Moon Harbour Pier 1 Review

“Das Blend”
Whisky Review # 819

Country: France/Scotland
Brand: Moon Harbour Pier 1
Type: Blended Scottish Whisky
Age: NAS
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 45.8%
Maturation: Refill Bourbon. Perhaps some Sherry. Finished in Sauternes Casks.
Chill Filtration: No
Price Range: US$ 45-55 (July 2019)
Buying Advice: 😏Interesting story. Price Quality ratio: A bit too expensive.


Golden Amber(Artificially Coloured)


Young, Sweet and a little Edgy. The Grain Alcohol is noticeable. There's a bit of Fruit but I can't find a significant influence of the Sauternes finish. The Nose is rather closed at first so give it enough time in the glass.

Main Aromas:

Sweet Grains, Buttered Toast, Alcohol, Apricot, Nectarine, Papaya, Pepper and Ginger.

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Vanilla, Demerara Sugar, Caramel, Toasted Oak, Herbal Tea, Bounty Bars, Orange Marmalade, Lemon Curd and Cinnamon.


Sweet, Young, Edgy, Spicy and a little Hot. The Alcohol really starts to irritate a little.

Main Flavours:

Sweet Grains, Caramel, Toffee, Vanilla, Apricot, Nectarine, Pepper, Cinnamon, Ginger and Cloves.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Honey, Toasted Oak, Bounty Bars, Menthol and Orange.


Middle-Long, Sweet and quite Spicy. A few Sour Wine notes as well. The Alcohol stings a little. I find Sweet Grains, Vanilla, Caramel, Refill Oak, Apricot filled Puff Pastry, Nectarine, Orange, Herbal Tea, Pepper, Cloves, Ginger and Menthol.

Drinking Advice:

I added a bit of Water and I get a little Peach and Vanilla custard on the Nose. The Alcohol retreats and that's a good thing. Palate and Finish become more Spicy. It's a a matter of Taste but you can carefully add a few drops of Water.

Rating: 79

Nose: 20 - Taste: 20 - Finish: 19.5 - Overall: 19.5

Drinking Experience Neat: Okay

Drinking Experience on the Rocks: Okay


Moon Harbour is a project initiated in 2014 by Yves Medina & Philippe Ballanger from Bordeaux, France. In 2016 they started to build a distillery in a bunker in Bordeaux that hosted a German submarine base in World War II. To realise this ambitious project the local craftsman Jean Louis Stupfler, a stills designer, was hired and cooperation was achieved with various Chateaux and barrel suppliers that will provide the casks. In the future the cereals used by the distillery will come from the Bordeaux region. No less than 250 hectares of Barley have already been planted.

In order to promote the project (and to get a little cash) the partners decided to launch a few Blended Whiskies in cooperation with the famous Scotch Master-Distiller John McDougall who worked for quite a large number of Scottish Malt distilleries. John procures the Malt - and Grain Whiskies in Scotland. These are shipped to Bordeaux and finished there for 3-6 months in Ex-Sauternes casks. The Pier 1 is part of a series of 2 Blends. The Pier 2 is a lightly peated Blend that is finished in Red Wine casks. The Moon Harbour distillery is already operative and also sells Gin, Rum and Moon Spirit. I'm really curious to taste the first Single Malt produced there but unfortunately we will have to wait until 2020 for that to happen.

Moon Harbour is named after the famous crescent moon outlined by the river Garonne at the entrance of Bordeaux.

Pier 1 is an interesting experiment although it's not new. Scotch Whisky is often shipped in bulk to France where it is further elaborated and bottled. France is a huge Whisky Market of course. I can't get excited about the Pier 1 though. The Grain Alcohol really dominates and the Malt content suffers from indifferent cask management. The Sauternes finish is hardly noticeable, if at all. It's just one of those reasonable Blended Whiskies that you will find all over the place. This one differs in so far that it's got an interesting story to tell. Packaging and Bottle are nice as well. But it's not interesting enough as a sipping Whisky and it's merely okay over ice. I wish the project the best of luck though and look forward to their 1st homemade Single Malt.


Jan van den Ende                                                                      July 12, 2019

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