I can’t believe almost two weeks passed without me managing to post something, so here’s a blast from the past: fun times with Jules at Whisky Krüger last year!
If you’re just here for the tastings/reviews, skip this part and go straight to the bottom of this longish post!
By coincident I ended up being invited to a tasting hosted by Thomas Krüger in the newly opened Whiskymuseum and Shop in Holzbunge which is in Germany in the middle of nowhere but close-ish (1,5 hours) to Hamburg. Because Jule’s company is involved business-wise with Krüger (no not whisky related) he was invited and in turn asked me if I wanted to join him. In case you don’t know – and why would you? – Mr Krüger is one of the minds behind, and owner of, http://www.whiskyauction.com as well as some other lesser known whisky-related businesses.
After some initial words and a short film about the making of whisky, Mr Krüger showed us around in the museum a little bit. As he’s been into whisky and the whisky-business for quite some time now, there were some interesting story as well as very (!) interesting bottles. I uploaded some here.
Unfortunately, I didn’t take more pictures because I thought we’d have time to stroll the museum later on but sadly we didn’t. The most interesting thing was a method of checking whether or not a bottle is fake by using a laser. That was pretty interesting and it included lasers. There was also a wee bit of drinking later, and since I don’t know anything about lasers but the fact that they are pretty cool by definition, I only remember that it had to do with how different parts within the bottle were put in motion or something as well as a – to be created – database of original bottles and how their parts move. Send them a mail, they seemed to enjoy talking about it and were much more into lasers (and all that physics stuff behind it) then yours truly. You could tell the guy was a real scientist as he didn’t enjoy my laser sword jokes as much as he should have. Or maybe that was because I also don’t know much about laser swords (and the real science behind ’em) other than that they are cool.
Before the tasting, everyone was introduced and some business talk was held. Anyway. As for the tasting, Krüger introduced some of his own bottlings to us. These are not available online or via auction but can only be bought at his and a couple of other stores. As is part of the business-philosophy behind the bottlings. Keep it small so that you can keep the quality up. Even though he doesn’t state it on the bottles all of his bottlings are NCF and without coloring.
We got to taste some new make from Tullibardine as well as different Glentauchers bottled for Krog Whisky, Krüger’s whisky brand. After the third sample their pastry chefs paired the expressions with different foods. The first conewhis – as they call it – were two Vanilla puddings prepared with two different strains of vanilla – one from New Guinea and one from Madagascar – the rest of the recipes were absolutely identical. It was a nice experience to taste the big difference in taste as well as texture turned out by just two different vanilla strains.
After the new make, the eight year old and the two sister casks of nine years, we had a fourth Glentauchers with the said pudding and then some Cask strength Glentauchers paired with hazelnut/chocolate pudding which was also a very nice and interesting combination.
I didn’t take notes after the point where the food was introduced to really focus on the experience and not to be distracted by thinking about what to write down. And, since the tasting and all conversation was held in German but I tend to write my notes in English that got really confusing at one point so I skipped notes for the fourth Glentauchers and the CS.
The tasting was finished with a peated Ardmore also bottled for Krog which was paired with some Mettwurst breads, which worked quite nice and reminded me that I have an Ardmore sample somewhere which I should try at some point as I enjoyed the expression they served.
The highlight of night was a 36 year old Glenglassaugh distilled in 1978 and bottled for the 20th Anniversary of WhiskyAuction, I’ll make an extra post for that in the coming days. And, of course I had to take notes on that one hence we had some coffee and a lot of water before that beauty!
But here are the others of that night first:
Krog Whisky | Spirit (Tullibardine) | 3 years hence spirit | 46% |
Nose: Very fruity, most prominently pears, really reminded me of Obstler, also some leather,
Taste: Malt, quite creamy, very spirity, malty sweetness, peaches, a bit salty at the transition to the
Finish: Salty, surprisingly long, dominated by sweet malt and some fruity peary notes.
More an “Obstbrand” then whisky but the core maltiness nicely showed what this will be once the oak worked its magic.
OK, the following are all different Glentauchers bottled in 2006, they all are 46% and all but No 1 are 9 years old, the initial one is 8 years old, but they all come from different casks.
Krog Whisky | No 1 (Glentauchers) | Bottled 2006; 8 Years old | 46% | Sherry Cask | NCF / CA
Nose: sweet malt, fruity, peach, some sherry influence but rather dimmed,
Taste: malty entry, fruits like sugared peaches, honey, some minor salty abv bites, hints of hazelnuts and to an even lesser degree chocolate
Finish: the malt just slowly fades and turns a bit dry at the end, sweet and in line with the taste
Score: 79/100 Just not my type of Scotch
Krog Whisky | No 2 (Glentauchers) | Bottled 2006; 9 Years old | 46% | Sherry Cask (sister cask to No 3) | NCF / CA
Nose: Mild artificial fruits, sweet, peaches, nuts like pine, honey,
Taste: Velvety or creamy mouthfeel, pears, peaches, nuts, a bit spirity – this tastes a lot younger than it is
Finish: Long but mild, salty, creamy mouthfeel, a bit of chocolate, some wood at the end
Score: 78/100 C?
Krog Whisky | No 3 (Glentauchers) | Bottled 2006; 9 Years old | 46% | Sherry Cask (sister cask to No 2) | NCF / CA
Nose: Stronger and more intense then the No 2, more dark fruits but still lots of artificial fruits, peaches, the nose is like No 2 but with way more Sherry influence, interesting that these are two cask which laid next to each other with the same spirit for the same amount of time!
Taste: Nuts, artificial fruits, chocolate cream, honey some salty bits but also a bit spirity for its age and not to my liking
Finish: pretty similar if not identical to 2
For me this is in the C range because I’m no fan at all of this style of malt whisky, I guess if you like this style you’d rate it much higher, so please keep that in mind! I liked the 3 a bit more than the 2 so
Conclusion: Ok, as you’ve probably recognized by now this is the opposite of my prey pattern, hence the low scores but keep in mind that these are my thoughts about these drams, I’m pretty sure that one into this kind of malts would’ve rated them higher and could’ve probably savored and highlighted the differences between the casks more. Nevertheless these were all crafted very well and you could feel the passion Mr Krüger put into his bottlings when you listen to him talk about them or whisky in general. Otherwise I would’ve probably scored them lower but the afternoon was very enjoyable and I recommend a visit to the Cafè and the Museum as one could feel the love and the passion in every detail and some of the bottles are quite breathtaking. Also Mr Krüger was a very friendly, open and of course knowledgable host who also told lots of stories. My favorite one was how the friendship between him and a well-known whisky figure ended because said gentleman scored a certain Swedish whisky very high only because of the good looking PR manager…that was my favorite story, my favorite part was that we all got – as much as we wanted! – of the 1978 Glenglassaugh bottled 2014! I had three and went home smiling. I’ll post the review soon