Google World sessions Number Nine

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

January 5, 2021


World sessions, doing sequels for no particular reasons
Number Nine

Let's fly right to Sweden again (a real whisky country!)

High Coast 'Hav' (48%, OB, Sweden, +/-2020)

High Coast 'Hav' (48%, OB, Sweden, +/-2020) Four stars
I really liked their latest 'Solera 1' in December. Colour: straw. Nose: it's a rather grassy, bready and mashy one, close to nature and to the raw ingredients. These whiffs of shoe polish and old engine oil are very pleasant too, I'm even finding hints of old tin box, oilcloth, paraffin and roasted pumpkin seeds. A wonderful mashy dryness. Mouth: much more smoke on the palate, salty, briny cider, mashed turnips, porridge and more of those bready notes, wholegrain bread, buckwheat crêpes… That's all very excellent and somewhat reminiscent of that pot-still vodka called Polugar. Ever tried that? Finish: long and even more to my liking. Someone well-intentioned has smoked some very superior kirschwasser, it seems. Grapefruit zests too. Comments: seriously, I like this a lot, it's right up my alley and the price is right too.
SGP:365 - 87 points.

Off to Ireland (by boat)…

Waterford 'Organic Gaia 1.1' (50%, OB, Ireland, 2020)

Waterford 'Organic Gaia 1.1' (50%, OB, Ireland, 2020) Five stars
Gaia as in Gaia the Earth, mother of Uranus? Will this drop make us all immortals? How much of it should we quaff to make that happen? Colour: straw. Nose: I have the feeling that this one's a little less, say emphatic than the single farm expressions, but also (even) better constructed, tighter, focused, slightly fat (malt whisky ought to be fat) and really on fresh grains, proper baguette (sorry) and sunflower and hazelnut oil. Banana skin. Hazelnut oil is actually very obvious here. With water: do I find anchovies, clay, and sesame oil now? Mouth (neat): very good, if a tad lighter now. Hints of butterscotch (the oak I suppose) and smoked fish. Turmeric, barley wine, touch of salt. In truth I am impressed, how old is this? I suppose a good copywriter would answer 'billions of years' as it's all about Mother Earth. De nada. With water: takes water extremely well. Finish: medium to long, clean and very bready, with a drop of Meursault. Were some actual pièces used here? The salty touch in the aftertaste drives it home. Comments: extremely impressive, and I mean it. And it's not all about cask magic.
SGP:362 - 90 points.

To India, perhaps?

Amrut 6 yo 2012/2019 (60%, OB, for Hot Malt Taiwan, India, Rum cask, cask #3866, 132 bottles)

Amrut 6 yo 2012/2019 (60%, OB, for Hot Malt Taiwan, India, Rum cask, cask #3866, 132 bottles) Four stars
Colour: gold. Nose: totally fusional. What I mean is that while you do feel there is some rum inside, you wouldn't detect any specific markers. Having said that, that may be the super-high strength and I would suggest we add water right away. Cleared? With water: definitely earthy, and rather trans, or meta, or cross. Once again, it's not classis malt whisky, but it doesn't feel doped-up or made-up or even 'seasoned' (gosh) at all. The answers may lie within the tiny aromatic herbs and flowers cluster, honeysuckle, rosehip… and there, perhaps, a little vesou. Very likeable. Mouth (neat): something very nice, some kind of spicy, citric, camphory blend that's not easy to describe. I would mention retsina, perhaps. I've heard a few people were still making 'résiné' wine in France but to be honest, I've never encountered any. Not that I've tried too hard. Anyway, water should be needed… With water: same feeling of retsina, thyme honey, bay-leaf, a little bitter wood, tobaccos and teas… Finish: long and certainly spicier yet. Spiced tea (cloves, star anise, cinnamon…) Some oak, some menthol and some pine resin. Comments: a very, very good, funny drop, perhaps partly the result of chance. Mouthwash deluxe ;-).
SGP:471 - 87 points.

Off to Taiwan (once more)…

Kavalan 'Peated Malt' (53%, OB, for LMDW, Taiwan, Islay cask, cask #R150409034A, 150 bottles)

Kavalan 'Peated Malt' (53%, OB, for LMDW, Taiwan, Islay cask, cask #R150409034A, 150 bottles) Three stars and a half
Hum, who peated this? Was it the distillate or only the Islay cask? And why superpose peats then (you see what I mean, I'm sure). And why not just stop quibbling and try it? Colour: orangey amber. Nose: oh. Teak oil, pine resin, eucalyptus smoke, natural tar, whiffs of burnt tyres (Verstappen driving), then some new plywood, linoleum, 'a Saturday morning at Ikea', leatherette and all that jazz. This one too is pretty tarry and resinous. With water: more of the same. Someone's set rubber and pine resin on fire. Mouth (neat): thick, tarry, rubbery and burnt, getting more medicinal after a short while. Cough medicine and salty plaster, some bacon and some mentholy honey. This concoction wouldn't leave you alone. With water: things calm down but we're still rather in crazy aquavit territories. Caraway coming out, and more rubber, resins, eucalyptus and menthol. Finish: long and tarry. Some heavy liquorice too, as well as juniper. Comments: what was that? It is a very good drop, no doubt about that, but we've crossed the borders of whiskydom a long time ago. Have I mentioned the word 'concoction'?
SGP:374 - 84 points.

Always five by five, so a last one please…

Golden Moon 13 yo 'Gun Fighter' (50%, OB, USA, bourbon, for Hotmalt, Whisky Fair Takao, 2019)

Golden Moon 13 yo 'Gun Fighter' (50%, OB, USA, bourbon, for Hotmalt, Whisky Fair Takao, 2019) Four stars
They really do funny bottlings in Taiwan. Golden Moon are located in Colorado and are not very well-known in Europe, but I've seen that they've already gathered more medals than any 90 year old Soviet general. I find it a little bizarre that this would be 13, but why not. Colour: deep gold. Nose: oak extracts, ginger, vanillin, lavender liqueur and spicy bread, then a little mead and caraway spirit blended with caramel and corn syrup. With water: very nice, croissants, spicy rolls, nutmeg, a fresh pack of gressini… Mouth (neat): well, it is another very good American whisky, starting with a little glue (that's normal), going on with some coconut water (that's normal too), and unfolding with many soft spices, lavender, ginger, a feeling of rye, bitter oranges and more ginger. It's a bit extreme in its very own genre but vanilla's been kept at bay (hurray) and I seem to remember some old bottles of Very Old Fitzgerald that some American friends had poured me and that were a wee bit like this. Hope I'm not shocking anyone here. With water: takes water well and bets a little bitterer. Closer to grains. Finish: medium, spicy and bready. Only the aftertaste is a tad too much on sawdust, in my opinion. Comments: our friends in Taiwan keep surprising me. And there's a wonderful earthiness remaining in your empty glass.
SGP:351 - 86 points.

(Une nouvelle fois merci, Lucero)

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