Michel still had his house in Bouze-les-Beaune and returned there in 1978. Behind the house he dug out a new cellar in the hillside, making it a center for importing good Sherry casks from spain (to the south of where he was), and Whisky (from the north). One of his cellars is pretty humid, with natural water running down the walls, I’m not even mentioning here what grows on the walls! The first cellar that lies between the house and the rest of the underground complex is drier and is where all the casks are stored (see picture above). Visiting there some time ago, I saw some nice casks of Sherried 1981 Brora (which I got to taste) and a 1969 and some seventies Springbank. If Michel thought the Whisky had matured enough, he transferred the Whisky to large glass bottles and stored them in dark passageways. On August 17, 2013 Michel left for the big distillery in the sky at the age of 85 years.
Color: Murky orange brown.
Nose: Beautiful full Sherried nose, like the best of them all: old Macallan. Creamy and fruity. Vanilla and Ice-cream. All the best from Sherry but without its harshness, and without its sulphur. Full and elegant Sherry aroma, but very light. It doesn’t leap out of the glass at you. Mocha and soft and squishy wet wood. Fruity candy again. Licorice and a green and leafy note. Honey and young creamy Edam cheese.
Taste: Initially sweet Sherry, but eventually drier than expected. Quite some heavy Sherry aroma. A bit like one of the best A’bunadh’s with some water. Given some time the sweetness develops into a honeyed sweetness. Although Michel is never connected to much with Oloroso, it does have a lot of traits from Oloroso casked Whisky, like A’bunadh. Sweet and dry at the same time. Quite some oak hides behind the Sherry. The oak comes through and is easily recognizable by the bitterness it gives off, making the Sherry-ness transparent. A sort of hoppy bitterness with ashes. Funky! (But not funky Sherry). Tastewise a bit unbalanced.
This one I would have liked to try at an ever higher strength. For me this example smells better than it actually tastes. It has a kind of bitterness that lasts into the finish, I’m not so keen about. Lovely nose though. A good Whisky but I liked the previous example a little better.