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Belgian Owl Single Malt

Average score from 3 reviews and 6 ratings 81

Belgian Owl Single Malt

Product details

  • Brand: Belgian Owl
  • Bottler: Unknown
  • ABV: 46.0%
  • Age: 3 year old

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Belgian Owl Single Malt

Color: Pale straw. A typical youngster that spent only three years on first-fill bourbon barrels.

Nose: The first nosing is quite tangy. Ginger and chili pepper are slapping you in the face. Vanilla ice cream with grated coconut and fresh figs or dates. Water makes it sweeter. Butterscotch candy is balanced by lemon zest.

Taste: Cereals with vanilla, coconut and banana. Also some rum raisin ice cream. The spiciness of chili pepper returns with a (not so good) hint of wet cardboard.

Finish: A dry finish with vanilla and ginger.

Conclusion: Young and 100% Belgian. It could be an ideal summer appetizer drink. Too bad of the wet cardboard aroma.

My original tasting notes (in Dutch) can be found on my tumblr blog A Tasty Dram: tastydram.tumblr.com/post/51663569720/…

Simply too young, I was slightly dissapointed by this one, but I would love to try some more mature versions in a couple of years


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.


I was quite intrigued to have a taste of my first Belgian single malt and came out pleasantly surprised.

This is a 4 year old expression, quite pale in color.

Beautifully delicate honeyed nose, like sitting at a dessert table in a patisserie; a patisserie in a field of straw and barley. The maître pâtissier waddles out from behind the counter and serves me an intricately plated array of marzipan, sweet melon and slices of freshly cut oranges. It is such a fresh and delightful combination that you want to just sit back and relax with your eyes closed.

The palate is the patisserie in liquid form with all the aromas coming through. Added to the mix are the most glorious stalks of sugarcane I have ever tasted. Threw me back to the days as a child when we chewed on the sweet stalks and sucked all it's nectar out. Rounding off the dazzlingly fresh flavors are hints of pine nuts, something green and the gentlest of aniseed.

This is an absolute gem of a malt. If the Belgians can produce such flavors at 4 years imagine what they can do with 12 or even 18. Scotland and Japan better look out. There's a new flavor profile making it's mark.

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