Nordic Whisky #127 - Gjoleid Blindpassasjeren
Gjoleid Blindpassasjeren, 4 YO, 47 %
Here is the second new Norwegian whisky in two weeks. Not bad, not bad at all! Again I am looking at a release from Arcus, using the Gjoleid brand. The Gjoleid Blindpassasjeren again uses the slightly unusual mashbill of light malted barley, malted wheat, and malt lightly smoked using logs of alder wood.
The name 'Blindpassasjeren' translates to the stowaway in English. The reason being that this whisky cask travelled by ship (the MS Tamesis) between 2016-02-05 and 2016-06-05, together with the famous Linie aquavit that Arcus has produced for many years. This whisky has crossed the equator twice in that period. here's how Arcus describes this:
We know what happens when we send our casks of aquavit to the other side of the world by ship. Salty winds, rolling sea, and changes in temperature and humidity transform the liquid inside and enhances the almost magical effect the oak casks have on aquavit. We wanted to see how this journey would affect Norwegian whisky, and thus sent this "stowaway".
The label indicates a total outturn of 1400 bottles. That does seem mathematically impossible though, given that it was matured in one 465 litre American oak ex-sherry Oloroso butt (cask 5491). If we speculate the cask was filled at 63,5 % ABV, and there was absolutely no angel's share, we would end up with 1256 bottles of 50 cl each. I think we can safely presume the angel's share was higher than zero. Anywho...suffice it to say this is a rather limited release, and for sure a single cask release.
The Gjoleid Blindpassasjeren is markedly lighter in colour than both Gjoleid Praksis 1.1 and Gjoleid Praksis 1.2 - both matured in a mix of fresh American oak and 1st fill bourbon.
You can buy a bottle of Gjoleid Blindpassasjeren in Norway at NOK 700 (6390602).
Nose: Straight off it reminds me of the Praksis 1.1, but with more emphasis on the fruits this time. There is some sherry influence making itself known, although it is far from a sherry bomb. I'd there's a nice balance between apples and citrus, as well as dried fruits like raisins, dates and figs. Slightly briny. A touch of mustard seeds and warm spices.
Taste: Medium body and oily mouthfeel. Vanilla, white pepper, and honey. There's hints of ashes and oak. Slightly spicy.
Finish: Medium long finish. Again very close to the Praksis 1.1 - vanilla, caramel, honey and summer fruits. The finish is a bit more rounded and a bit richer. I'm left with a very pleasant taste of acacia honey.
Comments: Really enjoyable dram. A few more years, a bit more cohesion and balance. Let's see what comes up next!
Sláinte! - Thomas