Google From France to Canada to Iceland to England to New Zealand to Australia

Serge whiskyfun
Thousands of tastings,
all the music,
all the rambligs
and all the fun


Facebook Twitter Logo
Guaranteed ad-free
copyright 2002-2023


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

May 17, 2023


From France to Canada to Iceland to England to New Zealand to Australia
Once again, we'll kickstart this from little France, our nice country where we keep food, theatre, wines, cheeses, landscapes and a good bunch of Trotskyists for our beloved foreign visitors. Which seems to work, as it looks like we remain the most popular destination in the world, which is exactly why we keep entertaining our amazing Trotskyists!…



Domaine des Hautes Glaces 'Harvest 2016 Flavis' (52.3%, OB, France, vin jaune cask, 720 bottles, +/-2023)

Domaine des Hautes Glaces 'Harvest 2016 Flavis' (52.3%, OB, France, vin jaune cask, 720 bottles, +/-2023) Four stars and a half
Organic malt whisky fully matured in ex-vin jaune from Jura casks. Remember, vin jaune matures for at least six years and three months under a veil of yeast without any topping-up/ullage, but not within a solera like, say fino. What's more, the varietal is savagnin and not palomino fino. Colour: gold. Nose: you do feel the 'jaune', with these touches of walnuts and mustard, but the malt's sweetness keeps it easier. Lovely earthiness, chalk, turmeric, curry, a little coffee (earthy ristretto)… With water: I wouldn't say it changes much, it's just getting earthier yet, perhaps with a wee, I mean petit composty side. Mouth (neat): rich, very earthy, full of walnut cordial, a kind of chalky and salty smokiness, a feeling of amontillado at times, some toffee, Skittles… Yet it's a big boy for sure. With water: I would swear they've used peated malt, but I'm sure they have not. Becomes even saltier, with even small touches of salted fish, tinned sardines… And yet Distillery and estate are located in the Alps! And Jura wine in, well the Jura. Finish: very long, salty, mustardy, full of walnuts. Comments: I find this excellent, I'd love to try a Flavis 'ex-Manzanilla' one day. They should ask their close cousins Bruichladdich… And forgot to say, don't we like these very minimalistic labels a lot?
SGP:462 - 88 points.

Hopping to Canada…

Glen Breton 21 yo 'Rare' (43%, OB, Canada, +/-2021)

Glen Breton 21 yo 'Rare' (43%, OB, Canada, +/-2021) one star and a half
Not much luck with Glenora/Glen Breton so far, but we keep holding some vigorous hope. Colour: straw. Nose: some neoprene glue at first, pine bark, then cut grass, tofu (of course tofu does smell of something) and concrete dust. Add a lot of porridge and a handful of mothballs. Funny nose! Mouth: too much oak, which makes it very bitter, while the core is a little lactic and, indeed, full of porridge. Ashes and yoghurt. Finish: medium, a tad sweeter (applejack) but the aftertaste is too bitter for me, again. Grapefruit skin and black propolis. Comments: maybe not the epitome of balance. A very intriguing Canadian that's got nothing to do with other Canadians. And we do remember well 'the great fights in court' against the Scots.

SGP:272 - 69 points.

Back to Europe. Well, to somewhere in between…

Floki 3 yo 'Sheep Dung Smoked Reserve' (47%, OB, Iceland, 2021)

Floki 3 yo 'Sheep Dung Smoked Reserve' (47%, OB, Iceland, 2021) Two stars and a half
Of course not, we're not afraid, we've already tasted some goody-good Namibian Ondjaba whisky that had been smoked using elephant dung, so sheep, imagine, piece of cake. Colour: white wine. Nose: all you need to do is to get the fact that they've used sheep dung out of your head, and you'll discover a singular nose, with some kind of citrusy and vegetal smoke, meadow flowers, lemongrass, fresh hay, liquorice wood… Just get it out of your head (easier said than done, we agree). Mouth: citrus, pepper, strange smoke, truffle cheese, smoked cheese (scamorza)… Get that thing out of your head, get that thing out of your head, get that thing out of your head… Finish: medium, still bizarrely smoked. Briney aftertaste. Comments: it's surely good or even very good, but I needed to do some mental gymnastics here. I hope I won't have nightmares tonight, you know some giant Icelandic rams carrying huge Trotskyist flags and organizing a black bloc right here at WF HQ, in the yard…

SGP:462 - 78 points.

