Isarnhoe Stella Nova...

Isarnhoe Stella Nova (46.0%): The second sample from Isarnhoe distillery sitting on my desk today is their rye whisky Stella Nova. The whisky is distilled from locally grown rye and is three years old like the Rod Spelt I tasted a few days ago but this one is matured in an ex-bourbon barrel for the entire time instead of a French barrique.

Color: Light amber with nice persistent legs all around the glass.

Nose: It noses quite hot like a whisky with a much higher abv... Pine sap, chalk and prunes. Toasted marshmallows and cranberry juice. Pretty young... It handles a few drops of water very well: Eucalyptus drops, spearmint leaves and some diesel fuel.

Palate: Silky and mouth covering texture. Pine cones, honey and spruce. Sprig of burnt rosemary, cloves and nutmeg. Adding water unfortunately made that nice texture fall apart... I really liked how water improved the nose but maybe it's not worth adding it in this case. You really don't want to loose that nice oiliness on the palate. It was helping to balance the youngness of the whisky.

Finish: Medium long with pine bitters, cinnamon and allspice.

Overall: This is definitely a calmer, more mature and actually simply a better tasting whisky than Rod Spelt. Seems like ex-bourbon barrels did a better job and bringing down the abv helped as well. Needless to say it definitely would benefit from a longer maturation and I hope that's what they are planning with coming releases. Again, I don't know what to say about the price tag though... It is extremely expensive for a whisky that young and not quite ready. Let's see what the future bottlings from Isarnhoe will taste like. I hope I will have a chance to follow the progress in coming years. Thanks again to Jens Fischer for the sample and for the photo.

Price: €50 (500ml. bottle)