Starward Two-Fold Double Grain 40%

Australia deserves its reputation for fabulous wines and – yes – whisky! So why not combine? While Tasmania dominates, Starward prove you can be in Melbourne and deliver something worthy of attention with distinction – by consistently maturing their whisky in wine barrels.

So when this wee sample showed up as a “bonus” with a larger whisky order, I was delighted to have a chance to check out how this distillery has evolved.

Starward Two-Fold Double Grain 40%

  • Colour – Reddish copper, even a bit of sediment
  • Nose – Clear influence of the wine casks, rich dried berries, coffee toffee sweets, creamy vanilla
  • Palate – Sharp, intense, dark fruits and berries, dark chocolate, tannins
  • Finish – Spice, red wine, bitter close, lingers

It was a bit hard to imagine this was only 40%… the flavours were much sharper and more intense. Certainly young but interesting. A definite departure from a classic Scottish dram – a bit edgier and funkier, in a good way.

Starward Two Fold

What do the folks at Starward have to say?

Smooth, tropical, lightly spiced. 

An Australian double-grain whisky. For depth, we use malted barley, just like our Nova. For an aromatic, dry flavour, we use Australian wheat.

Lightly charred or steamed barrels. Sourced from Australian wineries that make great shiraz, cabernets and pinot noirs. Often filled fresh when the barrel is still wet with wine. We mature each whisky separately in Melbourne’s wildly varied climate, then deftly combine. Smooth as silk. Spiced vanilla, tropical fruits and cereal characters rounded with red apples and berries.

Here are their official tasting notes:

  • Nose / Bright red berries coated in buttery vanilla spice.
  • Palate / Imagine a smooth, rich caramel dessert balanced by tropical fruit.
  • Finish / Delicate and long. A delicious, dry finish from a faded sweetness.

They go on to add:

We carefully select barrels from vineyards making great Aussie reds like shiraz, cabernet and pinot noir. These give our new make spirit tasty fruit, caramel and spice notes. To keep as much of a fresh red wine flavour profile as possible, we source barrels from just a day’s drive away. We either lightly char or quickly blast barrels with steam. Many are still wet with wine when we fill them. Flavour obsessed as ever, we fill each barrel at a lower alcohol proof than is traditional. This means our whisky draws more lip-smacking red wine fruit characters and tannins.

Then, it’s time for Melbourne’s climate to shine. Or, rather, rain and shine in a wildly unpredictable way. Famed for its ‘four seasons in a day’, Melbourne’s fluctuating climate means Two-Fold extracts more flavour from the barrel in a much shorter time than is traditional. After just three years, both barley and wheat whiskies are ready to be expertly combined.

At approx Eur 40, it isn’t as pricey as some other Starward’s we’ve come across… Here are a few earlier explorations of Starward:

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Canadian Connect – Two Brewers

Founded in 2015, our Whisky Ladies of Mumbai were only temporarily disrupted by international exits and COVID. And while I’ve missed many a session since moving to Germany, some kind ladies set aside samples so I’m able to partially follow their whisky adventures.

That’s what I love best about this remarkable group of women – we each come with different backgrounds, passions and persuasions yet combine together over good drams and bad, committed to discovering and uncovering what the world of whisky has to offer!

This brings me to the 2nd part of the Whisky Ladies of Mumbai’s March 2022 session which had a decidedly Canadian theme, courtesy of a fellow Canadian’s trip back in late 2021. Our 1st half featured:

These experiments were followed by two whiskies from the Yukon – which til this experience I had no clue was even producing whisky! Two Brewer‘s Innovative and Peated completed our quartet of experimental Canadian spirits.

1st up was Two Brewers Innovative Release No 27 46%

  • Colour – Bright copper
  • Nose – It started with peculiar almost soapy quality, then quickly shifted into a very malty aroma, chased by a nutty edge, astringent then resinous
  • Palate – Hmm… more of that nutty element – very strong, joined by a sharp spice, heavy like a dark chewy stout
  • Finish – Not much… a bit bitter and beery

So I must confess, this sample was in a small plastic bottle, meant to be transferred to a glass bottle. But then I got back to Germany and, well… didn’t. This probably means what I tried isn’t exactly representative of the dram straight from the bottle.

