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My Handcrafted Opinions on Whiskies, Distilleries and Other Related Stuff

Most Recent Whisky

Most Recent Whisky Review

Red River

This is a Texas bourbon finished in Pinot Noir red wine casks at the Western Son distillery in Pilot Point Texas.  If you haven't heard of Pilot Point, dont worry about it,  neither had I and I have lived and / or worked in Texas for over quarter of a century!  The nose has some red berry fruits and sweet port wine along with the usual suspects of corn and sawdust.  The taste is smooth on palate with some oak, brown sugar and cola.  The finish has white pepper, green oak and ends with drying wine notes.  It's good... but for me this 42.1% ABV expression misses the fruit from the nose in the taste and finish that would help balance out the bitter / oaky notes of the finish.

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  • Simon Seaton

    Simon Seaton

    Monday, 07 March 2016 23:36

    The Reid Single Malt Vodka

    Bottled at 44% ABV this might be my first Single Malt vodka produced at the very new Cardrona Distillery in New Zealand. The nose is sweet and a little fruity and grainy. Did not say “vodka” to me at all. The taste is very smooth, sweet with a little sweet citrus oil note. Actual flavors in a vodka, whatever next? Nice clean finish with a little pepper and mint as the alcohol dries on the tongue.   Overall rather good and interesting to see what could be done. A distant cousin to whisky rather than a close relative and the obvious question is what would happen if they chose to mature some in oak other than a few bloggers would literally (and I am using the term correctly) freak out, so it would be worth doing it just to see that.

    Wednesday, 02 March 2016 10:56

    South Island Single Malt

    This is the first of three New Zealand whiskies I bought in a 3 x 50ml gift box called the New Zealand Whisky Collection when on vacation in Queenstown in December 2015.  I understand all three were distilled at the now non operating Dunedin Distillery.   This expression was bottled at 40% ABV and had a sweet and malty nose with lots of vanilla and some spice.  The taste was smooth and sweet with brown sugar, creme brulee, barley sugar, vanilla and lots of classic bourbon cask character.  A few biiter notes in the finish along with lemon peel and white pepper.  Not complex but quite drinkable stuff.

    Wednesday, 02 March 2016 10:46

    Manhattan Project: Experiment #9

    Location: Bones, Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Malaysia

    Date: March 2016

    Price: $37.90  ($9.09 USD)

    Recipe: Not on menu

    Garnish: No cherry...!

    Served: Rocks

    Comments: Good value, dry and interesting, probably rye rather than bourbon

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

    Monday, 22 February 2016 02:51

    Manhattan Project: Experiment #8

    Location: PS Cafe, Singapore

    Date: February 2016

    Price: 19 SGD ($13.50 USD)

    Recipe: Not on menu so no recipe

    Garnish: I cherry

    Served: Up

    Comments: Nice and fairly priced (for Singapore), perhaps a little sweet for my taste

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

    Tuesday, 26 January 2016 14:08

    Suntory Whisky

    I found this Japanese blend, bottled at 40% ABV, in the Esso station a few meters from my house in Singapore. The nose is fruity at first, with vanilla. Maybe because it was December I wrote "christmas pudding with custard". A little bite of alcohol also even at this low ABV. The taste is also fruity with some sweet and lemon notes. Very smooth and mellow. The finish is gentle and a little spicy. With a little water it becomes more honeyed and little grainy. Overall I prefer it neat. This really very good for a relatively cheap blend and also really good with mixed with soda into a highball.

    Tuesday, 26 January 2016 13:52

    Cardrona Distillery, New Zealand

    I first heard of this new distillery while listening to WhiskyCast in December 2015. It turned out that they had just opened and it so happened that I was going to be on vacation in Queenstown, a short but very impressive drive away, over Christmas. A few emails later and I had a tour set up for December 26th, within just a few days of their official opening. The site is impressive and well designed and will also house a small museum focused on the town of Cardrona however that was still in development when I visited. The highlight was that I also got to spend some time with many of family who built it and experience their passion and excitement for what they are doing here. If their product is half as enjoyable as their hospitality (and I see no reason why not based on the excellent site and investment they have made) then we will have very nice Kiwi whisky in a few years’ time.

