Stauning Høst

Working for Salud means that from time to time I will review bottles that are imported by my employer on my blog. Not because I have to, but because my job puts me in a position where I get to try exciting new releases that I want to write about. One of such releases is the Stauning Host. A double malt made from barley and rye, with a finish in ex-port barriques.

Reviewing whisky’s is however not a part of my job, it’s something I do entirely for fun and I will always write about these whiskies objectively. And just like with any whisky I’ll review, I remain unbiased and I always try to focus much more on giving you accurate tasting notes than telling you which whisky is good and which isn’t anyway. Because simply put, I can’t tell you what’s good or what you might like. Not without knowing your preferences anyway. Everyone’s taste is entirely their own after all and in my opinion some of the best whiskies are highly controversial, some will love them and others won’t.

All that having been said, back to the whisky at hand. Høst means “Harvest” in Danish and was inspired by the setting sun on a harvest day in Autumn. Though I must say, after tasting it, that for me personally it reminded me of spring. Of the first summer fruits and the first days spend without a jacket outside, soaking up on Vitamin D. I love Stauning for their unique approach to whisky making where at the same time they’re constantly innovating, while sticking to traditional ways of whisky making.

Stauning floor malts all their grains, which they source entirely locally (within cycling distance in their own words). Floor malting is very traditional, but Stauning has automated the process which made it approachable for a small distillery to incorporate it in their whiskies. They distill on (relatively) small stills, which are direct fired. Instead of upgrading to bigger stills, they installed 24 of the small stills to keep up with demand. Stauning is the product made by and for whisky geeks. And those who know me, know that I consider the word whisky geek high praise!

Tasting Notes – Stauning Høst

ABV: 40,5% (81 proof)
Age: NAS
Distillery: Stauning
Chill-filtered: No
Natural Colour: Yes

Grains, grains, grains! In the best possible way. There’s oatmeal, graham crackers, rye bread and sackcloth bags of flour. This is by far one of the graniest noses I’ve ever found on a whisky, with not an off note in sight. There are zero sharp edges, just a warm homely sense of cutting open a warm baked breadroll straight from the oven. Behind all that grain there are some sweeter elements lurking as well though and given the fact that they remind me of fruits such as strawberry, blackberry and prunes I’ll bet that’s the Port Cask influence. But it’s just a hint, the star of the show here is really the grains!

The flavours on the palate do bring up grains as well, notes such as rusk and biscuits, but immediately move beyond them as well. It has pronounced herbal flavours such as fennel, aniseed and kardemom. There are fruity influences ranging from dried apples, to freshly squeezed pomegranate juice. And there’s even an ever so slightly savoury note in there, that reminds me a little of smoked mackerel. A surprising note for sure, as this is an unpeated (double) malt. The influence of the Rye and the Port casks are both much more pronounced here than on the nose.

The finish has a short to medium length, which is somewhat to be expected at this ABV. It’s fresh notes of green apples, green tea, and freshly cut grass that lingers. You might say the Høst has a very “green” finish, badum tss… (I know it’s terrible, I’ll see myself out).

This Stauning Høst a dram that sparks joy in me. That’s why I wanted to write about it. It’s interesting. It does its own thing. But above all… it’s good! If I had to find a negative I’d say the finish is a bit shorter than I prefer, but at the same time it’s what makes it an easy sipper. It catches your attention on the nose an palate, and then let’s you go about your day. I might have gotten to try this dram because of my job, but I can also tell you that I already bought for myself which sits snugly on my shelves next to the Bastard!

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