Almost exactly one and a half years ago I’ve written a few articles about the G. Rozelieures Whiskys from the distillery Grallet Dupic located in the French village of Rozelieures in Lorraine. To be honest, I was quite positively surprised by the quality of these smoky continental whiskies at that time, since they didn’t have that certain resemblance to fruit eau de vies a lot of continental whiskys bring with them (which you don’t really want that much in a single malt whisky). And that was not only the case due to their peated character. (provided test product)*
As part of a blind tasting, I would rather have located all four bottles reviewed here in the blog (here, here and two of them here) to Scotland without hesitation. Admittedly, smoky whiskies are a rarity among continental barley malt distillates and this could possibly explain it, but it wasn’t just that. Rather, the G. Rozelieures whiskies showed a very beautiful, spicy and round basic character paired with a very exciting maturation in former sherry or cognac barrels.
Now a new bottle was launched as part of the series, which stands out significantly from previous bottlings: it was not made from barley malt dried over smoke and is therefore the first non-smoky G. Rozelieures whisky. Since I have already reported about the background of the distillery, the people behind the brand and also about the name dispute (I would like to recommend this article to those interested), I would like to go directly to the heart of the matter today.
The single malt whisky, which is named “G. Rozelieures Subtil Collection”, was – like the other whiskies in the series – distilled twice and then allowed to mature in former cognac barrels, ex-Bourbon barrels and new barrels from the Vosges region. This bottle also does not bear an indication of age. It was bottled with an ABV of 40% and costs about 50 euros.
Aroma: Malt, honey and cereals, but above all there’s a beautiful, fully ripe pear with hints of baked quince. Over time, a few notes of fermented, bright-colored fruits arise. Again, I like the first impression of this G. Rozelieures!
Taste: This whisky – and that is actually somewhat unexpected considering the name “Subtil” – turns out quite spicy on the palate. The pear and quince are once again present, but the influence of the barrels with dry oak notes is surprisingly distinctive. I can find a bit of vanilla, honey and cinnamon, with nuances reminiscent of bread. Once again: as part of a blind tasting, I would classify this whisky to be from the Highlands. G. Rozelieures definitely does not have to hide with this bottle, even if the alcohol still reveals a little of the presumed youth of this distillate.
Finish: quite dry with pear and a hint of green oak wood.
It soon became clear to me that I had to take on the pear characteristic of the G. Rozelieures Subtil in a cocktail. However, to simply reduce it to a “peary whisky” would be a wrong approach for this single malt because of course there is a lot more to it than that. That’s why I was more interested in accentuating the pear notes and embedding them in an aromatic frame. In a way, I wanted to create a more “mature” drink around the aroma of the pear. The very nice Moor-Birne from Scheibel sets the accents here, while very easy-to-make sage syrup, some lemon juice and the very beautiful Galgant cream liqueur from the Prussian Spirits Manufactory (Preußische Spirituosen Manufaktur) play the accompanying music. And since I had dealt with some sociological topics on the day the drink was made, the name was quickly found: Pear Group Member.
Recipe “Pear Group Member”:
4.5 cl G. Rozelieures Subtile
1 cl PSM galangal cream liqueur
2 cl lemon juice
1.5 cl sage syrup (see below)
0.5 cl Scheibel Moor pear
Sage syrup: Add a handful of fresh sage leaves to each 100 ml water and 100 g sugar in a pan and bring to the boil. Simmer until the sugar has dissolved and a syrupy consistency is achieved (between 5 and 10 minutes). The syrup should have a slightly greenish color.
Preparation: Shake all ingredients vigorously on ice and strain into a pre-cooled glass.
Garnish: sage leaf
Buying sources: At specialized retailers or online
*The fact that this product has been sent to me free of charge for editorial purposes does not – in any way – imply any influence on the content of this article or my rating. On the contrary, it is always an indispensable condition for me to be able to review without any external influence.