By: David Othenin-Girard
K&L Staff Member
The massive interest in this incredible brand and its flagship property has meant that what once seemed like an endless abundance of casks is already dwindling to a trickle. Where we might have once had the opportunity to walk through the magical warehouse at Couzard-Lasselle and select nearly any barrel, now we are offered a few samples to choose from. But I'm so grateful that we're included in the tiny fraction of the world's population that's able to acquire this unprecedented elixir. There have been few booze finds that have ever compared to the uncovering of this estate and so experiencing a new cask for the first time is always exhilarating. This cask is an absolute monster. Clocking in at 112.8 proof, the nose is so power and rich it's almost scary. On the palate this juice absolutely SCREAMS! It's loud and wild, filled with dense, dark wood tannin and tingly spice, and a rich, unctuous texture. The intensity is on a different level even compared to many of the other casks we've selected, but this underlying sweetness holds it all together. For the first time with one of these insane casks I find that the tiniest drop of good spring water improves the total package, but for those that love George T Stagg or other old ultra high proof spirits, you might not need to turn this one down at all. Neat the nose barrels out of the glass with deep dark aromas of coffee, leather, sandalwood, gentian root, licorice bark, stewed plums, chocolate covered raisins, cedar, hemlock, demerara syrup and sarsaparilla. The first taste is arresting powerful and edge-y, but as it draws through the palate a gorgeous sweetness appears. Powerful spice, sweet fresh tobacco leaf, dates, dark chocolate, old wooden furniture, dark red fruits preserved (lingonberry?), bitter herbs. Profound, powerful, and exhaustingly long. With a tiny splash of water, all the hard edges go away, it looses the oomph but gains an almost whimsical ease. Be careful—this stuff is still 110 proof and it goes down like sweet tea. Hopefully there are more barrels like this one left in that gorgeous chai.