The Barrel Sample: S.B.S French Antilles 2020 Port Cask Grand Arome – The Whisky Exchange

Here is one of my mini-reviews for one of the samples I received from the S.B.S bottlings chosen by Dawn Davies exclusively for TWE.

S.B.S French Antilles comes from Le Galion Distillery, Martinique, is molasses based (rather than cane juice which is Martinique predominant), fermented for an extended amount of time, as it is a Grande Arome (high ester), distilled in 2020 using a column still and aged in a Port Cask. Bottled in June 2021 at 56.2% ABV, no chill filtering or additives, with a limited number of 179 bottles available.

On the nose it feels fairly pungent. Strawberry and peach yogurt, overripe bananas, roasted cocoa, nail varnish and star anise. This will make your blood boil. Stinky cheese, walnuts, Luxardo liqueur and smoked almonds. A touch of a barbequish note. Yes!

On the palate it feels like chewing cocoa nibs with a shot of acetone. Chocolate galore, sweet cherries, well overripe bananas, candied raspberries and guava juice. Chewy oak, aromatic tobacco, Amaretto and pomegranate molasses. Black olives, black pepper, liquorice and walnuts. Never tried anything like this, at least not that I can remember of. The finish is long with cherry jam, overripe bananas and vanilla.

Wow, just wow, this is grand(e)! Intense, complex, moreish, punchy and multi-dimensional. Can be found exclusively on TWE website for £110… if you like funk, get this ASAP!

S.B.S French Antilles 2020 Port Cask Grand Arome – The Whisky Exchange score:
Flavour/taste: 63/70
Value for money: 15/15
Transparency/purity: 15/15
Overall: 93/100


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