What do they have to say?

Two Brewers captures the core of beers malt character builders; a dense and complex spirit with distinctive character barrel aging, tempting and engaging.

TASTING NOTES:
Deep malt aromas rise as misty wafts, quelling the taunting spirit. The cereal weight is evident, rich as buckwheat honey, nuts and nougat engage the palate. Oak and smoke, remnants from peated barrels, brace the continuing composition, absorbing for the attentive listener.

And what about their Peated Release No 22 43%?

  • Colour – Bright straw
  • Nose – Surprisingly light at first, sweet, malty, smoky-sweet grass, then malt chocolate
  • Palate – The peat comes through more here, however, there is a soapy malty element too, spice
  • Finish – Dry and dusty with a curl of smoke

To be honest, I paused a moment to speculate – there was a distinctly different quality that I couldn’t quite pin down. Not remarkable, but not half bad.

What more do we know? Not much as tasting notes are about other Releases… Which is part of the charm of the Two Brewers – experiment with every release…

So there you have it! A quartet from Canada… starting with two hybrids and ending in a duo from the Yukon.

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Additionally, there are the two ‘off-shoots’ with:

Whisky/Gin Crossovers – Endeavour Gin and Forager Botanical Whisky

In the world of spirits, there are some curious cross-overs…. whisky with beer finish or beery whisky come to mind, however to the best of my knowledge, these two whiskied gin and gin botanical infused whisky hybrids – Endeavor and Forager – from Canada were our first brush in such combinations.

So…. did they work?

Endeavour Gin “Old Tom” Barrel Aged 45%

From The Liberty Distillery on Vancouver’s Granville Island, I was surprised to learn there is a German connection – via their copper pot stills.

Typically one doesn’t do tasting notes in quite the same way with gin… however here goes:

  • Nose – Mmmm… oh now that is a lovely enticing gin aroma – subtle juniper and a really nice interplay with the oak, refreshing…. teasing with fresh mint, citrus peel and coriander
  • Palate – Yum! The berries and botanicals really come forward together with a peppery spice, oak and a curiously compelling perfume, piquant yet sweet and savoury all at once – a surprisingly delicious combination

This is one dangerously drinkable gin that has quite a happy ‘nod’ to whisky with the cask influence. Some ‘hybrids’ simply don’t stand up, whereas this one works!

I couldn’t resist the temptation and simply had to try it with some chunks of ice and a splash of soda – delightful!

What more do we know?

Endeavour Old Tom Gin begins with our 100% organic BC triple-distilled wheat spirit. (10) traditional botanicals are slowly infused during re-distillation in our single copper pot still. The gin is then further macerated with a blend of (5) additional local and traditional botanicals before resting in 220-litre French Oak barrels for several months, to slowly gain character, complexity and colour.

What do they have to say about the gin itself?

Endeavour Old Tom is a taste of history based on records dating back to the 1850’s. It is a full-flavoured, full-bodied, mahogany-coloured gin with a rich, intense nose. On the palate there is a pronounced spicy fruitcake character with notes of juniper, mint, orange blossom and mulberry, all intertwined with the oak to produce a mouth filling assortment of enticing flavours. The finish is long, powerful, spicy and compelling. Liberty’s Old Tom will delight adventurous gin enthusiasts; Old Tom is the gin for Whiskey Lovers.


The Forager 40%

In another hybrid cross-over, we have a botanical whisky…. how did it compare with the whisky barrel-aged gin?

  • Nose – A peculiar almost perfume-like sweetness, I also get subtle notes of spruce and a hint of tea together with Juniper, sage and something else I couldn’t quite place… a curious varnish, vanilla
  • Palate – More pine, a bit salty.. whisky but not entirely whisky…
  • Finish – Nothing much, a prickly spice

Overall… not nearly so successful as the gin, I’m afraid.

