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My Handcrafted Opinions on Whiskies, Distilleries and Other Related Stuff

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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, 18 February 2013 22:33

    And Now for Something Completely Different....

    Written by

    This is a first... a wine review on a whisky blog.  On recent trip to Texas wine country (yes there really is one!) near San Antonio we visited Bending Branch Winery in Comfort, Texas. This annual special edition is a picpoul (picpoul is french for lip stinger) based white that is finished in an ex-bourbon cask.  The lady who poured this for me at their very nice vistors center insisted that it was not finished in just any bourbon barrel, but a Pappy Van Winkle barrel!  Apparently they do this one special bottling every year for their Kentucky Derby party.  These are my kind of wine people.  I have come across lots of whisky finished in wine casks (Glenmorangie like to do this with expressions like Artein and Nectar D'Or), but this was the first time I have seen a wine finished in a whisky cask.  The nose was at first crisp green apples, tart, but some sweetness as well (the bourbon influence perhaps).  The taste has the first same clean fresh and tart notes from the nose (the reason this grape variatel is called lip stinger).  As wine warms in the glass the sweetness comes through as creamy marshmallow and even taffy.  The finish has some vanilla, oak and even creme brulee.  Very interesting, I can't say for sure if I would have picked this as "whisky finished wine" if I don't know, but some very familiar elements were definately on display. 

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    Random Whisky

    Highland Park 21 year old

    Another stunning whisky from Highland Park.  Hard to find but worth the effort.  The nose has orange marmalade, sweet smoke, some alcohol (47.5% ABV) and some sherry influence.  The taste is rich and mouth coating, sweet, with more oranges and sherry,  With water there is some candied fruit and toffee.  The finish has some smoke, even salty seaweed, is very drying and mouthpuckering but not overly oaky for a 21 year old.  Reminded me a little of a high ABV, rich aged bourbon.  Finish may be the best feature... but it's all good.    I loved the 40 year old but perhaps if budget constrained (and if you could find it) this would be next best option in the HP family and for my palate the taste profile is in many ways the "little brother" of the 40 year old.