So I’m at a bar. I know, surprised as usual.
But I’m in Canada and there’s actually a selection of whiskies. Even ones I haven’t had. Which almost never happens. However I’m DD, and I take that seriously so I can have one before my lunch, and that’s all.
Yes, I’m big enough I could have more, that’s just all I want to have before driving.
Anyway, I noticed something among the various Scotches and Irish whiskies. Yes, Bastille Single Malt. Some of you have had Bastille before, yet the 1789 Hand-Crafted Blended Whiskey. Bias up front: I nearly released every prisoner I could in reaction to the 1789. I wasn’t too happy with it. We’re lucky I didn’t start blocking the streets or taking off heads.
What’s the difference? Well, in this case, the Bastille Single Malt is produced from Spring barley grown in Northeast France. The cask is ex-Sauterne, Burgundy, Sherry, or French spirit casks.
That’s all I could really find out. Yes, they use French spring water and yes it went through limestone, however, given all whiskey uses spring water I was going to leave that out.
Marketing aside, perhaps I’m one of those bourgeois whiskey drinkers who just hate blends due to being a snob and generally hating the world at large. While all of that may be true, it still hurts and I think I deserve an apology for you thinking that.
Thank you. Your silence speaks volumes.
So let’s get to the whiskey, shall we?
Price: $98.60 CAD at the LCBO
Colour: 10YR 7/8
Nose: Apples, cloves, floral, oak, grapefruit, cereal
Fruity with nice Autumn spices. Bits of oak, tart, some cereal. I’m actually surprised, there’s nothing too harsh here. It’s pretty simple and quite light, but a nice nose.
I expect good things now. Let’s see if the bar is set too high, shall we? Wait, did I already say shall we? Fuck, I’m screwing my quota.
Taste: Cinnamon butter, royal icing, almond, apple
Spicy and buttery. Very sweet. Think icing on an apple cake sweet kinda deal. More sweets. Some sweet nuts. Some sweet apple. Some more sweet sugar that’s been melted and butter was added to it.
Get the schtick? It’s sweet. Moving on.
Finish: Cinnamon, sunflower seeds, ginger heat, anise
Long finish. Surprisingly long. That said, also quite hot and spice filled. Mostly spice. Yes, it differs a little, but it’s all spice and heat.
Conclusion: Not a bad sipping dram. The nose is impressive, much more than I’d normally expect for a low abv. Whiskey. The taste? Unbalanced. It’s sweet country. And it’s a large country. If you don’t watch out, you’ll eat all the amazing things there and not be as skinny as the locals, those lucky bastards.
Where was I? Oh, the finish. This is where it falls apart. On the one hand, it’s long. On the other? It’s all just spice that goes through various levels of heat. There’s nothing else much going on.
What I’m saying is this: If you’re like me and wasn’t a fan of the 1789 blended, then take a chance on this one. It’s at least going to change your mind about the company. This could easily be a daily drinker for someone who is more nose focused. I want to see more from Bastille, which is impressive as I had recently written them off.
World Whiskey review #334, France review #11, Whiskey Network review #1586