Cley Malt & Grain – Whisky x Beer

A little double appreciation post from me today, as I can highly appreciate both beer and whisky! So, when I found out that Brouwerij Noordt did a Collab with Cley Whisky… I knew I had to get my hands on a can and a dram! This Baltic Porter has been matured in an ex-Cley Malt & Grain cask, of which I happened to have a cask strength sample left in my sample supply.

Now I said I can highly appreciate beer and whisky already, though my love for whisky (as you well may know) goes much deeper than just mere appreciation. And when it comes to Dutch whisky Cley holds a special place in my heart. Not only are Paul and Maria the most amazing people you’re ever likely to meet… they also produce whiskies aimed at people like you and me… whisky afficionados. And over the years they’ve managed to produce multiple drams that have blown me and many a dutch whiskyfan away!

The Malt & Grain is part of their core range though today I will be sampling the cask strength edition, bottled at a healthy 58%. I choose the cask strength over the standard edition because… well it was the dram I still had in my sample closet haha. But I also thought it be fitting, because in the end it was the strength of the leftover cask that gave the beer it’s unique flavour.

Just for today’s review I’m going to do sidy-by-side tasting notes, but rest assured that if you haven’t gotten your hands on the Noordt x Cley Baltic Porter, the Malt & Grain will be a treat on it’s own as well. For those still looking for a can & bottle, I scored mine at Whiskylab in Eindhoven!

Tasting Notes Cley Malt & Grain + Brouwerij Noordt Cley Baltic Porter

Heavily buttered, warm baked rye bread with a luscious amount of honey on top. Hints of old cigar boxes and freshly cut reeds provide a lovely mixture of fresh and stale notes that gives a unique complexity to this dram. Fermented apples, sultana’s and cherry beer provide a fruity side to the nose as well.

Dark chocolate, mocha beans, molasses and scattered straw on a dunnage floor provide a real sense of complexity on the nose. Albeit one very much catered towards dark and intense aroma’s. There’s a hint of farmyard funk in here that I’m betting is the Malt & Grain cask at work and I’m very curious to find out how that works out on the palate.

Warm caramel dripping down bbq’ed plantines, covered in milk chocolate. Rye bread with molasses and brown sugar sprinkled on top. Cherry bonbons paired with a steaming cup of dark roast espresso. The palate of this dram attacks you with a punch of flavour, in the best possible way. Intense, complex, and altogether yummy.

Praline filled chocolate truffles, with an abundant dusting of rich cacao. Molasses, prune tobacco, and freshly baked rye toast. Paired with a bowl of steaming hot porridge with apple syrup stirred in. There’s that little rye note that reminds me of the Malt & Grain, but other than that the flavour is largely a classic Baltic Porter to me (albeit a very good one).

The finish is long, and the almost syrupy mouthfeel of this dram stick around for a very long time. Freshly baked apple pie, with cinnamon and hot caramel makes this a perfect dessert for an utterly enjoyable dram.

Hints of dark bitter chocolate and fine Italian espresso linger for quite a while. Not as long as the whisky does by far, but for a beer and it’s lower ABV still very impressive. Impressive and enjoyable.

Both the beer and the whisky have been an absolute joy to sip and savour and if I see either lying around in a liquor store I’ll definitely pick up some more. The whisky definitely still wins out for me though, and I would have loved to have tasted a bigger influence of whisky in there. Perhaps for the next collaboration an infused would pack an even bigger flavour punch? But then again, I am a huge Cley fan so perhaps that’s a little bit my bias, you can’t have enough Cley in there!

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