Another French whisky? Yup and this one is even better than the last. The Pro$hibition Vin Jaune is, in my humble opinion, a step up from the already stellar Pro$hibition Vin de Paille and that’s no easy feat. The Vin Jaune is called such because it’s aged in ex-Vin Jaune barrels which hail from the Chataeu Chalon AOC. If all of that sounds like nothing more than big bag of words that’s probably because you’re not a wine nerd… which I’m not either so don’t feel bad. I am a wine drinker and appreciator, but my nerdery is reserved for whisky so once again we turn to Wikipedia to find out exactly what this means and why it’s so special.
Let’s start with Chataeu Chalon. According to Wikipedia “Château-Chalon is an Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée for wines made in the Jura wine region of France, around the village of Château-Chalon. Only white wines from the Savagnin grape made in the vin jaune (“yellow wine”) style can be made using this appellation”. So at this point it sounds like it’s a single malt aged in a wine barrel, but if we dig a bit deeper we find that there’s a little more to Vin Jaune than just being a “Yellow Wine”.
Again turning to Wikipedia “Vin jaune (French for “yellow wine”) is a special and characteristic type of white wine made in the Jura region in eastern France. It is similar to dry fino Sherry and gets its character from being matured in a barrel under a film of yeast, known as the voile, on the wine’s surface”. However, it is not a fortified wine so it’s not exactly like a Sherry, just “sherry like”.
So what does this all mean? Boil it all down and and what we’re dealing with is a French Single Malt that’s been aged for 3-4 years in an ex-sherry-like-but-not-quite-sherry barrel. I’ve never had wine from the Jura region, but with how much I’m enjoying whiskies finished in barrels used to store their wines I think I might have to track some down.
Pro$hibition Vin Jaune Single Cask Review
Age: 3-4 years (till it’s ready)
Price: $147 (in Canada)*
Mashbill: 100% Barley (it’s a French single malt)
The malt comes right upfront along with a velvety sweetness, white wine, vanilla and a light citrus. That aroma alone would have been enough for me to want to sit and sniff for hours, but it keeps going with notes of apricots, caramel and ripe orchard fruit. It’s a deep and complex aroma.
Again the malt is right up front, but it’s not a harsh malt, it’s a soft sweet malt that gives way to notes of apricots, cinnamon, fruit leather, nutmeg, orchard fruit and golden grapes. Hints of wood, honey and an ambiguous spice waltz around in the background adding even more depth to this well of flavor.
Med in length, fueled by soft sweet malt and laced with notes of apricots, white wine, vanilla frosting and wood.
BALANCE, BODY & FEEL
Very nicely balanced with everything moving in time. Med-full body and a warm silken texture bring it home.
I freaking love it. The deep fruity aroma, the complex fruit and malt flavor and rich finish make me want to go back for more… if I had more that is. The Vin Jaune barrels give it very apparent notes of white wine that are simultaneously surprising and complimentary. This almost erases all the other bad experiences I’ve had with French whisky and makes me want to start singing Vive La France, but there’s still one more left in the series and I don’t want to get carried away yet.
*Disclosure: This was sent to me by the company for the purposes of this review.