Each of these samplings had unique flavors. Flavors are hard to describe however, I can extrapolate on other characteristics. All of them smooth and hit the taste buds different, sometimes on the tip, sometimes on the side, or in the middle of the tongue. So much so that Santa made a comment on it. Each had a body comparable to what you would expect from a fine bottle of wine. Speaking of which, we all know how to ‘swirl’ the beverage in a glass to get it to ‘open it up’ prior to the big open mouth sniff to prepare the pallet. Maan tells us that is wrong. We should not agitate (aka piss off) the liquor. Instead of vigorously sloshing and rolling it about in the glass, we should lay the glass on its side on slowly, gently roll the spirit by turning the glass.
For an attempt on the flavors, though they look young in color there was no harshness even in the higher-octane options. The peated (peat dug from their farm) variations had a light peated taste, not extremely heavy but noticeable, and did not disguise the true flavor of the original mash. The smoked variations had a slight smoked flavor, and still allowed the rest of the flavors to pass. You could taste the oat, you could taste the spelt, you could taste the rye, and no, you could not taste the sheep. All of these whiskeys, I got to say, are some of the finest tasting whiskeys I have ever tasted! This creates a problem, I cannot afford all of them, and there isn’t much room in the suitcases to pack bottles. Poor Santa, something must stay behind. (L.O.L.) Although I did like the Wholly Shit Rye, that didn’t come in a small bottle, so I settled (yeah right..) on the 100% Rye Whisky, Santa really liked the Spelt whisky (they don’t spell whiskey with an “e”) but couldn’t afford it and they didn’t have a small bottle to sell so she took her second choice, the oat whisky. (Maan liked Santa so much, he secretly handed me a two- shot bottle of the Spelt while Santa was not looking that I quickly hid in the bag.) (Maan, she really was surprised by that, and she says, “Thank you very much.”) What we could not pass up was the coffee liqueur. It did come in a small bottle, but the large bottle price made it a no brainer. It came home with us.
After all of this you say “WOW!” what more could there be? But wait! There’s more! Peter brings out what he calls ‘Kissing a Stranger.’ A distilled white dog made from collected spit of rejected whiskey tasting. "What!!?" You say? Yep, you read that right , just make sure you read 'distilled' too. Santa said, "Nope, now way," I thought it was good and wished they had it aged in a barrel and turned into whiskey. I wonder what they would have named that.
I wish we had more time to visit other distilleries. I am left wondering if any of the others are at the grand stage of distilling as Belgrove. The grand stage is like the beginning of the Bourbon Trail right here in the USA and in the State of Kentucky. What was on the bourbon trail at the beginning of the bourbon craze, around 2008-2010, the ‘Trail’ was exciting, edgy, and raw, all now lost to polish and glitter. It is no longer about the whiskey, only about the fame, fortune, and merchandise. Australia is in that beginning stage, which for us, is the better of the two. Let us hope that Australia remains true to the flavors of whiskey and not get caught up in the commercialism that degraded the fun, and the low cost that was once the Bourbon Trail in Kentucky.
Belgrove Distillery: www.Belgrovedistillery.com.au
Captain Bligh’s: www.Captainblighs.com.au
Spring Bay Distillery: https://springbaydistillery.com.au
Kentucky Bourbon Trail: https://kybourbontrail.com
All photographs taken with a Nikon Z6II and available light.
Detroit People & Commercial Photographer