What do the folks at Forty Creek have to say?

The Forager is the world’s first botanical Canadian whisky. Foraged from the Canadian wilderness, searching far and wide to respectfully and responsibly hand pick the finest natural botanicals to steep into world-class whisky. A lighter style whisky with intricate, interwoven flavours and Ultra-silky texture.

And their tasting notes?

  • Aromas – Bright citrus and light toffee, pine needles and straw
  • Flavour – Lively white pepper, flares of sandalwood and pine evolve on the palate
  • Finish – Great minerality, herbs and baking spices dominate the finish with diminishing acidity

Both interesting hybrid’s from Canada, with one clearly

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Additionally, there are the two ‘off-shoots’ with:

Remarkable Random Range of Whiskies

What does a Scottish blend from the 1950 / 60s made for a Hamburg distributor and a German malt that barely qualifies as whisky have in common? Or what does a peaty coastal single malt bottled by an Indian distillery have to do with a sophisticated complex Island dram from a much-coveted Indie bottler? And how about the price range from an affordable entry-level Island OB in GBP 20s vs another over 150?! Or sourced from an auction some 40 years after bottling vs direct from bottler within hours of going on sale, to Le Clos Dubai duty-free or available exclusively in Bangalore only… Frankly speaking, they have practically nothing in common beyond a random sweaty evening in Mumbai where they just so happened to be tasted together!

A Remarkable (Random) Range

What a remarkable – if random! – range for a brilliant evening… which was revisited another night in Mumbai with more malt experts!

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St Kilian Signature Edition ‘Nine’ 55.3%

I love being able to bring something new and different to our tasting groups in India. The delight of hunting down something that is both novel and worth the time spent considering its different dimensions. Now, a high-end mature Scottish malt and a young upstart from Deutschland cannot be compared, however, there are some very worthy experiments taking place in Europe these days! And St Kilian distillery from just outside Frankfurt is one to watch.

What did we try?

St Kilian Signature Edition “Nine” 55.3%

  • Nose – Young, malty, with a different kind of sweetness than the One and Six. Lots of pears, crunchy orchard fruits. Cinnamon candy. Flaky biscuits with cream. Quite summery in character…
  • Palate – Well, well, well… Not nearly so ‘innocent’ on the palate as the nose teased… There was still lots of candy, and cinnamon however it was joined by a healthy dose of spice, malt, bitter apple, quite warming… and was that a hint of peat? Overall we found it quite chewy and well-rounded
  • Finish – Resin, dried orange peel… a proper finish
  • Water – Don’t mind if I do! This dram easily integrates a splash of cool water – revealing more orchard fruits like peach and apricot

It could be described as contradictory. When we first opened the bottle, Krishna Nakula (Malt Maniac) called it a bit ‘funky’ with an active nose that veered on sour mash.  The kind of whisky one would prefer to have on a wet cold rainy day….

However, just a week later with the Whisky Ladies, we found it had settled down considerably. And rather than be considered a ‘cool weather’ whisky, it held its own in the summer heat. More importantly, did we like it? Absolutely yes! For some, it was a clear ‘win’ – either the favourite or jostling for that position with the peaty ‘Four‘.

This just goes to show, that different stages of oxidation, different environments, mood, and company make all the difference. Tasting progressions are also key! With the Whisky Ladies, the Nine followed the St Kilian One and Six, so our palates were pre-calibrated to something European not Scottish.

What do the folks behind this bottle have to say?

The Signature Edition Nine is an intense, fruity and creamy-sweet taste experience. The melange of exotic fruits harmonises pleasantly with the spicy warmth as well as the sweet and full-bodied flavours.

What more do we know? The cask composition is 11% Oak, 27% ex-Sauternes, 62% ex-Bourbon.