To England…

The Lakes Distillery 'Whiskymaker's Editions Mosaic' (46.6%, OB, 2,500 bottles, 2022)

The Lakes Distillery 'Whiskymaker's Editions Mosaic' (46.6%, OB, 2,500 bottles, 2022) Three stars and a half
This one's got something to do with the Silk Road, so I suppose brother President Xi will be happy. Colour: deep gold. Nose: apricots, moscatel, PX, both Cointreau and Grand-Marnier, cedarwood, overripe peaches, Turkish delights, fruitier nougat, muesli… You see, it's pretty luscious on the nose. Mouth: very rich and sweet, with thick sweet wines, Fruit Loops, peach liqueur, blood oranges, allspice in the background, sultanas, orangettes, a little vanillin, and drops of Don Papa rum. No worries, only drops of it, no need to immediately run to the nearest diabetologist. Finish: long, very sweet and fruity, not cloying though. Comments: quite a balancing act for sure. I do like them drier in general, but on the other hand, it is exactly not sl***y. No liqueur called whisky.

SGP:741 - 83 points.

Good, since we were having crazier smokes earlier…

Thomson 'Manuka Smoke Progress Report' (46%, OB, New Zealand, +/-2020)

Thomson 'Manuka Smoke Progress Report' (46%, OB, New Zealand, +/-2020) Four stars
100% kiwi barley here. Manuka honey is very well known, but who knows what Manuka really is, except that bees would go on it? Well, it's a tree indeed, pretty close to camelia I've seen. I doubt they could have used the flowers, I suppose they've burnt manuka wood to malt their barley. Colour: light gold. Nose: it's a rather resinous smoke that would remind you of pinewood burning in the fireplace, with a little fresh rubber in the background, some propolis, fir buds, some burnt lemon zests (when someone forgot the cake in the oven – not -guilty, your honour!)… Whiffs of wormwood and verbena too, we're reminded of some bitterish Swiss absinth. The real stuff. Mouth: it's good! Probably very young, but this piney, resinous development works in my book. Rather a lot of sweeter cough medicine, eucalyptus, crème de menthe, peppermint… This must be curing something, I'm feeling better already. I'm sure you could also do inhalations with it, but that would be a waste of good whisky. Finish: pretty long, on the very same flavours, with just a little caraway in the aftertaste. Comments: excellent surprise, I wasn't ready for this. I hope the All Blacks will drink litres of it before they meet the French team at the Rugby World Cup to come very soon.
SGP:471 - 86 points.

Hellyers Road 18 yo 2004/2022 'Peated' (58.4%, OB, Australia, LMDW, Antipodes, American oak bourbon barrel, cask #4022.03, 185 bottles)

Hellyers Road 18 yo 2004/2022 'Peated' (58.4%, OB, Australia, LMDW, Antipodes, American oak bourbon barrel, cask #4022.03, 185 bottles) Five stars
Good foreboding here. Colour: straw. Nose: never was burning rubber this awesome on the nose. Some fantastic white earths, citrons, hops, Szechuan pepper, passion fruits and a clear old-Laphroaig quality. I mean, not old Laphroaig, rather Laphroaig of old. Amazing nose, incredibly deep and fresh at the same time. With water: new-sawn pinewood, tarmac, cigar smoke, damp earth after a heavy shower, first one for weeks, new Barbour stuff, new K-Way… Mouth (neat): very rich, pretty thick, and just extraordinary. Immense notes of green pepper, lemons, and eucalyptus, with a meaty side in the back of the back. Smoked bacon, I would say. With water: miraculously balanced, between tar, pinewood, lemons and brine. Finish: very long, never too oaky. Comments: this one's extremely spectacular. I'm glad Hellyers Road is a little expensive (yep, S. at the Madintosh), which makes that you could still buy some from time to time if you're not acting too sluggishly. Amazing cask, this peaty one.
SGP:566 - 90 points.

A good little trip in the other hemisphere today, well done, we'll be back soon. Now as for rugby, get out your handkerchiefs, as some say…







Whiskyfun's Home