Stauning KAOS 2014, 3 YO, 54.3 %

Nordic Whisky #171 - Stauning KAOS 2014It was seriously about time I tried another whisky from Danish distillery Stauning. The Stauning KAOS 2014 is not exactly a new release, as it was released three years ago. But here is my review.

Here is the official description of the product:

“KAOS is a mix of Peated, Rye and Traditional. All the best from Stauning in 1 bottle. A bit of smoke, a bit of spicyness and a lot of complexity. The KAOS is whisky from both first-fill ex-Bourbon Casks and Virgin American white Oak Casks.

The former Prime Minister of Denmark, Thorvald Stauning (1873-1942), asked the voters to choose between Stauning or Chaos. We will do more than that. We will give you both: STAUNING and KAOS”

The Stauning KAOS was bottled in October 2014, and the total outturn was 2500 bottles at 50 cl. It sold at DKK 595, but is now sold out. Stauning has since then released two more KAOS expressions; February 2016 and April 2017.

Nose: Fresh oak, vanilla, coconut, malt, and light wood smoke. Black pepper and hints of chili. The alcohol does bite a little – or maybe I should say nibble. Mustard seeds and vanilla. A quite mellow nose really. Not at all chaotic.

Taste: Creamy and rich mouthfeel. But it is on fire! I can see the chaos now! It is mainly a tongue-numbing, spice-driven chaos. There’s disharmonious notes of black pepper, white pepper, various types of chili (chipotle, serrano and ancho), ginger, cinnamon, vanilla and nutmeg. They are all fighting for control. It’s the Game of Tongues.

Finish: Medium to short finish. The oaky sweetness comes more to the front, as well as burning embers, coal and ashes. The spices are still there, of course, but it’s more of a low-burning fire now. The chaos has subsided, and the calmness is restored. Phew!

Comments: A whisky that most certainly lives up to its name.

Score (76/100)

– Thomas