Bought: Online Whisky Auction, 3rd February 2016
91/100 – Whisky Bible 2009
65.67/100 – Whiskybase (from 3 member votes)
Now here’s an interesting whisky, and one that causes extremes of opinion. I spotted it in an online auction and the word “Corsica” caught my eye. Although I already have a whisky example from France, the island of Corsica is big enough to earn its own pin as part of my European whisky map. And we all know how different an island’s whisky can be to that of the mainland when you consider Orkney, Skye and Islay.
Whiskybase have categorised this ‘pure malt’ as a grain although it’s described as a ‘malt’ in Charlie Maclean’s ‘World Whisky’ book. I doubt it’s a single grain but whether it’s single malt is unclear. The Distillerie Mavela in Corsica started out as a brewery in 1996 but soon moved into whisky production. My bottle roughly dates between 2005 and 2008. The distillery has produced 7-year-old single malts since 2011.
Less than 66/100 on Whiskybase isn’t a great score but since nobody has left any tasting notes it’s unclear what the voters actually thought of the whisky. Jim Murray’s 91/100 in his Whisky Bible 2009 classifies this whisky as “brilliant”. He describes the taste as “amazingly sharp and mouth-watering. There are flavours new to me here – and that doesn’t happen often” and summarises with “an outstanding whisky which, being French, seems to offer a style that is entirely different from anything else around. I have been told there is chestnut within the grist which, strictly speaking, means this is not whisky as we know it.” And concludes with “delicious dram”.
If I’d only had Whiskybase to go on I wouldn’t have bought this whisky but, thanks to Jim Murray, I’m intrigued to discover the unique Corsicaness of this chestnut-infused malt.