A Nordic step into my world whisky journey today as I had the chance to sample two expressions from the Danish Braunstein Distillery.
The samples came in test tubes (along with a gin, vodka and rum also produced by the distillery ) within a classy padded box. This “Library collection” set proved to be a perfect introduction to Braunstein‘s spirits, offering a relevant overview of their range.
“The Danish distillery Bryghuset Braunstein has been around for quite some time. For the first few years they were a brewery only, but as we entered the new millennium they started distilling whisky. Braunstein is owned and run by two brothers; Michael Dines Braunstein is the sales manager, and Claus Braunstein is the distillery manager.
All their production is organic, and they would love to put out certified organic whisky. The problem is getting hold of enough certified organic oak barrels, therefore they do not label their whisky as organic.
Braunstein produces both peated and unpeated whisky. They source their peated malt from Port Ellen Maltings (60 ppm), and they say the phenol level in their peated whiskies is about 30 ppm on the bottle.
They exclusively use first fill barrels in all maturation, and they have grown their own yeast (bi-product of many years of brewing, no doubt). They use different yeast strains for the peated and the unpeated production.” (Thanks to the amazing bloggers behind the The Whisky Saga for all those information – not fluent in Danish yet ;))
Tasting notes :
- The first whisky I had was an unpeated single malt, fairly easy-drinking and enjoyable in any occasion. The nose showed woody, vanilla, caramel notes along with banana fragrances. Some interesting notes reminding me of quite a few young Speyside expressions. The palate appeared slightly different from what you could have expected from the nose, surprisingly spicier and presenting pleasant peppery notes. After adding a wee bit of water, the nectar proves way smoother, slightly oily, liquorous with hints of honey showing up. Finally, I think this would make a perfect everyday dram, not too complex but still interesting, a very nice introduction to whisky as well.
- The second expression I sampled was a peated single malt, bottled at 42% ABV. The nose appeared really earthy, the peat and smoke really showing up. Roasted cereals, molasses and also some woody touches – I could almost picture myself walking around the pine forest near the Atlantic coastline (the area I’m refering to here is known as”Les Landes” for those who might have visited this south-western part of France) in my home region. With a bit of water, the nose becomes instantaneously smoother with hints of bourbon, butter cookies and even spiced rum (I may attract the wrath of some experts here but I have to admit it reminded me of Captain Morgan spicy flavours at some point… You know my college years are just over and I still got my low-budget student references !). The palate was just what I expected, a peaty, smoky malt with pepper, cloves and wood savours. Also a bit leathery, like the liquid version of a docker’s jacket !
Braunstein whisky is currently sold in a few countries such as Sweden and Denmark (few Asian markets as well) but plans to enter new markets are currently in the pipeline. Calling all French distributors here : Braunstein definitely has all what it takes to appear on our French fine spirits shelves alongside other quality products !
4600 Køge, Danemark