med lagerhusUp in the north of Sweden You can find BOX Distillery. They make the most marvelous “White Dog” you can imagine. Fruity, full of flavor and with a high drinkability.

It´s beautifully located, have all the water resources it needs and have the most dedicated people working with the product, from idea through finances to creating the whisky.

The team seems happy and supportive. They invite people to interact in many ways like the BOX Whisky Academy, spoiling their ambassadors with treats and exclusive offers (Mackmyra  –  you could learn from this!) and spend hours and hours out in the country spreading the BOX evangelism through tastings and fairs. ankareSelling “Ankare”, casks about 40 liters of all different kind of high quality oak, to enthusiastic whisky people wanting to own their own whisky cask. . Brilliant marketing I would say!

So – brilliant marketing, fabulous location, engaged people and a loads of competence – now over to the whisky itself.

They call their first releases”The Early Days”. In that range you have The Pioneer, The Challenger, The Explorer  (june 2015) and The Messenger (december 2015). They also released The Festivle 2014 and Festival 2015 will be relesed in the end of June 2015 when they have their own BOX Whisky Festival at the distillery. They invite friends as well so there is a wide range of whiskies to taste at the festival. In January the released 700 bottles of Archipelago – exclusively for the visitor at the Floating Cinderella Whisky Fair. Well I saw blood in the line for Archipelago….. The Box bottles are very hyped and big collectors items. So unfortunately I have´nt got my hands on any but the Archipelago – and No, I didn´t bleed to get it!

Oops, almost forgot – Box tries to educate us whiskylovers as well – I did get my hand on their Advanced Masterclass No1: Its about oak and charring the casks. Haven´t got the time to sit down and taste/work with it it but I will. Probably first “open” then “blind” to see if I learned anything about the levels of charring and their impact on taste in whisky.

Now here is my (3rd) take on:glas

The Pioneer NAS 48,1%

A vatting of many different casks:  50 % unpeated whisky 3 yrs on bourbon-ankare (40 litres) 35 % peated  whisky (31ppm) 3 yrs on bourbon-ankare (40 litres) 15 % unpeated whisky 2 yrs on 200-litres bourboncasks +1 yrs 100-litres new Swedish charred oak casks. Natural colour and non chill filtered.

Nose: Oaky and feinty. A bit of plum spirit. Baked apples with a hint of “peel”bitternes and something wine like. Some soft smokiness. With water the smoke disappears and gives room for acidity, fruit, feints, and wine.

Palate:  Young, a bit messy but not to sprawling. Sweetness, liquorices, black pepper some violets and a bit feinty in the back. Water doesn´t make it better or worse – just different. It opens op for some fudge and that is nice.

Finish: All of the above follows….but suddenly saffron…..lots of saffron lingers on and on when the glass is empty. Strange but not amiss.

I AM SURPRISED

The Pioneer was not a hit when I tried it the first and second time but now – Wow I like this young little feisty one! It is complex in its youth….. What could possibly have changed from when I tried it a first? Air…… This sample came from an opened bottled but not opened for long and not so much taken from it. It had been poured into a sample bottle and then into my glass for a 15 min rest or so. Could air be the thing? Tried it the first time in late spring (like now) and then in the summer….and not blind….Was my expectations too high? Loved their white dog, 7 months spirit and the “almost there whisky” 2,7 yrs old.  When I knew what I had in the glass it couldn´t live up to it? I don´t know, but I am obliged to change my mind am I not? I do that now – I find an aired dram of BOX single Malt The Pioneer very drinkable. 83 Points (or something…I´m not too fond of points really)!

Want to know more about BOX Swedish Single Malt – go to their homepage, mostly still in Swedish – change that asap BOX – (or send me a mail me and I´ll translate it for you)  http://boxwhisky.se/ Box_Logotyp_Pos_Highres

Maybe you will meet The Explorer here on Mrs Wolfmoons Whisky sooner than you think!

