There was a time when I thought that if you want to buy high quality products you had to go for vodka from Russia, beer from Germany and whisky from Scotland. Today I know I was wrong because you can get excellent vodka from Scandinavia, nice beer from Italy and even very tasty whisky from Germany. I first came across The Glen Els in a small bar in Hamburg where I wanted to try a whisky I never had before. I decided to give the Germans a chance to alter the opinion I had about their whisky back at that time – and they hit the mark. Today you find several bottles from this small distillery in the Harz Mountains on my shelf. One of them is, of course, The Journey from their core range. This whisky is matured in European oak casks previously filled with Sherry, Madeira, Malaga, Port, Marsala and GrandCru. This mixture of casks gives the whisky a complexity you would probably not expect from a German whisky. Of course, this is not a Scotch single malt whisky, but that is also not what it wants to be. It is an excellent Harzer single malt whisky. “Made in Germany” still is a sign of quality in this case.
Eye: Somewhere between copper, dark amber and high gloss mahagony inlay.
Nose: Very sweet and fruity. Inserted plums and raisins come along with slight sherry and red wine notes. If you let your whisky breathe for a few minutes, vanilla notes as well as malty and spicy notes step into the foreground. Now you might also find some nutmeg and even a little hint of a summerly greenfield in the Harz Mountains with its herbs.
Palate: Now, the greenfield you smelled before comes to your taste buds. Lay down on a fresh, green and herby meadow. Take a deep breath and you will get a perfect idea of what this whisky tastes like. The raisins and the inserted plums are still there, too, but they are not as dominant anymore as they were in the nose. Oaky, malty and sweet notes make this a very complex and interesting whisky.
Finish: Medium long with herbs and nutmeg, but also sweet and oaky notes.
Type: Harzer Single Malt Whisky
Age: No Age Statement
Alc. volume: 43%
Bottle size: 0.7 litres
Price range: ~50.00 Euro
More info: http://www.hammerschmiede-spirituosen.de (Distillery)
It’s right – for quality whisky you don’t need just have scotland on your mind – there’s so much great whisky outside the motherland. But in my opinion it’s not Germany… I did not like this Glen Els, much too strange. And most other stuff from german distillers is just poor and a waste of money and time. But – there is no accounting for tastes. :)