Wednesday 19 February 2014

Tasted #64: Belgrove Distillery "Oats"

Late last year the kind folks from Melbourne's excellent Whisky bar Whisky + Alement sent me a sample of a very unusual whisky, which they'd picked up from their visit to Tasmania's Belgrove Distillery. We've featured the distillery on this blog previously, and commented on how owner/distillery Peter Bignell is doing some pretty interesting things down there. A perfect example of which is this "Oats" or "Four Grain" sample.

The sample arrived without much in the way of detail, but W+A sent me Peter's e-mail address and Peter quickly responded with everything I wanted to know and more. In a nutshell, the whisky is an experimental release (love 'em!) and is made up of about 65% oats, milled with the husks retained. The remainder is made up of 10% rye, 10% wheat and 15% malted barley.

The whisky's ABV sits at around 57.5% and was aged in a 50L American oak cask (4th refill, no re-charring or re-finishing) for 18 months.

Interesting, to say the least.

Belgrove "Oats" / "Four Grain" (~57.5% ABV, NAS, Tasmania Australia, not for sale - experimental sample only)

Colour: Pale straw.

Nose: Young, but rich and fruity. Fruity like a lolly shop actually. Also hints of breakfast oats/porridge. Pretty complex really.

Palate: Rich and oily - quickly coats the mouth. Smooth throughout, it has strong taste of oatmeal (funny that). None of the fruitiness seems to carry through from the nose.

Finish: Short to medium, with oatmeal / shortcake notes at the end.

Rating (on my very non-scientific scale): 89/100. Reminds me a little of Balcones Baby Blue (another young whisky). Unusual, but enjoyable.

No word yet on if we'll see this as an actual Belgrove release, but I think it'd be safe to say that Peter won't stop experimenting (which is a bloody good thing!)

 - Martin.

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