Teerenpeli is one of the few Finnish whisky distilleries and they have been producing whisky over a ten years now. Their drams have had it’s ups and downs, but lately it has been better than during the earlier years. Their first Distiller’s Choice was Kaski ( http://savuista.blogspot.fi/2013/02/teerenpelin-kaski-kaskimaitten-janojuoma.html ) which provided drams for the thirsty people of backwoods. Last year they did Äes which I only tasted briefly. Now they have produced HOSA, which in a name means a stock of pine branches on top of the pole, which were damped in water and used to put down the fire. I hadn’t heard that before. Not as good as a name as Kaski was, but it is filled with Finnish story.
HOSA is roughly ten years old Teerenpeli. They haven’t provided exact information but this is the story told at the village pubs during late night. It is also called the Black Cask edition, since they have matured the whisky in a cask that was used in Islay during it’s earlier years. It should provide the dram with some Islay characteristics then. There are only 672 bottles of Hosa available, and they have watered it down to 43%.
The freshly opened bottle poured a dram of it’s contents into my glass and it patiently waited until I sat down and took it. There isn’t much color in the dram. It is very light amber, that only dissipates in the glass. I am glad about the oiliness however, it creates a nice string of pearls when I fool around with the glass. The scent reflects of it’s color: it is mild and distant. Not unpleasant, but it will get lost to stronger themed drams very easily – even to Highlanders.
The first sip produces some ash and smoke, along with sweet pepper and spices. Vanilla and a bit of put down fire, which re-emerges at the end from a small puff into a fiery flames. Spiciness is very prominent and there is some smoke too. This is a very little and young dragon, however. It’s flame does not burn hot nor long. The second sip experiences the dragon’s silver tongue and sweet beg for mercy. The young ones always can be beaten even with one hand suffering a flesh wound. However, the cunning and clever plan lures out more associates and it gets stronger at the end again.
The ending is a lot shorter than the tale told in pubs about the last summer’s big fish. A lot shorter. But There is the tale of the hidden young dragon, who gains power while staying out of the light. This dram feels very young and it feels more powerful than 43% it claims. This one bites and delivers. This is into my liking a lot more than I ever expected. There is no shame and I do appreciate the effort Teerenpeli does with experiments. The price, however, could be a bit lower.