#224 • Hammer Head Czech Whiskey 1989

40.7% alc./vol.
Pradlo Distillery, Pradlo, Czech Republic.

The whiskey chosen to start the second half of the evening of "whiskeys with history" at Scotch Whiskey Club of Quebec from April 22 is one of a rather unusual origin, the Hammer Head Czech Whiskey 1989.

Inaugurated in 1928, the Czech Pradlo distillery, which reached its peak in the 80s, was a nationalized distillery which aimed to emulate the manufacturing processes of its Scottish capitalist competitors. They used a variety of barley grown in Czechoslovakia and spring water from the Bohemian region. Aging was also done exclusively in new Czech oak barrels.

What makes it a “whiskey with history”? In 1989, a major event marked the whole of Europe: the fall of the dreaded Berlin Wall. In all the chaos surrounding this reunification, many Pradlo casks were forgotten and lost for almost 20 years.

The name Hammer Head was given to this rediscovered whiskey in honor of the mill used to crush malted barley, a mill that was installed from the start of the distillery's operations in the late 20s.

As my muse once said again Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill (1874-1965) so aptly put it:

In England everything is allowed except what is forbidden. In Germany everything is forbidden except what is allowed. In France everything is allowed, even what is forbidden. In the USSR everything is forbidden, even what is allowed.

Immensely pale, like a full moon night on Berlin.

Pear, kiwi, vanilla, grass. A wind of nectarine and fruit punch stifles almost everything else. A little bit of dust and wood. Caramel and orange.

Orange, caramel, cinnamon, cane sugar. Definitely the most enjoyable moment of this dram.

Citrus background eclipsed by a handful of change. Much too metallic for my taste.

Unfortunately not enough in my palette. Beautiful piece of history, but nothing more.

Note: ★★★★★