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 ‘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.
Thanks for the sample, Bert!