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

Mars 1, 2022


Around the world once more
As we like to do, we'll start this from France. Sadly, we haven't got any 'Ukranian' spirits left in the stash.

Villa n°16 (43%, OB, Maison Peyrat, France, +/-2021) Three stars and a half
This one's finished in both cognac and pineau des Charentes casks, after having spent some time in ex-bourbon. Maison Peyrat is a cognac house in the Charentes that's started to also offer rum and, pretty recently, single malt whisky as well. Apparently, it's been double-distilled in Charentais stills. Colour: straw. Nose: certainly fruity, with peaches and then raisins, with a pineau that feels a little bit (fortified must). A fair maltiness too, and a whisky that seems to be pretty light and pleasant. Mouth: good, fair, first malty, then growingly on sultanas and simply young cognac. Which, naturally, is very pleasant. Finish: a tad short but good. More malty raisins, good freshness, cinnamon rolls in the aftertaste. Comments: very good surprise despite the 43% vol. that may look a little stingy. Hope they'll make a 'brut de fût' too.
SGP:630 - 84 points.

Perhaps a detour to our dear neighbours in Switzerland?

Säntis 'Snow White No.9' (48%, OB, Switzerland, 2000 bottles, 2021)

Säntis 'Snow White No.9' (48%, OB, Switzerland, 2000 bottles, 2021) Three stars and a half
I'll always remember the first 'Swissky'. This funny Säntis is made by the Locher Brewery (Brauerei Locher) in Appenzell, which lies in eastern Switzerland. We've had some excellent Säntis in the past but this one was first matured in beer casks and then finished in 'Berry vanilla liqueur casks'. To be honest I don't quite know what that is but the unmissable label would suggest it's close to the universe of sundaes and ice creams… Colour: deep gold. I was almost expecting rosé gold. Nose: well well well, they know how to make these things, don't they. Notes of fine de Bourgogne just all over the place, young cognac, some roasted almonds and peanuts, and back to fine. Which is extremely, well, fine (S., gold medal). Discreet whiffs of prickly pears and pomegranates, then indeed sweet pale ale. Mouth: tip-top. Ninety percent young cognac, ten percent malty beer and ten percent some kind fig arrack. Indeed we're good at math. Tends to become really chocolaty, with also drops of coffee liqueur. Finish: long, on similar notes, plus gingerbread, speculoos and Läckerli. Wait, that's rather Basel if I'm not mistaken. Comments: much pleased. I had also expected the use of glacier water or something, given the name.
SGP:451 - 84 points.


Off to England…

The Lakes 'Whiskymaker's Reserve No.3' (54%, OB, England, 9700 bottles, 2021)

The Lakes 'Whiskymaker's Reserve No.3' (54%, OB, England, 9700 bottles, 2021) Three stars and a half
Whiskymaker's Reserve No.1 had been rather very okay in my book (WF 80), No.2 was even more to my liking (WF 84). Now, No.3 aged in 'meticulously sourced PX, Oloroso, Cream Sherry and red wine casks'. Sounds scary, but you never know… Colour: salmony. Nose: pine resin and geranium flowers, strawberry rolls, fig wine, juniper, genever, then Stolle, speculoos, cloves, ginger cookies… It's really pretty concentrated and spicy. With water: fresh panettone! Mouth (neat): it seems that it survived the heavy treatment with wine. I mean, PX, and cream, and red wine! Ginger and cloves again, then dried figs and strawberry jam, sultanas, some kind of spicy fruitcake… With water: more oak spices coming out, that's always the tricky part. Bay leaves, leather and nutmeg. Finish: rather long, rather rich. Fig wine, raisins, cinnamon rolls. Comments: not exactly my preferred style – I find it a little heavyish – but they sure made it well. Kudos to the Chief-Emperor of Wood-Technology or whatever they call him/her at The Lakes D.
SGP:651 - 84 points.


To Finland. We've had some excellent Finnish whiskies the other day…

Teerenpeli 'Suomi 100 Juhla-viski' (43%, OB, Finland, 2016)

Teerenpeli 'Suomi 100 Juhla-viski' (43%, OB, Finland, 2016) Three stars and a half
This one was bottled to celebrate Finland's 100th anniversary. I know we're very late, but Happy Anniversary, Finland! Colour: copper gold. Nose: it's a smoky one, with barbecued herbs (thyme, rosemary, parsley) and notes of rooibos, then camphor, eucalyptus, pine tar, ointments... To apply over your chest whenever the weather is getting freezing cold. Mouth: I really like this mojito from the north. Fresh lemon and mint mixed with tar liqueur, oysters (it's pretty salty) and juniper. Some bitterish caraway liqueur – do they also make aquavit in Finland? The 43% vol. don't quite feel light here, well done. Finish: medium, rather on smoked herbs and more tarry juniper. Softer aftertaste, leaving your palate fresh. Comments: a tad aquavity at times, and certainly good. I could drink more of this one and not wait until dear Suomi-Finland is 110.
SGP:465 - 84 points.


While we're in Scandinavia…

Smögen 9 yo '90° Proof' (51.4%, OB, Sweden, batch L001, +/-2022)

Smögen 9 yo '90° Proof' (51.4%, OB, Sweden, batch L001, +/-2022) Five stars
I believe this one's new. I mean, I don't see it anywhere… Colour: white wine. Nose: wee touches of pears, plus a perfect coastal smoke, fresh dough, fresh sourdough, coal dust and fresh almond paste. What's always superb in these wee Smögens is their perfect simplicity. Almost abstract whisky, cutting to the chase. With water: more coal, carbon, cellar dust, carbolineum, old paints… Mouth (neat): hope no one's going to hate me if I write that this is Caol Ila with a little more, well, a little more coal? Perfectly well-carved, pure, salty, lemony, with kippers, fat dry doughs, grapefruits, granny smith and the tiniest touch of peppermint. A little candy sugar to round this off. With water: more and more on brine. Are they already growing olives in Sweden? Finish: long, ultra-clean, salty, coastal, peaty, lemony… Comments: perfectly simple and simply perfect (that was lame at best, S.).
SGP:457 - 90 points.


I think we'll change style…

Currach Kombu (46%, Ireland, Kombu seaweed charred cask, +/-2021)

Currach Kombu (46%, Ireland, Kombu seaweed charred cask, +/-2021) Four stars
Wait wait wait, if I understand this well, this is sourced whiskey that was finished for 3 months in casks that had been charred using seaweed from the Atlantic, called 'kumbu'. Why would any serious taster not find this funny? After all, there's already been some Islay whisky that had been in contact with kelp, no? Didn't they call that 'Celp'? Wasn't it Van Wees in Holland who did it? In any case, innovation is good (you go first, added Dilbert). Colour: straw. Nose: sweet dough, maize bread, milk chocolate, custard and vanilla fudge, then miso, paprika and saffron. I find this a little bizarre and certainly not coastal, let alone 'Atlantic'. I mean, this is not Talisker. Mouth: let's be honest, this is great fun. The seaweed feels this time, there's samphires, burnt capers or something, lemon liqueur, bizarre tarry menthols… It is very hard to describe this, the nearest thing I've ever tasted was some crazy cachaça. Or Cooley's first batches of Connemara, remember?  Finish: long, salty, great fun once you got used to it. Tarry aftertaste, are we sure they've not rather used old tyres? Comments: whether this should be called 'whisky' or 'whiskey' might still be to be seen but believe me, this 'spi' is growing on you. A whole new category, that's cool! Congrats to the inventors, they're making our lives a little less boring with this sour-sweet concoction.
SGP:365 - 85 points.


(Thanks Henrik, thanks Jürgen)







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