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My Handcrafted Opinions on Whiskies, Distilleries and Other Related Stuff

Most Recent Whisky

Most Recent Whisky Review

Jameson Black Barrel

The name of this 40% expression comes from heavily charred oak barrels used in the process.   The nose is fruity and sweet, with toasted pineapple and vanilla.  The mouth feel is very smooth and sweet with notes of butterscotch, floral honey, vanilla custard and toasted nut notes.    The finish has some chilli peppers and bitter lemon peel and dries out.  With some water it thins out and mouthfeel gets a little less creamy.   Lots of classic bourbon and oak notes which is what they were going for.

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  • Friday, 06 July 2012 17:51

    And now the end is near, its time to face the final curtain

    Written by

    My project to taste all “101 Whiskies to Try Before You Die” began and ended in the UK, so it was nicely bookended geographically.  It started with a tasting event hosted by Ian Buxton in Aberdeen in May 2011 and ended in June 2012 at my parent’s home in Devon sharing the last bottle with my father who introduced me to scotch in the first place.  Fittingly the last whisky was also perhaps the hardest to find in the book as you can’t buy it at any whisky shop or online retailer.  I had to join the Wine Society in the UK and order a society “members only” bottling.  The year also included some rather hefty bar bills in Singapore, San Antonio (very hefty as I bought a round of Balvenie 30 year old’s without checking the price first), London and Las Vegas, as well as bars closer to home like the excellent Reserve 101 in Houston.  Some big bills for sure but that was still a much more cost efficient way to sample them all than actually buying the 101 bottles.  I also owe the @masterofmalt website with its award winning Drinks by the Dram offering a debt of thanks as well. 

    I think there are some not bad pieces of writing (from someone who was accurately described by his English teacher in a 1982 school report as having a “tendency to make basic mistakes”) but that is not to say there isn’t plenty of banal, repetitive and other poor writing for which I apologize. 

    There was certainly some good whisky… some I knew about, some I didn’t and some that better be good for the price I had to pay.  There was also some that should have been a lot better for the price they charged.  I will write about particular favorites (and the disappointments) in a later blog.  I also learned a lot about value.  I learned there is some good, even great, whisky at low prices, and that paying a lot will almost always get you a very good whisky.  The problem for me usually lies in the middle, overpriced and over hyped brands and products.  People want to charge more than the whisky is really worth and try position their perfectly good whisky as premium product, often simply by putting the average whisky in fancy packaging and charging accordingly.

    It’s a cliché but people always ask so I will answer…. no I don’t have a favorite whisky so far.  This has always been a journey and an education so even the bad ones were good in that respect and therefore I answer the cliché question with a cliché answer, my favorite whisky is always “the next one”.

    Will I try to taste everything in Ian’s latest book, “101 World Whiskies to Try Before You Die”?  The answer is I don’t know.  I want to look at the list, see how many I have already reviewed, and think about it what I would gain from that.  I will need to also try and determine how much it might cost and if I have the budget and my wife has the patience to continue this.   

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