The first Polish single malt whisky.
The times when whisky was associated exclusively with Scotland or Ireland are slowly going to an end. Now, whisky is produced in many countries. Starting with Japan, where it comes from hailed by Jim Murray’s the best single malt of 2015 – Yamazaki Sherry Cask 2013, by France, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Finland and many, many others.
As Mikolaj Rej said “Poles are not geese and their own language have” (to oppose Latin in written language), and now we have received the first Polish Single Malt Whisky – Prologue. The liquor comes from Kozuba & Sons from Jabłonka near Nidzica in Masuria. The company was founded in 2005, began by tinctures, then appeared flavored vodka, vodka, and now we have a single malt whisky.
It is worth noting that the owner’s effort to provide good quality liqueurs was awarded in 2008 by granting gold and silver medal in a competition organized by the Beverage Testing Institute in Chicago. Another gold medal came in 2012 and concerned the Starkus, vodka matured in oak barrels.
Let’s go to the single malt. Prologue was matured three years in fresh (new, before nothing has matured in it) casks from American white oak. This period is the official minimum for single malt whisky. Bottled at 43% ABV. Producer gives us the mash bill: 40% Pale Ale, 40% birch smoked and 20% carmelized. The whole series was created from four barrels, of which 1,400 pieces were bottled. My bottle is No. 207. We don’t have an information about the coloring and chillfiltration on the bottle. I was told by the distillery representative that these processes were not used. In fact, probably I haven’t tried before whisky matured only in fresh barrels. If this occurred it was usually an additional aging (Glenfiddich Rich Oak or Jura Boutique Barrels). A … and I have Bunnahabhain Darach Ur, where we can find a fresh wood too, but I do not know if they used 100% of it to create a whisky.
As for the presentation, I recommend an internal inspection of the label 😉 I will not describe it, to not spoil the fun.
Enough of the theory, let’s see what we’re dealing with.
N: sweet, vanilla, caramel, slightly soapy and immediately pungent, peppery, in a moment like perfumed, and further ginger – just it for the beginning, after deeper and longer sniffing I have an apple and peach, traces of herbs, then a feel of wet earth, right again young, with a sort of dry straw;
T: strongly warms, and even burns on the tongue, with ginger, bitterness, with a touch of sweet, after major attempts I have graze of dark chocolate and maybe also a timidly emerging grapefruit; evidently I feel the youth here;
F: medium length, dry with elements of ginger and bitterness.
In my opinion it would do well to give here more power, I have a little hunger – maybe a place for water would appear and we would be able to watch how whisky is changing. I added a little of water only for an experiment, the smell mellowed, but also taste definitely watered down and became orange (like a soft orange drink). Then I added more water, but whisky didn’t clouded, so I don’t know how it was with chillfiltration.
Smell and taste are appropriate to the age and of course reveal the elements of youth.
I’m curious how this whisky is going to tase in an older age, although further maturation in fresh barrels may widen ginger and bitterness, but we’ll see.
As for the debut, I have to congratulate, which of course I do. I am glad that I was able to taste the first Polish single malt whisky. I am waiting for the next editions. I wish the distillery a lot of success and keep my fingers crossed for further development.