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Vilanova Gost



Age: NAS

Abv: 43 %

Bottle size: 35 cl

Place of purchase: Alko

Price:  35,70€

For a whisky enthusiast it's always a joyous day when small bottles appear in Alko. Although a 0.35L bottle isn't exactly tiny, it still significantly lowers the purchasing threshold. Vilanova Gost is a product of a family-owned distillery in France. The distillery is located in the municipality of Villeneuve-sur-Vère in the Occitanie region. Originally established in 1921 by Gilbert Castan, Gilbert and his son Jacques traveled from village to village with a mobile still, distilling fruits for private customers.

Since this type of mobile distillation is no longer practiced in France (or perhaps not allowed to be practiced?), Jacques's son Sebastien had to consider other solutions. In 2007, Sebastien, with his wife Celine, decided to establish a whisky distillery and just three years later the first spirits came out of the still. The distillery handles many stages of whisky production by themselfs, from growing the grains to bottling.

There are five whiskies in the core range. I'm tasting Vilanova Gost today. It's matured in Ex-bourbon casks

Nose: Acidity and farm-like qualities at first. It's that honest sourness, like the sweat of a hardworking laborer who has been working in the fields all day or as we are in the modern era, someone who has played Fortnite all evening. After a while, the scent turns towards a more relaxed direction. Apricot, apple, pear, and vanilla come through. The initial heavier scents fortunately fade into the background over time, bringing a pleasant undertone to the aroma.

Taste: Moving towards farm-like qualities in taste again. The taste of the spirit intensifies, and its youthfulness shines through. Unfortunately, fruitiness and vanilla are mostly absent. Even with time, I can't seem to tease them out in the taste; they remain as undertones.

After: The finish pleasantly surprises right from the start. The oak takes the edge off that earthy straw-like flavor and immediately improves the whisky. Fruits and vanilla resurface from somewhere, turning the experience positive again. The finish is still short, but surprisingly effective in its brevity.

Overall, I have mixed feelings about this whisky now that I've spent more time tasting it. The aroma and finish work really well when the better elements take center stage. However, with the taste, it feels like the unpleasant flavors dominate the palate, and to me, they don't work as main flavors but rather as supporting and invigorating undertones to the fruity vanilla. It would be interesting to taste this a bit stronger and older. I still see potential in this whisky if the right elements strengthen as it ages. On the other hand, if it continues in a direction less appealing to me, then this whisky misses the mark. I'm eagerly awaiting to see where the distillery goes from here.

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