Google The Danaids' jar

Serge whiskyfun
Thousands of tastings,
all the music,
all the rambligs
and all the fun


Facebook Twitter Logo
Guaranteed ad-free
copyright 2002-2017


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

November 1, 2017


The Danaids' jar
(or a bag of funny ones for Halloween)

All funny or unusual spirits that crossed my path, tasted one after the other, on separate days, without any ideas of ‘a proper session’. So, some kind of alcoholic hotchpotch, if you will, or indeed, the Danaids’ jar…  (because we get more of these all the time, mind you)

Beinn Dubh (43%, OB, Speyside Distillery, +/-2017)

Beinn Dubh (43%, OB, Speyside Distillery, +/-2017) Mannochmore’s Loch Dhu was rather terrible (yet it’s got its fans!), Cu Dhub was terrible, it was normal that Speyside Distillery would reiterate that kind of trial and come up with yet another ‘black’ single malt whisky with ‘dark mysteries’. No? Oh, and £50 a bottle, mind you! Colour: walnut stain. Nose: not much, actually. Coffee and molasses, perhaps? Chocolate sauce, black pudding, toffee, and drops of Cointreau. No, actually, this isn’t totally ugly, we’ve nosed worse stuffs. Like, cat vomit and dead mice – both totally unrelated of course (hi, Jack!) Mouth: this is actually okay. Coffee, fermenting fruits, dried beef, black raisins, more coffee. Too bad some bitter caramel starts to get in the way after one minute. Finish: medium, a tad game-y, chocolaty, slightly ashy. Some plain sugar and litres of molasses in the aftertaste, which is a no-no. Comments: okay, I think I like this one better than both Loch Dhu and Cu Dhub. Let’s wait until around the year 2050 and I’m sure they’ll have further improved the recipe – and legally. By the way, I have Loch Dhu at WF 49 and Cu Dhub at WF 35. SGP:451 - 65 points.

Reimonenq ‘Evasion Blue Lady’ (25%, OB, Guadeloupe, premix, +/-2010)

Reimonenq ‘Evasion Blue Lady’ (25%, OB, Guadeloupe, premix, +/-2010) Well, it’s all blue, and it’s a mix of white Reimonenq (I suppose) and blue Curacao. And I agree, it does not belong here. Too late… Colour: blue. The pool at an average all-inclusive resort anywhere in the West Indies. Nose: Fanta and some cardboardy rum. Where are the nearest ice cubes? Mouth: kind of drinkable. Very simple, with some cane syrup upfront, then a little sweet orange juice. Fanta indeed. Finish: very short. Comments: indeed this thing doesn’t belong here. But it’s not undrinkable, it just needs a lot of ice, preferably a whole iceberg, and perhaps a little less methylthionine chloride. SGP:810 – (no score) points.

HKB (43%, OB, Hong Kong Baiju, +/-2016)

HKB (43%, OB, Hong Kong Baiju, +/-2016) A funny story that involves nobody else than Marco Polo, whose family we’ve tried to contact about this, without success. Actually, it’s Chinese Baiju finished in grappa, in Italy. Marco Polo, got it? Colour: white. Nose: reminiscent of the baijus I could buy the first time I visited China, in 1987. I remember the price, $1 a 100cl bottle. I’m finding fermenting figs, dried litchis, perhaps longans, and certainly a little late-harvest apple wine. They make some excellent ones in Quebec! There’s something a little sour, as usual, and I do like that. Mouth: very singular, starting with a lot of ginger mixed with overripe apples, getting then kind of peppery, with some natural yoghurt behind all that, some earthy tones (turnips), and plenty, and I mean plenty of turmeric. The whole’s dry, not sweet at all. Finish: long, just a notch soapy, and with even more turmeric and ginger. Bitter herbs in the aftertaste. Comments: certainly an acquired taste, but it’s really characterful. Now what comes from the grappa and what comes from the original spirit, I couldn’t tell you. SGP:571 – (no score) points.

