Google Two Kornog, one being very special to WF

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

January 20, 2021


Two Kornog, one being very special to WF

Yeah well, all whisky enthusiasts do own casks, do they not? For example, I used to own a barrel of Kornog, Glann ar Mor's Longrow if you like. Kornog's becoming cult by the way. The question is, what do you do once your casks are mature ? Well, the good news is that I happen to know that strange entity named 'The Whisky Sponge', and that we managed to find a good deal. I would transfer the property of my cask to the Sponge, I would get back a few cases for my personal consumption (as a drink, as antifreeze, as a window cleaner etc.), I would make sure that £30 out of each bottle that's sold to the public would go to Parkinson's UK to further commemorate the life and works of the great late Michael Jackson, the best whisky writer there ever was, and lastly, we would declare that that very special Kornog would be bottled to celebrate the 18 years, 4 months and 7 days of Sounds good, no?

Our friend Jean, founder of Glann ar Mor
and Kornog. The distillery, which had been
operational since 2005, has just been
sold to Maison Villevert.

So we did it, and here's my tasting note, right after a solid sparring partner. Excuse me? No, please do not expect a score, we won't stoop to that… But first, our sparring partner…

Kornog 2006/2020 (59.5%, La Maison du Whisky, Artist, France, bourbon barrel, cask #12101, 124 bottles)

Kornog 2006/2020 (59.5%, La Maison du Whisky, Artist, France, bourbon barrel, cask #12101, 124 bottles) Five stars
It's good that they would have had one of those rare Kornogs from Brittany within this rather posh – some would say high-brow – range. Kornog's malt is peated to some rather Ardbeggian 40ppm, and actually pretty rare. Colour: gold. Nose: soft and oily at first, with some sunflower oil and some homemade custard at first, then a perfectly integrated and pretty olive-y second breath. I know they are very proud of this one at LMDW and that someone there whom I totally trust said it was reminiscent of Lagavulin, but I'd rather say well-matured, 20 yo ex-bourbon Caol Ila. But they are right, obviously, as they are the pros. I mean it. With water: some menthol and aniseed coming out! Crushed sardines too, remember this was matured on a shore indeed. Mouth (neat): superb, really. Huge arrival, very punchy, warming, with good fatness and yet a zesty, lemony feel. A thin blade in a thick sheath. Touches of natural vanilla, sour oranges, a lot of seawater, olives, oysters, ashes… I insist, Coal Ila! But first and foremost it is Kornog (sorry if I sound like a brochure). What a shame and a pity that they're making so little Kornog (yes, same with Longrow, probably a matter of having to clean up the pipes all the time and all that)… With water: oh lovely, wee touches of oregano and tarragon that would go so well with the lemon, the oysters, and the rather huge smokiness that are inside. Finish: long, exceptionally well balanced, zesty and fat once again. Salty ashes and no dullish fruits, that's well-aged C.I. indeed. Comments: I have to confess it's the first time I'm trying a really well-aged Kornog. I've tried many young ones, but I've never monitored my own either. So a total surprise here, I'm just a wee tad sad because the Distillery just changed hands. Truly great work Jean, I know that just like yours truly, you'll never retire ;-).
SGP:557 - 90 points.

And so, our own, kind of. It's actually a little older, as it was distilled in 2005. In fact, it is the oldest Kornog - and Glann ar Mor for that matter - that's ever been bottled. It's to be remembered that beyond what's clearly local, such as the warehouses, they've done this right as anyone should, so as the best Scots used to do it, that is to say with proper worm tubs, pot-stills, live flames, proper yeast, perfect washbacks and all that. No corners were cut, no Holstein was used, and no pinot noir casks were ever butchered, if you see what I mean. But let's proceed…

Kornog 15 yo 2005/2020 '18 years 4 months and 7 days of whiskyfun' (50.4%, WhiskySponge, France, 1st fill bourbon barrel, 149 bottles)

Kornog 15 yo 2005/2020 '18 years 4 months and 7 days of whiskyfun' (50.4%, WhiskySponge, France, 1st fill bourbon barrel, 149 bottles) Five stars
Remember, £30 per bottle go straight to Parkinson's UK, in memory of the late Michael Jackson, the greatest whisky writer of all times. This is the first time I'm properly tasting 'my cask', or, should I say, 'my ex-cask'. Colour: light gold. Nose: obviously rather similar, but it's somewhat firmer, probably more austere, with more vegetal notes (white asparagus) and more petroly aromas. A little more leather too, tobacco and mustard, and this manzanilla-quality that comes a little unexpected since this is was a fresh bb barrel. With water: m.a.n.z.a.n.i.l.l.a. Really. Possibly the influence of the sea, as they have in Sanlucar. Yeah I know that's controversial but this wee whisky is clearly very coastal. Mouth (neat): very mature, salty, zesty, with a few bitterish notes around green tea, ashes, green walnuts and artichokes. But this time I've got the papers in my hands and I can solemnly swear to Vishnu that it wasn't a manzanilla butt. Oh and I've seen the barrel in real life, around the time when it was filled, so please believe me. With water: feels older than 15 for sure, and yet it's totally bright, wonderfully bitter (green walnuts, mustard and manzanilla indeed) and integrally dry and peaty. Finish: long, salty, very manzanilla-y indeed. Comments: I hereby certify that this was a honest and faithful description of this little whisky. As I said, I shan't score it, but I shall drink the remaining drops (well, bottles) to the memory of Michael Jackson. Please friends, keep mentioning M.J. to the new enthusiasts, so that he's never forgotten (and screw the diminutive bearded Panama-wearing sexist braggart who's not even half the man that M.J. was). There, thank you.

Sadly, there aren't too many of these bottles, so they will be sold via a ballot, full details of which you can find here, should you wish to enter. Remember £30 goes to Parkinson's UK. Who's mad enough to actually import a cask of malt whisky from France to the U.K. while Brexit's in motion? The Sponge! Adios, do well!


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