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My Handcrafted Opinions on Whiskies, Distilleries and Other Related Stuff

Most Recent Whisky

Most Recent Whisky Review

Russell's Reserve Rye 10 year old

I liked the 6 year version and so have been looking forward to trying the 10 year old / 45% ABV expression but to be honest, while still good, I don’t the extra 4 years in cask did anything for this one. Sometimes older does not equal better, sometimes older just means different.  My notes for the nose were “sugar coated sawdust and rose petals” which sums it up very well. The taste at first was very smooth with a delicious burst of sweet caramel popcorn but then started to turn into diet cola and with time oak, showing the signs of 10 years in cask. The finish had some nice rye notes of peppermint but again the age started show with tannins and spices pushing through. Some water revealed some more milk chocolate and chilli notes but some of the sweetness I liked was lost.

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  • Wednesday, 31 July 2013 20:05

    Dont Make Me Angry, You Wouldn't Like Me When I'm Angry

    Written by

    I wish I could explain better why this story has burrowed under my skin and makes me so angry that I am still seething weeks later.

    http://www.thespiritsbusiness.com/2013/07/the-dalmore-paterson-collection-goes-on-sale-at-987500/

    I do like Richard Paterson, he has always been charming and friendly to me on the few occasions we have met at various whisky events and shared a few of his "special drams" as well. Anyone who had read my reviews (is there anyone?) also knows I like Dalmore whisky. Perhaps that is in part why I got so worked up… these ridiculous marketing gimmicks destroy the credibility of a great product in my eyes at least. I have ranted before about whisky as an investment (the words “utter” and “bollocks” inexplicably spring to mind) and suspect anyone stupid enough willing to plonk down the best part of one million pounds for this “collection” will be someone making an “investment” and possibly never drinking it. Surely I am not alone in thinking it would better to see this liquid use sparingly in some blended products where more true whisky lovers could appreciate it than seeing it hoarded by someone just trying to make a profit, grab some publicity or prove to some girl who rejected him in College how fabulous and successful he is now?

    I could feel the bile in my stomach as I typed this blog. It is “anti everything” I feel about whisky. Whisky for me is about companionship, small pleasures, shared experiences and relaxation. It is about sharing a dram (or a bottle) and taking time to smell the roses (or the lemon or the malt or whatever I find in the nose or palate). It is not about nursing a glass whose contents cost more than most people would spend on a car. I recently shared a bottle of Jameson out of plastic cups on the deck of friend’s cabin after a fishing trip. I suspect it was better tasting, at that moment in that location, than drinking some million pound collection of whisky.  Perhaps on reflection I am the richer man after all.

    By the way, if anyone reading this blog happens to have 987,500 pounds to invest I have fantastic bridge in Sydney harbor I can let you have cheap.  Email me.

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    Random Whisky

    Auchentoshan 12 year old

    For my money this is the "heavy weight" in the Lowland malt category (admitedly not a huge category) and would put this up against the other contender, the Glenkinchie 12 year old, anyday.  The nose has some malt, citrus peel and lots of vanilla.  The taste is very smooth (triple distillation.. actually more like two and half distillations... at work) with lots of honey and vanilla and a little green apple and a floral note that carries into the finish.  There is also some spice in the finish, it gets little sharp even bitter, but overall very good and balanced.  Highly approachable with nothing not to like, but perhaps nothing to fall in love with either.