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My Handcrafted Opinions on Whiskies, Distilleries and Other Related Stuff

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Most Recent Whisky Review

Bellevoye Bleu

If you had not of heard of this French blended malt you are not alone, because it was new to me as well when I saw it in the Air France Lounge in Paris.  A little online research suggests this is a blend of 3 single malts of different regions of France and finished in new French oak casks.  It is bottled at 40% ABV but nosed like it was much stronger.  Very feisty and malty with barnyard, floral and even perfurmed notes in the nose.  Hot and sweet on the palate with some flashes of toffee which were quickly masked by pepper and even a slightly acrid smokey note.  The finish has some chilli heat with a hint of lemon peel marmalade.  A splash of water improves it greatly, smooths out the grainy mouth feel and brings out some more fruity and sweet flavours.  It is not bad but posseses little elegance or sophistication so in that respect it is not a very French French whisky.

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  • Friday, 10 August 2012 19:14

    Bruichladdich Sale to Remy... Some Reasons to be Cheerful

    Written by
    There has been quite a lot of commentary (and online hand wringing) already about recent sale by Bruichladdich to Remy Martin so I thought I would throw in my 10 cents (not that I would get much of Bruichladdich for 10 cents based on selling price of over $90 million).  This deal should not be a surprise or shock to anyone.  This is a classic, often repeated story and the end was inevitable.  The only question was when and how much.  If the "how much" bit is right then the "when" is now.    I have no doubt that even the one director who did not vote for this particular deal would have voted to sell at some point for what he considered the "right price".

    This is the way business and free market works.    If you have issues with capitalism and the free market (and many people do with some good reasons) but you also consider yourself a whisky person then I urge you to send me an email with all the quality brands and products (anything at all, I am not limiting this to just whisky) that have been developed in a non-free market economy.  Soviet Union, Cuba, China, North Korea... it's your call.   I am more than willing to entertain an argument that the free market does not, without fail, produce the best consumer products.  However it won't last long and you will lose and look rather silly, but I am willing to entertain it.    This is the system that produces the products and brands we love at work in all it's glory, and we should celebrate it, not moan about it.

    It is not as if Bruichladdich is going anywhere, in fact we can expect more of their product over coming years due to an agreed investment program so you would think the 'laddich lovers would be thrilled. 

    More good news is the gap perhaps left in some people's hearts will be quickly filled by next new distiller to open up an old site (my money is on Glenglassaugh to be next "darling" of the malt whisky world) and that we can all fall in love with and idolize.  I have no doubt we will all collectively agree to overlook the inevitable "rushed to market", cash flow driven products and expressions that Bruichladdich were more than guilty of in their rise (they possibly even took that to new levels).  If we are being honest Bruichladdich have had more inconsistency and variation in their expressions than an Angel Hernandez strike zone!  (Holy cow did I just make a very obscure baseball umpire joke...  I rather think I did).  It seems likely to me that some stewardship and steady cash flow under a global quality brand will likely produce a better product and the mantle of "innovator" will quickly pass onto someone else.  This isn't the end of anything, there is nothing to lament or mourn here, the circle of life continues.  Hakuna Matata.  Can we move on now?

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    Random Whisky

    Belgian Owl Cask Strength

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