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My Handcrafted Opinions on Whiskies, Distilleries and Other Related Stuff

Most Recent Whisky

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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  • Monday, 01 October 2012 12:36

    Living the Dream

    Written by

    I would guess if you asked many whisky enthusiasts what their ultimate whisky dream would be, I am pretty sure owning a distillery would be very high on the list.  It certainly was at the top of mine.  The reason for this is, in part, that as someone who has worked in the oil and gas industry for over 20 years there is something more than a little familiar about the chemistry, tanks, pumps, heating equipment, condensers and even the use of barrels as a unit of measure.

    This is why I am so excited about being one of the original 18 or so “A” shareholders in the exciting (forgive my enthusiasm) and new (that at least is very accurate) London Distillery Company.  I may not own a distillery, but thanks to the rather cool innovation called crowd funding I do now own a bit of one at least.  The UK’s first true “craft” distillery is now being built literally as I type this entry, in a former dairy cold room in Battersea, London and will start producing whisky (and gin) in next few weeks.  Interestingly TLDC is not only the UK’s first craft distillery, London’s first distillery in over 100 years but also one of the first 200 or so companies of any kind founded by internet crowd funding.

    If that wasn’t exciting enough (and believe me it probably is) my enthusiasm was actually increased by my recent to see the site and meet the team of founder Darren, distiller Andrew and intern Marco.  They actually have an intern and he took the photo so he is not in the picture above.  As well as their exciting plans for gin and whisky I also learned about Ralph Dodd (1756 - 1822) who founded the original London Distillery Company.   I can’t wait until I return in December and see spirit running off the still.  I have a feeling this is going to be a very fun ride…

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    Random Whisky

    Number 1 Drinks Company Karuizawa 1984

    A very powerful single cask Japanese bottling that comes at a whopping 61.9%.  This one was a sherry cask and that is evident in the nose.  There is also a floral note and rather surprisingly considering the ABV.. not much alcohol.  The taste is powerful, sherry, fruits, dark chocolate and even a little smoke.  Very good.  The finish is very dry and then a slight perfurmed, even soapy, note at the end.  Very exotic which is probably to be expected for a rather unusual Japanese single cask.  Needs a little water and time to open up, this is not an everyday dram for sure, but a "right time, right place" sort of dram.

    Update:  As I went back to this bottle the "exotic / soapy" note in the finish become more like sulphur.  Could this be the infamous sulphury note I have heard of but never found before?  I will send some samples of this to some contacts and get a second opinion.