Balvenie – New Make Whisky Tasting Notes

April 20, 2012 § 19 Comments

A couple of weeks ago I had the ultimate whisky-geek experience of being temporarily uprooted from my busy life in NYC to partake in the more relaxed lifestyle of the Scots in Speyside, Scotland.  One of the highlights being a very personal and memorable visit with David Steward at the Balvenie distillery (see my post on that visit HERE).

Photo (c) The Whisky Woman 2012

While there, I tasted some very rare and exceptional drams which I’ll continue to write about in upcoming posts.  The first of which, however, was their new make (also known as “white whisky”) which is the distillate prior to any aging.  It’s clear, fresh and bright and is the important base of all of their beautiful variations.  This is not something that is ever bottled and sold by Balvenie, despite a trend across the pond by the American craft distillers who have been releasing their white whiskies & moonshines over the last few years.   Sometimes these new makes can be a bit hard to drink, but I assure you, Balvenie never does anything rough.

NOSE: Sweet grass, malty, pungent sweet, celery salt, salted honey

PALATE: Eucalyptus, rich, complex, sweet after taste, bright, yummy esters (yup, I did just write that!)

WITH H2O: Eucalyptus is still present with white pepper introducing itself, still sweet, beautiful and something I wish I could buy to have on hand always!

I love a good un-aged whisky and this one is particularly delicious (in fact, I wish I was sipping on this right now as I write this post!).  But if you can get your hands on one, and I’m talking about a good one, try it chilled in the summer or, my favorite way, paired with some kind of citrus dessert (think lemon bar or a crème brûlée seasoned with orange zest).

What about you?  Do you have a favorite un-aged whisky or a preferred way to enjoy this kind of spirit?

Photo (c) The Whisky Woman 2012

White Whiskey: Koval’s “Rye Chicago”

October 14, 2011 § 9 Comments

White Whiskey.  Moonshine.  White Dog.  Prohibition.

This Whisky Woman enjoys an occasional un-aged whiskey.

No, I am not talking about re-visiting our college days of paint-thinner tasting Everclear – that hurts just thinking about it.  I am only talking about craft un-aged whiskies.  (I don’t think Everclear is actually a “whiskey” but you get the idea)

Why craft?  Because the small scale distillers who are really making their products from grain to spirit are like pastry chefs; both being extremely careful during the cooking process to ensure that the end product is both delicate and flavorful.  They take their time to really develop the flavors of the grains.

Typically, these un-aged pistols are corn based but I have been loving Koval’s Rye Chicago Whiskey recently.  (See my earlier post on Koval HERE).  Made from 100% organic RYE, I was surprised to find this to be so smoother and aromatic, especially when compared to it’s classic, rougher cereal-forward cousins.

TASTE
Nose: black pepper, floral, orange citrus, eucalyptus, cereal
Palate: sugar coated eucalyptus, orange zest, sweetened rosemary (or pine)
Finish: long and dry, orange peel that moves into a black pepper and sugar mixture

STYLE
100% Organic Rye from the American Midwest
Only the “hearts” cut of the distillates are used

ADDITIONAL
40 % abv / 90 proof
750ml glass bottles
If you’re not a fan of drinking these neat or with ice/water, then try a white whiskey in your favorite Bloody Mary recipe!  The complexity of the whiskey (verses the flavorless vodka) really kicks it up a notch!

AWARDS
Gold Medal, 2010 “White Whisky”, American Distilling Institute, USA
Gold Medal, 2010 “Grain Spirit”, Destillata Spirits Competition, Europe

Lastly, I love drinking this with a lemon-based dessert!  Deee-lish!

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