For Christmas I received these three Whisky samples from my son. What a wonderful boy he is… They came from the Whisky Castle in Switzerland. It is actually just around the corner from where I live and yet I have never tried their wares before. Well, over the holidays was the time to do so. There where three different expressions in the gift set:
Family Reserve, Double Wood and Smoke Barley.
Family Reserve, 43% vol., Cask Nr. 17
S:1 G:1 P:1 / Color: amber / Score: 59
Starts with a hint of raisins, possibly ? A little whiney and quite a lot of new make spirit on the nose, there is also a little metallic note which could come from the youthfulness of the distillate. There is also something rubbery but this time not in a good way. On the palate it is dry with some oak, cardboard, sawdust and you can really feel the that the whisky is young and spirity. Quite thin and bland. Finishes medium but on a sour note.
Double Wood, 43% vol., Cask Nr. 462
S:1 G:1 P:1 / Color: light amber / Score: 59
Similar nose (sadly), rubbery raisins, spirit and maybe a tiny hint of vanilla. Tastes flat, bland and the spirit shows with a little oak. I am trying hard to get something more out of this but there isn’t. The finish is medium and sour just as above. Seems to me like it’s the same stuff just a tad younger.
Smoke Barley, 43% vol., Cask Nr. 502
S:2 G:1 P:1 / Color: light gold / Score: 60
Vanilla and an off-putting vegetal note, could be broccoli with cheese… New make and a little lemon to be fair but smoke? Nope. Tastes a little sweeter, thin with a little oak. And that’s all folks! It’s almost an art to make a Whisky this unexpressive. Ends medium but a little less sour, so that’s an improvement I guess. I am missing the smoke here. Maybe the name is a question: Smoke Barley? Yes, please!
Well, I am a quite disappointed. What to do with this?
I have an idea: Let’s compare these with the spirit we made in 2015 (earlier post DIY-Whisky) and see how we fare…
MEAN AMAR, around 53% vol.
10L ex-bourbon micro cask
S:3 G:2 P:1 / Color: amber / Score: 65
Vanilla, spirity with hints of fruit schnapps (I think the distiller didn’t clean out the still properly) and after a while some rising bread. Some barley sugar and a slight hint of something umami. Taste wise: Sweet with some good oak (big THANK YOU to the cooper) and of course some spirit feels (it is only one year old we don’t claim this to be Whisky) but it has a nice chewy texture. Finishes medium long and gets drying with a little oak.
Well, this is motivating. Even though the Whisky Castle has not been a huge success it makes me think of doing some more of our own experiments. Maybe we should look into getting ourselves a license…