Weather capers or not, especially in the colder season it may snow with pleasure exciting whiskies in my glasses. And according to the old soccer wisdom “After the game is before the game” the joy of searching and finding new distilling material never ends. Therefore, I present here briefly four whiskies that have festive-fluffy just in my house bar high operation. Spirits are a bit like fragrances: You like to have something for every occasion. Rather smooth, rather crisp, but rather dense and heavy or surprisingly filigree. And when even wine barrels are involved, the glass festival can really begin, can’t it?
Always follow your nose: With whisky, the taste buds can go on a wonderful adventure. Image: @ whisky_munich
Craigellachie-distillery is located in Banffshire, in the heart of the Speyside region of Scotland, between Rothes and Dufftown. The Gaelic word “Craigellachie” means “rocky hill” and therefore the whiskey has its name. The distillery stands alone on the rock of Craigellachie (the craggy rock on which the village stands), overlooking the confluence of the rivers Fiddich and Spey in the heart of Speyside.
Sounds a bit like the novel template for a kind of Harry Potter thriller – and similarly exciting you read on, if you take your time and immerse yourself in the Craigellachie 13 Years. With about 45 euros admittedly already at the upper limit for beginners, this single malt Scotch but is definitely something for the curious who have the first few whiskey school lessons already behind them.
Comes with slightly rough, smoky greetings but smooth heart from the Speyside region: the Craigellachie 13.
First there is a classroom of tangerines, apples, apricots, caramel and fine toasted notes on the nose. These scent marks of tangerine and fig are then directly on the tongue, it remains unexciting fruity, before a pinch of smoke enters the classroom. But not strict, but unexciting entertaining. May not be immediately apparent – you know from some school topics – but if you get involved, it goes on a pithy journey.
Craigellachie 13, Price: around 45 Euros, for example via hawesko.de
Aureum 5 Years Grave Digger Edition, Brennerei Ziegler
The casket of this whiskey collector’s item Made in Germany lives up to the name of the band “Grave Digger”. But don’t worry, the contents are suitably lively. The idea to create a whisky for the German heavy metal combo came from Axel Ritt, the band’s guitarist. After several tastings, the team of distillers at the Ziegler distillery had not only inhaled to the sound of the band, but also knocked a whiskey into the barrel that convinced both sides.
The sleeve makes reference to the band Grave Digger. The content of the Aureum 1865 6 Years, on the other hand, is quite lively and very smooth.
Brief facts about the unusual spirit soundtrack: this is a 6-year-old single malt whisky that was aged in both new Allier oak casks and new chestnut casks in the first year. After that, this whisky was put to sleep for 5 years in ex-bourbon casks. In addition, there is the single malt, which matured for 6 years in sherry casks from Gonzalez Byass and a small proportion of peated whiskey from ex-bourbon casks.
Also smooth as everything that the distillery Ziegler distills: the bottle of Aureum 1865 whiskey.
Sounds like a lot of action. There is, and although this is now really so not my music world, I like to listen to a glass in between, because the Aureum 1865 Grave Digger is really very pleasantly balanced. It’s as if flavors of vanilla, cookie, sherry, oak, fruity dried fruit, and light smoke are laid down on a drum kit and knocked through. Really elegantly done, and really exciting even for non-metal fans. If they can still put a disc of it on the shelf – because the bottle tour is already sold out in many places.
Aureum 1865 Whisky Grave Digger, Price around 60 euros, currently unfortunately sold out. More about the distillery at brennerei-ziegler.de
Aberfeldy 15 Finished in Cabernet Sauvignon Wine Casks from Napa Valley
The Aberfeldy distillery is known for its sweet and mild whiskies. The classic, which is highly recommended for beginners, I have already presented to you here in the blog article individually. With this bottle flirt, however, we go a few floors higher on the shelf. Aberfeldy continues the limited French Wine Cask Finish series with this new limited edition. The highlight: The Aberfeldy whiskies mature in former wine casks from the best wine-growing regions of the world – for France there were editions with casks from Côte-Rôtie, Pauillac, Bordeaux and Pomerol, Bordeaux. There my wine quirk heart beats directly higher. Because, of course, the flavors that the barrels pass on have a flavorful effect on the whiskey. And so different that you can taste it intensively even as a beginner.
Matured in Napa Valley wine casks, Aberfeldy 15 is part of the new Aberfeldy Finished in Wine Cask series. This was already available with casks from the best wine regions of France.
The 15-year-old Aberfeldy Whisky matured first in refilled and reconditioned bourbon casks and then received a finish in Cabernet Sauvignon wine casks from the Napa Valley, the wine-growing region in California. I’m a big fan of the wines from there, the Pinot Noirs and Cabernets in particular make me really curious. Bit of elegant O.C California vibes – but I digress.
The finish in these former Cabernet Sauvignon wine barrels from Napa Valley gives the whiskey even more complexity and wraps the fruity notes of Aberfeldy in an even finer dress code. This then smells somewhere between floral and raspberry jam, between cinnamon, blackberries and ground coffee, notes of honey mingle with a blanket of fine red fruits. Whereby one has there felt even more flavors in front of the eyes – depending on what you have also tasted as a wine connoisseur. The mix of sweetem whiskey with a neat character strength and the unusual aroma suit of wine is so exciting that you can fill evenings and conversations with it. Complex yes, but with real discovery mood guarantee.
Aberfeldy 15 Finished in Napa Valley Cask, Price: around 60 Euro, for example via whisky.de
Aberfeldy 18 Finished in Tuscan Wine Casks from Bolgheri
The name Supertuscan or Supertoscan refers to a category of Tuscan red wines produced mainly from the French varieties Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Syrah, always aging in small French oak barrels. One of the small areas where this wine champions league comes from is Bolgheri. And that extra pinch of Dolce Vita Deluxe in the glass brings the finish in in Tuscan red wine casks from this region to the whisky. I can only recommend that you get both editions and taste and discover the differences live and preferably in a large group.
This is where my two quirks come together: Whisky refined in fine wine casks: the Aberfeldy collection relies on casks from the best wine-growing regions in California, Italy and France.
The 18-year-old Aberfeldy (here again a plus of three years on the Napa Valley wine whisky) also matured first in refilled and reconditioned bourbon barrels before it went to the barrel tailor. In this edition, the sweetly elegant whisky flirts with approximations of vanilla and pastry, there’s everything from Black Forest cherry to almond cookies, but at the same time there’s also a fine freshness reminiscent of green peppers or limes – and the classy wood note in the background familiar from the wine. Simply very exciting made, you have to get involved and for beginners probably a bit overwhelming at first – but perfect if you want to make in a small group among like-minded curious times on an unusual whiskey journey from Scotland to Italy – or California.
Aberfeldy 18 Finished in Bolgheri Cask, Price: around 100 Euros, for example via whisky.de