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tasteventsbywolfmoon@gmail.com

 

I both like and dislike sherry matured whiskyIMG_4163

and for me sherry cask bottlings range from top notch to bottom. The SMWS Ben Nevis “Hot Toddy”  (see the advent calendars) was one of the worst whiskies I ever had. The 14 yo Akashi – very strange and even one of my favorite distilleries Glendronach makes sherry matured whisky with the “Rancid butter mushroom sour washcloth notes”…. Not for me!

Therefore I can´t say I loooove sherry whiskies – they come in all shapes considering nose, palette and finish.

Talking about finish –When we you read sherry finish you can find that it could be a 12 yo whisky finished in 1st fill sherry cask for 3-6 months or so. The first eleven and a half years it spent in an “ordinary” ex bourbon cask. Is it cheating to do this? Well it is up for discussion but I see it as putting in the last salt and pepper when you are cooking a dish. That last dash of salt is what makes the dish become perfect.

Now the two Japanese Whiskies from Suntory, Yamazaki Sherry Cask 2013 and Hakushu Sherry Cask 2012 are both solely matured in sherry casks and they are both  NAS whiskies as well. It´s a fight between siblings. Hakushu being the lightly peated one but both at the same ABV 48%.

The Yamazaki sherry cask was named “World Whisky of the Year” (i.e. best whisky in the world) by Jim Murray in the 2015 Whisky Bible. I do not agree….. but that is another story!

Here is my take on them:

Yamazaki Sherry Cask 2013 IMG_4166

Nose: Raisins, dried fruit, wine (berry-wine), sweet.

Palette: Soft, a bit closed spirit at first, softens out and becomes more wine like. Sweet and full of dried fruit. Cherrystone notes. Oak bitterness, With water some liquorices appears, the berry wine comes forward

Finish: Some bitterness, the berry wine notes comes back. With water it opens up for the rancid notes. Fairly short finish.

 

Hakushu Sherry Cask 2012IMG_4164

Nose: Soft Peat, sweet fruits, some raspberry liquorices sweets. With water it opens up for more fruit and body. Maybe some soap.

Palette:First I get mushrooms (in a good way), Liquorices, softly peated spirit, dried fruit. Sweet. Water makes it thin. No improvement.

Finish: Light rancio, liquorices. Something herb like. Salty. And raspberry. It lingers quite long. With water it disappears quickly.

For me the Hakushu win this one. Because I´m not too fond of that berry-wine touch! Again we all have our own taste and as I said in the beginning…. The sour sherry notes with rancid butter and mushroom  is not for mer. Neither too much of the cherry stone notes or heavy sulphur but sulphur is not an issue here.

There are sherrycask matured whiskies out there that is more enjoyable!

Keep on looking!

And let me know when you find one.

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I always say I never tasted a bad Japanese Whisky. That´s not entirely true ……

yamzakiBut let’s start from the beginning. Yamazaki 12 from the biggest JapaneseWhisky company – Suntory – was my first Japanese dram. I don’t know when or where but suddenly I and Mr.Wolfmoon had a bottle of it. Very exotic. And good as well. One of the best whiskies we had tasted at that time. We also got our hands on a Yamazaki sherrycask. Many years ago. Probably in Copenhagen, Denmark at Juuls Vinhandel. So we got interested in world whiskies and tried some 12 yo Hakushu also from Suntory the most famous Whisky Company in Japan.

All Japanese whisky we tried was good ….until ISAWA 10 yo single malt. But how bad it IMG_1987 - Kopiais? Well this opinion is divided….. Some say horrible (I saw many twisted faces at www.maltstock.com –  experiencing this single malt) and some say strange, some say interesting. The ladies seems to be more tolerant to it. Me myself am a little of all of the above! Mostly it tastes like leather. Not a little leather. Just leather. Or as Mr. Wolfmoon said: Isawa – freshly pressed cowboy hat-juice !

Anyhow, this fascination of world whisky made me want to taste more Asian whisky. Kavalan and Amrut. More of The Suntory range. And I also had the opportunity to try a lot and work with the Nikka range when educating myself to Tutor of Fine Spirits.

