Whiskyfun
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May 22, 2015


Whiskyfun

All over Europe in several flights - part 3

We were in Brittany/Bretagne, we’ll stay in Brittany/Bretagne….

Armorik 12 yo 2002/2014 (55.7%, OB, France, Bretagne, oloroso, cask #3298, 723 bottles)

Armorik 12 yo 2002/2014 (55.7%, OB, France, Bretagne, oloroso, cask #3298, 723 bottles) Three stars Colour: full gold. Nose: starts with whiffs of old musty wine cellar, some camphor and some mint, a flinty side, something chalky (or would that be aspirin tablets?) and then unfolds on peonies and stewed red fruits, seasoned with cloves and ginger from the oak. With water: it got much gentler, rounder, smoother… Sweet grains, cassis jam on a Breton ‘crepe’, soft ginger ale… Mouth (neat): heavy, leafy, kirschy and peppery. Quite pungent and acrid, this baby bites you. With water: once again it got rounder and easier, but the oak’s spices keep singing a little loud. Ginger cake, white pepper… Finish: good length, with Seville oranges, marmalade and more ginger cake. Comments: very, very fine, but I think I liked the excellent  ‘Maître de Chai’ a little better. SGP:461 - 81 points.

Kornog 'Taouarc’h Chwec'hved BC14' (58.2%, OB, Glann ar Mor, 2014)

Kornog 'Taouarc’h Chwec'hved BC14' (58.2%, OB, Glann ar Mor, 2014) Five stars Anyone able to properly pronounce Taouarc’h Chwec'hved wins my eternal consideration ;-). Colour: pale gold. Nose: starts a tad solventy but that goes away and quick. What’s behind that is really superb, I have to say. It’s a kind of vegetal smoke balanced with tobacco and tea leaves, graphite (pencil lead), lamp oil and linseed. Sharp, in a great way. With water: the barley comes out, together with some hessian, seaweed, almond oil… Mouth (neat): perfect, with this Ardbeggy side that I already found in other expressions of Kornog. In fact this one’s a little lighter than, say Ardbeg Ten, but it’s got the same ‘no-compromise’ kind of clean and chiselled coastal peat. The lemon’s perfect too – and you need lemon to balance young peaters. Creamy mouth feel, from bourbon wood I suppose. With water: lovely lovely. Bitter almonds and maraschino plus lemon and smoked fish. The peat is pronounced. Finish: long, very clean, a little more herbal again. Comments: they can’t grow riesling in Bretagne, because of the wet climate (I know I know, in Bretagne it only pours on idiots – that’s what they say to tourists who keep complaining about the weather). But this Kornog’s as close to a good mineral riesling as whisky can get if you ask me. SGP:457 - 90 points.

I think we’ll stay in France, but drive towards the Alps…

Domaine des Hautes Glaces ‘Les Moissons’ (42%, OB, France, single malt, 2014)

Domaine des Hautes Glaces ‘Les Moissons’ (42%, OB, France, single malt, 2014) Four stars I’m a fan of Domaine des Hautes Glaces aka DHG. They only use barley from their own estate, and organic at that. The opposite of large-scale distilling by multinationals – but as we all know, not only small is beautiful in whisky (and conversely). Colour: white wine. Nose: smelling a fistful of fresh barley, with earthy touches, many kinds of bread (it’s like at a Tyrolean breakfast), some humus, fresh porcinis, lime, peaches, and then an unexpected coastal side. Shall we say anchovies in salt? It’s true that the Mediterranean is only 300km away (a wild guess). Mouth: high high high. These young guys know what they’re doing. Love this saltiness that’s back, the fresh marzipan, the raw barley, the notes of very fresh brown bread, the drops of lemon juice… It’s got something of a coastal peater, and yet it’s no coastal peater. What’s the trick? Finish: unusually long given the strength, salty, almondy, earthy and barleyish. Everything is to like. Comments: so young and so good! What I love even more is that like mezcals that taste of agave and rums that taste of sugarcane, this tastes of cereals. True aquavitae, very well done! And there’s no obvious oak in the way. SGP:362 - 87 points.

Let’s fly to Segovia in Spain...

D.Y.C. 10 yo (40%, OB, Spain, single malt, +/-2013)

D.Y.C. 10 yo (40%, OB, Spain, single malt, +/-2013) D.Y.C. stands for Destilerias Y Crianza, which is owned by Beam, and that used to own Lochside. Ah, if only they could replicate Lochside! Colour: pale gold. Nose: crush two kilos of rose petals, blend with orange and litchi juices, add a little vanilla extract, a handful of small cherries, that’s it. And it’s quite pleasant, very fragrant and very light. Mouth: that perfuly side doesn’t work too well on the palate, I’m afraid. A light and slightly sugary profile, with a little cardboard in the background, some vanilla, touches of sour cream (or readymade supermarket custard), and some corn syrup. Calls for ice. Finish: short, sugary, okay. Comments: my bad, we shouldn’t have had this very light malt after the fierce Bretons and Alpine. Apologies. I think I liked DYC’s blends, including the 8, better. SGP:440 - 65 points.

Let’s head north again if you please, and have a last one… Would a Liechtensteiner do?

Telser 2008/2014 (43%, OB, Telser, Liechtenstein, rye, Laphroaig finish)

Telser 2008/2014 (43%, OB, Telser, Liechtenstein, rye, Laphroaig finish) Two stars and a half Granted, with a layer of Laphroaig, it might be a little difficult to have a good grasp of this wee spirit from that wee country. But rye can be big, so let’s see… Colour: gold. Nose: funny. Imagine some cider, mixed with rye indeed, bread balls, a bit of cardboard, crushed violets – or Parfait Amour, apple peeling, one zest of orange and a drop of ginger liqueur with a little curry powder inside. I’m sure you’d think this can’t work. You would be wrong, especially since Laphroaig’s very, very quiet. Mouth: some kind of earthy and spicy apple juice, with some beer (say good IPA) and again, a bready side. Bread with cumin and poppy seeds. I find this fresh, funny, unusual, and good. Finish: good length. Spicy beer and cider, with a bready aftertaste. The rye’s more obvious now. Perhaps some Laphroaiggy smoke, but I’m not too sure. Comments: I find this pretty good, and fun. Huge progress since the first ‘Telsington’ from six years ago or so. SGP:451 - 78 points.

Where shall we go next time? We’ll see, stay tuned…

 

 

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