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My Handcrafted Opinions on Whiskies, Distilleries and Other Related Stuff

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Most Recent Whisky Review

Bellevoye Bleu

If you had not of heard of this French blended malt you are not alone, because it was new to me as well when I saw it in the Air France Lounge in Paris.  A little online research suggests this is a blend of 3 single malts of different regions of France and finished in new French oak casks.  It is bottled at 40% ABV but nosed like it was much stronger.  Very feisty and malty with barnyard, floral and even perfurmed notes in the nose.  Hot and sweet on the palate with some flashes of toffee which were quickly masked by pepper and even a slightly acrid smokey note.  The finish has some chilli heat with a hint of lemon peel marmalade.  A splash of water improves it greatly, smooths out the grainy mouth feel and brings out some more fruity and sweet flavours.  It is not bad but posseses little elegance or sophistication so in that respect it is not a very French French whisky.

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  • Sunday, 08 January 2012 21:28

    Dalmore 1926 Goes on Sale for EU 250,000 while Whyte and Mackay Profits Plunge… Surely a Coincidence?

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    One whisky story (actually two) caught my attention over the holiday season.  My first reaction was to ignore them, but like so many slightly irritating things, by leaving it alone the itch just grew and grew and in the end I had no choice but to scratch (and write this). 

    First l became aware that Dalmore had released a single bottle of a 1926 vintage whisky for the staggering price of 250,000 EU.  One quarter of a million Euros for a single bottle of whisky!  I can buy one bottle of Ardbeg Alligator for $100, and I suggest that it is highly unlikely this Dalmore actually tastes 2,500 times better than that Ardbeg.  OK, so Dalmore throw in a 1.83 carat diamond in the stopper –deduct $60,000 or so – which means the actual whisky is only 1,900 times more expensive than the Ardbeg.  I haven't tasted it of course (and never will) but I seriously doubt it is worth it.   I have written (ranted) about whisky pricing and speculation before and will not repeat myself here and if that had been the only story I would not even have mentioned it. But then I saw that the Dalmore's parent company, Whyte and Mackay, reported a significant drop in year over year profits.

    http://www.heraldscotland.com/business/company-news/whyte-and-mackay-not-for-sale-despite-profits-plunge.16250673

    The Whyte and Mackay position is that they are investing in promoting their premium brands and that is why their profits have dropped, a short term dip while they refocus their business.  I am sure (and hope) that is the case but this to me, as a business person first and a whisky aficionado second, is a red flag.  I happen to think their blends and the Jura and Dalmore single malts (the ones that cost $100 or less) are great value whiskies.    To my mind all whisky is luxury product, no-one has to buy a bottle of whisky, and certainly none of the whisky people I know are multi millionaires who will be willing or even able to spend 250K on a bottle.  Whisky lovers simply wants good product at a reasonable and fair price (taking into consideration this is often a hand crafted, artisan product).  I believe if Whyte and Mackay focus on producing good, accessible whiskies I am sure they will be successful.  If this business "re-focus" goes towards more of the "ultra premium" brand stuff and 250,000 Euro bottles with 1.83 carat diamond stoppers, I suspect this may not be the last we hear of their financial concerns.

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