The European interest in Japanese whisky has made it easier to get our hands on more Japanese Whisky. And of course Suntorys interest and investments in France (Wine and Cognac) and in the drink business worldwide in general, has a lot to do with Japanese Whisky coming to Europe. Unfortunately it often comes in limited releases and then you can only get it in auctions for a lot more than what it was sold originally. But keep it coming Japan! We want your whisky!

I got my hands on some Akashi samples. The whisky comes from Eigashima Shuzo/White oak distillery. It was actually the first distillery to get license to distill whisky 1919, but they only started to do it in the 60`s. Suntorys`s Yamazaki was the first distillery to make Whisky in Japan and they started running 1923.

White Oak Distillery is a true micro distillery with it´s capacity of 60,000 liters compared to Yamazaki´s undisclosed but estimated capacity of 6,000,000 liters. The company has a history of making shochu and other distilled spirits and it is in that “spirit” they make their Single malt as well. The only single malt whisky they will have in their standard range is the NAS. Most of their malt goes into blends.

The Akashi Line Up:

 

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NAS , 5yo, 12yo, 14yo, 15yo.

The colours varies from light gold to darkest red/brown sirup.

The nose is as varied as well. From butter fudge in the NAS and 5yo through bourbon notes and glue in the 12yo to the touch of good sherry casks in the 14yo and spices and glue again in the 15yo.

The peat smoke goes through the whole palette. It is strange that it is so present in the taste when it wasn´t there in the nose.

The two closes to each other is the NAS and the 5yo with their sweetness and being very easy to drink …….. A bit wimpy…..

Then the 12yo is just something different. It is a wildly shooting Cowboy in an inflatable boat. You have rubber, leather, oil and smoke in a dry finish. Sulfur, gunpowder and fireworks. Good? Hmmm Interesting……..

The 14yo is so beautiful. Dark reddish brown. And the nose of sherrycasks is promising. But something went…well wrong. There is rubber again, peat and rancio. Stuff is definitely going on. In every direction.

The 15yo goes back to the smell of “young spirit” . Its quite flat with some peat, bitterness and surprisingly saffron. I just stand without describing words……..

Just to mention, we had the Yoich 10yo from Nikka as a flavor reference and it is so well balanced and yet nuanced so it plays in another league.

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The conclusion is that they were almost more interesting to smell ….. but when you drink them you want to try them all –  they are “incomplete” singly.

Yamazaki is an easy whisky. Akashi is a dodgy one because it changes all the time. Maybe it is so simple that it is hard to make a consistent whisky? And a distillery as Eigashima with it´s focus on other spirits don´t have that constistancy?

Well Japanese whisky making is dodgy if you stray from the Suntory Boulevard or the Nikka Street. But you will find interesting whiskies to be surprised by, be horrified by and hopefully enjoy, if you dare to take a stroll down Eigashima Lane, Shinshu Alleyway or any other obscure walkingpath in the Land of the rising sun! So put on your sunglasses and go Japanese!

Cambeltown was the whiskycapital in UK in the early 20th-century with about 37 distilleries bringing home loads of money to the area. But as almost all good things it came to and end. The American prohibition was a big reason that only 2 distilleries survived. Glen Scotia and Springbank.

The distillerysb has been up and running since 1828 in Cambeltown, located on the Kintyre peninsula. Springbank is a classic whisky-distillery that almost everyone has heard of. They also make two other brands of malt whisky – Longrow which is quite peated and Hazelburn which is unpeated.

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I had the opportunity to meet Frank McHardy, a man with over 50 yrs in the business and the representative of Springbank when I was working at my first whiskyfair. I was nervous and he helped me out. A very nice and good looking man so he nicked a piece of my heart. I like it when someone who has so much knowledge and experience still can be so humble!

My Impression of Springbank was good but since I had not tasted much of the range I grabbed the  opportunity to get my hands on some samples.