Here are the official tasting notes:

  • AUSSEHEN Leuchtender Bernstein
  • GERUCH Ein betörendes Bouquet von reifer Aprikose und saftigem Pfirsich steht im Einklang mit süßem Toffee und feiner Vanille, begleitet von floralen Noten, dezenter Ingwerschärfe, würziger Eiche sowie einem Hauch Grapefruit.
  • GESCHMACK Ein süßer und vollmundiger Start mit Pfirsich, Ananas und Grapefruit, gefolgt von cremigem Honig, Vanillepudding sowie sahnigem Toffee und getragen von einer wärmenden Eichenwürze mit Ingwer und etwas Zimt.
  • NACHKLANG Lang und cremig-warm mit Karamell und süßem Mandelgebäck, dazu etwas frisch geriebene Grapefruitschale mit einer Spur Walnuss.

A rough google supported translation:

  • Nose – A beguiling bouquet of ripe apricots and juicy peaches is in harmony with sweet toffee and fine vanilla, accompanied by floral notes, subtle ginger sharpness, spicy oak, and a hint of grapefruit.
  • Palate – A sweet and full-bodied start with peach, pineapple, and grapefruit followed by creamy honey, custard, and toffee and carried by a warming Oak spice with ginger and some cinnamon.
  • FinishLong and creamy – warm with caramel and sweet almond biscuits, with some freshly grated grapefruit zest and a hint of walnut.

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Whisky Ladies tryst with St Kilian Signature Edition One, Four, Six and Nine

Three from this particular set of St Kilian whiskies had made their way to India in late 2021 and were opened for the Bombay Malt & Cigar gents to explore… however being overall a generous lot, they decided the Whisky Ladies should also partake, so the bottles were set aside and tasted in April 2022. Naturally, I simply couldn’t resist augmenting with the German distiller’s latest Signature Edition – Nine.

What did we find?

Signature Edition ‘One’ (2016/2019) 45%

  • Nose – Sweet and smooth, cherry, fruity honey, rum and vanilla, orange, grilled pineapple, candied fruit with a slight hint of sweet spices like cinnamon
  • Palate – Subtle at first and then builds with a surprising spice. Green, fresh, and almost rye-like with capsicum, green peppercorns, a hint of dry hay with a nice bitterness. Overall quite smooth, rounded out by tropical fruits – especially pineapple
  • Finish – Short to medium finish

For some, it was almost on that ‘sickly’ sweet end of the spectrum – reminding us of a super sweet Shirley Temple cocktail! The rum influence brings a nice tropical quality. We concluded it was an easy sipper and a rather apt way to ease into our evening.

Personally, I recalled how my first impression was mixed but how much this grew on me in Germany – particularly its nice ‘warming’ quality in contrast to the cold outdoors. To discover it also adapts well to sweltering in Mumbai heat was a pleasant surprise.

Signature Edition ‘Six’ (2016/2020) 47.5%

  • Nose – Initially reaction was – yummy! A delightful rose of a sweet gulab jamun. Whilst it was incredibly sweet, warm with nice pepper spice, there were subtle additional elements like kafir lime leaf, hazelnut followed by chocolate milk
  • Palate – We could really catch the Rye in the flavors, joined by wood, sweet… Think more along the lines of a chocolate bar with red chili and cinnamon, joined by slightly bitter nuts
  • Finish – Closed with bitter chocolate, very nutty… certainly present but also a wee bit elusive or deceptive and teasing

Definitely interesting and could discern the rye influence. Worth trying, however, is it really the one to come back to? The verdict was never firmly made here.

Signature Edition ‘Four’ (2016/2020) 48%

  • Nose – Initially medical peat, it quickly settled into sweet peat and cola! There was that delicious smoked bacon, loads of hickory wood chips, nicely nutty – brazil or hazelnut? Followed by baked apple pie
  • Palate – Delicious! Tastes even better than it smells with sweet cured ham… over time tannins came forward followed by Montreal smoked meats or Canadian back-bacon drizzled in maple, beautifully oily and well-rounded, it had just a fabulous mouthfeel – as much chocolaty to the taste as the sense of melted  chocolate rolling around your mouth
  • Finish – I found a nice long cinnamon spice, others tasted a light leather with a hint of salt, and one even noted there was a bit of mustard oil!

