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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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  • Wednesday, 02 October 2013 21:28

    The “Difficult Second Album” Problem and What I Intend to Do About It

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    The more astute readers may have noticed that while I am still posting regular reviews my blog entries are now rarer that a Scotsman drinking English whisky on Burns Night or perhaps Edward Snowden at an NSA employees reunion picnic. I could make excuses around work and family but the truth is I simply have less to say.   Rest assured I have not lost any interest in, or my passion for, whisky.  However in a recent online discussion in a Whisky Bloggers forum I made the analogy between blog entries and the “difficult second album”. When I set my website up I had lots to say and couldn’t wait to share my passion and release all the thoughts that I had accumulated on my whisky journey. I had several years of ideas and beliefs and I now had a forum to express. Just like a newly signed band has all their life experiences to date to draw on and an entire catalog of songs to use when they record their first album I had oodles of blog matter ready to go. However when the demand for a second album of new material comes along often what is left to draw on is the stuff that wasn’t good enough for the first album and the life experiences of just the last 6 months. In short a much shallower pool of material. So I have a choice; to use the ideas that were either half-baked or not good enough for the first couple of years that my website has existed or be patient and wait for inspiration as and when (or indeed if) it comes. I choose the second option (for your sake). In the meantime I promise will keep drinking, tasting and exploring whisky.

    This decision created a bit of an issue (in my mind) with the current web site structure as the home page only shows the most recent blog entry. The lack of new blog entries therefore creates the impression that nothing has changed and this site is deader than the Houston Texans season and about as lively as Matt Schaub’s throwing arm. In reality I may have posted lots of new tasting notes but how would you know? As I mentioned above I don’t want to post something for the sake of posting something so I have decided to restructure the website so that every time I write a new review and tasting notes it will update the home page. A simple change (we shall see exactly how “simple” in coming week or so) but it will keep site refreshed and then I will only feel the need to post blog entries when I am inspired and actually have something to say and you might actually want to read.

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    Random Whisky

    Van Winkle Family Reserve Rye 13 year old

    This one is hard to find, has limited releases (one liquor store in Texas tells me his allocation is just 4 bottles) and it sells out quicker that a "gangster rapper" with a disney movie contract due to a near cult following, all of which always usually puts me off a whiskey.  However this is good so they are, at least in part, forgiven.  The nose has lots of oak notes, vanilla and some rye.  The mouth feel is light and the taste has more vanilla notes and milk chocolate.  Very smooth, rich and delicious and with rye notes, cayenne and more oak in the finish.