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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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  • Sunday, 15 July 2012 16:58

    101 Whiskies I Tried (and I Haven't Died)

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    After trying all 101 whiskies from Ian Buxton's book I have compiled the list of my favorites based on my admitedly unsophisticated 4 star rating system.  The best whiskies, in no particular order, were Mortlach 16, Highland Park 21 and 40, Wild Turkey Rare Breed, Macallan 18, Chivas Regal 25, Jameson 18 Limited Reserve, Maker's Mark and Ardbeg Uigeadail.  Some of these were favorites before I read the book (Macallan 18 and Maker's Mark) so that leaves six whiskies that stood out for me.  

    The Mortlach 16 may have been the biggest surprise in the book, a delicious example sherried Speyside whisky that could compete "toe to toe" with anything from Macallan and Glenfarclas.  I expected great things from Highland Park and Ardbeg and they delivered in a big way.  It was also no surprise to me that a Jameson blend was one of my favorites, my interest in whisky was sparked by a visit to Jameson's Midelton distillery in 2006.  Chivas 25 was the other big surprise.  I like premium Scottish blends however the Chivas family hasn't always been something I have loved.   The Chivas 25 year old was great though and I can still remember the taste of oranges.  That leaves the Wild Turkey Rare Breed as my favorite bourbon and again I can still recall the black cherry fruit notes.

    I won't dwell on my two least favorites (this blog is just a personal opinion) and my feelings about Johnnie Walker Black need no further comment (you can look up review if interested) and the Glenglassaugh spirit was a "new make" that had some novelty value and never produced as a drink in it's own right.

    There were some other tremendous whiskies that for various reasons, perhaps price or rarity, that I did not rate as 4 star but deserve an honorable mention, including Hibiki 30, Blue Hanger, Glen Rothes Select Reserve, Van Winkle Family Reserve Rye 13 old, Old Pulteney 17 and Thomas H Handy Sazerac Rye. 

     

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    Random Whisky

    Vom Fass North British 25 year old

    A quite stunning 46% ABV single grain bottling from Vom Fass, perhaps the best whisky I have tried from their collection (see blog…. http://www.somanywhiskies.com/item/754-vom-fass-jack-s-choice).

    The nose is sweet with fresh cut grass (or straw maybe?) with baked lemon cake or pie. Very unique. The taste is also sweet and smooth on the palate with toffee, caramel, vanilla, Werther’s Originals and even flat cola. Some green grass and oak notes balance all the sweetness flow into the finish also adds balance with some more vanilla and pepper as the 25 years in oak starts to assert itself.  With water it becomes a little more woody… my notes say “chewing a pencil dipped in vanilla sugar”.