Van de Perre whisky bottle

Review: Original Van de Perre

Being half Belgian myself, I’m always interested in whiskies that come from there. Because if they manage to achieve anything akin to the quality of their beers, it will be a dram worth your time. And even though this dram is in fact a blended Speyside Scotch, it was still blended in the country that gave me some of my favorite alcoholic consumptions of all time. So, my hopes are high for this one!

I found out about this whisky from a friend of mine, who tagged me in an Instagram post from the distillery. They were looking for some people to taste and review their new blended scotch whisky. And very soon after being tagged, they contacted me offering to send me a sample. Naturally, I was over the moon. I only recently started this wee whisky website of mine and to have a Belgian whisky as the first whisky I got to review “professionally” felt like the pieces of the puzzle all falling together. They call it ‘verdoeme lekker’, which translates to damned good. Let’s find out if it holds true to that promise!

Tasting Notes: Original Van de Perre

Stats:

ABV: 40% (80 proof)

Age: NAS

Distillery: Van de Perre Spirits

Category: Blended Speyside Scotch Whisky

Chill Filtered: Unknown

Natural Colour: Unknown

Setting:

Enjoyed neat in a Perfect Dram glass, after a long day at work. On a warm summer eve, while listening to the sweet sound of Ray Charles’ album “Genius Loves Company”. Behind my PC, in my reclining desk chair.

Nose:

This is a very fruity and playful nose. It’s light and there’s not much burn, but it has plenty of other things going on. I immediately get hints of apple, grapes, and melon. Almost as if I were smelling a Sangria with the liquor but without the wine. On the back of that it’s followed by powdered sugar and perhaps some marshmallow as well. There are some floral aspects as well, I get hints of hyacinth and heather. Overall, it’s a very sweet nose, I can’t wait to see if it holds up on the palate.

Palate:

To answer that question immediately… the palate does not hold up to the nose. I’m struggling to find a lot of sweetness, although there is some salmiac licorice in there. In fact, at the second sip that flavour takes an even bigger form. But there’s also an oaky bitterness to it and some clear hints to the malt. The nose clearly has the palate beat.

Finish:

The finish lasts quite a long time, and I find it to be quite agreeable to my palate. I say agreeable because I do imagine it to be an acquired taste. It’s rather bitter, reminiscent of an Orval beer. Orval has a lot of fans around the world, but there’s also those that despise it and I figure it might be the same for this dram. Nonetheless, personally I enjoyed it very much. If I were to give another descriptor other than Orval (for those who don’t know the beer) I’d say licorice root that you’ve been chewing on for quite a while.

Verdict:

This is a very strange dram for me, mainly because the contrast between the nose and the palate is so immense. The nose is stellar though and this whisky is worth trying if only to experience that. The palate is my least favorite part, I would have loved to find more of the notes from the nose in there somehow. The finish once again is lovely, though you do have to love your bitters for it. If you’re into the more bitter beers, you’re set for a finish that will please you for sure.

Taking the price in consideration (it sells on their website for 49 euro, for a 500 ml bottle) I would still rate the nose and finish to be of good value, but the palate holds it back too much for it to be worth its price tag for me personally. But I know a lot of people who love the nose of a whisky above all, and to those people I’d highly recommend trying this whisky for themselves. Was it ‘verdoeme lekker’? Yes, no, and yes again. So, all things considered, I’ll let them get away with the slogan!

Rating:

74/100

Value:

C

Click here to learn more about how I come up with my tasting notes and how I determine rating and value.

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