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,
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…
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.
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!
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.
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.
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?
To 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.