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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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  • Monday, 01 October 2012 12:36

    Living the Dream

    Written by

    I would guess if you asked many whisky enthusiasts what their ultimate whisky dream would be, I am pretty sure owning a distillery would be very high on the list.  It certainly was at the top of mine.  The reason for this is, in part, that as someone who has worked in the oil and gas industry for over 20 years there is something more than a little familiar about the chemistry, tanks, pumps, heating equipment, condensers and even the use of barrels as a unit of measure.

    This is why I am so excited about being one of the original 18 or so “A” shareholders in the exciting (forgive my enthusiasm) and new (that at least is very accurate) London Distillery Company.  I may not own a distillery, but thanks to the rather cool innovation called crowd funding I do now own a bit of one at least.  The UK’s first true “craft” distillery is now being built literally as I type this entry, in a former dairy cold room in Battersea, London and will start producing whisky (and gin) in next few weeks.  Interestingly TLDC is not only the UK’s first craft distillery, London’s first distillery in over 100 years but also one of the first 200 or so companies of any kind founded by internet crowd funding.

    If that wasn’t exciting enough (and believe me it probably is) my enthusiasm was actually increased by my recent to see the site and meet the team of founder Darren, distiller Andrew and intern Marco.  They actually have an intern and he took the photo so he is not in the picture above.  As well as their exciting plans for gin and whisky I also learned about Ralph Dodd (1756 - 1822) who founded the original London Distillery Company.   I can’t wait until I return in December and see spirit running off the still.  I have a feeling this is going to be a very fun ride…

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    Random Whisky

    Fireball Cinnamon Whisky

    Lets start with the basics on this "thing".  Made in Canada (shame on you) and bottled in Kentucky (pretty embarrassing) at a modest (and anti-whisky) 33% ABV.  Before I get onto the "tasting notes" let me just say that my major issue is that this is branded and marketed as whisky.. so everything I am about to say is relative to this as a whisky.  I don't have any problem with this drink per say or the people who like it.  I can see the appeal, really I can.  The thing for me is the horrible term "cinnamon whisky" plastered on the bottle / ads / Facebook page etc.    This is not whisky.  It is not even close.  I find it staggering that this type of misdirection and branding was not explicity listed as an abomination unto God in Leviticus.  This is a liqueur by every reasonable, and most unreasonable, definitions as it has clearly been sweetened, flavored and diluted to 33% and yet Canada (and the US) seems to have no issue with it being branded as whisky.  People should be in jail over this.  I will stop short of demanding that they also be forced to drink it twice daily as part of their punishment, as they might like it, but the idea did cross my mind.  If you like Fireball (and I guess a great many do) that is great, keep drinking it, it means more "proper" whisky for me.  If you want to make and sell something called Fireball, good luck but don't waste any more marketing dollars on me.  But if you call it whisky.... then a pox on you and your house.   If this was a small craft product I might have pulled my punches a little, I would never want anything on this site to come across as personal attack, but as it comes from Sazerac, a huge company with a great many real whisky (and whiskey) products I love, I feel OK about typing my mind.  The nose is cinnamon and sweet.  The taste reminded me of the cinnamon hot tamale candy. Has a cough syrup sweetness and gloopy mouthfeel, probably works better with ice. It's really not even that spicy hot.... at least make it hot of you are calling it Fireball!  The finish hangs around like gum on your shoe and is only slightly less desirable.