Google All over Europe in several flights - part 2

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Hi, this is one of our (almost) daily tastings. Santé!

May 21, 2015


All over Europe in several flights - part 2

Last time we stopped in Sweden, with Mackmyra and Smögen. Let’s stay in Sweden for a short while, if you don’t mind…

Mackmyra 'Midnattssol' (46.1%, OB, +/-2014)

Mackmyra 'Midnattssol' (46.1%, OB, +/-2014) This one was finished in silver birch wine. Some Swedish stuff, apparently. Colour: gold. Nose: I don’t know. I find plenty of bananas. A slightly simple nose, not unpleasant at all, unfolding on sweet cornbread, manzanilla wine (no, not chamomile… wait, now that you mention it, there is a little chamomile), walnut cake and vanilla. Simple, young, clean, pleasant. Mouth: some sour wood, yoghurt, vanilla cream, white beer… I’m not a fan of this sourness, I have to say. Some unsweetened lemon juice. Good body, but the sourness – possibly from the wood – is a little too unusual. If I may. Finish: quite long, but bitterish and still a little too sour. Comments: not too sure about this one. The cask did a lot of work, but I find the end result too sour in my own little book. I’d tend to call these whiskies ‘the anecdotals’. SGP:371 - 65 points.

Speaking of anecdotal whiskies, let’s fly to England!

English Spirit 'Expedition Number 2' (42%, OB, malt spirit, +/-2015)

English Spirit 'Expedition Number 2' (42%, OB, malt spirit, +/-2015) ‘Stuff that’s distilled 5 times and matured briefly in English oak’, according to the very adventurous people at Master of Malt, who’re afraid of strictly nothing (which we love, because when you taste a lot of stuff, the enemy is boredom). Colour: straw. Nose: yess! Immature for sure, yeasty and feinty as sure as 2+2=4, but funny in all its unlikeliness. We’re between barbecued sardines (f****ng neighbours) and long-forgotten yoghurt. Let’s not forget ‘old tin boxes’. Maybe stale mango juice. And burning books. So funny! Mouth: the power is too low. If I may, when you issue unlikely spirits, better raise the voltage. Vase water, old mangos, sugarcane syrup, Moroccan spice mix, earth and dirt. Finish: sour, flabby, unlikely and uncertain. Comments: loved it! SGP:321 - 39 points.

Okay, let’s carefully avoid Scotland and Ireland, and drive straight to Wales…

Penderyn 'Myth' (41%, OB, Wales, +/-2015)

Penderyn 'Myth' (41%, OB, Wales, +/-2015) Two stars and a halfPenderyn, great people, but I’ve always had troubles with their whiskies. It’s me, it’s me. Now, if this is already mythical, we should be up for some wonders. Colour: gold. Nose: heeeey, wait! This works, it’s not British in style, rather kind of American, with a body that’s a little thin but also a thick layer of aromas over it. We’re talking pencil shavings, apple peeling, multi-vitamin fruit juice, vanilla, ‘light’ smoke, coconut and all that. A fine, easy nose. Mouth: Whiskyfun is about having fun, and some fun there is here. Where else would you find maracuja ice cream, pink grapefruits, mangosteen, burnt praline and old Madeira wine? Nowhere else. Finish: unexpectedly long, fruity, candied, with touches of sweet oaky vinegar in the aftertaste. Apple vinegar. Comments: I find this one very pleasing, it’s lost its feinty side. This at cask strength please! SGP:631 - 78 points.

Where shall we go from Wales? Brittany would be the obvious choice…

Armorik 'Maître de Chai' (47.3%, OB, France, Bretagne, 1000 bottles)

Armorik 'Maître de Chai' (47.3%, OB, France, Bretagne, 1000 bottles) Three stars and a half Armorik’s made by Warenghem, in Lannion. A maître de chai is a cellar master. Colour: gold. Nose: there is a little new oak at first nosing, all that on a rather light distillate, but the freshness and even the coastality work well, and give it a lighter Bruichladdich style. Wheat, cake, a bit of leather, old books, a touch of humus, a bit of eucalyptus… The whole is rather dry. Mouth: oh! Well done! Spicy pear cake, sweet bread, liquorice, light vanilla fudge, ginger cake, fresh walnuts… This baby keeps its distances, but there is a feeling of fullness. Gets very brioche-y over time. Finish: good length, bready and brioche-y, so civilised, malty, with some spiced-up Starbucks coffee in the aftertaste. I know, Starbucks and coffee don’t go well together. Comments: great work. The oak’s still a little too obvious, but this baby’s way above earlier bottlings from six or ten years ago. IMHO. SGP:441 - 83 points.

Good, we said five, so one more, and let’s stay in Bretagne…

Kornog 'Taouarc'h Pempved 14BC' (46%, OB, Glann ar Mor, France, Bretagne, bourbon barrel, 2014)

Kornog 'Taouarc'h Pempved 14BC' (46%, OB, Glann ar Mor, France, Bretagne, bourbon barrel, 2014) Four stars Is Breton less or more boring than Gaelic? Discuss… ;-) Anyway, you may remember than Kornog is the peated version of Glann ar Mor. Colour: white wine. Nose: Kornog is becoming more and more Islayesque. Indeed this baby’s got the medicinal side of Laphroaig – albeit toned down -, the light coastal side of Bruichladdich, the leafy smokiness of Caol Ila, and the tarry/oily side of Ardbeg. It remains a light peater, but it makes me think of lace. Peaty lace. Mouth: smoked pineapples and seawater and oysters. The body’s not bigg and phatt, and indeed this is rather a light, yet slightly earthy peater, but the citrus that kicks in after just two minutes further lifts it and makes it extremely drinkable. Fish oils, lemon, smoked water, smoked fish. Caol Ila’s not far on the palate. Finish: unexpectedly long, smoky, clean, salty, kind of easy. Comments: the easier side of peated Glann ar Mor. Easy, but irrefutable. Yec'hed mat! SGP:456 - 85 points.

What’s gonna be next? Which countries? Which unusual whiskies? Stay tuned…







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