A complete departure from the others, we absolutely loved it! No doubt this was a rather good peaty dram – enough that I’m hoping to catch their next peated edition.

As for our overall conclusion? By the end of the evening, we pronounced the St Kilian exploration worthy of our time and attention. In short, a terrific example of why we come together to explore and experience the range of what’s out there in the world of whiskies!

And what about the Nine? I haven’t forgotten about it. We tasted it after the ‘Six’ and before the ‘Four’ with the full tasting notes posted separately.

And if you are curious, you can read all about the different casks below or click the links to compare our Ladies and Gents impressions!

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Denmark’s Stauning Rye with Mezcal finish

This wasn’t my first taste of Denmark’s Stauning offerings…. a distillery in Western Denmark started by nine friends back in 2005. I believe my first sample of their Rye was before it could even officially be called whisky and the 2nd their 2nd batch of peat. So I was curious to see how they evolved over the last few years.

This particular bottle with its original artwork and distinctive name “Bastard” was what inspired the whole evening’s trio of unusual finishes. You gotta admit, with both a moniker like “Bastard” and a roaring slobbering wild beast on the bottle, one can’t help but think this will be a brash bold humdinger of a dram!

So what did we think?

Stauning Rye (2021) Mezcal Finish 46.3%

  • Nose – Caraway, rye, grassy, heather… a hint of smoke like faint smoke of sweet grass, some sour mash that then shifted into quite a strong sourdough bread, honey-sweet with slightly sour yogurt… then as it opened up further heaps of caramel, quite warming with a touch of salt, dried cherry or that Chinese dried plum that is all at the same time sweet, sour, spicy and salty! Then shifted to porridge, a bit of oak and something else which was a bit hard to pin down – perhaps this is the Mezcal element??
  • Palate – Think dark rye bread, some burnt caramel, resin, and yes – here you can find a Mezcal influence combined with sweet spices like cinnamon – a slightly curious combination with the rye
  • Finish – Wood shavings and sawdust, very bitter and long

Clearly young and a bit brash – once the aromas settled down there was a pleasant sweet sourdough on the nose. Overall an interesting experiment and talk turned to how it should pair well with cigars…. however I will admit this isn’t one I’m desperate to run out and repeat!

What do the folks at Stauning have to say about the “Bastard”?

The wind from the North Sea mixes blood with the desert of Mexico in this double-distilled rye whisky aged in old mezcal casks. An illegal love affair with a gentle and exotic aftertaste.

Stauning Bastard a rye whisky made purely of local ingredients, malted on the floor at our distillery and double-distilled in flame-heated pot stills. After three years in new, toasted virgin American oak casks, it has been rounded off with 6-months ageing in old mezcal casks from Mexican Oro de Oaxaca.

The result is an elegant love child whose equal you won’t find anywhere else in this world.

Official tasting notes:

  • Nose – Sweet tobacco smoke, raisins, oat biscuit, citrus, oak
  • Taste – Tobacco, vanilla, barley, dried fruit, cinnamon, brown sugar, molasses, shortbread, oak
  • Finish – Long sweet, slightly smoky, salty, brown sugar, pepper

Well…. I’m not sure I would describe this as an ‘elegant love child’ however would agree to the oats, oak,

So here goes an evening devoted to a curious trio of Rum, Tequila and Mezcal finishes with:

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Maison Benjamin Kuentz – Inouïe Mélodie

With Maison Benjamin Kuentz whiskies, we were introduced first to their core trio with (D’un) Verre PrintanierFin de PartieAveux Gourmands then during a trip to Paris explored their limited editions of Aux Particulares Vines 1, 4 and 5.

