Celebrating 30+ European whiskies!

In the grand scheme of things, trying 30 whiskies is no big deal.

But when you live in India and those happen to be European whiskies… it is an accomplishment!

Let’s face it, exploring the world of whiskies behind a crazy custom’s “curtain” that restricts access not just bringing into India but state by state… means relying on individuals making an effort to source directly from far-flung lands rather than simply strolling over to a corner liquor store.

Hence it is indeed a celebration – with thanks – to share a summary of European samples! Now… just providing a list alone isn’t fun.. so with each, I’ve shared a fleeting impression so you can see what might peak your interest to read more…

European Whiskies  

Many of the Nordic whiskies came compliments of 

The Europe page is continuously updated as we explore more whiskies, so feel free to check back anytime to read of more!

PS – Anyone spot the ‘malted spirit’ rather than proper whisky??

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Nordic Explorers – What a journey!

Over the past few months, a fellow whisky lady and I have slowly been working our way through a delightful dozen 20 ml bottles representing five Nordic countries and seven distilleries.

There were some highlights and lowlights and it was a fascinating tasting travel. For those who missed the individual posts, I thought I would share a short synopsis of our Nordic journey…

Sweden - Smogen + Box

Denmark

Finland

Iceland

Norway

Sweden

Nordic Whisky Set

*** Thank you again 

Now… to fill these bottles back up and return the favour. What shall we chose for Thomas to try??

PS These are not the only Nordic whiskies we’ve sampled… Check out the Europe page.

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Nordic Explorer #12 – Denmark’s Stauning Peated 2nd Edition

Last in our Nordic Explorer‘s session was another whisky from Denmark’s Stauning Distillery.

Photo: Stauning Website - note for 1st not 2nd edition

Photo: Stauning Website – 1st not 2nd edition

Stauning Peated 4 year (2009/2013) 55% 2nd Edition

  • Nose – Peat yet with a minimalist quality, woody, muted
  • Palate – More like a touch or sensation of peat than forceful, smooth and doesn’t burn, slight hint of sweet
  • Finish – Nice pleasant finish

A definite step up from the rye, the Staining Peated has an overall restrained quality.

Here are the folks at Stauning have to say:

  • Colour – Light straw colored
  • Aroma – Delicate smoke, Grain, chocolate
  • Palate – Smoked chocolate bar, nougat, light molasses
  • Finish – Long, smoke, oak, vanilla, butterscotch

Stauning Peated is made of malted barley, gaining its smoky characteristics from drying the malted barley with peat smoke from peat excavated by Klosterlund Museum. It is then matured in first-fill ex-bourbon casks from the bourbon distillery Makers Mark.

*** Whiskies courtesy of 

For more information, do read Thomas’ posts on Whisky Saga. Specifically:

A fascinating journey so far with our Nordic whisky experiences:

  1. Smögen Single Cask 7/2011 4 year old 57.3%
  2. Smögen Sherry Project 1:4 57.2%
  3. Box Whisky The Festival 2015 54.5%
  4. Shareholders 2016 52%
  5. Mackmyra Preludium:01 – De Första Dropparna, 3 year 55.6%
  6. Mackmyra 8 YO Dram Good Whisky 54.4%
  7. Mackmyra Bachair 3 YO Private Cask
  8. Audny Series 3 4 year 46%
  9. Flóki Young Malt 1st Edition 47%
  10. Teerenpeli Kaski Distiller’s Choice 43%
  11. Stauning Young Rye (2010/2011 – Oct 2012) 49.3% Batch 5
  12. Stauning Peated 4 year (2009/2013) 55% 2nd Edition (this post)

With this, our Nordic whisky adventures are now officially over… Thank you again Thomas for a wonderful trip! We never would have otherwise had an opportunity to try such a range of drams from Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden and even Iceland!

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Nordic Explorers #11 – Denmark’s Stauning Young Rye 2010/2011

Next up in our Nordic Explorer‘s session was a whisky from Denmark’s Stauning distillery.

Stauning was founded in 2005 by nine whisky enthusiasts in western Denmark with a dram to make a Danish dram that uses locally sourced grain, locally malted and, where relevant, using Danish peat.  Encouraged by a meeting with Jim Murray and his positive reviews of their early results, the team bought a farm near Staining and built new premises in 2009.

Stauning Young Rye (2010/2011 – Oct 2012) Batch 5 49.3% 

  • Nose – Inoffensive yet still veering more in the harsh nose cleanser territory, clearly rye, raw yet more muted than the rawness of the Floki, some spice sharpness, a dusty dry sawdust dimension, then became sweeter with overripe melon and honey
  • Palate – Grain rye, smooth and doesn’t burn with a hint of apricot
  • Finish – Normally a finish that stays is a good thing… in this case not so much

Perhaps it is just that my Nordic whisky lady companion and I are simply not partial to rye whiskies or perhaps it was just that after the fabulous Teerenpeli Kaski, the Stauning Young Rye didn’t even come close to measuring up.

It reminded both of us of the slightly peculiar grain experiments we recently tried from AD Laws – Triticum and Hordeum. Neither were to our taste. Perhaps a rye fan would find other elements we missed… That’s all part of the range of whiskies that appeal to different palates and preferences.

Here are the folks at Stauning have to say:

  • Colour – amber, dark
  • Aroma – Rye, fruit, cinnamon
  • Taste – Rye, apple, apricot
  • Finish – Very long, cinnamon, oak, raisin, chocolate

Stauning Rye takes an usual approach in using a large proportion malted rye, then matured in new white oak barrels.

