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My Handcrafted Opinions on Whiskies, Distilleries and Other Related Stuff

Most Recent Whisky

Most Recent Whisky Review

Mt. Logan 20 year old

I don't recall seeing very many 15 - 20 year old Canadian whiskies so I was intrigued when I saw the 20 and 15 year old expressions of Mt Logan in the Liquor Depot in Alberta on a recent business trip.  The Mt. Logan brand is exclusive to the Liquor Depot retailer and the juice is made at the Highwood Distillery in Alberta and bottled as Canadian Rye whisky at 40% ABV.  The nose is sweet with vanilla, Werthers Candy and lemon peel.  The taste is very smooth and creamy with coffee, cocoa powder, butterscotch, vanilla toffee and Scottish tablet.  The finish shows some sign of 20 years in a cask with pepper and oak notes and black tea.  A little water thins out the creamy mouthfeel and the sweetness goes down (which some might find more balanced) but overall I would avoid water with this as it doesn't handle it very well, for my palate anyway, and would be easy to over dilute.  Of the two expressions of Mt. Logan Canadian Rye that I tried (15 year old and 20 year old) I preferred the 20 years old (neat) but both were good.

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  • Simon Seaton

    Simon Seaton

    Monday, 28 May 2018 10:48

    Manhattan Project: Experiment #40

    Location: Pearson International Airport, Terminal 1, Toronto

    Date: May 2018

    Price: $10.50 CAD ($8.08 USD)

    Recipe: Described as "Rye whiskey balanced out with sweet vermouth and a few dashes of Angosturo bitters"

    Garnish: Cherry

    Served: Up

    Comments:  A very solid offering at a great price made with Crown Royal (*what else in Canada)

    What is this about? Check out  http://www.somanywhiskies.com/item/749-the-manhattan-project-ii

    Monday, 28 May 2018 08:28

    Mt. Logan 20 year old

    I don't recall seeing very many 15 - 20 year old Canadian whiskies so I was intrigued when I saw the 20 and 15 year old expressions of Mt Logan in the Liquor Depot in Alberta on a recent business trip.  The Mt. Logan brand is exclusive to the Liquor Depot retailer and the juice is made at the Highwood Distillery in Alberta and bottled as Canadian Rye whisky at 40% ABV.  The nose is sweet with vanilla, Werthers Candy and lemon peel.  The taste is very smooth and creamy with coffee, cocoa powder, butterscotch, vanilla toffee and Scottish tablet.  The finish shows some sign of 20 years in a cask with pepper and oak notes and black tea.  A little water thins out the creamy mouthfeel and the sweetness goes down (which some might find more balanced) but overall I would avoid water with this as it doesn't handle it very well, for my palate anyway, and would be easy to over dilute.  Of the two expressions of Mt. Logan Canadian Rye that I tried (15 year old and 20 year old) I preferred the 20 years old (neat) but both were good.

    Monday, 28 May 2018 08:22

    Mt. Logan 15 year old

    There was a little debate as to how to classify this as it is described as 40% ABV Canadian Rye whisky on the label but probably has a higher corn than rye content, and one online source suggested it was 100% corn.  The nose is fruity, baked apple crumble with vanilla custard and some lemon.  The taste  is sweet, with candied fruits, milk chocolate biscuits and balnced out with lemon peel.  The finish is also sweet and lingers with some pepper spice and charred oak notes.  A little brought up more milk chocolate and less grainy biscuit note.  I liked this one but prefered the Mt Logan 20 year old.

    Tuesday, 08 May 2018 10:44

    Kilchoman Sanaig

    I am a big fan of sherry cask aged and finished Islay whisky (Bowmore 15 The Darkest is still all time Top 10 for me) and so I was looking forward to this 46% ABV no age statement expression from Islay's youngest distillery (but not for much longer!). The nose is classic "bonfire on the beach" with some cooked fruits as well.  The taste is very sweet with caramel, vanilla toffee, green apples and of course some peat which then goes on to dominate the finish while some tannin Sherry notes also push through drying the mouthfeel.  With water the sweetness turns to brown sugar and the peat turns more smokey; hot and peppery on the palate.  It is good but the sherry feels held  back rather than forward on this one.

    Tuesday, 08 May 2018 10:37

    Spey River Sherry Cask Finish

    The label offers no clues as to the provenance of this bottling (other than Spey River) but that still leaves a lot of options for the distillery.  The nose has a familar, vegetal, even stale, farmyard malty note plus some dried fruits.  Reading my notes it is better than I probably made it sound.  The taste has lemon peel, pepper, cloves and oil.  Smooth and strongly flavoured btu not as balanced and integrated as I would like. The finish has more spice, including chilli, but quite short.  Wiuth water gets a little creamier and sweeter with marshmallow and more spice notes.  Overall a bit of a mixed bag, nothing "wrong" with it but doesn't quite come together for me.

