Founded in 1985 by Karl-Theodor Buchholz and his wife Pirkko-Helena, the distillery was located in Elsbach Germany, within a restaurant, which in turn was located within a 13th century Blacksmiths..
Originally producing Liqueurs for the locals and the tourist trade it wasn’t until 2002 that the decision to produce Whisky was taken and the Hammerschmiede distillery became only the 3rd whisky distillery in Germany..
The distillery was soon moved into a new facility in Zorge which is where it is still found today. The distillery however is now known as Glen Els and runs with a pair of 600 litre stills which in todays market place are fairly small. All casks used to mature the whisky are hand picked and range in styles, from typical Bourbon to ex sherry casks to the lesser known Pineau des Charentes, Tokaji and of course Bordeaux.
So TBWC, another world whisky, another review.. Seems an obvious connection to me…
Lockdown 2020 has given us all something to think about, these unprecedented times are beyond what any of us anticipated 2020 to be like and the fact some distilleries / indi bottlers are still managing to get new releases out to us all is something of a miracle. Having spent a fair bit of time chatting to the people over at Boutique-y I knew they had a few exciting things coming out, and the fact they were preparing a world whisky release was exciting, but when there was 5 new world whiskies then that was impressive.. With a few of these giving me a first opportunity to taste liquid from the countries excited me.. This is my first German single malt !!
That Boutiquey Whisky Company is as we all know just a little different from most other indie bottlers, their funky labels lovingly created by Emily Chappell depict a story, history or just some random clues as to what may be found within the bottle, usually it takes some time to pick up the clues and other tomes it is just so obvious it hits you instantly..
Elsburn 7 Year Old – Batch 1- TBWC
Age.. 7 years
Outturn.. 137 bottles
Nose.. Very fruity.. Just imagine freshly picked red apples, oranges and plums cut into segments, now add a few dates, raisins and mix in a large bowl.. Once it opens up you start to get soft spices and a little oak shining through, some coffee, honey and ginger infused chocolate..
Palate.. Apple strudel, cinnamon buns, sticky toffee pudding, peanut brittle.. Do you see where this is going ? Toffee apples covered in chocolate and a hint of fresh ground coffee beans….
Finish.. Soft spices and a touch of sweetness.
Thoughts.. There is a real softness to this whisky, the hint of heavily sherried whisky from the nose does not quite emerge, but do not think that is a negative because its far from it !! The nose does offer up a little more intensity though, it promises so much with its seductive powers ! It then just draws you a little closer, gives you a gentle slap and whispers to your subconscious.
The palate just feels so smooth, soft and luxurious, the flavours just sit on the tongue and play with your senses, it teases you for what feels like an age and then just explodes, allowing you to appreciate everything you know is there..
When you finish the first taste all you want to do is go straight back in for a little more, its rather addictive
and with each taste you take, you learn a little more, then once you think you found all its secrets, it just gives you a little more to think about..
I sometimes hear the term breakfast whiskies, evening or after dinner drams but this just feels like an all day breakfast dram to me, it sets you up for the rest of the day and even though its very complex its still very easy on the palate, it just feels right and gives you that feeling of being safe, its a happy place kind of whisky..
Sit with it, appreciate it, give your time and don’t hurry this one.. it will be worth it in the end..
With thanks to That Boutique-y Whisky Company for introducing me to this whisky….