In 2015, Jes Mosgaard quit his job as an engineer and turned his hobby – brewing and distilling – into a profession. In his own production site, Mosgaard Distillery, he began to create exactly the kind of spirit that he himself enjoyed best: a fruity, sweet and soft distillate made from local, organic ingredients. Whereas his portfolio consisted exclusively of gin and young malt in the first years, Jes has recently been able to add another product to his range, namely single malt whisky. In March 2019, Mosgaard Distillery launched two different kick-off expressions: Number one spent its entire maturation time in oloroso casks. Number two slept in Spanish oak first and received a PX finish afterwards. At Getränke-Paradies Wolf’s open Mosgaard tasting on October 18, I had the chance to sip them both – plus the new make from which they derived. Another great opportunity: Since Jes and his son Jeppe, who helps out at the distillery on occasion, were there in person, I got to make their acquaintance and have a lengthy, pleasant chat with them.
Now, on to the tasting. I started with a glass of Mosgaard New Spirit. Originally, it comes out of the stills with 68 per cent ABV and goes into the casks with 60 per cent ABV. However, when Jes offers it to drammers at fairs and tastings,he dilutes it down to a more palatable 46 per cent ABV. It is very fruity and clean with green apple, citrus and banana. As Jes told me, he left no stone unturned to emphasize on this fruitiness. The long fermentation, the design of the stills (which were custom-made in Portugal) and the usage of organic barley all contribute to this particular nuance of the flavor profile. And it pays off! The New Spirit from Mosgaard Distillery is crisp, clean, smooth, layered and flavorsome – a sound and solid base for a sublime whisky!
To refine and complete their distillate, Jes and his team put it into specially manufactured 50 litre casks (the sherry ones of which are sourced and assembled in Montilla, Spain). Granting the spirit a lot of wood contact, these small barrels promote an extra-swift maturation. The result is a sweet and fruity whisky with quite a staggering complexity. And that is not just a random claim. If I had tried the Mosgaard Oloroso Cask in a blind tasting, I would never have taken it for a 3-year-old. It has lovely notes of red apples, grapes, tangerines, vanilla, cocoa, toffee and dried fruits. They are accentuated by mild spices. The liquid feels really elegant, but also rich and full and chewy. According to Jes, this is Mosgaard Distillery’s take on a classic, bonafide single malt whisky. They totally nailed it!
The Mosgaard PX Cask, on the other hand, has more of an experimental character. It spent the first two years of its maturation amidst French oak staves, which placed some heavy tannins in the spirit. To even out these powerful notes, the soon-to-be whisky was then put into Pedro Ximenez sherry casks for another year. This rounded off the edges and brought forth a delicate sweetness. The outcome is nothing short of amazing! Raisins, dates and library dust fill the nostrils, while berries, plums and spices dominate the palate. Again and again, the light fruits from the New Spirit also pierce through: lemons, pears, apples. The long finish introduces dark chocolate and puff pastry to the mix. This is good… nah, what am I saying? This is astonishing!
With its Oloroso Cask and PX Cask expressions, Mosgaard Distillery has two outstanding whiskies available that cater to different types of drammers: Those who love gentle, smooth and well-balanced pours will choose the former. Those who prefer dark, edgy and challenging drops will pick the latter. And those like me, who do not really have a preferred style, will be happy with any of them. Or – even better – with both of them!
Mosgaard New Spirit (New make / Denmark / 0 years / 46% / not for sale)
Mosgaard Oloroso Cask (Single malt / Denmark / 3yo / 46% / Oloroso cask / ~65 Euro)
Mosgaard PX Cask (Single malt / Denmark / 3yo / 46% / PX finish / ~65 Euro)
Mosgaard @ Web: https://mosgaardwhisky.dk (Distillery)
Spirits of Scandinavia @ Web: https://www.spirits-of-scandinavia.de (Distributor)
Getränke-Paradies Wolf @ Web: https://www.spirituosen-wolf.de (Host)