Sunday, January 3, 2016

Starward

New World Whisky Distillery in Melbourne use the brand Starward for their whisky

It's a NAS whisky, made from australian barley, and matured in Apera casks. Apera is an australian sherrystyle wine, which I have never heard of before. The barrels have been re-toasted, and to my knowledge this isn't done with sherry casks normally

From this video it can be seen that New World Distillery is quite small and that they use stills very similar, but smaller, than a typical scottish single malt still



Starward 43%

Fruity, licorise, medicinal, children vitaminpills

This is easy drinkable and being a NAS whisky from a rather new distillery this is surprisingly "mature" in taste and easy drinkable. Probably a combination of the climate and the retoasted barrels. It reminds me a bit of Amrut. It's quite oily and fullbodied. The medicinal touch reminds me of something I sometimes also find in very old malt whisky bottlings from the 50s to 70s

The fist taste is the fruityness, this is a tasty mix of tropical and dried fruits. Then comes the medicinal-licorise part and finally the finish is medium long and very licorisy.

Rating 86/100

In cinclusion, this is a fruity complex whisky, with the only sign of it's youthness being a little alcohol burn. Easy drinking and delicious

Distill of Diageo has recently invested an undisclosed amount of money in Starward. This is their 2nd investment in a small world distillery. The first was 10£ million in danish Stauning

Thanks to David Keir for the sample

You can find the location of the distillery in my map section

Friday, December 25, 2015

Blind tasting 26 whiskies in December

This December I took part in a whisky advent calendar.

A group of 6 danish whisky entusiasts each hosted 4 days from December 1st to December 24th

The total ended up to 26 whiskies, as there was a couple of double dram days. Each whisky was tasted blind by the 5 others and our thoughts and possible guesses was posted on a danish whisky forum

Here is how the panel rated the 26 whiskyes. The score is an average of 5 peoples ratings. The score in brackets is mine. If there is no score in brackets, I was the host of the day

Blind tasting is always fun as there is no prejudice. I am pretty sure people might score whiskies different if they know the label.



1. Balvenie Tun #1401 batch 2 50.6% 90.6 (88)
2. Amrut Intermediate Sherry 57.1% 89.4
3. Laphroaig 25yo OB 2009 51% 88.6 (89)
4. Bruichladdich 3D Moine Mhor 2nd Edition 88.2 
5. Miltonduff 1987 Riegger's Selection 26/5/87-20/5/10 56.7% 88.0 (85)
6. Glenkinchie 1987 Cadenhead 18yo 55.6% 87.8
7-8. Macduff Cadenhead Small Batch 24yo 53.3% 87.6 (89)
7-8. Glen Keith Signatory 21yo 1/10/92-21/10/13 59.5% 87.6 (88)
9. Caperdonich Signatory 17yo 9/7/94-20/10/11 57.0% 82.2 (82)
10. Four Roses Small Batch Limited 2015 54.3% 87.0
11. Bunnahabhain 22yo Botled by Bladnoch 20/10/89-17/5/12 50.2% 86.8 (88)
12. Vatted Islay 1992 Norse Cask 16yo 56.7% 86.6 (87)
13. Linkwood SMWS 39.97 23yo 45.7% 86.4 (92)
14-15. Linkwood SMWS 39.108 10yo 61.7% 85.4 (84)
14-15. Girvan Berry Bros 1989-2008 46% 85.4 (82)
16-17. Yellow Spot 12yo 46% 85.2 (81)
16-17. Port Ellen 25yo Norse Cask 1983 53.6% 85.2 (83)
18. Bruichladdich 12yo 2nd Ed. 46% 85.0 (83)
19. Glenfarclas 2004-2013 Ermuri 55.8% 84.8 (84)
20. Caol Ila 1998 Feis Ile 2015 57.3% 84.6 (84)
21. Lot 40 83% 83.2 (82)
22-23. Balblair 20yo AD Rattray 30/4/90-26/5/10 59.1% 82.6 (78)
22-23. Longrow Red 11yo Fresh Port Casks 51.8% 82.6 (81)
24. Macallan OB 10yo Cask Strength 58.6% 82.0 (58)
25. Signature 75 proof (42.8%) from Goa 80.8 (81)
26. Glenglassaugh Torfa 50% 78.8 (79)