I will not give tastenotes for them all. Actually I did write it down while tasting but I don´t think you will enjoy reading them ……IMG_1929

What I will give you is a “over all” impression of Springbank – based on following lineup: CV, 10 yo, 12 yo, 15 yo, 18 yo, Gaja Barolo Wood Expression, Calvados Wood Expression.IMG_1927

I find the house style of Springbank  sweet, fullbodied, and malty with an underlying tone of peatsmoke. You can find vanilla and fruit in all of them but I find the 10 yo more salty and less fruity than the others. The 12 yo which is cask strenght has a some liquorice/chilli sting but that might come from the high ABV.

This time I rated the 15 yo as the best with the roundness of the body carrying all different tastes like rum raisins, fruit cocktail, wine and sweetness.

It was followed by the Gaja Barolo woodfinish that was almost as fullbodied but only 9 yrs old.

Third place went to the 18 yo which has the “old whisky notes” in it. It has probably some older sherrycasks in the mix………

The most exciting one was the Calvados wood Finish. The wCdLloggahisky spent 6 years in refill bourboncasks and then 6 years in Calvados casks from Christian Drouin. That makes me extra curious since I have tried many of Christian Drouins products and will spend a few days at the Coeur de Lion estate in Normandy this spring, to learn more about Calvados. It didn´t match the Gaja Barolo last night but when I got to try a sample of it today it was so much more….. Came to the conclusion with some friends who also got their hands on this rare bottle that it need some air to come to its full potential!!!!Springbank-5-stills

I think Springbank will be a distillery I will keep a closer eye on from now on. I did really enjoy the Hazelburn Sauternes Wood Finish and the” Smuggle Whisky bottlings” Rundlets and Kilderkins. So yes, Springbank is a distillery worth to taste and follow. And that it is family owned and make their whisky as they always had – some say the Springbank distillery is a functional museum – doesn´t make it less interesting.

A new distillery opened in Cambeltown in 2004. Its called Glengyle and their single malt is called Kilkerran.There will never be 37 distilleries in Cambeltown again but now there are 3 and Cambeltown is  a whiskyregion to count with again.

Whiskyfairs in Swedenimages has popped up like mushrooms the last few years.

Beside the biggest one – Stockholm Beer and WhiskyFestival – we have the big but maybe a bit more manageable Malmö Beer and Whiskyfestival, Gothenburg Whiskyfair and Linköping WhiskyExpo. There are also lots of small and medium fairs which are cosy and more intimate.

We had not planned to go to Linköping WhiskyExpo which is one of the most reputational fairs, but sad circumstances sent us up north and with only 2 hours drive we thought a visit to the fair was a good send off for a friend we will meet again on the other side! For us it was balm for the soul.

We acted quite cool I must say since it was a secret we would show up. So we sneaked up behind the stand of Svenska Eldvatten IMG_1901where Tommy and Peter had a helping hand from Patrik, Bengt, Tommy from Calner Whisky and Alexander from AZ Spirits. Lots of hugs and a taste of Svenska Eldvattens Vintage 1994 singel cask blended malt and Vintage 1979 singel cask blended scotch! They are blended at birth. It means that rawspirit from different distilleries (malt and malt & grain in the 1979) has been blended together and matured in the cask togheter all the time insted of blending the already matured whisky just before bottling. They are both SherryCask´s and my first opinion is that it was a bit too much sherry in 1979 and the 1994 felt more  fresh. A second try is needed!

Picture taken at closingtime just before Mr & Mrs Wolfmoon was politely but firmly told to get out of the building!

Meeting some frienIMG_1879ds was just what we needed so when we went into the worldwhisky Section it was fun to meet Lennart and Ingela at the Nikka stand. And with their knowledge they got us some lovely Single Cask Yoichi,  Miyagikyo 15 and a Taketsuru 21.

The Taketsuru 21 is a great blended malt but I must say that the single cask Yoichi and if you can get your hand on the Single Cask Miyagikyo are fantastic!

We strolled over to Amrut – the indian whisky and Mr Ashok Choklingam IMG_0812himself was at the stand. He greeted us as old friends (thank you!!!!). We spent the weekend together at Maltstock -the relaxed whisky weekend in the Netherlands last september. http://www.maltstock.com   We tried some Single cask Amrut and the Portonova. We also talked about that we had the opportunity to try Amrut Greedy Angels at Maltsock. When I told Ashok that when some people asked me how it tasted I had to say that -I haven´t got a clue. I was so amazed to try it that I cant remember! (He wispered -“its a lot of fruit, tropical fruit!” And then he laughed. He is a man who laughs a lot and I like that!)

