Gouden Carolus has come a long way. I could hardly stomach their first releases (more banana liqueur than whisky), but they have improved significantly over the past years. What has me looking on wide-eyed and totally flabbergasted is the crazy hype that seems to have surrounded this distillery by now and which has enabled their releases to fetch ridiculous prices on the secondary market. Their first anniversary release – only 7 years ago – now commands around 1.500 EUR for a 50cl bottle. What did I miss? Anyway, in front of me is Victor, the 5th Anniversary Release from 2018, matured on first fill bourbon casks. A small bottle will set you back some 100 EUR. Nuts.
The nose is candy-like sweet on breakfast cereals, young apples and pear syrup. Hint of dried coconut and peach. Oak wood. Docile and simply, but quite pleasant.
The body is just fine. Honeysweet and peppery arrival. Again apples and apricots, but also quite a bit of oak. Clearly (still) young. Midpalate it turns somewhat bitter and drying.
The finish is medium long and drying and again shows the young age of this malt.
Too young and too expensive. I much prefer to spend that money on their whisky infused beer Gouden Carolus Indulgence. This kind of many gets me like 12 large bottles of their beer. This whisky, however, I will let pass me by. By now, their 6th Anniversary Release – Esmeralda – has hit the shelves. I’m in no hurry.