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My Handcrafted Opinions on Whiskies, Distilleries and Other Related Stuff

Most Recent Whisky

Most Recent Whisky Review

Forty Creek Heritage Limited Edition 2017

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.

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  • Simon Seaton

    Simon Seaton

    Sunday, 30 October 2016 15:32

    The Irishman Founders Reserve

    This 40% ABV expression is a blend of 70% single malt and 30% pot still whisky (so I have listed this under Other). The nose is fruity and sweet with a little floral honey. The taste is also sweet with toffee, cinnamon, more honey, black fruits and even some strawberry licorice. The finish is woody, with pepper, black tea and a hint of mint.

    Sunday, 30 October 2016 15:30

    Vom Fass Jura 9 year old

    This is a 43% ABV bottling that I found very bright and lively and only goes to confirm  that Jura is sometimes overlooked compared to it’s more famous (infamous?) Islay based next door neighbors.   The nose has sweet peat and malt notes with toasted nuts and coconut strongly suggesting bourbon cask influence. The taste is sweet and light with toffee, milk chocolate, cloves and other spice notes. The finish is peppery and a little sharp lemon. With water it gets a little thin in mouthfeel but finish stays spicy and oaky.

    Sunday, 30 October 2016 15:28

    Kaiapoi 17 year old

    I picked up this bottle of 40% ABV single malt on a trip to New Zealand. According to the label it was made at the Kaiapoi Distillery in Canterbury by Master Distiller John Fitzpatrick. The nose is malty, with a little barnyard and sweet barley sugar. The taste is smooth with milk chocolate, biscuits and a citrus oil note. The finish is a little bitter (citrus peel) and peppery.   With some water the taste gets sweeter with a honeycomb chocolate (Crunchie bar maybe) note and a little more oily finish.

    Sunday, 30 October 2016 15:26

    The Glenlivet Master Distiller's Reserve

    The nose is classic fruity Glenlivet stuff, tinned fruit salad and cream and chargrilled peaches. The taste is very sweet, the signature Glenlivet pineapple baked in to a sponge cake with burnt sugar and caramel.   The finish has some sweet black tea and oak notes. Reminded me of Texas summer with sweet tea and summer fruit. With a little water it became a bit more sugary and the tannins in finish were stronger. This is bottled at 40% ABV so probably doesn’t need water and I certainly preferred this neat. Overall this is a very approachable and well balanced. While some will always rail against the expansion of “no age statement” or NAS expressions as long as they are of this quality and represent their distillery style as well as this does then I have no major issues with NAS.  

    Sunday, 30 October 2016 15:22

    Manhattan Project: Experiment #26

    Location: Vintaged, Hilton Hotel, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

    Date: October 2016

    Price: $23 AUD ($17.48 USD)

    Recipe: No clues given on menu

    Garnish: Marschino Cherry

    Served: Up

    Comments: Best of the two Manhattan's I had on our Australian vacation.  Classic "hotel bar" taste and garnish.

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

    Sunday, 30 October 2016 15:18

    Manhattan Project: Experiment #25

    Location: The Fish House, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia

    Date: October 2016

    Price: $18 AUD ($13.68 USD)

    Recipe: Colour (see picture) and taste suggest made with vermouth, not sweet vermouth. .

    Garnish: Lemon peel

    Served: Up

    Comments: Not sure if making it with dry vermouth was bar error or house recipe… but it didn't work

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

    Friday, 16 September 2016 03:08

    GlenDronach Cask Strength Batch 5

    Can I suggest the next time some boring whisky snob complains about "No Age Statement" whisky you can humbly recommend this and then sit back smugly as they struggle to sustain any kind of argument.   This is good.  Bottled at 55.5% ABV (you need some water on hand to fully enjoy this - and in my opinion anyone who tells you they still prefer without water needs their palate adjusted with a wrench) this batch contains single malt from both PX and Oloroso sherry casks in one of the best unions since John Lennon suggested to Paul McCartney they might try to write their own songs.   The nose has dried fruits and prunes, all the classic "glass of Sherry on Xmas morning in the kitchen while the pudding is being steamed" notes you would want and expect.  The taste has fruitcake, dark chocolate, chilli, citrus and with water gets sweeter with golden syrup notes and the dark chocolate turns into chocolate cake.  The finish is dry, oak notes and tannins.  You can skip dessert as this is an almost perfect after dinner dram.  If I still gave whisky scores this one would have a higher score than Barcelona against Celtic in the Champions League.

    Monday, 12 September 2016 12:31

    Manhattan Project: Experiment #24

    Location: Liquid, Atmosphere Kanifushi, The Maldives

    Date: September 2016

    Price: Free (as part of an all inclusive package)

    Recipe: Equal parts bourbon and sweet vermouth

    Garnish: Lemon peel

    Served: Rocks

    Comments: Not bad, my favorite garnish is the lemon peel and drinking this poolside "on the rocks" was the only way to go....

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

    Sunday, 04 September 2016 13:15

    Mehkong Thai Whisky

    Before we get started let's be clear that this is not a whisky by most legal (and reasonable) definitions.  However it was "presented" to me as whisky in Thailand, though the label on the bottle takes a more conservative approach calling this a "Thai spirit".  Further reading reveals that ingredients include molasses, rice and herbs and it is bottled at a liqueur level of 35% ABV.   The nose is fresh paint with some herbal, aromatic even vegetal notes notes in the background.  A freshly painted Indian grocery store.  The tast is also herbal, like medicinal cough sweets (Riccola?), reminded me of a liqueur without the sugar but there was a hint of caramel - perhaps that is what gave this it's whisky coloring?  The finish?  I would call it an after taste more than a finish, as if you had licked the walls of the grocery store.  

    Sunday, 04 September 2016 13:09

    Manhattan Project: Experiment #23

    Location: Roast, Borough Market, London, UK

    Date: September 2016

    Price: 16.50 GBP ( $ 21.94 USD)

    Recipe: Crown Royal Special Reserve and mixed "perfect" with dry and sweet vermouth

    Garnish: Black Cherry

    Served: Up

    Comments: I think the Canadian style  does not lend it self as well to Dry Vermouth.  I should have gone with a sweeter bourbon for balance.

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

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    Random Whisky

    MacKinlay's Rare Old Highland Malt

    This is rather a famous whisky.  The short version of the story is that it is a "reproduction" of whisky, recently found in the Antartica that had been left by the Shackleton Expedition approxmately 100 years ago.  An original bottle(s) was taken back to  Scotland and a small sample extracted and that was used as basis of this reproduction.  There are lots of stories online about this and even a Discovery Channel TV show.  It is also sometimes referred to as "Shackleton's whisky".   I found the nose very malty and rich with honey, shortbread biscuit and oak.  The taste is quite smooth, more honey, smoke, wood, leather and spice.  Some darks fruits as well which makes sense as I guess they used sherry or perhaps wine casks (rather than bourbon) for maturation back in the day of Ernest Shackleton.  The finish is quite dry and sherried as well, more wood smoke and tobacco.  If, like me, you gave up smoking some time ago you might like to try this one as a reminder!   I am guessing it is blended a malt and it is definately a "man's man" type of whisky.  So much so I suspect it might be blended with testosterone.