The brewery De Graal in Brakel (Belgium) – active since 2002 – is best known for its lovely beers-on-demand. Clubs, companies or restaurants can have their own recipe brewed into their own beer. But brewer Wim Saeyens like to distill as well. That is why you can find a San Graal single malt that matured for 5 years on bourbon casks. Only available at the distillery, though. The whisky is neither colored nor chill filtered.
The nose is quite piquant and alcoholic, but once you get past that, you’ll notice it is candy-like sweet. Turkish Delight, vanilla, pineapple, banana. Lots of citrus. Reminds me a bit of Bénédictine liqueur. Adding water gives it a metallic edge, as if poured from a can.
This is scorching hot! It simply burns and is hard to appreciate neat. Just like on the nose, it reminds me of that typical French liqueur, seasoned with ginger and pepper. Oranges galore. Slight bitterness. Water makes it sweeter, but also sharper and not better.
Medium long finish on more oranges and caramel. Diluted, the finish is very short.
Not bad, but blind I would not have guessed this is whisky. Around 45 EUR for half a liter is not cheap, but it is cask strength. It does not cope well with water though.