*** Whiskies courtesy of 

For more information, do read Thomas’ posts on Whisky Saga. Specifically:

A fascinating journey so far with our Nordic whisky experiences:

  1. Smögen Single Cask 7/2011 4 year old 57.3%
  2. Smögen Sherry Project 1:4 57.2%
  3. Box Whisky The Festival 2015 54.5%
  4. Shareholders 2016 52%
  5. Mackmyra Preludium:01 – De Första Dropparna, 3 year 55.6%
  6. Mackmyra 8 YO Dram Good Whisky 54.4%
  7. Mackmyra Bachair 3 YO Private Cask
  8. Audny Series 3 4 year 46%
  9. Flóki Young Malt 1st Edition 47%
  10. Teerenpeli Kaski Distiller’s Choice 43%
  11. Stauning Young Rye (2010/2011 – Oct 2012) 49.3% Batch 5 (this post)
  12. Stauning Peated 4 year (2009/2013) 55% 2nd Edition (coming next)

With only one more to go, our Nordic whisky adventures are nearly over…

You can also find Whisky Lady in India on:

Nordic Whiskies – Explorer’s Edition

Once upon a time there was a Swedish lass who wandered her way to India…

She came upon a gal from the Canadian prairies

Who just so happened to have a penchant for whiskies

Which became a shared passion

And their forays into further malty discoveries commenced…

Along the way, the Swedish lass decided it was high time to check out what her erstwhile home and native land could produce. Hence the distinctive Mackmyra Svensk Rök made its way to the Whisky Ladies of Mumbai.

However it merely whetted their appetites for more… Yet how to quench this thirst for Nordic whiskies in merry Mumbai?

20160713-NordicWhiskyTo their rescue came a kind gentleman with a collection of Nordic whiskies – vast and wide! He hand-picked a special ‘Nordic explorers edition‘ of remarkable whisky samples.

This care package wound its way first from Norway to Sweden then on to India… the precious cargo revealed a goodie pack of whiskies… and the lasses could not contain their excitement at receiving such bounty!

Coming soon will be tales of Nordic tastings… a delightful dozen representing five countries and seven brands.

Denmark

Finland

Iceland

Norway

Sweden

Nordic Whisky Set

Stay tuned for notes on our Nordic whisky experiences coming soon!

*** Whiskies courtesy of 

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European Tour – Braunstein Danica 42%

After the fabulous Finnish whisky, what next did we have in our Whisky Ladies European tour? Another Nordic whisky of course!!

And what does a passion for fly fishing and whisky have in common? Brothers Claus and Michael Braunstein from Denmark!

The Braunstein boys founded Braunstein distillery in 2002 to produce vodka, gin, snaps, liqueurs and bitters, rum and finally whisky. PS they also brew beer too!

They see themselves as ‘Danish whisky pioneers‘ and initially focused on launching a series of limited ‘editions’ (Library Collection) then cask strength playing with maturing in a range of casks from ex Calvados to Sauternes to Cognac to Rum and more! In 2014 they launched their ‘travel retail’ editions with an unpeated Danica (what we sampled) and Danica peated.

And how did we end up with this Danica? “It was the ONLY Danish whisky in Copenhagen international airport!”

Danica Whisky

Braunstein Danica NAS 42% (Unpeated)

  • Nose – Quite fresh, sweet, almost perfume, apricots, green apples, fruity nectar, sunshine in a bottle
  • Palate – More body than expected from the nose, lots of barley initially, fruity, pear, a bit chewy, yeasty, a little anise… as it continued to evolve more dates, raisins and dried fruit, some orange peel
  • Finish – Chocolatey goodness

Several ladies remarked how it tastes even better than it smelt. Others felt the opposite. Quite clear it had primarily bourbon influences then sherry peaked out more on the palate and finish.

However by the end of sipping, discussing and dissecting… for most it fell into the category of ‘nothing at all wrong but nothing fabulously right either’ whereas others found this Danish whisky simply delightful!

And that is the challenge… when your evening begins with something that really captured our collective Whisky Ladies attention (Teerenpeli 10 year), the Danica didn’t quite make a mark for all.

Perhaps the peated version would have had more oomph? Or perhaps one of their cask strength expressions would have tickled more ladies fancy? Or perhaps simply on its own, it would shine brighter…

None regretted the opportunity to sample however few returned to the Danica as their tipple of choice. In fairness, this is but the beginning of Danica’s journey and an early NAS travel retail offering… who knows what will be revealed in future with age statement expressions or further editions…

What do the folks at Braunstein have to say? Here’s what they shared on the bottle:

A great whisky for whisky lovers with a sweet tooth. The non-smoked whisky has matured in a selection of finest small and big casks. 

A smooth and complex whisky that caresses the palate with notes of chocolate and loads of dried fruits.

Well… small and big casks doesn’t tell us a whole heck of a lot! On the back of the bottle it then revealed “Sherry & Bourbon” casks with the batch number mysteriously empty.

2016-06-28 Danica

Here’s what others have to say about Braunstein’s Danica whisky:

Other whiskies sampled during our European tour included:

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Whisky Ladies European Tour – Teerenpeli, Danica, Kornog + Slyrs

In the wake of the Brexit vote, the Whisky Ladies of Mumbai decided to go on a European whisky tour featuring:

2016-06-28 European Tour

The Teerenpeli Finnish whisky was a recent acquisition from my trip to London – recommended by the folks over at the Whisky Exchange and a rather fine addition to our evening.

The Brauntstein Danica‘s was snagged as the only Danish whisky available at Copenhagen airport!

The Kornog from France has been eagerly awaited! Special request ordered by one of our whisky lady’s prompted by my curiosity after sampling a cask strength version.

A complete bonus on announcing June’s theme was the addition of a 4th European whisky from Bavaria, Germany. I mean, who else in Mumbai other than a “Whisky Lady” just so happens to have a bottle of Slyrs 51 sitting in their whisky cabinet??

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