Single malt whisky - tasting notes

28 Apr 2011

Belgian Owl 53 months

Tasting notes by Ruben Luyten - Posted in * World

Belgian Owl is a another Belgian whisky. This single malt was created by Etienne Bouillon who also owns a fruit liqueur distillery near Liège. The recent 53 months old release is the oldest Belgian Owl currently available. A slightly younger version (44 months) received a whopping 95,5 points in the latest Whisky Bible by Jim Murray.

Note the enormous 74% alcohol. It’s probably the strongest drink I’ve ever had. By the way, are there rules about maximum strength or can you just distill 99% of alcohol and claim it’s whisky as well?

 

Belgian Owl 53 monthsBelgian Owl 53 months
(74,1%, OB 2010, cask #4275986)

Nose: freshly cut oak and hay, lots of mint and lemon. Some vanilla custard. Spiced honey. Hints of apricot sweets and dried banana. Water brings out a slightly dusty muesli aroma. Mouth: sharp, grainy / grassy attack. Develops a bubblegummy flavour after the alcohol fades. Difficult to taste straight of course, so let’s add water. Much more creamy, but still quite grassy and gingery, with a bitterness that I find a little disturbing. Citrus again. Oak and nutmeg, other spices as well. Pears and vanilla. Not the fruity spirit I expected. Finish: long, half fruity, half bitter. And grainy.

Not bad, but no highflyer either (not yet?). Around € 65 but very limited so it’s hard to find.

Score: 71/100

Belgian Owl 53 months 1.5 Ruben Luyten 2011-04-28
  • lukas

    The maximum alcohol strength for Scotch whisky according to the Scotch Whisky act is 94.8%. But I don’t think that even Jim McEwan produced such a whisky yet ;-).

  • http://www.whiskynotes.be Ruben

    Thanks Lukas. How long before someone takes up the challenge…

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  • Tony: Yes, lower! It is almost unheard of for a more recent and older aged bottling to be 30% cheaper than the previously released one. Maybe that also help
  • Tony: True - I had it in my basket in one web shop as soon as it was announced, but it disappeared before I could check out! Luckily I have some of the prev
  • WhiskyNotes: I don't know, Gal. This kind of bottle is either sold out through pre-orders, or in a webshop five minutes after it appears online.

Coming up

  • Irish Single Malt 16yo 1999 (The Nectar of the Daily Drams)
  • Bunnahabhain 1987 (Maltbarn)
  • Glen Garioch 1993 (Maltbarn)
  • Glenlivet 42yo (Cadenhead)
  • Auchentoshan 1994 (Whisky Agency)
  • Blended Malt Extra Old (Whisky Agency)
  • Woodford Reserve Master's Collection
  • Teeling 26yo Vintage Reserve
  • Springbank 2001 vintage

1864 notes by Ruben

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