Picture taken at the Amrut tasting at Maltstock – the relaxed whisky weekend!

Amrut is sold in Sweden by Clydesdale. And Clydesdale has a affliated company called IMG_1902World Wide Brands managed by Stefan Jansson. We met him and his lovely wife Gun. They are both passionate and knowledgeable people. Among other brands they import bottles from the independent bottler Samaroli from Italy and Millstone from Zuidam distillers in The Netherlands. Millstone is close to our heart since we have a share in sherry cask from Millstone. We got to taste a Millstone Px cask bottled just the day before by Patrick van Zuidam who was at the fair. It was….interesting!!! Not the nicest Millstone we tried but interesting is better than plain isn´t it?? Except from talking to Stefan and Gun the biggest experience was to taste the 20 yo  Glen Grant from Samaroli. We got the dram poured int our porto-glass but then we got another glass to try it in. We were told to puor half the dram into the strange glass and then smell the whisky. I have always said that porto is the best nosing glass for whisky but this glass… this coupe glass was fantastic. I say I need at least 12 of them so we – mr Wolfmoon and myself – can have a tasting with 6 different whiskys in those glasses! Try and buy! Not on the market in sweden yet but soon I hope!

We had the hopes up for some Yamazaki Mizunara when we saw Mr Tatsuya Minagawa at the Suntory stand. He greeted us as well since he recognised Mr Wolfmoon who with his fascination of Japanese whisky has been pestering this poor bloke the last 2 Maltstocks and of course at the whiskyfairs he visits as well………

No danger though! Tatsuya is a nice guy but he didn´t have any Sherrycasks or Mizunara cask with him. So we tried the Hakushu 18 instead. And it´s not Yamzaki 18 …….. But nice!

IMG_1892After that we had to hurry up a bit! We jogged into the swedish section where we wanIMG_1899ted to surprise my friend Mattias from Sirholmen Spirits but he had heard the rumours and sneaked up on us instead. He was working with Pär Caldenby from Smögen Whisky and I was excited to meet Pär for the first time and equally excited to try his 3 year old Singlemalt Primör. And my tastenote for Primör was a bit simplified – it tastes whisky! By that I mean it taste like original whisky. I try to find the tastenotes and stop at malty with some fuseloil and that it feels round bodied. For me it needs a few more years in the cask. I willIMG_1900 follow it´s progress with interest.

But then Mattias and Pär knocked my hat off with something different – Gin.I don´t like Gin. Well, I do now…… (another world to explore). Strane is a smoth and well tasting Gin that I wish everyone who is interested in destillates should try. Amazing! Thank you for inviting me to the world of Gin!

The last Whisky we tried was a Mackmyra Elegant Sherry Reserve Cask – a favourite when the cask does what it should. But we wanted to try it against the Box Distillerys non peated sherry. But since its only a pre-taste of what is going to be, the competition isn`t fair. We thought that Box would be equally good since we adore the Box Rawspirit and our private peated casks is soo coming on. BUT the Mackmyra took the gold medal this night with Box actually a horselenght after. Strange!!!!! Will keep an eye on this progress as well. And I might buy a cask of Elegant Sherry from Mackmyra – want to join??

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 We finished the Expo with some 25 yr old rye and two Rum from Svenska Elvatten. Caroni and Guyana. But don´t ask about tastenotes……. we got half thrown out after that. But just because it was closing time …we werent ´drunk, rude or anything…I hope …………..

Just to mention we tried some grain from Scott´s selection (nope…didn´t do the trick tonight…) and som bottlings from Cadenhead. Our own choices wasn´t so good but Magnus from Magnus Whisky told us to try the 24 yrs old small batch Cragganmore…….and Yes! Soo good!

