In December 2021, the Whisky Ladies of Mumbai got together to explore a trio recently acquired in Paris. Amusingly, at the same time I tasted one of the whiskies – The Bellevoye “Red” Grand Cru! When the host generously agreed to set aside samples, I, therefore, chose to bring back to Germany only the two not tried. And yes – I’m aware of the irony of European whiskies being brought to India and then back to Europe! Such is the wandering way of our whisky explorations.
So there I was… on a rather miserable February Friday night… the winds howling, the rain relentless… and decided this was the perfect moment to put on some fab French pop musique and pour myself a couple of drams…
This isn’t our first brush with Michel Courveur – which is a Burgundy based operation which adopts, matures and blends. Started in 1978 by cellar-master Jean-Arnaud Frantzen, the tradition continues with Michel’s wife, daughter, son-in-law.
Our initial experience was… peculiar… it was a peated Vatted Malt. It had quite a pronounced wine influence – not entirely harmonious. However, I always try to bring an open mindset to new bottles… So what did I discover?
Michel Courveur “Candid” L 2019018 49%
- Nose – There is a sense of something almost musty at first, then it shifted into dark fruits, quince, cloves, nutmeg, it reminded of a rich butter tart bursting with raisins, rich old oak dry woods, dark purple grapes combined with dried dates and figs, classic Christmas cake and pudding, spiced eggnog, rich chocolate milk
- Palate – Woh! Very sherry, a piquant spice, quite dry, and yes – there is certainly some peat here!
- Finish – Long strong, spice and more of that bold sherry quality, black licorice, with a hint of almond and smoke chased by bitters
- Water – Cranks up the spice, augments the rich sherry aromas, sweetens and softens it on the palate
There was a heavy sherry influence at work here – nothing subtle about it. On the palate I found it a bit imbalanced – loads of sherry elements, chili spice but somehow it was missing a fruity roundness… instead the peat pushes it into another direction.
However when I revisited it after some time… found more chocolate notes, fruit and nuts, spice and smoke… coming together much better – with the peat much more pronounced. It worked!
What more do we know? Not much… It is a malt Whisky distilled in Scotland and then further matured in sherry casks in Burgundy, France.
Osokye French Single Malt Series No. 4, PX Finish 40.8% Bottle 3237/5124
- Nose – A curious mix of malt and dark fruits, cherries, sherry, a hint of lemon zest, almond, rum-soaked raisins, some salted caramel and was that also a hint of tobacco leaves?
- Palate – Chocolate and peat, malt and more… it reminded me of crunching on a malted milk ball like “whoppers“, addictively tasty, creamy, softly well rounded
- Finish – Nicely follows through – fruitier with roasted wood chased by cinnamon – delicious!
- Water – No need at all
I have to admit this was dangerously drinkable. I barely realised how it went from being poured into the glass to gone!
What more do we know? Osokye is the name of a plot in Lorraine, France where barley is grown. This particularly whisky is made from that barley and then distilled with a Cognac Alambic, then finished in an ex PX cask.
What more do we know? I found this on The Cognac Expert:
Godet Osokyé Single Malt Whisky: a Burst of Smoke and Fruit
This French single malt is named after the lot in Lorraine where the Godet family grows their barley. Godet Osokyé Single Malt Whisky Batch 4 is a smoky malt, distilled in an alembic still normally used for Cognac and finished in Pedro Ximenez casks to balance out the spirit with a burst of dark fruits. Presented at a natural strength of 40.8%, this full-bodied whisky is complex but superbly drinkable – suited to whisky lovers and Cognac lovers alike. Only 5,124 bottles have been produced.
Founded in 1782, Godet Cognac ranges amongst the oldest Cognac houses. The Godet family has been based in the seaside town and former trading hub La Rochelle for 400 years and since the very beginnings of Cognac production, they have played an important role in perfecting this culture. Cognac Godet has been in the hands of the same family for an astonishing 15 generations, who have placed tradition and excellence at the heart of their business.
- Eye: Antique gold.
- Nose: Chewy barley, white fruits and a chalky-gravely minerality followed by honey, cherry liqueur and tart lemon.
- Palate: Fresh, malty and honeyed with a hint of peat. Creamy with vanilla, poached pear and cooked apple, leading to a finish of smoke and oak wood.
So whilst I missed the merriment, with the samples I could get a glimpse into the Whisky Ladies experience. I much appreciated the opportunity and look forward to joining the next session in person!
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