Hammerhead 23 Year 1989 Czech Vintage Single Malt

World Whiskey Review #30: Hammerhead 23 Year 1989 Czech Vintage Single Malt

Distillery: Prádlo Distillery

Region: Czech Republic

Price: Many thanks to /u/bradbobaggins

for letting me try this one!

Cask Type: 100% Czech Oak Casks

Mashbill: 100% Czech Barley

ABV: 40.7%

Age: 23 Year. Distilled in 1989.

Color: 0.8, Old Gold.

Nose: (according to the wife) It smells like kombucha. The sourness and tartness comes up front and center and is joined by a bit of something earthy, lemon, and pineapple.

Palate: It’s very malt barley forward with that lovely bit of sweetness that comes along with it. There’s a bit of tartness in the form of a lemon shortbread and a b it of sourness in the form of a very lovely sourdough bread. There is also something very herbal that I can’t quite place, it’s almost like a spoonful of a dried herb mix.

Finish: Medium to short. That herbal note continues on here. A nice note of sweet menthol and wraps this one up.

Conclusion: Last year, as part of our grand European adventure, the wife and I stopped over in Prague for a few days. We were enchanted by how beautiful the city was, how friendly the people were, and how amazing their food and beer is (their beer is to die for). What we missed was this literal Soviet era relic of a whisky. The story about this whisky goes that it was distilled in Czechslovakia to provide a single malt whisky option as importing whisky from the West was all but impossible (though apparently imported Scottish peat was used in the creation of this whisky). During the fall of the Soviet Union, it was forgotten about until thousands of aging barrels were found when the ownership of the distillery changed hands. So how does this once forgotten whisky taste? All things considered, it’s not bad at all. It’s incredibly malt centric with bits of tartness and sourness to go along with it. There’s a nice herbal note to it and the menthol toward the end makes for a pleasant finish. Would I buy a bottle? I wish I’d brought one back with me, if only to have a great story to tell!

Final Score: 77.

World Whisky Review #30, Czech Whisky Review #1, Whisky Network Review #240

Scoring Legend:

  • 96-100: The perfect dram, nectar of the gods.
  • 90-95: Near perfect, there is something truly special about this whisky.
  • 85-89: Amazing, will always try to keep a bottle of this in my collection (if feasible).
  • 80-84: Very Good, maybe only one minor nitpick about the whisky keeping it here.
  • 75-79: Good, quite enjoyable to drink.
  • 70-74: Solid, wouldn’t go out of my way to get it.
  • 60-69: Meh, still drinkable.
  • Below 59: If you have a bottle of this, start cooking with it instead.

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