Whiskytaste SwedenIMG_1866 has some interesting bottlings as well. Jonas and Gabriella made us feel very welcome and we could have been standing there all night. It was good they had a tasting to host so we could see more of the fair. We were treated a 25 yrs old Tamdhu, a bottling from Whiskyfässle provided more citrus than any other dram I´ve tasted. Paul John is another interesting Indian whisky and Whiskytaste Sweden give us the opportunity to taste  Leviathan II that holds the bronze medal in Worlds Worst Whisky. That is interesting. I don´t find it as bad as my male companions……. Lots of leather and …well other stuff. Have tasted worse and since there is a silver and a gold medal as well, that might be true!!!

Next fair to visit is the floating Cinderella Whisky Fair in march – but before that Mrs.Wolfmoon shall be hosting some tastings! Taste Events by Wolfmoon is actually getting some work done!

Join me at  https://www.facebook.com/TasteEventsByWolfmoon

and find more information about tastings in Kristianstad Sweden at http://www.tasteeventsbywolfmoon.n.nu/

Wanted to start this year with a few thoughts about memorable drams. The reason is that I lost a friend quite recently and it makes one wonder and remember things.

So the first dram to remember is Ardbeg Alligator. Image

It was late (or early), a Magic Midsummer Night. The light outside was turning greyish to announce that the dawn was about to break. Then Mrs.Wolfmoons sensitve nose found a streak of peat in the wind which only could mean that Mr.Wolfmoon had poured one or two drams of that precious new Ardbeg. As you all know I am a responsible person when it comes to drinking ( 😉 ) and through all those years of partying my motto has been After midnight – Only water! – So I thought that pouring a precious dram att 3 o´clock in the morning after a night of heavy partying was a waste of good whisky!

Did I get grumpy? Oh yes (as always…. I´m a grumpy old lass)! Did I nag? Again yes! But I can see the picture of my lovely friend wrapped in a fleece blanket on our patio, half asleep and sniffing that dram for an hour or soo with a few Mmmmmm…. accompanied by Mr.Wolfmoons -One could sit here and sniff this all night! And we did! Till 5 in the morning as we always used to do after those Magic Midsummer and New Years Parties. Today I´d scour all the whiskysites and auctions to get another bottle if I only could give it to you!

Ardbeg Alligator is for You, Annica!

What got me in to this mess that is the Whisky World was a Mackmyra Reserve.IMG_1702

 My friend Roger was going to collect somthing like 57 or 58 bottles of a sherrycask matured Mackmyra Reserve at Juuls in Copenhagen. All the bottles ended up on my parents kitchentable and I was one of the first to taste it. It stunned me! It was like nothing I ever tasted before and it dragged me into the Whisky World forever.  I´m going deeper and into darker parts of the Whisky Labyrinth and I like it. That first Mackmyra will always be there to remind me of the beginning, the origin and how it all started! And since I didn´t start my whisky journey with classic “Scotch”or aged maltwhisky my taste is wideopen and I can explore the tastes without any prejudice.

Thank you Roger for being my first guide into the magic of malt whisky!

(It is not “that” bottle in the picture…didn´t take many bottlephotos back then. Guess how may bottlephotos ther are in my cellphone right now?….)

Glen Grant 1955 (Gordon & MacPhail)glen grant

I had the opportunity to taste the Glen Grant from 1955 at Stockholm Beer and Whisky Festival 2012. I had not been drinking many older whiskies and probably none more than 25 years old. This bottle is matured for more than 50 years so it was a big jump from young to old. And I was stunned! Again! What was most fascinating was that the taste lingured on and on. Even after a hamburger with onions and I brushed my teeth it came back!   It opened my eyes (and tastebuds) for older and more matured whisky. I still don´t think that older always is better (had some really awful old ones) but it is interesting to explore age and maturation and nothing beats a good old maltwhisky.

The Glen Grant from 1955 – is for the classic and age!

So Mrs.Wolfmoon has managed to write a Whisky blogpost without any tastnotes. Again!
I was thinking about writing more tastenotes in the blog in 2014 but that is more a New Year´s Intention than a New Year´s Resolution. Anyhow, there will be more blogposts in 2014 – that IS a Resolution!