Here is some of my remarks. I was very glad I rated 39.97 92 blind as it was my whisky of the year 2014, when I rated it 90. It wouldn't have looked good if I rated it low eighties. The Macallan 10yi cask stregth split the field. 3/5 described it as smelling and/or tasting "rotten". 2 of those 3 actually found that positive or semipositive. I didn't and rated it 58 as it was one of the worst sulphured whiskies I have ever tasted. Peculair, as all the other times I have tried a Macallan OB 10yo Cask Strength, I really liked it.
The two highest scores went to India, as the Amrut Intermediate Sherry received a 94 and a 95
I was the lowest rater of the 6, as my average was 83.1. If you remove my 58 score I would still be the lowest rater. It doesn't help that I am very sensitive to sulphur. This just makes some whiskies terrible and undrinkable to me.
The highest rater had a 87.7 average

Thursday, December 24, 2015

24 Bars in Aarhus - part 24

Fermentoren Aarhus




Fermentoren is my regular. It's a craft beer bar that opened spring 2014 in Aarhus. It changed the beer scene in aarhus.

Fermentoren has 22 fast rotating taps.

Here is how one half of the blackboard looked on a random day in November


and here is a photo from 22nd December:



Fermentoren have beers from the best danish breweries on:

Fermentoren (their own brewery, made by one of the owners), Dry and Bitter (made by another of the owners), To Øl, Mikkeller, Amager and many more. A lot of the beers are from good danish breweries, but you can also find beers from other Scandinavian countries, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, UK, USA and probably more

There is also a big selection of bottled beers.

Once or twice a month Fermentoren has tap takeovers, where the focus is on one brewery (usually), but there has also been country themed tap takeovers.  

The music is my favourite playlist in Aarhus. Classic rock style. But played low volume so it doesn't interfer with chatting what-so-ever. 

Except for the blackboard lightning, all the light in bar is provided by candles. It's a cozy, rustic bar, with old wooden furnitures and old sofas. There is even an 80s style arcade machine in the corner.

Fermentoren has a small spirit selection with mainly whisky and rums, but also gin and mezcal

Here is todays photo of the whiskies


There is no food in Fermentoren, but if you ask nicely, you can usually bring some take-away in. There is an abundance of places to buy food in neighbourhood

22 taps

Fermentoren is the sister bar of the original Fermentoren in Copenhagen. Fermentoren Aarhus has a facebook page

24 Bars in Aarhus MAP

Cozy bar, great music, fantastic beers, nice knowledgeable staff and a lot of really nice regulars. What else can you ask for ?





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Wednesday, December 23, 2015

24 Bars in Aarhus - part 23

Highlanders


Highlanders is THE whisky bar in Aarhus. 


Highlanders have a big selection of whisky. Most OB's can be found. It's also SMWS partnership bar, so there is a big selection of SMWS whiskies as well. The bar also hass a particular big selection of Kavalan. Beside whiskies there is also a big selection of rums

Some of the whiskies at Highlander

Highlanders is not just whiskies, they also have a good selection of beers. There is about 13 different beers on tap


Beside the tap list there is also a huge selection of bottled beers. As there is not a lot of rotation of the beers on tap I often dig into one of the bottled beers when I visit

Highlanders often hosts whisky tastings and rum tastings. As an SMWS partnership bar there is a bimonthly casual day where members can come down and taste and buy the whiskies of the new outturn.

The food at Highlander's is pub food de luxe, and it's very good

Highlander's has a website here

24 Bars in Aarhus MAP

I recommend this place, no matter if you going for a beer or a whisky










Tuesday, December 22, 2015

24 Bars in Aarhus - part 22

Krofatter's mad- og ølbar

Krofatter's is a new beer and dapas place (danish tapas)

Er den apostrof korrekt dansk ?

