Maltstock – Bourbon & Innovation with Hans Offringa

This Masterclass was not exactly scheduled to appear in the regular line-up but was announced pretty late as a prize for the winners of the whisky quiz. In the end, it turned out, it was also for the runner-ups. The 1st prize was the masterclass and a bottle of whisky (for each team member).

Anyway, this masterclass took place half an hour after the Michael Lord’s one ended so more or less during lunch. I ran out quickly after downing another dram of that terrific Convalmore for a sandwich and right back in for this wee event.

Hans Offringa. Photo by Ernst J. Scheiner.

Hans Offringa. Photo by Ernst J. Scheiner.

I didn’t know what to expect but I noticed right away that there was A LOT of booze on the table, in front of all seats. 10 samples in a single masterclass! All unlabeled.

The first row of three had a bit a quiz in it: It contained 2 bourbons and one six month old bourbon that was artificially ‘aged’ by Terressentia. Luckily, I was able to pick it out without much effort. The bourbons were much more rounded while the Terressentia one had a bit of a plasticy nose and taste, with the smoothness of regular bourbon. The biggest give-away was the lack of wood influence.

The others turned out to be 1 year old Maker’s Mark and Jim Beam Black.

The second row was a mini masterclass of Woodinville‘s products. This fledgling distillery in Washington has been in business for little over two years so we tasted their new make, the 1 year old and the 2 year old. The new make tasted pretty okay with a lot of corn sweetness (no surprise there) while the 1 year old was a lot more mature of course. It was already a nice product on its own. The 2 year old was comparable to the one year old. A bit more wood influence, but there was quite some freshness too.

Row three had three samples of Maker’s Mark lined up. In combination with the one year old from the beginning this was a very interesting row. The new make tasted fairly regular. I don’t have enough experience with new make to pick up the subtleties, but the one year old was already gentle, very sweet and not much wood. The regular one was exactly that, the regular one. The last in the row was an over-age. Probably about 8 or 9 years old, while the normal bottling consists of whisky of around 6 years old (5.75 to 6.5, according to Sietse Offringa/Offspringa).

The tenth and last sample was proper hooch. How Hans got it and how it ended up in The Netherlands is the stuff of legend and much speculation. As we tasted it (it’s not too bad actually) Hans told it the stuff is mostly used for infusions and other non-drinking stuff. At least by him…

The strangest thing about this masterclass was that it turned out to be a highlight of Maltstock. I enjoyed the other masterclasses but this one brougt something really new to the table. It went in depth with the artificially aged version of a bourbon. It had stuff from a new distillery and a line-up of booze from Maker’s Mark that is not something I have ever been able to try before. Incredibly cool and thanks to Hans!

I will go more in depth on the Terressentia thing after trying my sample.

About Sjoerd de Haan-Kramer

I'm very interested in booze, with a focus on whisky. I like to listen to loads of music and play lots of Magic: the Gathering, and board games too. I'm married to Anneke, have two daughters Ot and Cato, a son Moos and a cat called Kikker (which means Frog, in Dutch). I live in Krommenie, The Netherlands.
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1 Response to Maltstock – Bourbon & Innovation with Hans Offringa

  1. Pingback: My favourite events of 2013 | Malt Fascination

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