Stauning – Bastard

Stauning is a neat little distillery from Denmark, with one of the best back stories in all of whisky. Basically, it was just a bunch of friends with no specific expertise in whisky making which gave them very cool insights into the industry. For example, they’ve developed an automatic malting floor than now other distilleries around the world are looking to implement. This experimental approach to whisky making also led them to create the research series, of which today’s Stauning Bastard is by far my favourite expression.

The Bastard is a Rye Whisky with only local barley and rye in it’s mashbill. It’s been floor malted and distilled in Stauning’s small Alembic style stills. But what makes this release stand out from their core range rye is the fact that they finished this whisky in Mezcal casks. The smoky yet delicate qualities of Mezcal give an entirely unique effect on the spicy character of Stauning’s Rye!

Tasting Notes: Stauning – Bastard

ABV: 46,3% (92,6 proof)

Age: 4 years old

Distillery: Stauning

Cask: Virgin American Oak Casks and Finished in Mezcal Casks

Category: Danish Rye Whisky

Chill-Filtered: No

Natural Colour: Yes

Picture by @peaty.dominique

Lemon parts, cucumber water, and juniper. On the nose I would have almost believed this to be gin for a second. It’s fruity and delicate, but there are some notes that give away that this is a whisky after all. There’s some oatmeal and raisins as well, and an ever so slight smoky note that I’ll attribute to the Mezcal. This is without a doubt unlike any other whisky I’ve nosed though, and I really do appreciate that.

Home-made lemonade, with some nutmeg and a hint of cinnamon spice. With some lingering tobacco smoke on the background. There’s also loads of brown sugar, vanilla and hints of oak. Those last notes I’ll attribute to the initial maturation in virgin oak casks. Though these flavours aren’t all that odd in a whisky, the way they combine in this dram is truly unique. Instead of trying to place these flavours in a certain category, I decided to just enjoy this dram for what it is… a stunner!

The finish is quite short, or I should say, shorter than I expected. There’s a lot of intensity of flavours on the nose and palate of this dram, and the finish is rather mellow. Still, very pleasant though. There’s lemon tarts, shortbread cookies, and the smoke has entirely faded by now. I find myself in an English tea frame of mind with the finish of this dram, with a few drops of milk, some lemon and a cookie on the side.

I’ve have tasted several tequila finished whisky’s and I must say, it’s not really my cup of tea. But I was curious to find out how a Mezcal finish would play out, as the smoky character of that spirit in theory should work a charm with whisky. And guess what… it does indeed! I’m a huge fan of the Stauning Distillery and I love what they’re doing with their experimental series, but this one has to be my favourite. It’s just so… unique. In the best possible way. Cheers, to exploring new flavours with this stunner of a dram!

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