Friday, October 21, 2016

Maltbarn Clandestine Very Old Blended Malt

Another blended malt with a Cognac-style (no) age designation from another German bottler. The last one I looked at from Whisky-Fässle was very good, and I have had good experience with Maltbarn so am hoping this is a good 'un too.

Maltbarn Clandestine "Very Old" Blended Malt, 45.8% 

Nose: Very reticent. Something musty, but quite faint. Some whiffs of oak. After five minutes it begins to open up, some mead-like maltiness emerging. Water releases some old wood aromas, as well as faint traces of dried orchard fruit. After much more time something more fresh and citrussy emerges.

Palate: Quite closed here at first too. Soon, though, there's leather, cigars, old wood, yeast, overripe oranges, honey. Water opens it right up. Old sherry warmth and spice. Szechuan pepper, cloves, stewed fruit. The balance is excellent.

Finish: Long. The oranges turn a bit sour as the finish becomes slightly acrid. Water broadens things considerably, ramping up the spices and adding some sweeter (fresher?) fruit to balance out the acridity. The oak is still prominent but not overly so, and it's of good quality.

This series of "very old" blended malts coming out of Germany is producing some excellent drinking whisky. This one is very good for the price (around 100 Euro) in the current climate, and in my opinion highly recommended.

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