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- Brand: Belgian Owl
- ABV: 46%
Of all the reviews I've written for this site, I think this is the first world whisky (i.e. not from the traditionally known whisky producing countries). I could be wrong (I'm too lazy to check) but I don't think I am.
The Owl Distillery is in the French-speaking part of Belgium (did you know there is a French-speaking part and a Flemish-speaking part? And that they don't get along? Who knew?) and was founded in 2004 by Etienne Bouillon. This, their standard single malt, is made from barley grown in Belgium, and is three years old, matured in first-fill bourbon casks. The bottle code on this one is 240211. It is non-peated, non-chill-filtered and non-coloured. This sample came to me courtesy of @thecyclingyogi!
The colour is very light gold. This is very young, fresh and fruity on the nose, with green underripe apples and bananas, mint, lots of vanilla from those bourbon casks. As young a nose as you can imagine. A hint of minerality. Water brings out a bit more vanilla and citrus, but only a little.
On the palate, this is very citrusy, with lots of lemon. Pine needles and coriander. Fresh, crisp barley. Water makes it creamier in the mouthfeel, adding some light honey.
The finish is long but light - very bright with vanilla undercurrents. All the elements come together fine, and as you can tell from my notes this is a very complex whisky, especially given its youth - but at the same time, it feels rather simple. Does that make any sense? I find it fairly underwhelming - but worth a try if you enjoy bright young whiskies - this would be fine on a hot summer day by the pool - perhaps mixing with ginger ale and ice.