    After the tour there was a lot to try (I had to take samples as I drove there) including their excellent Reid Single Malt Vodka, which is one of the best white spirits I have tried in a long time and a good solution to the “how do we make money for first three years of a whisky distillery” problem, the Rose Rabbit Orange Liqueur (not my thing but for sure someone’s thing) and their Single Malt new make. I have tried a lot of new make spirit but do not consider myself qualified to project on how well a new make will mature and develop but I have posted tasting notes for all of three of these Cardrona products on the website.

    So if you find yourself in the Queenstown region of New Zealand and perhaps need a break from flinging yourself off a bridge with just an elastic bungy cord tied to your legs and are tired of gorging on the region’s stunning Pinot Noirs can I suggest you add this to your NZ Bucket List along (and blue cod “fush and chups”). You will thank me.

    Tuesday, 05 January 2016 09:39

    Manhattan Project: Experiment #7

    Location: db Bistro, Marina Bay Sands, Singapore

    Date: December 2015

    Price: 25 SGD ($17.70 USD)

    Recipe: Rittenhouse Rye, Antica Formula Vermouth, Orange bitters

    Garnish: Not 1, not 2 but 3 cherries!

    Served: Up

    Comments: High price for standard cocktail (welcome to Singapore) but very good, so I had two!

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

    Tuesday, 05 January 2016 09:35

    Manhattan Project: Experiment #6

    Location: Cru, Queenstown Hilton, New Zealand

    Date: December 2015

    Price: $22 NZD (15 USD)

    Recipe: No recipe, bartender told me he used Sazarac rye

    Garnish: Cherry

    Served: Up

    Comments: Mixed for me upon request, not on cocktail menu.  Good but great which was a small surprise as I really like Sazarac rye.  

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

    Monday, 14 December 2015 06:44

    Manhattan Project: Experiment #5

    Location: Homemade, Singapore

    Date: December 2015

    Price: NA

    Recipe: 2 parts Marker's Mark, 1 part Antica Formula Vermouth

    Garnish: Lemon peel

    Served: Up

    Comments: I  recreated the simple recipe I recently tried in Dubai (with no bitters) and a lemon peel garnish.  It worked well.  

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

    Thursday, 03 December 2015 07:53

    The London Distillery Company English Rye

    Full disclosure…. I am a shareholder in this craft distillery so expect bias and favoritism throughout this review. I recently visited the distillery and was lucky enough to try three samples. A single malt, a 100% rye and this 1 year old, cask strength 80% rye / 20% barley mash that had been matured in a virgin British oak cask. All three were interesting and indicate some good products to come but this is the one I requested a sample of to take home and write some more detailed notes about.

    The nose is jammy and sweet with marmalade and baked fruits and oak. I wrote “lemon marmalade smeared on newly sanded oak door” in my notes. Perhaps the cask strength was getting to me? The taste has lots of chocolate and toffee notes, sharp citrus, sweet cola and lots of black fruits and tannins in the finish. A strong cup of blackberry tea? With a good bit of water added I get some peppermint on the palate as well. Some really interesting aspects to this one (which is why I picked it) but still not quite integrated and balanced enough (yet).

    Whiskies Tried...

    Total to Date: 652

    Distilleries

    Visited to Date: 58

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    Random Whisky

    Glenfiddich 12 year old

    There is a reason this is one of the world best selling single malts.  It's good.  Nose is malty, dried fruit and maybe a hint of polished wood.  The taste is warming and rich and has cinnamon spice.  Complex and balanced with honey, dried fruits, chocolate biscuit, raisins and maybe sherry. The finish is dry and woody.