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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

    In 2016 the London Distillery had to move from it's original Batersea home to Druid Street near London Bridge station.  When I visited the new site in August 2016 Christina the gin still (shown in the photograph) was back to work producing Dodd's and Kew Gin but a lot more more work is required on the site before Matilda the whisky still would be operational again.  When it is finished the new site promises to be wonderful and attract a lot more visitors because of the location and surrounding attractions.  Hopefully when I return later this year the new site is fully rennovated and can see that for myself and that they will be making more whisky and offering tours and visits again! 

    Thursday, 18 August 2016 15:44

    Hull Distillery Company Ltd, Hull, England

    You won't find this mentioned on very many whisky blogs because it is not a whisky distillery.  In fact it doesn't even exist anymore, but over time the site has transformed into the Saltend Chemicals Park (or SCP) operated by BP.  The site is not open to the public (or even part of a "British Petrochemical Trail") but because of my job (Amazingly I am not a full time whisky blogger!) I was able to get a tour of SCP which still produces industrial alcohol / biofuel today from grain in August 2016.  The history of the Hull Distillery Co Ltd  goes back to 1924 when Herbert Green opened an industrial distillery and in 1925 he sold it to DCL.  By 1963 DCL had three divisions, a Drinks Group that manufactured Scotch Whisky, Gin and Vodka, a Food Group that included United Yeast Co, and Peerless Refining Co. and an Industrial Group principally involved in chemicals and plastics.  In 1967 sold their Chemcials and Plastics business to British Petroleum (BP) including the Saltend Distillery.

    Now an interesting footnote in UK distilling history but no samples on this tour... which was probably for the best.

    Ref: http://saltendchemicalspark.co.uk/history

    Friday, 05 August 2016 04:46

    Talisker Port Ruighe

    The nose on this No Age Statement, 45.6% ABV expression is pure Talisker: salt, pepper and peat all clash and collide.  The taste is sharp at first, then some toffee sweetness comes through, along with more salt, dark chocolate and a sour citrus note.  Chilli and pepper in the finish along with some smoke.  I didn't find much evidence of the port pipe maturation, maybe the dark chocolate was the port influence, but this is pretty good.

    Friday, 05 August 2016 04:41

    House of Hazelwood 21 year old

    The nose on this 40% ABV blend nose is perfumed and floral (or perhaps that is suggested by the bottle which resembles something I would expect to find in a grandmothers bathroom cabinet) with some foamed banana candy, baked bread and even some fresh paint.  The taste is a little woody at first, then some sweetness, lemon, spice and even a hint of smoke.  Quite full bodied and robust for a blend.  Some water will bring up more caramel sweetness and to my palate makes it slighty more balanced.  The finiush has more oaky tannins, pepper and a suggestion of sherry.

    Friday, 05 August 2016 04:30

    Vom Fass Bowmore 1998 Bordeaux Cask

    This 56.9% ABV expression has a briney and sweet nose with some peaty notes.  The taste was very sharp at first, sweet and medicinal with a peaty and peppery finish.  These notes reflect that when I tasted this one neat it did not give me a lot to work with.  With a little water (and at 56.9% it needs a little) the nose develops a more rubbery, even tarry note.  The taste was also much better with a less sharp mouthfeel and much easier to get past the alcohol to find a nice interplay of smoke and sweet barley sugar.  Some black tea, pepper and lemon peel notes now appear in the finish.

    Friday, 05 August 2016 04:24

    Manhattan Project: Experiment #22

    Location: Homemade, Galveston, Texas

    Date: July 2016

    Price: Free

    Recipe: 2 x Forty Creek, 1 x Dolin sweet vermouth, 1 x Luxardo and Angostura bitters

    Garnish: Black Cherry

    Served: Up

    Comments: I had a feeling that Forty Creek would work really well in this recipe, and it did.

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

    Thursday, 28 July 2016 19:27

    Manhattan Project: Experiment #21

    Location: Crows Nest, Capt Cook Hotel, Anchorage, Alaska

    Date: July 2016

    Price: $ 14.50

    Recipe: Sazerac rye with sweet vermouth and almost obligatory Angostura bitters

    Garnish: Maraschino Cherry

    Served: Up

    Comments: I like it when they offer me choice of bourbon or rye... esp. when rye is Sazerac.  Very nice.

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

    Thursday, 28 July 2016 19:20

    Manhattan Project: Experiment #20

    Location: Zatta Bar, Hilton Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan

    Date: July 2016

    Price: Ummm.... forgot to check

    Recipe: Glenlivet 12 year old, Vermouth, Angostura Bitters

    Garnish: Maraschino cherry

    Served: Up

    Comments: When is a Manhattan not a Manhattan?  When it is a Rob Roy ie made with Scotch... oh well

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

    Monday, 27 June 2016 10:06

    Teeling Distillery, Dublin, Ireland

    My first distillery visit of 2016 coincided with Teeling's first birthday, this new distillery (one of many springing up in Ireland)  had been open about 1 year and 2 days. The site is a short, damp, walk from Dublin city center and is very impressive and includes a fantastic little cafe, gift shop, extensive tasting bar and well run and efficient tour.  You definately get the sense that the whole distillery was designed as a Dublin city tourist attraction first and a distillery second.   With no maturation on site (due to old Dublin bylaws, following a fire in the past, all whisky is matured away from the distillery) the tour is quite short and content clearly targeted at the tourist rather than the whiskey fanatic.   Due to their young age all their current stocks and bottlings are from stock produced by the Teeling family when they owned and operated Cooley Distillery.

    There are multiple options for tastings at end of tour ranging from the basic line to cocktails to the more expensive single malt tasting that I opted for.  At 30 Euros for tour and tasting I don't think I have ever paid more for a distillery tour, except when I signed up for the rather expensive Magnus Eunson tour at Highland park which was at $100+ depending on exchange rate, but to be fair it did include a 40 year Highland Park. Like most Irish whiskey the tour is smooth, approachable and easy to consume... and I enjoyed it but perhaps would leave some wanting a little more.

    Sunday, 12 June 2016 09:58

    Manhattan Project: Experiment #19

    Location: Hilton Americas Lobby Bar, Houston, Texas

    Date: June 2016

    Price: $ 15 ($20.40 SGD)

    Recipe: Bulliet Rye based

    Garnish: Black Cherry

    Served: Rocks

    Comments: Nice rye forward and not too sweet.  Also gave me choice of bourbon or rye...

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

    Whiskies Tried...

    Total to Date: 647

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    Visited to Date: 58

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    Random Whisky

    GlenDronach Parliament 21 year old

    Order!  Order!  I would definately order this classic sherried whisky.  The nose has lots of nice spices, ginger cake, dried fruits and all spice.  The taste is complex, mouth puckering and warming, everything you would expect from a big 21 year old sherry cask speysider.  Sherry leads the taste but also lots of dark chocolate, plums, raisins, cinnamon and black tea.   The finish is dry sherry, spicy and lingering.  Oak finally manages to push past the sherry to say hello right at the end.    This is good.... you may have to fiddle your expenses to buy a bottle of this.