Waldviertler J.H. Single Malt 41% + Rye Malt 41%

Next up from Austria was a duo from Waldviertler J.H. with their 5 year Single Malt and 6 year Rye Malt.

Both come from the Austrian distillery J Haider in Roggenreith, north of the Danube river. It was founded in 1995 by the Master Distiller Johann Haider and his wife Monika Haider. While new to us, it seems the distillery has become such a tourist attraction that by 2011 it had 80,000 visitors a year (FYI double Glenlivet)

What did we think?

Valdviertler J.H. 5 year Single Malt 41%

  • Nose – Plastic, glue, why tried to say honey?? Perfume but more of an industrial, chemical variant than fine perfume, amaretto, syrupy, dusty grain
  • Palate – Raw wheat, gehu (guar gum), quite crude (one called it ‘battery acid’)
  • Finish – Unrefined

To say it didn’t hit the spot was an understatement. To be fair, this group of Whisky Ladies have little familiarity with rye. At best the Canadian know if from youthful follies of Rye and Ginger(ale).

And this Austrian Rye was decidedly young… something we would describe in hindi as ‘kaccha’ meaning it is raw or uncooked… for something that really should be prepared properly.

Yet like many of these experiments, it was interesting to try… just wouldn’t go out of our way to repeat.

Here’s briefly what the distillery has to say:

Single Malt J.H. and Dark Single Malt J.H. are made from 100% barley malt. When the malt is roasted lightly, caramel tones emerge, while dark roasting produces coffee-caramel tones.

Valdviertler J.H. 6 year Rye Malt 41%

  • Nose – Surprisingly similar to the Rye, but more honey, antisceptic, gummy adhensive, with a whiff of flowers like rajnigandha jasmine
  • Palate – Malt grain, ply or cardboard, rancio, completely ‘kaccha’
  • Finish – Holds… but why? In truth for this finish holding isn’t a good thing

What can we say without sounding discourteous… this was simply not a single malt for us. Far too raw, like hooch that touched wood.

Here’s briefly what the distillery has to say:

Rye Malt J.H. is made from 100% malted rye, light roasted(41%. alc.). 
Flavor: This rye malt whisky is unique in Euroe, its mellow sweet honey note evolving from the special malting of the rye, hamonising perfectly with the light vanilla flavor of the sessile oak (local oak).

Like Wiser’s Uuahouua Pinot Noir, you can purchase the Rye Malt from the Austrian Supermarket for approximately €62 for the 700 ml bottle.

Here’s what they have to say:

The Original Rye Whisky J.H. is the best-selling whiskey and has added much to the family’s success. Ever since 1995 the family business of family Haider has been distilling whisky at the highest stage possible, making them and their exquisite liquor an international pioneer. Family Haider started to destil Schnaps in the 1990’s using a … Alle Produkte von Waldviertler Whisky Haider

Learn more about the distillery from Whisky Intelligence’s “Milk or Whisky? Austria’s first distillery Walviertler Roggenhof”

What all did we enjoy in our Après-ski evening?

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Wieser’s Uuahouua Pinot Noir 40%

One of the fabulous things about our Whisky Ladies is their adventurous spirit and itchy feet… which means any given month a few can’t make it as they are off traversing the world.

For our group – this is a huge plus as it means bringing back little gems which otherwise could never be obtained.

Even while back-packing with minimal luggage, one of our ladies scored in Austria a few very interesting miniatures which were duly shared at our “winter” session… paying homage to European ski destinations.

What did we think?

Wieser’s Uuahouua Pinot Noir 40%

  • Nose – Very sweet with a bit of spice, oranges, buttery, then like gummy bears
  • Palate – Very winey, like a desert whisky, though still a bit raw, goes down rather well
  • Finish – Spice with a surprisingly long finish

Now this whisky might just be worth seeing where they go next. Like many European wine cask finishes, there is something unique.

While I have no idea what the 200 ml  bottle set our Whisky Lady back, it seems you can purchase a full 700 ml bottle from a supermarket in Austria – how civilized! It currently costs approximately €54 for the 7 year version.

Here’s what they have to say:

Luminous Chestnut red. Fruity and velvety like Pinot Noir. Feminine wine flavour and masculine Malt in perfect harmony. A contrast which couldn’t be greater: a high-tech distillery in a 1,000-year-old house, a joining of things traditional and modern. Markus Wieser, the grandson of the Austrian wine pioneer Josef Jamek, is a passionate master distiller of … Alle Produkte von Wieser 

What else did our backpacking marvel bring back from Austria?

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Whisky Ladies Après-ski

With December, one often thinks of winter, skiing, coming in stomping off the snow, peeling off toque, scarf, mittens and many layers, settling down in front of a roaring fire to enjoy a drink, food, great company… all the while making merry.

Our Whisky Ladies decided to embrace a decidedly northern theme of “Aprèsski” with European whiskies where one can also enjoy winter sports, even though it remains a balmy 27’c in Mumbai.

We began our evening with mulled wine made by our Swedish host and lebkuchen smuggled in from a recent trip to Germany… then quickly shifted gears to a rather remarkable line-up with a few whiskies anchoring the session with full pours and a couple of small shared samples picked up by a Whisky Lady while backpacking around Austria!

Here is what we tried:

*While matured in France using European barrels, strictly speaking the new make spirit is from Scotland… with the  most annoyingly difficult wax on the cork which required a ‘proper’ corkscrew to pop open. How peculiar! As is the whisky too…

As for the others, just click on the links and read what we thought!

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