Valamo XI, 4 YO, 58.5 %

Nordic Whisky #182 - Valamo XIA few days back I finally got to try the “heavenly spirits from Valamo”, a Finnish monastery distillery. Yes, you read that right. Monks distilling whisky. Back to the roots!

Valamo Distillery was formally established in 2014, but they began trials in 2011. Up until 2014 they used a small 150 litre trial still, and this product – Valamo XI, was made during this trial period.

Today production runs on a 1000 litre pot still, and their annual production is at around 35 000 lpa.

The Valamo XI is an unpeated whisky. It was distilled on 2012-05-15, matured in a 200 litre 2nd fill bourbon hogshead, and then bottled on 2016-12-31. The total outturn was 336 bottles (50 cl).

Nose: Icing sugar and vanilla. Light notes of red berries. A delightful and well integrated nose. Almonds. Peppermint top notes.

Taste: Rich and full mouthfeel, but a bit raw to taste. Honey, coconut and syrup. Peppermint and white pepper.

Finish: Medium to short finish. Nutty notes. Vanilla and creamy honey, but it does land fairly quickly.

Comments: The spirit is very promising. The cask is obviously a good one. The end product is still quite young and a bit unbalanced.

Score (79/100)

– Thomas