There is 10 taps of beers from Syndikatet and Coisbo. It's nice to see a place that offers beers from alternative breweries 

The selection and variety of beers is good. Unfortunately 3 of the taps were off when I visited.

7 taps of Coisbo
My choice of beer was a 5th Avenue lager and later Four, a russian imperial stout. The first was good, but the latter lacked a bit of sweetness and was a bit too much on the acidic side. Not the best balanced russian imperial stout I have tried.

Beside the 10 taps, there is also a bout 30-40 bottled beers to choose from

The food is exciting and not like anywhere else, but also very expensive as the portions is very small. But Tapas is supposed to be small, I think they forgot to adjust the prices to the sizes of the portions
I would say the style of food appeals to men and the sizes of the portions appeals to women or men that isn't very hungry

Krofatter's has a website here

24 Bars of Aarhus MAP

It's unlikely I would go to eat here again, but I will probably pop in for a beer very occasionally










Monday, December 21, 2015

24 Bars in Aarhus - part 21

Cafe Albert


It's daring to open a beer place outside the city center, Nevertheless, this is what Cafe Albert did in 2015. And let me be clear, this is a great place, and not something you'd expect to find in the inner suburbs. When you enter this place the atmossphere is more like a cafe in the latin quater.


Cafe Albert has around 4 taps of beer. There is some taps from Aarhus Bryghus. Aarhus Bryghus Pislner is far better than the pislners served at 90% of the bars in Aarhus. There is usually also a tap of IPA, usually from Mikkeller

The day I visited the IPA was Amass West Coast IPA, it was delicious and very fresh

Beside the taps, Cafe Albert has a medium selection of bottled beers. The selection is very varied, and very very good. It's dominated by belgian beers and beers from the danish brewery To Øl



After the Amass IPA I had one of my favourite barrel aged beers. Rio Reserva from de Struise


Followed by a saison from To Øl. All three beers were magnificient

The interior at Cafe Albert is old style living room, very similar to Vesterlauget

The place is very cozy and relaxed and judging from the pumpkin soup I had the food is really delicious

Pumpkin, chili, koriander and serrano

I can highly recommend Cafe Albert

Cafe Albert website is HERE

24 Bars in Aarhus MAP








Sunday, December 20, 2015

Craft this and craft that

Craft beer is something.

It's good. It was a revolution against a marketing dominated choice and quality drained market

Craft distilling or craft whisky is something else. Here is a comment on the difference I made on facebook the other day

The term "craft" is inspired ("stolen" is what I really mean) from the breweries. With beers it makes sense. If you have the skills, a skilled brewer can open a small brewery and make fantastic beers the next day. If you got the skills as a whisky maker, you have a few problems that the brewer doesn't have. The term "craft" is usually associated with small producers. Beers and whisky alike. The one difference is: Craft beer is fantastic, Craft whisky is terrible (with exceptions in both catagories). Why is this so? Whisky takes time. So far craft distilleries haven't had time to proof their value. But there is another factor. Making world class whisky is also a game of chance. If you got a million barrels maturing and carefully watch them, you fnd a few of them to be brilliant in 20-30-40 years. With only a 100 casks in the warehouse your odds in that lottery is simply smaller.


Another factor is that these socalled craft distilleries are often forced to bottle their production at young age. So the term "craft whisky" is also associated with spirits that doesn't taste very good, usually for the reason of being far too young and not ready for drinking.

End of the day I do like the term "Craft Beer". It has a positive association. "Craft Whisky". or "Craft Spirits" on the other hand doesn't have the same positive association. Quite the opposite actually. But I hope one day time will prove me wrong. As Adam from LA Whiskey Society once said "There is hundreds and hundreds of small new distilleries. Some of it is bound to be good one day"

LAWS did spot one gem themselves, Charbay

You can also argue that craft beer grew on the base that the market was filled with boring tasteless massproduced beers. You can't say that about whisky. And if you do, I can argue that the independent bottlers are the place to go for the concerned whiskyentusiast