I’ve had Swiss whisky before. One. They don’t make it all the way through the mountains, singing about the hills and all that to Canada. So when a friend of mine from down south in Canada’s pants (the US, you may have heard of it) mentioned that I should try another, I went hunting for a sample.
Langatun started way back in 1861 as a brewery and a distillery, running for a while, deciding to take on peat in 1901, and then taking a nice 106-year break, or as Europeans call it, having a nap.
In 2007 the great-grandson thought that 106 years was long enough to take a break and started creating Langatun Single Malt. Setting them apart is they use some Swiss oak in their ageing, as well as sherry, Chardonnay casks, and finally smoked red wine barrels from Chateauneuf-du-Pape.
Today we’re sticking with the Sherry and Chardonnay casks. White wine does weird things, as I’ve said before.
Which brings us to Langatun Old Deer Classic Cask Proof. The Old Deer line is unpeated. Also, they use the Irish method of triple distillation, however, they use all malted barley, so you’re getting closer to Auchentoshan for design.
But how does it taste? Let’s see, shall we?
Price: N/A at the LCBO
Cask Types: Sherry and Chardonnay Casks
Nose: Birch sap, maple syrup, oak, papaya, mint
Drier, sweet all at once. You get that woodiness and then more sugar. Takes some time to get past the sugar element.
That said, some of it goes tropical and there’s some mint once water is added.
Taste: Chocolate, hot chilis, mint, grass, anise
Ah, here we go. Spice and chocolate and mint all work really nicely together. There’s some grassy/anise that balances it out.
Where the nose was too much sugar, the taste is doing more to it. This has a great mouthfeel as well.
Finish: Vanilla custard, papaya, caramel, grass, smoke/jerky
Alright, here we go. The finish is coming in hard. Big custard, more of the tropical fruit without the extreme amount of sweets from the taste, and some of that grass/smoke/jerky to really round it all out. This is why you drink this one.
Conclusion: What an odd dram. Frankly, the nose has problems. It’s too sweet. Using the Chardonnay mixed with the Sherry should give us some dry aspects, and don’t get me wrong, they have, but not enough. But the nose isn’t where you should stop.
This dram just gets better as you drink it more and more. The taste fixes the balance and gives you more, and then the finish has this wonderful balance of creamy, dry, smoke, and sweet.
So should you grab this? If you’re already drinking a triple distilled dram, this is going to be a great addition. If you’re a fan of the Old Bear, this gives you something different to enjoy. If you’re looking for something different with white wine casks, then great. So frankly it’s a must try from me. Get a sample, see what you think.
World Whisky review #333, Switzerland review #2, Whisky Network review #1580