Banane Marie-Galante (43%, Velier/Capovilla, banana spirit, 2017)

Banane Marie-Galante (43%, Velier/Capovilla, banana spirit, 2017) This very unusual spirit was bottled for Velier’s 70th anniversary. The bananas were harvested on Marie-Galante, fermented, and distilled at Rhum-Rhum (Bielle). In my experience, it’s difficult to distil tropical fruits, as the flavours are easily distorted, but let’s see, because on the other hand, this is Capovilla… Colour: white. Nose: a good eau-de-vie is an eau-de-vie that purely expresses the fruits, so yeah, juicy ripe bananas. And perhaps a drop of cane syrup, perhaps… Mouth: rather more complex than expected, with additional grassy flavours, as if some skins have been kept. Other than that, it’s banana galore! Sure we could go on trying to find out which kinds of bananas were concerned, but we just won’t. Finish: rather long, getting a little grassier. Comments: very good, I think, but of course you need to like bananas. Also wondering if it wouldn’t be even better when chilled. SGP:640 - (no score) points.

Spiritueux de Truffe du Périgord (45%, Metté, Alsace, +/-2015)

Spiritueux de Truffe du Périgord (45%, Metté, Alsace, +/-2015) That’s right, black truffles. How Metté make this, I’m not too sure… Most certainly some maceration in some neutral spirit (apple), and possibly some re-distillation afterwards. It would be very un-Metté to use truffle essences and ‘stuff’… Colour: white. Nose: nosing truffles indeed. It’s all about truffles, really, although I’m also finding a little milk chocolate beyond these truffles. Now it’s not heady, it remains kind of subtle… Mouth: a little difficult, I don’t think the sweetness of the original spirit and the earthiness and sulphury side of the truffles tango too well. A little rough, perhaps some ice would have been welcome. Finish: rather long, and rather too spirity, which kills the truffle flavours. Comments: I liked the nose, but I’m not sure it delivered on the palate. An oddity… SGP:430 - (no score) points.

Cherry Spirit 2003/2012 (51.9%, Beacon Spirits, Germany)

Cherry Spirit 2003/2012 (51.9%, Beacon Spirits, Germany) Please note that I’m a sucker for cherries and good kirsch. Colour: gold. Nose: it’s unusual to age fruit eaux-de-vie, but this time it seems that that worked. A few soapy tones at first, but you’ll find those in many kirschs as well because of the stones, then rather preserved cherries mixed with quite a lot of vanilla from the oak. So, this is virtually some liquid cherry cake. With water: few changes, perhaps a little sawdust, but nothing embarrassing. Mouth (neat): oak-forward, and we’ve known young craft whiskies that were a bit like this. White pepper, caraway, vanilla, then a little tobacco, and indeed, candied and preserved cherries. With water: oranges! Where do these come from? Finish: medium, rather well balanced, and rather more on oranges again. Comments: we’re rather close to young whisky here, this is not some ‘all-cherry’ thing. I found it pleasant. SGP:651 - (no score) points.

Fair ‘Barrel aged vodka’ (40%, Fair, +/-2017)

Fair ‘Barrel aged vodka’ (40%, Fair, +/-2017) This is quinoa vodka, made out of fair-trade Bolivian seeds, then aged for six months in ex-single malt casks, in Cognac. How ‘world’ is that? Colour: white wine. Nose: really soft, with touches of vanilla and sweet bread, then perhaps gooseberries and a touch of lime. It’s a rather elegant spirit, and mind you, this is not Octomore. No, not even Ardbeg. Mouth: you feel the oak a bit, with something matt, but wee notes of oranges and, again, gooseberries are bringing life here. Then soft breads, sweat maize… Something of a very young wheater. Finish: rather short, but fresh and pleasant. Comments: it’s got something of those rather lovely Polugars, taste-wise. And remember it’s fair! SGP:320 - (no score) points.

