Sunday, 1 December 2013


Gjoleid is a Norwegian malt whisky from Arcus at Gjelleråsen. The malt is made from barley and wheat, which makes the whisky a malt whisky according to EU regulations, but not according to Scottish rules.

The malt consists of pale barley, pale wheat and beech wood smoked barley. The wart is fermented for ten days using Safwhisky M-1 dry yeast. The heart of the distillate is distilled to 73.5 % abv.

I tested two bottles – one matured in a first fill bourbon barrel, and the other matured in an Oloroso sherry butt. Both casks are made of American Oak. The casks were filled with identical distillate, and stored at 18°C for three and a half years. The bottles were bottle 280 of 448 from bourbon barrel (200 litres) number 9359, and bottle 1031 of 1221 from sherry butt (500 litres) number 9305. The whisky was bottled at 47 % abv. in 50 cl bottles.

The bourbon matured whisky has a golden colour. The whisky is fruity with a lot of vanilla and coco. The fruity flavour is dominated by apple cider, but some peach comes through. For a whisky of this young age the expected new make character is surprisingly absent. The active first fill bourbon barrel has done a good job removing the unpleasant flavours and reducing the influence of the smoky malt. The whisky is fairly light with a dry aftertaste.

The sherry matured whisky has an amber colour. The new make and smoky character is more pronounced than in the bourbon matured whisky. It’s a bit meaty and feinty. The whisky is spicy with cinnamon and ginger. The dried fruit comes through with raisins and prunes. The whisky is light with a less dry aftertaste than its twin.

A comparison of the two whiskies shows the different influence of the Oloroso cask and the bourbon cask. The small more heavily charred bourbon cask is more active removing the immature and smoky character of the new make. The Oloroso cask is masking the fruity flavour contributing with the spicy and dried fruit character. The bourbon cask is contributing vanilla and coco.

My favourite is definitely the bourbon matured whisky. It’s absolutely drinkable at this young age. The sherry matured whisky needs some more years in the cask.

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Norwegian champion in nosing and whisky knowledge

I am very pleased with the Oslo whisky festival this weekend. Chris Maile has done a fabulous job for the tenth time in a row. I am also very pleased winning the Norwegian championship in “Nosing and whisky knowledge”. The day turned out to include a lot of nosing and only a modest amount of drinking. I celebrated the victory with an Ardbeg Uigeadail at the restaurant Mister India, which has resurrected in new surroundings. Mister India has gone from great the greater. Mister India has an interesting whisky menu, which distinguishes itself from the mainstream restaurant. Eleven malts, including the mentioned Uigeadail, and the blend Ballantines 17 years old. They shall have credit for their gambling on Scotch. For me the prize is waiting – a trip to Orkney and Highland Park in early June 2014 together with the national champions of Sweden, Finland, Denmark and The Netherlands. The trip will be arranged by Senior Brand Ambassador Martin Markvardsen. I look forward to the trip. If you should be in Oslo, and like Indian food and whisky, try Mister India. Sláinte.

Saturday, 4 May 2013


This evening's vertical tasting was between the Glenfarclas 15, 21, 25 and 40 years old whiskies. The four whiskies are in many ways fairly similar, but also fairly different.
I must admit that Glenfarclas is not my favourite whisky, but among the four candidates I would prefer the 21 years old.The 15 years old is not to my tasting.
But if you like a light sherried, fruity, floral and butterscotch whisky, Glenfarclas is a good choice.

Glenfarclas 15Y
Glenfarclas 21Y
Glenfarclas 25Y
Glenfarclas 40Y
46 %
43 %
43 %
46 %
Gold (1)
Amber (3)
Dark gold (2)
Dark amber (4)
Light smoky
Lightest (1)
Lightest (1)
Distinct (3)
Distinct (4)
First impression
Decay, butterscotch
Tropical fruit
Linoleum, dried fruit
Light fruity, peach
Tropical fruit
Fruity, light peach
Dried fruit, prunes, raisins
Light floral
Vanilla, light spice
Tobacco, leather, spice, furniture polish
Salt, wood
Dry, tannins


Monday, 1 April 2013

Kilchoman sherry cask

Easter, and time to taste the Kilchoman sherry cask release that I bought last time I visited the distillery in April 2012. It’s a four and a half year old whisky matured in a first fill oloroso sherry butt from Miguel Martin in Spain. The whisky is bottled non-chill filtered at 46 %.
The whisky has a deep gold natural colour. Combined with the young age, the colour indicates an active cask, what you can expect from a first fill sherry butt.
The whisky is light fruity, spicy and smoky with a vanilla background on the nose, but to some extent it's masked by immaturity in the form of decay and rotten cabbage.
When tasting, the whisky starts out sweet and rubbery, but it’s fading away giving place for a dry aftertaste.
The whisky is surprisingly harmonic and tasty given its young age. Give it some more years in the cask, and we will have a great whisky. But, already at its current age it’s absolutely enjoyable.

Compared with bourbon cask matured Kilchoman of the same age, I find the sherry butt matured Kilchoman to have much more of the sulphur character of the new make, probably due to the fact that charred casks are more active in removing impurities.