Birds in the sky

I once heard some positive feedback about “Les Grands Alambics” (LGA), a good french independent bottler. Today I try their new “Birds Serie”, a release of five different bottlings. It’s the first time I taste something from LGA and I was looking forward to try it so let’s get started!

Glenallachie 5 yo 2014-2020 (52.3%, Les Grands Alambics, Birds Serie, Sherry Hogshead, 99 bottles)

Colour: Deep gold.
Nose: The nuts are clearly dominant with some notes of candied oranges, citruses, honey and hints of wet wood in the background. It’s powerful and quite round, I have the feeling it’s gonna be a good 5yo!
Mouth: The alcohol integration is really good. It’s oily. We still have the presence of nuts mainly but it’s a little bit more balanced on the other flavours. Candied oranges, coffee, dried apricot, mushrooms and wet wood.
Finish: Mid-long. There is a clear harmony with the mouth but there are a bit more of wet wood, smoky notes, roundness and nuts of course some!

That’s a really good 5yo, I’m quite impressed. Well, you have to like nuts to enjoy this one by the way.

Score: 87

Secret Highland 9 yo 2010-2019 (53.3%, Les Grands Alambics, Birds Serie, Bourbon Barrel, 59 bottles)

Colour: Straw.
Nose: Chalk, ripe melons, fresh lemons and some delicate waxy notes. Hey I love that!
Mouth: The alcohol integration is perfect. It’s a thick texture too. Beeswax, chalk, eucalyptus freshness, a big bag of white and yellow fruits. There is also some hidden presence of wood smoke.
Finish: Long. there are fruits and wax mainly but there is some notes of smoke, lemons and mentholated freshness in the background.

I liked that one, another really good young dram, if you love the fruit and wax mix as I am, this one is worth a try for sure!

Score: 89

Ardmore 22 yo 1997-2020 (50.6%, Les Grands Alambics, Birds Serie, Hogshead, 100 bottles)


Colour: White wine.
Nose: What a nice coastal peat! Iodine, sea salt, delicate smoke, leather, white fruits, pastry and even some mineral and smoky notes.
Mouth: The alcohol integration is really good. The same nice and gentle peat is present. Iodine, candied lemons, mineral notes, cold ashes, wood smoke and some kind of mixed grassy and medicinal notes. The profil is quite original but it works pretty well!
Finish: Long. Citruses, freshly cut lemons, grass, cold ashes and some mineral notes.

Most of the time I did not particularly enjoy Ardmore whiskies but this one is pretty good and does the job pretty well.

Score: 88

Blended Malt 18 yo 2001-2019 (46.4%, Les Grands Alambics, Birds Serie, Sherry Butt, 103 bottles)


Colour: Deep gold.
Nose: Citruses, fresh fruits, noble wood, dusty books, old library, chocolate, spices and some pine wood freshness that enhance the mix.
Mouth: The alcohol integration is really good. Noble wood again, beeswax, spices, citruses, wood smoke and a mix of eucalyptus and pine wood freshness.
Finish: Long. It’s quite round without being sweet. Spices, noble wood, candied citruses and some shy medicinal notes.

A very good blended malt, it’s an old school style and I enjoyed it. Nice job.

Score: 88

Croftengea 10 yo 2009-2020 (53.5%, Les Grands Alambics, Birds Serie, Hogshead, 107 bottles)


Colour: Straw.
Nose: Farmy peat and exotic fruits, that’s really nice! Pineapples, ripe mangoes and papayas. The flavours are well integrated.
Mouth: The alcohol integration is perfect and the texture is very oily and thick. Iodine and peat for sure! Sea salt, brine, medicinal notes, pineapples, papayas and ripe mangoes with also some lingering wood smoke notes.
Finish: Long. There is a nice harmony with the mouth. Aerial peat, iodine, medicinal notes, exotic fruits marmalade and hints of smoke.

This one is my favorite of this “Birds serie”. The complexity and balance are really top notch!

Score: 90

You guys made a really good job with this selection. I liked all those bottlings and I have to admit that the quality and constancy are impressive. Given the quite low price tag, I think it’s one of best value for money at the moment on the market for those loving those profile and a really good alcohol integration. Good job guys!

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