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

July 4, 2014


A few whiskies from the rest of the world

… As the Scots use to say (but for how long?) We’ll just plunder WF’s library completely at random, just for fun!
Fary Lochan et all
Fary Lochan 2010/2013 (48%, OB, Denmark, batch #1) Two stars and a halfA new Danish distillery. It seems that the Danish whisky enthusiasts are relatively proud of this one, which is always a good sign. Colour: dark gold. Nose: a light spirit in a rather dominant new oak, which translates into a lot of cinnamon, vanilla and light honey. Rather refreshing, in fact. I also find quite some white chocolate, then quite some porridge, oatcakes and eucalyptus. The grains are more and more present, all for the better. Needs a little time even if it’s very young, don’t rush it. Mouth: a little more unlikely, with notes of rye (is there some rye inside???) and some cardboard, then a touch of salt and butter, all that on white bread. Maybe dried mangos? Sultanas? Finish: rather long, spicier, with some caraway, pepper and ginger. Comments: young, but fine! SGP:441 - 78 points.
Embrujo (40%, OB, Spain, single malt, +/-2013) This new baby’s made by the Liber Distillery in Granada. It’s been aged (for how long?) in ex-American oak sherry casks. Colour: gold. Nose: very porridgy and slightly sulphury at first nosing. Then we find roasted nuts, Smyrna raisins and toasted bread, always with a slight eggy side. Rubber bands. Mouth: this is rather better, although notes of hard-boiled eggs do remain. Notes of molasses, old wood, saccharine and caramel. Malt, chocolate, café latte… Thin body, but I wouldn’t call this weak. Finish: surprisingly long but not exactly clean. Mead, overripe apples, rubber. Comments: as they say, we’ve tasted much worse. SGP:331 - 55 points.
Old Raven 2006/2013 (55%, OB, Austria, Laphroaig/PX cask) Three stars Another whisky made by brewers, in this case the RabenBräu Brewery near Vienna. In case you haven’t guessed yet, Raben means raven in German. Colour: amber. Nose: it’s rather clean and straightforward for a brewer’s whisky, and indeed there are traces of Laphroaig in the background. It’s a relatively dry and mineral kind of malt, not feinty/sour at all, with nice touches of earth, clay and roots. Mouth: the Laphroaig’s impact is really huge, unless the malt was peated in the first place. Pepper, peat smoke, earth, hessian, mustard… Then, indeed, a wee yeasty side, not unpleasant at all. Weizen beer (wheat). Finish: long, peaty, with touches of cider apples and lemons. Balance is kept. Water brings out more hessian and damp earth. Swims well! Comments: ausgezeichnet if not totally Mozartian (how does one fire himself?) SGP:345 – 82 points.
Millstone 12 yo 1999/2013 (46%, OB, Holland, Zuidam, sherry casks, +/-2014)Four stars I liked Millstone’s rye very much. Now, how a 1999/2013 could become a 12 years old, I don’t quite know - but we've seen that done elsewhere (at Balvenie, for example). Colour: dark gold. Nose: ho-ho! This one does not nose like any unlikely ‘foreign’ malt, it’s as high in fruits as one of the best Benriachs or Littlemills, if that says something to you. Very impressive, everything is just perfect in this nose, the milk chocolate, the pink grapefruits, the passion fruits, the golden raisins, the touches of cappuccino, the very elegant maltiness... Mouth: oh yes! I’m speechless, I knew of Zuidam but only by name, I just didn’t know that they were making ‘Scotch-like’ wonders. Prejudices prejudices… A great fruit salad with apples and oranges first, then mangos, bananas and many other fruits. Finish: long, fresh, clean, just a tad yeastier. Pencil shavings in the aftertaste. Comments: had I tried this blind, I’d have said ‘it’s an unusual Littlemill’. Only the finish was a little less to my liking. SGP:641 - 86 points.
Slyrs 'Pedro Ximenez Finish' (46%, OB, Germany, 2013) Two stars and a halfI’ve just visited the Slyrs Distillery in Bavaria, it’s a very cool place, very tidy, with huge attention to details and, as I told my friends, ‘a feeling of Chateau Lafite’ rather than that of a Scottish distillery. Bavarian Ordnung! To be honest, I had found the first Slyrs rather difficult, but it seems that things have mucho improved since back then. Colour: gold. Nose: it’s young whisky, but the finishing (who said for once?) did wonders, making it rounder, smoother, fuller and deeper. I get Ovaltine, chocolate, raisins, marmalade, notes of sweet wine (right, PX) and then more orange cake and butterscotch. What’s not to like? Mouth: very distant traces of sulphur, then a rather narrow spirit, but a pleasant one. There’s less substance and fatness than in the nose, with overripe apples, cider and grape juice. The youth prevails here, but the whole remains pleasant. Notes of new oak in the background. Finish: not too long, with quite some toasted oak and apple peelings. Comments: it’s always a mystery to me that PX finishes aren’t actually sweeter (same at Glendro/Benriach). Anyway, great progress at Slyrs’, and the PX wasn’t my favourite. So as they say, stay tuned… SGP:451 - 78 points.
(With thanks to Andreas, Franco and Steffen)







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