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Tuesday Tasting

Got the chance to meet up with Keith from Germain Robin today and taste some of their newer products.  I'm always impressed with the boutique stuff they are doing and this occasion was no different.  On the table today was their new wheat whiskey that was distilled on a small Cognac pot still.  One word: delicious!  And that's coming from a person who thinks white whiskey is more marketing ploy than enjoyable beverage. Germain Robin, however, isn't trying to pay the bills while they wait for their booze to age - they already have a strong supply of brandy and other amazing liqueurs to do that for them.  The whiskey is simply a new adventure from Crispin Cain and they do plan on aging it.  A 2014 bottling release is already in the works.  On top of that, they are working on a "barrel it yourself" program where you can buy a case of their Low Gap and a 10 liter barrel for around $500.  This 100% Bavarian wheat spirit is fantastic now, but does that mean that it will be fantastic later?  I'm not sure if those things translate over, but I'm curious to find out.  The nose is all stone fruit and wheat crackers and the palate just gives you more.  Their spirits are always so delicate and elegant, and this Low Gap is no different. 

Also tasted their new Mezcalero - distilled in Oaxaca by Ansley Coale.  Maybe the best mezcal I've ever had.  It's so vibrant, smoky, fruity, but restrained and balanced.  The finish is a mouthful of every element working in perfect unison.  The Port Ellen of mezcal, in a world full of Ardbeg, Caol Ila, and Laphroaig archetypes.  At $69.99 it comes in a bit less than the Del Maguey bottlings, so not inexpensive but not over the top.  I can't wait to put this in peoples' hands.

Speaking of Port Ellen, I'm really getting into a mothballed distillery phase - which is scary because it's expensive.  Luckily I was able to score one of the Cheiftain's Port Ellen 25 Year bottles, which I absolutely treasure and like far more than the 1979 distillery-bottled 30 year at cask strength.  Rosebank 19 is next on my list and I'm trying to find a nice Brora (the old Clynelish distillery) to take home as well.  I've been looking into some new "old and rare" purchases as well so that we can offer more options to customers.  Littlemill, North Port, Ladyburn, and Banff are also on my list.  Many of these I'm sure are pricier than currently available malts, and probably not as good as many of them, but it's all about the romanticism for me.  The idea of it is what drives me to spend!  That's probably not good for my finances.

-David Driscoll

Reader Comments (6)

David - careful with the Chieftain's Broras. I've picked up two in the UK over the past decade or so, both way oversherried. Almost undrinkable. The official Rare Malts bottlings I've tried have been sensational, though now far too expensive.

November 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEthan Prater

I've heard that as well. I would never go deep without trying them, so we should be getting samples before any decisions are made. Have you ever had the Signatory bottlings?

November 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDavid

The first Rare Malts bottling of Brora - which I paid the then-astonishing sum of $100 for - was an early sublime whisky experience for me. So I have a special place in my heart for the distillery. I bought one Signatory bottling, a 28yo, if I recall correctly - from D&M around 2001. Was not bad, nor was it distinctive in any way. I don't think I've had a Signatory Brora since.

November 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEthan Prater

I have had the Signatory Cask Strength Collection Brora that was phenomenal - but a phenomenal price tag goes along with it unfortunately.

November 30, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterchris

Chris, was that the most recent one with the wider bottle in the silver tin?

December 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDavid

David, I will have to check the label to get the specifics of the one I had - it is sitting at a friend's house. There are several releases of Brora under the Cask Strength Collection and you can't tell which one is which without reading the details on the label. It is the wide bottle, silver tin Signatory though.

December 1, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterchris

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