An Irish malt, a Scottish single malt and a gin from Normandy. It could not be more diverse…
This new bottling is a vatting of four different cask finish: bourbon, sherry oloroso, madeira and port. It is a single malt (triple distilled). The nose is intense, fruity and spicy. Spiced damson plums, pears poached in port, a hint of coffee toffee and in the back, dried mango. The palate is smooth and velvety with a rich fruit character. Sultanas, touch of dates, dried mango again, orange peel, developing on a slight wood astringency and soft spices. The finish is dry and medium long with a salty feel. A dash of water releases a floral note (fading rose) and a touch of new leather. On the palate, water brings out more tropical fruit (passion fruit).
A characterful whiskey. Well balanced. The influence of sherry and madeira casks is noticeable.
Pairing: A lamb and prune tajine or a walnut and coffee cake.
The Deveron 12 Year Old – 40% (Scotland)
John Dewar& Sons has just revamped Macuff Distillery single malt. Previously known as Glen Deveron, the whisky is now called The Deveron. The distillery was built in 1960 mostly to provide whisky for blending. There was just a 10 Year Old version of the single malt on the market.
The new range includes a 12 and a 18 Year Old. The nose is light and shy. Fruity. Pear drop, touch of cider apple. A floral note of apple blossom. The palate is smooth but a little too soft. Fruit is mingled with custard. Develops on dry spices. The finish is short with an almondy aftertaste. Slightly disappointing.
Pairing: smoked salmon on blinis with sour cream.
The Deveron 18 Year Old – 40% (Scotland)
The nose is malty and fruity. Cooked apples, cereals, honey smacks with a nutty touch. The palate is smooth and nutty with a note of praline and dried fruit (raisins). It dries on a spicy edge (ginger powder). The finish is short and clean. A pleasant dram which would have benefitted to be bottled at a higher strength though.
Pairing: apple crumble and a gin from Normandy
Le Gin de Christian Drouin – Small Batch 2015 (0125/2850) – 40%
Gin seems to be the new trendy spirit. A fair number of whisky distilleries add gin to their portfolio. Here, it is a calvados distillery producing one of the best calvados from le Pays d’Auge in Normandy which launches a gin. A real première in France. Christian Drouin calvados are internationally renowned. Guillaume Drouin, Christian’s son has inherited his father’s passion and skills.
He is also passionate by all spirits. He has joined a venture to produce an excellent rum from Guadeloupe, Karukera. Le Gin de Christian Drouin is his “baby”. The originality is that the neutral spirit is produced from distilled cider. 8 botanicals have been distilled separately, they all come from the aromatic profile of calvados. That is to say all aromas that can be found in calvados: lemon, vanilla, rose, ginseng, cardamom, apple, cinnamon and almond.
And of course juniper, the 9th ingredient.
The gin is very perfumy. Ginseng and rose dominate, which gives a slight earthy note on the nose. That earthy character is even stronger on the palate with a citrussy touch. Earthy, spicy but the juniper and the expected apple touch are too much in the back. This gin would be interesting in cocktails.
For me, it is too assertive to be enjoyed neat or as a G & T. I am sure that with the right adjustment of the botanicals, this work in progress will provide an excellent complement to the calvados.
Gin photo: Christian Drouin