Wednesday, February 4, 2015

UnScotch: Michel Couvreur Peaty Overaged Malt for K&L


Michel Couvreur bought Scotch and blended and aged it in his caves in Burgundy.  Because it is aged in France, The Scotch Whisky Association will not permit it to be called Scotch Whisky, but otherwise, it's pretty much Scotch. Couvreur died a few years ago, but his whisky lives on (there's a good piece on him on the K&L blog).  This K&L bottling, Peaty Overaged Malt Whisky, is a 12 year old vatted malt in sherry oak casks (I'm not sure in whose world 12 years old is "overaged.")

You should note that the bottle has a driven cork, meaning you need to use a cork screw to remove it.  The whole top is covered in hard wax, so it's a bit challenging to open.

Michel Couvreur Peaty Overaged Malt Whisky, 12 yo, 43% ($90)

The nose has a fruity peat with apples and strawberries.  The palate is sweet and peaty without any of the fruit notes from the nose, and the finish is mildly peaty with some sweetness.

This is a really well balanced whiskey.  The combination of sweetness and peat notes make it supremely drinkable.  If this were $40, I'd drink it every day.  At $90, I won't do that, but it's still a tasty, balanced, peated whiskey.  At cask strength, I bet this stuff would be amazing (K&L Davids, see what you can do for us on that front).


10 comments:

maltfascination.com said...

Hey Sku!

I talked to the guys at Couvreur last summer (I got in touch after the K&L piece you mention).

The Over aged is based on the French term hors d'age, which means 'beyond age'.

They named it that because according to them it tastes much more woody than a regular 12 year old.

tfr said...

I think the K&L article you linked hints at why it's labeled "overaged" -- vatting presumably includes casks up to 27 years old.

maltfascination.com said...

Oh, and the non Scotch thing seems to be more complex too.

They can't name it Scotch indeed, but European law also states that the country in which most of the process is done should be the producing country on the label.

Like Belgian chocolate (or Swiss) while there is not a cocoa plant in either of those countries.

sku said...

Thanks. I suppose that makes sense, but it still sounds odd in English. Maybe they should have gone with "XO" to be even more confusing.

maltfascination.com said...

Well, they're still French, right?

You can't really expect them to be clear about this. Take Cognac labels for example ;-)

AC, VO, VS, VSOP, XO, Napoleon, Varietal, Hors d'age. I keep having to look it up

Sokojoe said...

At the risk of sounding like an idiot, so you just jam the cork back in with probably oxidation occurring then? Or are you expected to use some kind of vacuum sealer?

sku said...

I just jammed the cork back in.

Andrew said...

Do you mean to say that you're not supposed to treat it like a wine and split it over dinner with a friend? Oh...

Greg said...

Steve - I picked up two bottles at first offering and think this is a very nice whisky. Nothing earth shattering but very enjoyable.

Florin said...

Thanks for the sample, Sku! This is a quite enjoyable whisky. While yes, it's peated, that's not the dominant element. The nose leads with orange peel (Cointreau) and light, bright sherry. A bit old-school Scotch (think Benromach), with a French polish. The peat is briny, lemony (Caol Ila?). The palate delivers what the nose promised, with a pleasant, restrained sweetness. Long, satisfying finish. I really liked that neither the peat nor the sherry were running the show, but they worked in the whole. It reminds me also of some of the better blended malts - Compass Box, Nikka from the Barrel, Blue Hanger. Not so much in the flavor, as in the skill, care, and elegance with which the whisky was assembled. Having said all this, it's not fully my style - perhaps I'm craving more complexity, or - well - more peat! Also: the age is never an issue, but the price is.