Single malt whisky - tasting notes

04 Feb 2010

Goldlys 1994 Limousin cask

Tasting notes by Ruben Luyten - Posted in * World

Compared to the size of our country, Belgium has a surprisingly high number of (micro-)distilleries (mostly beer or gin distilleries making whisky as an experiment). Goldlys, produced by the gin / wodka / liqueur distillery Filliers was the first to mature Belgian whisky and it’s the only one able to market a standard 10 Year old and even older single casks.

Let’s be honest, most of the Belgian whiskies are curiosities hardly worth buying, but a couple of weeks ago, I received an e-mail from Bert Bruyneel telling me I would be surprised by this one!

Limousin is a French region around the city of Limoges. It’s not a great wine producing area but Limousin is well known for their oak barrels, used in other regions for maturing white wine.

 

Goldlys 1994 Limousin Goldlys 1994 ‘Single cask Limousin’ 
(55%, OB 2009, 440 btl.)

Nose: starts on white wood glue but it gets better. The oak stays very present, but it is balanced by fruity notes (yellow apples, unripe banana). Burnt sugar. Vanilla. Some waxy notes. Nice but there’s something artificial that kind of spoils it for me. Mouth: certainly not as sweet as I would have expected. Very very resinous, is this liquid pine tree? Similar to some bourbons in that respect (Pappy Van Winkle 20 years old pops to mind). Herbal notes. Lots of spices (nutmeg, ginger and pepper). Some notes of burnt caramel as well. The fruit seems to be buried somewhere. Finish: rather short and dry, mostly the wood that’s talking.

My fellow reviewers really like this and there’s not a single bottle left in stores. Still I don’t really get the hype. Sure, it’s different and probably the best Belgian whisky to date, but when tasted blind I would say this is closer to a mediocre bourbon than to a quality Scotch. € 30.

Score: 77/100

Thanks for the sample, Bert!

Goldlys 1994 Limousin cask 2 Ruben Luyten 2010-02-04
  • mars

    I have read many nice coments on this one too.
    Pappy Van winkle 20 years old is not bad at all but as I don’t like amrican whiskies this one is probably not to my taste. (maybe american whiskies are not to your taste also?)

    It is sad as I still can find some bottles to my liquor shop.(and I really was thinking to buy one of them).

  • Filip Verleye

    Dear Ruben,

    Firts of all compliments for your nice blog.
    Secondly : I wouldn’t call Filliers a micro distillery as it’s the 5th generation distillers and the biggest producer of maltwine in europe with a 15 million euro sales figure.
    Third : keep up to good work and see you in Ghent.

  • http://www.whiskynotes.be Ruben

    Hi Filip, thanks for your kind words. Well no, Filliers is very big of course but mostly known as a Gin (Jenever) distillery, right? Their output in single malt is rather micro… See you in Ghent!
    @mars: I usually like bourbon.

  • http://www.whiskysamples.eu Luc Timmermans

    I was able to try the Limousin Cask & Double Wood at Filliers a few months ago and I must say I was very impressed when I tasted the Limousin Cask. It is a good expression in its own category and for me the best Belgian Whisky so far. I’m no longer scoring malts but the price/quality ratio on this is absolutely great. We, Belgians, should be proud…..

  • http://www.onversneden.com Johan

    Clearly I’m more impressed by this Limousin cask than you Ruben. I fully agree with Luc (and Bert), price/quality this is a stunner. I’ve tasted it three times now and it keeps impressing me.

  • Dominiek

    Ruben,

    We had it blind on our club tasting and most of our members agree with you. Personally, I don’t like this kind of profile (heavy on sweetness, vanilla and wood) you’ll find in an average bourbon or grain, but that’s just me.

    Greetz,
    Dominiek

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  • jerommeke

    @Ruben
    >> “Their output in single malt is rather micro”
    No, it is none, as all of their products are distilled from multiple grains. A first distillation in a column still en a second one in a pot still.

  • http://www.whiskynotes.be Ruben

    True! My mistake.

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WhiskyNotes - Ruben LuytenThis blog is my personal collection of impressions, written while searching for the ultimate single malt whisky.