So what is Calvados?CdLlogga

I´m sure you can look that up somewhere on the internet to find the scientific explanation if that’s what you want.

For me it was a total black hole, where I didn´t want to go until I had a very brief encounter with Christian!  And it wasn´t any Christian I had the fortune to stumble across. It was the King of Calvados – Christianestate Drouin,from the Coeur de Lion estate in Normandie.

Actually I was at my first whisky fair – Stockholm Beer & Whisky – in September 2012. A bit shaky and quite nervous because I had never been behind the counter in a whisky fair before. I chose the worst fair to start with – well at least the most busy one. And not enough that we had more than 250 different whiskies to serve, we also had some Calvados……. And the King of Calvados himself to present it…by my side….and I had only tasted Calvados one or two times before (and I didn´t like it).

When we got presented I told him the truth (or half of itChristian, I didn´t mention that I didn´t like Calvados) that I had no knowledge about Calvados what so ever! He kindly took me in and gave me a tasting and a speedlesson of his Calvadosrange. I was amazed. Well not so much about the Blanche the Normandie – which I found to be “a white dog” – but a bit more tasty! Blanche de Normandie is an appelbrandy.

Then Christian Drouin took a bottle, served me a sip and I was lost. The Wow-factor went to through the roof. I had no idea what I had in my glass but it knocked my hat off! It was sooooo gooood! What I just had tasted was some kind of celebration bottling. No longer available and very expensive. But if you want to teach someone about what Calvados should taste like – don´t give them the cheap factory stuff – give them a Coeur de Lion Vintage!

IMG_0731Since then I´ve had the opportunity to taste some more Calvados – some which I like – others not my favourites. One of my Calvados-teachers is Richard Fransson from Steninge Ädla. He gave me a lovely tasting of some different Calvados bottlings he had come across visiting Normandie and Coeur de Lion estate/distillery so I wasn´t a total ignorant when The Prince of Calvados – Guillaume Drouin, visited my tastingleader course with 10 different bottlings from Coeur de Lion.(YES 10).

I´m not going to tell you all about the Calvados I got to try. Just want to show you the essence of the tasting. Heres the lineup:IMG_0724

Pommeau de Normandie  –  Blanche de Normandie

Coeur de Lion Selection  –         Coeur de Lion Vsop

Coeur de Lion Hors d´ague  –  Coeur de Lion Vintage 1993

Coeur de Lion Vintage 1989  –  Coeur de Lion Vintage 1986

Coeur de Lion Vintage 1970  –  Coeur de Lion Vintage 1962

Guillaume was talking about the taste ”Rancio” wich is a taste you find in well matured Congnac and its also a discription of a flavour you find in fortified wine.I´m a fan of Sherrycaskmatured spirit BUT the worst Whiskies I have had has been sherrycask matured. And they all had this “Rancio” taste. Probably a leftover from the fortified wine – the sherry . If it get overhand it will give the distillate a bad taste of mushrooms and rancid butter (as mentioned in my blogpost “the advent calendars).

So when we had to vote for our favourites I liked 1989 and 1962 the most. I think 1970 and 1986 was had too much of the Rancio. I also liked the Pommeau de Normadie a lot. It is a 17% aperitif made of applejuice mixed with calvados before fermentation and then aged in oakcasks. I highly recommend it. Especially if you have friends who doesnt appriciate the high ABV of distilled spirit.

If you want to try some nice Calvdos go for the Coeur de Lion range from Christian Drouin. I´m loking forward to give some nice Calvadostastings and I can assure that I´ll start with the Pommeu de Normandie and I definitely will try my best to get two vintages, one with “rancio” and one without…..just to let you choose foryourself wich one to love –

Because you will love the Coeur De Lion.

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So what is Calvados? Shortly it is “distilled cider” out of apples or pears matured in oakcasks, the same way whisky is “disitilled beer” matured in oak casks. – Google it if you want to know more!

http://www.coeur-de-lion.com/ or for the Swedish market http://www.symposionhot.com/sortiment/calvados/