see if the palate provides us with further hints:  Continue reading

Slyrs 12 yo

24 drams till christmas 2016 #3: Slyrs 12 yo

Slyrs 12 yoDram data:
Distillery: Slyrs
Bottler: official bottling
Distilled: 2003*
Bottled: 2015*
Age: 12 years
Limitation: 2000 bottles
Casks: fresh american oak
Alcohol: 43%
unchillfiltered(?) and uncoloured
Whiskybase link
*no info on the sample bottle, it could either be the first or second batch

After tasting a less than stellar 3 yo whisky from the Bavarian distillery, I’m putting high hopes in this very expensive and collectable 12-year-old dram. Let’s check it out!

Tasting notes:
Colour: amber
The nose starts out extremely rich! Different league than the aforementioned 3 yo bottling! Not your usual whisky, though, a distinctive style you could not mistake for a Scottish whisky (which is good, because why should you make whisky that tastes like Scotch in Bavaria?). Rich oak! I couldn’t find any official info on it, but I’d be surprised if it was anything but virgin american white oak casks. This could almost be a well-aged high-malt mash bill, potstill bourbon! Charred oak, vanilla, tannins, ginger, cinnamon and cloves up front, with caramel and toffee sweetness, Werther’s Original, Ricola cough lozenges and a whiff of a new Bavarian cowboy boot (Oh come on, you’ve made that one up!). Very oak-driven, but not too oaky. At the same time there’s also a lightness and freshness on top – you can tell this is not old whisky, but a younger distillate from fresh casks. Let’s check the palate! Continue reading

Box Early Days Batch 001 4 yo

Tasting: Box Early Days Batch 001 4 yo

Box Early Days Batch 001 4 yoDram data:
Distillery: Box
Bottler: official bottling
Distilled: Sept. 2011
Bottled: Oct. 2015
Age: 4 years
Limitation: 2109 bottles
Casks: 130 ltr 1st fill ex-bourbon
Alcohol: 51,2%
unchillfiltered/uncoloured
Whiskybase link

Tasting notes:
Colour: 
white wine
The nose doesn’t try too hard to hide the relatively young age of the whisky, but it is a lovely nose for just four years! Vanilla pods maturing in a citrus orchard. Yep, that’s it! But there’s more… A mineral character paired with oxidising green apple, Physalis, nectarine, tinned tangerines and a pinch of spices. Light, fruity, summery. I’d say perfect for the season, but it’s 16°C outside and raining… Continue reading

Slyrs Bavarian Single Malt 3 yo

Tasting: Slyrs Bavarian Single Malt 3 yo

Slyrs Bavarian Single Malt 3 yoDram data:
Distillery: Slyrs
Bottler: Original bottling
Distilled: – (unknown)
Bottled: –
Age: 3 years
Limitation: –
Casks: American white oak
Alcohol: 43%
probably chill-filtered; uncoloured

Tasting notes:
Colour: 
light honey
Wow, a premiere! The first German single malt whisky I’m reviewing on this blog. And the first time I’m trying Slyrs. So let’s dive right into it…
The nose is… interesting. Not you usual single malt, light yet with a very dense, tightly interwoven flavour profile, quite sweet with a touch of oak right up front. This reminds me more of a dry Cognac (with added wood extract) than of a malt-based distillate. Vanilla, fresh oak staves, grape distillate with a touch of bitter seeds, dusty, dried apricot, banana chips and a young-spirit metallic note in the background. Continue reading

Black Mountain Whisky Selection BM No.1 Blend

Tasting: Black Mountain Whisky Selection BM No.1 Blend

Black Mountain Whisky Selection BM No.1 BlendDram data:
Distillery: – (Blend)
Bottler: Black Mountain Compagnie
Distilled: –
Bottled: ca. 2015-2016
Age: 9 years (acc. to webpage)
Limitation: –
Casks: French spirits cask finish
Alcohol: 42%
probably chill filtered, no colouring info
Whiskybase link

Tasting notes:
The story behind this dram is certainly interesting. I hope I’ll get it right, I’m relying partly on an automated translation of the French website. The French “Black Mountain Compagnie” seeks to build their own distillery in the national park of Haut Languedoc in the coming years. For now they’re maturing and bottling Scotch – in France. This blend “No 1” has a high malt content and the youngest whisky is 9 years old, which is quite high for a blend. After being reduced to a marrying strength of 45% they’re maturing it in casks from the south-west of France previously used for French spirits (Cognac? Armagnac? Brandy?) for a period of at least six months before it’s being bottled at 42% ABV. Well, let’s taste it!
Colour: (slightly red) gold
The nose is light and delicate. A dominating slightly green grape note with crushed grape seed bitterness. That’s the influence from the ex-Cognac/Armagnac/Brandy cask maturation/finish. A whiff of spicy French oak, green banana, oxidised green apple, freshly mown grass, lovage with molasses and honey in the background. Continue reading

Penderyn NAS Single Bourbon cask B227

Blind tasting: Penderyn NAS Single Bourbon cask B227

Penderyn NAS Single Bourbon cask B227Dram data:
Distillery: Penderyn
Bottler: official bottling
Distilled: –
Bottled: 2015
Age: NAS
Limitation: –
Casks: ex-bourbon
Alcohol: 63,2%
Unchillfiltered, uncoloured
Whiskybase link

Tasting notes:
Colour:
white wine
The nose is… wait, err, are we sure this is whisky? Something tells me there’s an additional “e” in the name or is the reused Crown Royal bottle just there to deceive me? There’s a fake perfumey, artificially sweet dominant vanilla note right at the front, which, thank god, fades after a few minutes but still stays present. Vanilla, old banana, limoncello, neroli, orangey ladies perfume, coconut, caramelised ginger, toffee, orange Haribo gummi bears and, well, toasted american oak “spices” with a cooling alcoholic sensation.
Continue reading

Waldviertler Whisky J.H. Original Rye

24 drams till Christmas tasting #10: Waldviertler Whisky J.H. Original Rye

Waldviertler Whisky J.H. Original RyeDram data:
Distillery: Waldviertler Whisky J.H.
Bottler: Original Bottling
Distilled: –
Bottled: ca. 2014
Age: at least 3 years
Limitation: –
Casks: Austrian oak “Manhartsberger Sommereiche”
Alcohol: 41%
unchillfiltered; natural colour
Whiskybase link


Tasting notes:
Colour: honey
The nose is is unmistakeably rye – the typical rye spiciness is very apparent – but paired with a pronounced malty and wood-honey sweetness. Rather active casks were used, adding notes of wood (birch?) sap, juniper berries and cough lozenges.
Continue reading