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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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  • Saturday, 21 July 2012 16:33

    101 World Whiskies To Try Before You Die

    Written by

    When I read Ian's first book in this series (I guess it is now a series) called 101 Whiskies To Try Before You Die I was immediately impressed by Ian's approach as it seemed so at odds with other whisky publications. The book was not about the 101 "best" whiskies, but instead celebrated and enjoyed whisky in all its many forms and styles and as a relative new comer to whisky that was exactly what I wanted to do.   Importantly for me it was also about accessible whisky, whisky you could buy in your local bar, shop or absolute worst case specialist retailer, and some, but not all, of it was even cheap.  Ian clearly believes that great whisky is not limited to a particular style like single malt or bourbon... and in 101 World Whiskies To Try Before You Die he not only explores the many different styles but also the many different whisky producing countries.  In fact there are whiskies from 21 different countries reviewed in the book.

    Ian's writing style is engaging, often funny, and it makes a refreshing change from some of the pomposity that creeps into a little too much whisky writing today. He manages to keep the pace moving along and interest level high without delving too much in to the techy stuff but still shows a depth of knowledge in his subject. That is a hard trick pull off sometimes.  His previous book inspired me enough to find, taste and review all 101 over the last year or so and his 202 suggestions so far have also helped me with one of the major drawbacks of being a whisky fanatic.... the tyranny of choice. Sometimes standing in that store or bar you just don’t know where to start, but his books solve that problem (if you want to call that a problem and I admit as problems go that is not the worse). 

    I don’t want to ruin the surprise too much but  I will say there are some choices I agree wholeheartedly with like Black Bush and Jim Beam Black, some I didn’t quite as much (there  are some flavored whiskies and whisky liqueurs in the lists) and one or two what  I feel are glaring omissions….for example still nothing from Forty Creek!  But these types of arguments are exactly what makes these lists so enjoyable!  Any complaints or niggles? Only that I did originally buy this book for my Kindle, but because I know I will reference it over and over again I don't think that Kindle is the best format for that and so I have now bought a hard back copy as well.  I am sure Ian didn’t mind that. 

    I have already reviewed 26 of the whiskies in this book, that just leaves me 75 to find… I suggest you get a copy and start crossing off your list too.  Trust me, it's fun!

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    Random Whisky

    Jameson Cold Brew

    This 30% abv offering is described as a blend of whiskey and coffee and that is exactly what it tastes like too. Perhaps the best breakfast whiskey I have ever tried. The nose is all coffee, not hot and freshly made, but rather like a cup of cold coffee left out overnight with a hint of vanilla. The taste starts with more coffee with a hint of whiskey. A creamy mouthfeel then notes of dark chocolate and Irish Cream liqueur. The finish is where more whiskey flavour comes to fore with a prickle of oak, chilli spice and some tannins.  Interesting and at some point on an upcoming fishing trip I might be glad to have a bottle of this.