Wambrechies 8 Years Review

Country: France
Brand: Wambrechies
Type: Single Malt Whisky 
Age:  8 Years
ABV: 40 %
Date: 18/12/2013

Colour: Golden

Nose: Young and slightly edgy Industrial Alcohol, Sugar, Green Branches, Pine Needles, Nut Shells, Toffee, light Honey, Coarse Grains, Margarine and hints of Meat and Metal. Not too attractive I'm afraid.

Palate: Watery and Thin, Gin or Dutch Jenever, Pepper, slightly Bitter Green Wood, Toffee, light Cloves and Plastic.   

Finish: Short, Sugary Sweet with a bit of Margarine, Menthol, Perfume, Pepper and Plastic.

I added a bit of Water and the Nose gets a little more neutral with Grains, Aniseed and a far hint of Green Apples. On the Palate and in the Finish however the spirit completely loses the characteristics of a whisky.

Rating: 68.5

Nose: 17.5 - Taste: 17 - Finish: 17- Overall: 17

General Remarks: The Claeyssens de Wambrechies Distillery was founded around 1817 by Guillaume Claeyssens and is located in the town of Wambrechies, close to Roubaix. The distillery is a protected historical monument. Originally, their main product was Jenever but in 2000 the Distillery started to produce Single Malt Whisky. The 8 Years was introduced to the market in 2009. There are also 3 and 12 Years expressions available. The 8 Years sells at around 35/40 US Dollars.

Drinking Experience Neat: Below Average

Conclusion: This is my second French made whisky and again I am quite disappointed. This Wambrechies spent 8 years in Oak Casks but the spirit was not able to extract any fine Aromas or Flavours. Or the Casks did not have any to give. As it is, this Wambrechie smells and tastes more like Gin or Jenever than like Whisky. And when compared to its European mainland competitors (Holland, Germany, Switzerland) it falls a bit short as well. At least in my opinion. I'm optimistic that at some point in time, European mainland whiskies will catch up somewhat with their Scottish brothers in terms of flavour and overall quality. But there's still some ground to be covered!

Jan van den Ende                                                        December 2013

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