Gjoleid Blindpassasjeren

November sees the release of two new Gjoleid bottlings at Vinmonopolet (not available from other retailers, as far as I know) I should have had tasting notes for both to share, but due to a mix-up I’ve only had the chance to taste the one they’ve named “Blindpassasjeren” (The Stowaway). It has matured in an ex-sherry cask for “almost five years”, but the unusual thing about it is that before the malt spirit was filled into this cask it had held aquavit for a period, which it is natural to expect will have had some influence on the whisky. The cask has also been walkabout (or sailabout, rather) along with the Linje Aquavit, and has crossed the equator twice between February and June this year.


Nose: Cumin, some newmake character, oaky sweetness. Towards aniseed with water, and aquavit-notes, but the malty spirit is still discernable beneath it all.

Palate: A light note of cumin, clear oak notes, the relatively high ABV is obvious. With water the taste also turns to aniseed.

Comments: Very easy drinking, and quite “aquavit-like”. A nice combination of the two types of spirit, who’d have thought aquavit-cask would be a success? I’m definitely bagging a bottle or two come November.

Gjoleid bourbon matured 47%

The label is almost too informative, but here are all the details: First fill, American oak, 200 liter casks. Matured for 3.5 years. Malt: Pale barley, pale wheat, beach wood smoked barley. Cask number 9359.

And it contains wheat malt. Interesting.

gjoleid_bourbonNose: It smells like whisky, and much less of congeners than a three year old can be expected to. A bit of lemon, a bit of malt, but a rather closed nose. With water it develops a somewhat surprising note of eucalyptus, with a persistent grain (as in dried barley and wheat, not as in “grain whisky”) character underneath.

Palate: My brain may be stuck on the ingredients list, but I actually think it tastes of driftwood and wheat husks. Water turns it sharper and brings out the eucalyptus from the nose, as well as some dry wood and a little newmakey roughness.

Comments: This is not bad at all. Arcus are not just playing at making whisky, that much is obvious. It would probably not stand up to a really good single malt, but then, at three, it can hardly be expected to. I’m looking forward to the next chapter.