Chase (46%, OB, Islay cask aged vodka, 480 bottles, +/-2017)

Chase (46%, OB, Islay cask aged vodka, 480 bottles, +/-2017) This English potato vodka was aged in an ex-Laphroaig cask. For how long, I’m not sure… Colour: very pale white wine. Nose: wood smoke, especially fir, pine. Excuse me? Yes, that’s all. Mouth: almost peatier than Laphroaig Select, seriously. How much Laphroaig left in those casks? Some vanilla, some charcoal, some cigar ashes. Finish: rather long, smoky, and rather sweet. Some vanilla and a little coconut from the oak, sweetened lemon juice in the aftertaste. Comments: interesting and, frankly, good. Millimetric, narrow, clean. A good surprise, really, worth around a good 80 in my book. SGP:535 - (no score) points.

Grhisky (41%, Silver Seal, grappa, +/-2017)

Grhisky (41%, Silver Seal, grappa, +/-2017) Listen, this is Mueller-Thurgau grappa finished in an ex-Islay cask. At least I’m consistent, am I not? Colour: gold. Nose: muwhahaha, the grappa killed the whisky this time. For a while, because there’s some kind of resurrection happening, which would come with some saponification. Say a blend of cologne, smoked water, tincture of iodine, and sweet muscat. Certainly medicinal. Mouth: bizarre, sweet, extremely raisiny, with almost no smoke this time, rather dates, fresh figs, and indeed bags and bags of juicy sultanas, with just a wee camphory side that goes pretty well with it. Finish: medium, yet rather rich. Mint and raisins. Comments: fun and good, if a little dichotomous at times. SGP:632 - (no score) points.

KMW Imoya ‘VSOP’ (40%, OB, Cape brandy, South-Africa, +/-2015)

KMW Imoya ‘VSOP’ (40%, OB, Cape brandy, South-Africa, +/-2015) Why a French epicurean would try some South-African ‘Cognac’, I don’t quite know. Can’t be me, is it me? But after all, I'm also drinking South-African wines, some are truly wonderful. Colour: full gold. Nose: it’s like many ‘foreign’ brandies that are ether sweetened beyond reason, or rather too plankish. That would rather be the second option here, we’re missing fruits and freshness and aren’t too fond of this kind of pine-y and mentholy style. Mouth: a little sweet, but better than expected, with fresh mentholated pears and peaches, and some toasted oak, then prunes and raisins. It’s actually sweeter and more raisiny than any reasonable Cognac, but it is not bad at all. Finish: medium, feeling a little juiced-up (pineapples?) Comments: rather okay, but I wouldn’t want to have to sneak it into a proper Cognac session. SGP:650 - (no score) points.

Time to put an end to this madness, and let’s try do it with a little panache!

Au Large de l’Île Grande (unknown Scotch whisky, Brittany, 1983) Four stars Have you ever heard of some kind of French Whisky Galore that happened in January of the year 1983? Indeed, in that month 17 casks (25 according to other sources) of Scotch whisky suddenly floated ashore, coming from a Panamanian ship that was meant to bring them to the Falkland Islands and that had to face a huge storm while the casks hadn’t been properly stowed.

The good Breton people on the shores immediately brought empty bottles and Jerrycans, tapped some of the barrels right on the beaches, and brought the contents back home, without a trace. Sadly, no pictures seem to have been taken, so no one remembers what was written on the casks’ ends, but some families still have some of these whiskies. Including some retired gendarmes, I’ve heard (but shhh…) This baby comes from one of those casks! Colour: gold. Nose: it’s a rather rough one, rather grassy and rooty, with a buttery side, some feints in the background, and a wee feeling of soapy beer. Glenturret springs to mind, but it could be some dry blend too.

Mouth: high strength, around 55% vol., and frankly good this time, with less roughness, and a better-chiselled lemony/grassy profile. Bitter oranges, a touch of mustard, some biting green woodiness. Indeed, could be Glenturret… Finish: very long, rather mentholy and earthy, with zests and other bitterish fruit skins, and a feeling of smoked salt in the aftertaste (maybe I’m dreaming). Comments: mille mercis, David!! I suppose this was meant to get blended afterwards on the Falklands. Actually, it was a very good cask, I’d love to know how much time these barrels have spent in – or rather on - the sea. A few days, probably… SGP:462 - 85 points.







Whiskyfun's Home
Whiskyfun's Facebook page Whiskyfun's Twitter page Whiskyfun's RSS feed