February gives us some nice news each year… new formula one, new chinesse year, new … (put what you want here) and this year, we’ve got new Asta Morris linup !
So here, on the blog, we’ve received kindly samples from Bert, the owner of Asta Morris. We’ll can explain how are these new wiskies and, of course, we are happy to do it !
For those who don’t know Asta Morris, it’s a belgian independant bottler since 2009. They have a lot af very good selections, don’t hesitate to check their web site or face book page 😉
4 Whiskies, 4 casks history
Both Glenburgie were chosen by Bert because he particularly likes this distillery. Both barrels were distilled the same day and stored next to each other.
So they are twins and it was interresting to do some finishing experience with them 🙂
These two finishes took 6 months, one in foursquare cask and the other with a Caroni cask.
Regarding the Ardmore and Caol Ila, Bert took the opposite direction because they were aged + – 2 years in bourbon casks after continuing the maturation for several years in Sherry casks.
So we could almost speak here of “pre-maturation” in bourbon casks and not a Sherry finish.
Detail concerning the last two, we are here with barrels having previously contained Sherry and not an addition of Sherry directly into the whisky … the difference is noticeable!
So… I’m thirsty now….let’s go !
Glenburgie 10 yo (Foursquare cask)
Distilled in 2008, this juice of 10 years title a small 52%, ideal to start the linup
Color: very clear whisky, straw color limit.
Nose: “pâtissier”, that’s the first adjective that comes to mind.
I do not know if it comes from the finish but the nose is rather greedy with this side brioche, vanilla.
There is a nice dose of malt of course, and a hint of citrus with lemon among others. The pineapple is not far either, this nose is rather fresh and fruity.
I also find a hint of white pepper that gives us a side tequilla (light of course)
I have a nice impression of vanilla in my nose, it probably has to come from the finish as well.
Having never tested Glenburgie “neutral” before that, I’m obviously a little lost, in any case it’s very nice
Palate: the mouth is very pleasant, full of freshness and peps with directly the cereals that come to meet us.
Tender notes of lemon and pineapple contribute to this feeling of freshness.
The final is rather supported on the cold cigarette, I’m not a smoker but I would say a Marlboro, as well as nuts with hazelnut among others.
The alcohol is really melted to the whole.
Conclusion: very nice whisky, very “pâtissier”, nice and fruity. I love and for this budget it’s really good!
Glenburgie 10 yo (Caroni cask)
color: like the brother above.
Nose: Stil “pâtissier”, can be a little less, but it’s still brioche like the previous one.
On the nose, difficult to find traces of Caroni, the barrel had to have given everything after 20 years of rental the venerable rum of Trinidad.
The lemon is still there, but I would say that it is slightly more meringue, caramelized.
A touch of smoke is also part of it, which seems very logical compared to the finish.
And of course, it stinks the grain, which seems even more logical
Palate: the attack is carried directly on pepper and cereals.
The fruity side is behind compared to the Foursquare finish, it remains present but more on the lemon.
It’s funny, the mouth is less perfumed than the nose, we’re really more about whisky with a slight menthol and herbaceous touch.
Dried fruits are also part of the nut and nut.
The alcohol is really well integrated, it has the pep and the grip and it remains pleasant.
Conclusion:a well perfumed nose for a slightly recessed mouth I would say.
I think I prefer the Foursquare finish, but it must come from my love for rum because this version Caroni is less marked.
The barrel of Barbados had more to offer to this whisky than the tired cask of Trinidad I imagine.
But for 64 €, it’s still something really good.
This whisky is 5 years old, it was distilled in 2013 for bottling in 2019 after a few years in barrels containing Sherry. It’s 56.4%
Color: already much darker, we are more on dark mahogany. It’s pretty impressive for a 5 year old juice!
Nose: Warm and pleasant, this ardmore is very pleasant and sweet.
An earthy aspect is to report, there is really a grassy side with hay and grass freshly cut. To this we can add a tip of dry Asiatic mushrooms.
The spices with nutmeg in mind certainly come from sherry and continue to give us a warm impression.
Menthol and lemon are also present and add a nice breeze of freshness to the whole.
The cold ashtray finishes this nose, relatively new to me … Yes, basically I am a fan of cane or molasses 🙂
Palate: lively but pleasant, on lemon and cold cigarette ashes.
The profile is rather dry but warm … I do not know if it means something concrete, but that’s how I see it.
Dark chocolate gives us a sweet and pleasant bitterness and a hint of smoke accompanied by leather and dried fruit.
Again, the watts are melted to the set… great !
Conclusion: waw it’s good this thing! I do not know what to add more but for 65 €, I find it very very well done.
Direction Islay and its well-known peat with this Caol Ila, 7 years old and dating from 2011.
Proudly 55.9%, this one closes this very nice linup of the evening.
Color:dark mahogany, sherry has done its work here too!
Nose: it’s really a very creamy and delicate peat that comes directly to us.
The fruits are not left with beautiful citrus well stewed, prunes and its flow of spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg as well as honey.
Camphor is there too, but behind this smoky, ashy peat. The fact is that we feel his presence without being overwhelmed. It is very delicate and elegant.
Again, alcohol is excessively well integrated.
Palate: oily, ashy and warm … pwa it’s “dirty” like trick, I love it
A nice big oily peat on the leather comes to line the palate followed by a caramelized / salty and fruity side.
The fruits are always there and bring a beautiful delicacy with this aspect well cooked, caramelized.
The whole is rather coherent and balanced, one is not submerged neither by the peat nor by the sherry.
Conclusion: good good good good good 🙂
Asta Morris still offers us beautiful things.
Being still a “new kid” in this world of malt, I have difficulty to say if it is exceptional or not.
Still, the rates seem to me quite consistent given the quality of 4 bottlings.
All I can say is that I personally bought the Caol Ila and that I had a very nice evening to dissect these 4 there.