    Since I moved from Texas in 2015 the one whisky I miss the most and find the hardest to source from other side of the world is Forty Creek.  It is very special and unique and honestly I miss it more than my family. If they are reading, then that is a joke.  But I do miss it a lot.  I picked up this while passing though Texas on business and my bottle was number 9132 from Lot 11 (... you are welcome whiskey pedants).   The nose has lots of familiar notes of vanilla and freshly sawn wood.  Quite mild and sweet like those cheap cigars that are sold in US Drugstores. The taste is also sweet, with caramel, chocolate, butterscotch balanced with some grass and pepper notes.  The finish does manage to muster a little spice and oaky resistance but still overall a typical Forty Creek "candy disguised as whiskey" (that I love).  Perhaps not their finest work... but to honest even their "OK stuff" is better than most.

    Sunday, 15 April 2018 15:22

    Ballantine's Very Old 21 year old

    I was actually quite surpised when a little research revealed I had not yet reviewed this expression.  It is not because this is a blend, I am no blendist and some of best friends are blends.  I think it is because Ballantine's can "fade into the background" a little.   The difference between their bottlings is often not dramatic so maybe it is easy to mistake this on shelf for the excellent 17 year old (which I have reveiwed) or even their standard Finest expression.  Perhaps there is something to all this marketing hoopla afterall?  Anyway the nose has lots of classic citrus, baked good and oak notes.  I wrote down "lemon meringue pie in a wooden box".  The taste is sweet with vanilla, golden syrup, cinnamon and smoke, very nicely balanced and complex. More spice and smoke notes in the finish.  Gets sweeter with water, syrup turns to toffee.  A classic, aged blend with a little bit of everything you might like in Scotch and not one dominant note or tone.  Worth the wait.

    Sunday, 15 April 2018 15:03

    Kew Organic Gin

    The standard expression for this line is made with botanicals harvested from Kew Gardens (with their permission of course, please don't try this otherwise) and distilled at my all time favorite distillery (see previous posts) The London Distillery Company.  This expression comes at 47% ABV and has very citrus and fruity nose with some botanicals and herbs (very subtle but evident) in the background.     The mouthfeel is very clean and the taste has citrus oils and sweetness.  In the finish is where the herbs start to assert along with some delicate floral notes and even green grass.  Overall very fresh and clean and drinkable neat, and of course it works in a classic G&T, but I like this with a few drops of Bitters to make a Pink Gin on ice and this bring some depth and balance to the sweetness of the gin.

    Sunday, 15 April 2018 14:55

    Kew Organic Gin Explorers' Strength

    This is another fine product  from The London Distillery Company (disclaimer: I am biased and I don't try to hide it) and bottled at 57% ABV compared to 47% for the regular Kew Organic Gin.  The nose has lots of lemon peel, fresh cut grass, sage and other herbal notes.  The taste is at first very sharp, citrus oil and alcohol dominate but then turns to peppermint.  Rich and stringent mouthfeel, powerful but not overpowering.  Finish dries as alcohol disapates leaving white pepper on the tongue.  Drinking it neat with the alcohol, mint, citrus and pepper spiciness it made me think of Christmas.  Probably not for everyone at this strength but it does mean it can stand up well to lots of ice and tonic.

    Wednesday, 11 April 2018 08:59

    Manhattan Project: Experiment #39

    Location: The Oberoi Rajvilas, Jaipur, India

    Date: April 2018

    Price: 700 Indian Rupee ($10.73 USD)

    Recipe: Listed as "American whiskey, Martini Rosso and Angosturo bitter"

    Garnish: Cherry

    Served: Up

    Comments: Interesting twist which I liked a lot was glass rim was dipped in Bitters.  Key to Manhattan is balancing sweetness and punch of bitters and the "rimming" helped with that.

    What is this about? Check out  http://www.somanywhiskies.com/item/749-the-manhattan-project-ii

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    English Whisky Company Peated Single Malt

    An important milestone whisky for me. This was sample 4 of the USA Tweet Tasting I participated in October 2013 and also whisky tasting number 500 for www.somanywhiskies.com. I found it rather fitting and a pleasant coincidence that it turned out to be an English whisky (because I am an English whisky blogger).   This is the American released expression which due to some rather daft US labeling rules had to be matured in new oak casks to be allowed carry the description of “Single Malt” in the USA. The nose has floral honey, peat and malt. Not massively complex (suggesting youth) but good. The taste is robust, malt and cereals, spicy and even slightly medicinal. Not an everyday dram for sure… but a “right time / right place” sort of dram.   The finish was not long and quite dry and tannic. I have mistaken new oak and freshly charred wood for sherry cask influence before and I think I did on this one when tasting blind. I enjoyed it and will look for a bottle when it gets to Texas. Now onto whisky 1000.