That is right, over one hundred years old in theory, but I’ve got confirmation that it was actually lying in demi-johns when they bottled it last year, so it’s not ‘technically’ a 100 years old. However, some Scottish brands would hire near-bankrupt crystal makers, reawaken obscure photographers or painters, activate embedded influencers and hungry PR people, and slap a price tag with six figures on such juice. But Baraillon would never do that, they would just use a most regular bottle and let the spirit speak for itself. I would add that as WWI only ended on November 11, the men were still at war (or dead) when this vintage was harvested. Which means that 1918 was a women’s vintage – while women’s vintages have just always been the best. Ever. Sexism in spirits, indeed!
Colour: deep gold.
Nose: shh, quiet please… Oh what a beauty… First some juicy red peaches, some black earth, some wild mushrooms (Caesar’s mushrooms, best in the world), some precious little sultanas, a little tamarind perhaps, artisan guignolet (bigarreau cherry liqueur)… Oh how subtle this is! Then we have anything herbal, old chartreuse perhaps, some old pipe tobacco, bits of bergamots, a little caraway and juniper, chestnuts and prunes, wee touches of chen-pi (sun-dried tangerine skin) and a little hoisin sauce (plums), something slightly miso-y (right, osmazôme), game, mint, liquorice… Oh wow oh wow oh wow! I really feel privileged, I don’t think there’s a more glorious way of celebrating the end of the worst war ever.
Mouth: boy I was afraid this would be too dry. And indeed it is dry – how and why wouldn’t it be dry - but feeling, in the deepest centre of your being, these tiny apricots, raisins and peaches still alive and singing is just extraordinary. Now indeed, wood spices and oils are rather having the stage, but without ever getting drying or just ‘too much’. No over-infused black tea whatsoever! Some adorable notes of chestnut honey, raw cocoa, black teas Russian-style (again, not over-infused), touches of roses, saffron, black tobacco – they were smoking Gauloises or ‘gris’ in 1918, chicory coffee… Well we could go on and on and on. Incredible drop.
Finish: amazing. I’ll leave it at that.
Comments: this is life. All the rest, except family and friends, is totally superfluous, including f****g politics and b****y religion. No I don’t feel like I should apologize. Remember, WWI, 20 million deaths.