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

January 14, 2022


Even more world travelling
Kicking this off from France…

Aikan 2017/2021 (50%, OB, La Maison du Whisky, France, Version Française, rum finish, cask #180128)

Aikan 2017/2021 (50%, OB, La Maison du Whisky, France, Version Française, rum finish, cask #180128) Three stars and a half
This is not a self-malt, it's been sourced. By the way, a question, when a whisky's very young and they did a finishing on it, does that make it double-maturation? Answer on a postcard (Facebook is so last year!) Colour: gold. Nose: looks like they've used some pretty assertive rum from Jamaica or Trinidad, according to these petroly smells, unless that was a very solid agricole. I have to say this works, I'm also finding some tobacco, sage, a drop of walnut liqueur, a little peach syrup, and some Stolle. I have to say this was well made, no doubt about that. With water: some pinewood coming out, lit cigars, bidis, seaweed (wakame) and borage… Pretty complex, and frankly nice. Why wouldn't we be allowed to use the word 'nice'? Mouth (neat): a carbon copy of the nose, salty and a little petroly, with more tannins, cloves, then cinnamon rolls and some small liquorice lozenges. A feeling of 'Mainland peat'. With water: a tad oak-forward this time, a little tea-ish, with a grassy green tannicity (apple peel, green oranges). The liquorice lozenges are back, together with a little ginseng powder. Cures everything, they say. Finish: rather long and below the limits of over-oakiness. Comments: not hundred percent sure it was Jamaican or Caroni, after all, what I'm sure about is that it's a very fine young meta-drop.
SGP:452 - 84 points.


To Sweden…

High Coast 'Solera Batch 2' (51%, OB, Sweden, 1500 bottles, 2021)

High Coast 'Solera Batch 2' (51%, OB, Sweden, 1500 bottles, 2021) Four stars
The Batch 1 had been excellent in my book (WF 85). I've seen this #2 is at 56% vol. on the Web but my official sample says 51%. We'll amend accordingly if necessary. Colour: light gold. Nose: pretty brutal, must be 56%. Ethanol, sawdust, varnish… This is a good example of a whisky that should need water. With water: I'm adding water as if it was 56%. Flour, grist, wholegrain bread, citrons, damp earth, autumn leaves and no straight ethanol and varnish anymore. Loves water. Mouth (neat): spicy and sweet. Pink grapefruit and rather a lot of ginger and nutmeg, so with a high, yet balanced wood impact. In truth you would believe it's juniper, teak or douglas fir that was used. With water: indeed it loves water. Essential oils, liquorice, violet syrup, wild leek, pastis, citron liqueur, all that with an oily, tick mouth feel. Syrupy texture, not syrupy taste. Finish: long, drier, beautifully and freshly spicy. Aniseed bread and juniper/caraway in the aftertaste. Comments: feels a bit lab but we've got strictly nothing against labs. Very well made by our Swedish friends, hope batch 3 will come out soon. I believe batch 1 was smoky but I'm not sure I found much smoke in batch 2.
SGP:561 - 86 points.


Perhaps a little rye from Canada?

Prospector (46%, Odd-Society, Canada, rye, +/-2021)

Prospector (46%, Odd-Society, Canada, rye, +/-2021) Four stars
Picture of an earlier batch. We're in British Columbia this time. That's the West. Colour: gold. Nose: the thing is, I absolutely adore all kinds of bread, while this one's breadier than bread. Oakier than bread too, for sure, but then come the tiny touches of caraway, lavender, rubbed orange zest (oils), citrus-scented paraffin (hippies' candles) and just eucalyptus coffee. Not sure Starbucks do that but they should. Mouth: and voilà, impeccable spicy spirit with some well-controlled oak, a lot of liquorice and caraway, cumin seeds, poppyseed bread, and just rye. These prospectors have found gold. Well, nearly. I'm a sucker for this style that no one is making (yet?) in France. Finish: rather long, with perhaps a little sawdust but also more violet-and-birch cologne, which works okay in finishes. Orange essence in the aftertaste, and perhaps a little too much tannicity. Comments: very cool young rye, very well made, pretty exotic in our latitudes and longitudes.
SGP:550 - 85 points.


To England…

Bimber 4 yo (58.7%, Cadenhead, England, London Annual Shop Release, 2021)

Bimber 4 yo (58.7%, Cadenhead, England, London Annual Shop Release, 2021) Four stars and a half
When in Rome… smart. We've been a little harsh on a Bimber the other day (I must be cruel only to be kind) so let's see…  Colour: rich gold. Nose: theeeeere. I'm so happy. Candied citrons and grapefruits, tons and tons of quince jelly (I'd kill anyone), a little plaster, heather honey, a drop of tequila (reposado-kind) then the most lemony kind of ginger. Or rather the most gingery kind of lemon. Brilliant. With water: peppermint! What's this witchcraft? Mouth (neat): thick, splendid, totally Jim-Swanian, shock-full of candied citrus and sweet grassy spices. Definitely something one should drink with dim-sum, even if the oak would tend to become a little loudish. With water: and there, impeccable, fresh, with the peppermint being back and the spicy oak kept under control. I believe it was a little close, but it worked. Finish: long and with these elusive flavours that sometimes appear in malt whisky, strawberry yoghurt and jam! Great fun here. Comments: double London whammy, baby. Sure you could call this oak juice, but you would a bit off the mark. Well done Cadenhead too.
SGP:661 - 88 points.


Oh while we're at it…

Bimber 'Bourbon Cask' (59.1%, OB for LMDW, England, Conquête, cask #89, 242 bottles)

Bimber 'Bourbon Cask' (59.1%, OB for LMDW, England, Conquête, cask #89, 242 bottles) Four stars and a half
This one's good friends with that ex-rye in the same range that I did not like 'too much' the other day. Once again, I find the very '1967' bottle absolutely superb, it changes from dragons, tigers, deer and geishas. Colour: light gold. Nose: pristine, on sunflower oil, vanilla pods, polenta, fresh peanuts and butter and popcorn and nougat. Bauhaus whisky (I know this is not Berlin). With water: citrus coming up. Those citrons that we enjoy so much, we'll have to find a good brand that makes top-notch citron liqueur. What you'll easily find in Corsica is a little lousy. Mouth (neat): indeed, very high-definition, or when simplicity would be an asset. Citrons, vanilla, spearmint, nougat, touch of radish from the oak, watercress. Impeccable. With water: perhaps a wee tad too spicy/oaky, although this sure goes with the times. Finish: long, really on citrus liqueurs. Some minty oak in the aftertaste, even half a drop of turpentine, perhaps. And gentian. Comments: I was having it at 90 but I'm afraid the oak sneakily kicked back towards the finish. Very superb young whisky, nonetheless. Oh, was it distilled before or after Brexit? I mean, is it still European whisky or is it red serge (ha) already?
SGP:551 - 89 points.


Another great wee world session today.







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