Single malt whisky - tasting notes

28 Apr 2011

Belgian Owl 53 months

Posted by: Ruben Luyten 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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  • Roberto Sikora: This is really a great, great bottling. One of my favourite Littlemills so far... :-) Thank you, Ruben for this review!
  • george: i see you have tried st magdalene and say it is harder to find i am a collector of st magdalene and i have 40 bottles i am selling these date from 196
  • sjoerd972: I wish the guys at Bushmills would demand the labels to say "Northern Ireland" so we didn't have to speculate on the booze's origins.

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  • Bowmore Devil's Casks - Batch 2
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  • Aberfeldy 12 Year Old
  • Blair Athol 2002 (Hepburn's Choice)
  • Fettercairn Fior
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1601 notes by Ruben

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