I wrote about KDC Juuri back in December 2014: http://savuista.blogspot.fi/2014/12/rye-rye-time-for-rye-juuri-root-of-kyro.html
Since that time, I have learned that KDC produces their drams in relatively small batches (roughly 600 0,5 liter bottles at the time) and there can be variance between batches. It all depends on multiple factors. Unless the vatting is done on larger number of batches there are differences between bottling batches.
When I got my hands onto sample about batch 8 and Raw Origins, I naturally had to review what’s going on especially since I had now visited the distillery and learned more about their process.
The Rye KDC uses for their mash is excellent. I was able to taste it and I was taken away with that experience. It is great to know how their raw ingredient fares and what the actual end product will taste.
The sample of the batch 8 has a lot better and softer nose than the batch 13. While it is like a moonlighted booze (it is booze after all), it has a great scent in it. Soft rye with some summer combined into it. But what is more important, is that the taste is a lots more tolerable and soft. It is rough, like a Finnish drink should be, but it also has a great rye in it. This is much more balanced and much more complex, than the one from the room 13. Personality is nicer, there is some twist and joke in it but what is the most important part: the finish is longer and way more pleasant. While this is far away from whisky (this is new make, unaged) this is a good base for the dram to come.
While at it, I have to write about the Raw Juuri also. Normally Juuri is tamed down to 46.3% while the Raw Juuri is bottled at 63.8%. This is actually also the strength used when the Juuri is put into barrels for maturation. Considering the angel’s share I’d guess the final Cask Strenght KDC Rye Whisky will be roughly 52-58% – depending on the age of course.
I have no details about the batch of the Raw Juuri I tasted, but I am surprised how mild and soft the scent is. Considering the power of the drink, I was expecting a lot tougher experience. The Rye scents nice!
Also the palate is first a lot more softer than I thought it would be. The bite emerges much later than I was anticipating. Rye, summer, sun and vast fields surround me when I dive deep into this one. Nothing bad, but there is a constant reminder that this is just the step one. The cask hasn’t given it it’s share yet – and the cask maturation is the big difference between a booze and the whisky. The finish burns and steams, like a steampunk locomotive in a heat but it cools down after finishing it’s goal. Too bad I don’t know the batch of this one, but I must say I enjoy the Raw Juuri much more than the ordinary one.