Next was a special treat in honour of a famous French composer – Pascal Dusapin – who is also a whisky fan…. whose music Benjamin described as stormy….  he is also known for microtonality, tension, energy and romantic constraint.

As Benjamin described it, this was a true collaboration –  a result of “four hands” at play. Where is the whisky from? Rozelieres distillery from a single cask which produced approx 600 bottles.
Inouïe Mélodie
  • Nose – Best word to describe? Stormy! Followed by fresh pine needles then a burst of juicy red berries and fruits
  • Palate – Sweet and very full, a feast in your mouth! Lots of sweet caramel counterbalanced with fresh forrest
  • Finish – Long sweet spices, bitter leaf and a hint of fruits like an echo resonating

It is aptly named! There is a delightful melody…

What more do we know? Here’s what the folks at Maison Benjamin Kuentz have to say on the back of their beautiful label….

Curious about other forays into whiskies created by Maison Benjamin Kuentz :

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Paris Nights – Michel Courveur “Candid” and Godet Osokye

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.

Tasting notes:

  • 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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Scandi Whiskies – High Coast Berg “Pedro Ximenez” 50%

Our Scandi evening had a lovely light summery dessert quality with both the delightful “appetizer” dram Isle of Lime Sangelstain from Gotland and the delicate yet entrancing High Coast Alv 46% river-inspired single malt.

For our last whisky of the evening, we turned from the river to the mountain with the “Berg” expression from the High Coast’s Origin Series. This made it the 3rd expression for me – having tried the sea-inspired High Coast Hav “Spiced Oak” and the 4th for the Whisky Ladies who also sampled their timber-inspired High Coast Timmer “Peat Smoke” two years earlier!

So what did we think of their Sherry expression?

High Coast Berg “PX” 50%

  • Colour – Bright copper
  • Nose – Sherry and how! All the butter rum raisins and nutmeg spice you would expect from a Sherry cask…. however it also had a strong almond paste aroma, toffee, Alpen Lebe cream candies
  • Palate – Spiced ginger, coffee candies (think Kopiko!), had some spunk and character, mellowed into bitter almond, as we continued to sip, rich sherry fruits emerged – raisins and dried fruits, perhaps even a hint of marmalade
  • Finish – Pink peppercorns

As delicate as the High Coast Alv expression was, this one had a wonderfully robust character that demanded attention – in a very good way! It was a terrific contrast – warming and envigorating. What we particularly appreciated is that it had some of the typical “Christmas” sherry elements but in a non-Christmasy way (ok you have to try to know what we mean!). It was somehow fresher, cleaner, and less cluttered or overwhelming the way a heavy sherry can sometimes be.

What do they have to say about High Coast Berg?

BERG – is a sherry matured whisky which has the same natural colour as the Nordingrå granite which can be seen protruding the dramatic landscape of the High Coast. The casks have previously held the flavoursome Pedro Ximénez sherry.

Origins is a series where we celebrate our heritage. We have embraced our location, history and geography and created four whiskies that reflect these aspects. The Origins quartet is released in selected Systembolaget stores as well as in the ordering range and in selected international markets. Berg is so far our most awarded whisky in international shows.

“Berg” is the swedish word for mountain, a tribute to the Nordingrå granite which can be seen protruding the dramatic landscape of the High Coast.

  • Nose: Raisins, butterscotch, orange chocolate
  • Palate: Rich vanilla sweetness, ripe pear, dried apricots, sultanas
  • Finish: Dried fruits

What more do we know? Lots! High Coast is generous in providing loads of details about their whiskies. A synopsis is that Berg is aged between 5.5 to 6.6 years, no peat, matured in first-fill Bourbon barrels and then finished in first-fill sherry casks – primarily PX – to produce 13,000 bottles, retails in Sweden for 499 SEK (approx EUR 48).

What else did we explore in our Scandi whisky evening?

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This tasting was part of the Mumbai Whisky Ladies club which you can separately follow here: Whisky Ladies of Mumbai