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My Handcrafted Opinions on Whiskies, Distilleries and Other Related Stuff

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Most Recent Whisky Review

The Macallan Classic Cut

If this was Whisky Facebook then my relationship with Macallan would probably be "It's complicated".   I love many of their products but they have also driven me crazy with some of their product and marketing decisions in recent years.  However at end of the day any of my attempts to compile a "Top 10" or even a shopping list usually feature something from Macallan.  After years of "so so" offerings this could well be their "Blood on the Tracks" (no apologies for the Bob Dylan reference) and it is a massive return to form by doing what they do best... sherry cask whisky and as an extra bonus they even upped the ABV to 52.9%.  My bottle was described as a 2019 Limited Edition.   The nose is classic dried fruits, citrus peels, ginger cake and orange marmalade.  The mouthfeel is creamy with sharp citrus notes, spike of alchohol (>50% ABV), cinnamon, almond marzipan and even the signature rubbery notes.  The finish has dark chocolate, black pepper and in my case, pure joy.    With a little water (it won't hurt at this level of ABV) the flavor gets more oaky and woody with milk chocolate. 

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  • Thursday, 07 June 2012 00:44

    Hibiscus Liqueur and Lapsong Souchong Tea Syrup… are you f****** kidding me?

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    Am I the only person more than a little surprised by the recent Whisky Advocate article on summer cocktails?   I was really excited about finding new ways to drink whisky during the incredibly long and hot summers we "enjoy" in Texas because I was seriously considering taking my summer drinking business back to simple, cold beer.   Dave Broom did contribute a very nice piece on ice, water and soda with whisky and I will certainly try some of his recommendations, but the piece I was really anticipating on whisky summer cocktails was frustrating to put it mildly.  I am guessing the average whisky enthusiast has a well-stocked bar and could rustle up most common cocktail ingredients and even find a bottle of Angostura bitters in the back of cupboard somewhere.  However there was not one cocktail in the nine recipes offered I could make that did not require a visit to a specialty store to acquire a spirit, liqueur or mixer so obscure that when typed into Google would simply generate "?" as a reply.  In addition all the recipes required me to formulate some syrup or other "pre-drink" concoction (Rosemary-chamomile syrup or fresh peach juice anyone?) before I could even begin to assemble the actual cocktail.

     

    The list of ingredients included the following:

    Mathidle Peche liqueur

    Lapsang Souchong tea syrup

    Aperol

    Fruitlab Hibiscus liqueur

    Bitter Truth aromatic bitters

    Rocky Mountain peach whiskey

    Rosemary-chamomile syrup

    My whisky budget is strained to beyond its intended breaking point and I can't be alone in refusing to buy a bottle of hibiscus liqueur even if I could find it in Texas , which I doubt, and if I did I would probably become the target of an state government observation program.  The subscribers and readers of Whisky Advocate are, I suspect, like me.  They are whisky drinkers not mixologists  and  I am guessing the numbers of actual subscribers who have actually made one of recipes in the magazine would be far less than 1% on a good day.   Was that really your intent?

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    Random Whisky

    Highland Park 30 year old

    I rarely drink whiskies of this age so was not quite sure what to expect.  The nose was actually quite elusive and soft at first and alcohol was detectable (it is bottled at 48.1% ABV), then some smoke, sweetness, saltiness and finally a hint of citrus, oranges maybe.  The taste was more powerful than the nose, nothing elusive here, it set my mouth tingling with the first sip from the smoke, oak, spices and some salt.  With water it softened and then I could detect sweet caramel and vanilla before a smokey finish longer than scottish winter night.  A massive whisky, an after dinner treat or perhaps the last dram of the night (you may still taste it in the morning).