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My Handcrafted Opinions on Whiskies, Distilleries and Other Related Stuff

Most Recent Whisky

Most Recent Whisky Review

Mortlach 12 year old

The nose on 43.4% expression is very floral with some wheaty breakfast biscuits and spicy notes.  The taste is very smooth with baked spiced apples (maybe even slightly burnt) caramel and honey.  The finish has some slow building heat along with some Bovril (salty / meaty) notes.  Reminded me of good Texas barbeque brisket with strong spice bark.  Overall a ittle too much burnt, salty and bitter notes with not enough sweetness to balance it for me. 

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  • Simon Seaton

    Simon Seaton

    Tuesday, 31 March 2020 14:22

    Distillery Tours from My Couch

     

    It has been a while since I visited a distillery. In fact the last blog entry on a distillery visit was back in 2017 when I visited the site of the not yet open Dartmoor Distillery. The last time I was actually in one, excluding The London Distillery, was the Anchorage Distillery in February 2017. So I thought I would take advantage of the COVID quarantine to conduct some virtual distillery tours after I saw an article online about virtual tours in Imbibe (link below). As I have been to three of them before (Four Roses, Buffalo Trace and Glenturret) I will start with the ones I have not yet visited physically which include a Tequila Distillery, a Japanese distillery and three in the UK; Sipsmith, Laphroaig and Talisker.

    I am sure some of you will point out that as I didn’t actually visit the site I can’t count these visits in my official list. To those people I say, in the words of The Pub Landlord … My Blog, My Rules.

    So yes, they count. 

    https://imbibe.com/news/8-virtual-distillery-tours-to-entertain-you-during-coronavirus-lockdown/

    Monday, 30 March 2020 12:00

    Lonehand

    This is 40% abv Tennessee whiskey. The nose has corn with a little pepper and some fresh cut fruit notes. The taste has caramel and other sweet candy notes like marshmallow, balanced with bitter oak notes. The finish is spicy and warm.

    Wednesday, 25 March 2020 17:16

    Grangestone Rum Cask Finish

    I really like rum influenced whisky (I also like rum) so was interested to try this 40% abv Total Wines in-house single malt. The nose was very fruity and rum forward which was exciting and a great introduction. The taste had the sweetness from the rum cask balanced with the spicy malty notes. Bold, rich and complex and hard to pick apart. The finish had pepper, dark chocolate and cigar notes. With water gets smoother in mouth feel, sweeter and more pepper in finish.

    This is pretty good. Not Balvenie Rum Cask good or Glenfiddich 21 year old great, but still good value for price point.

    Wednesday, 25 March 2020 17:15

    Shieldaig 12 year old

    This is a 40% ABV, private label I picked up at Total Wines and More in Houston. The nose is malty with some floral honey notes. The taste has more honey, sugar and lemon. Like a hot toddy, but cold. Is there is a such a thing cold toddy? The finish is strong tea and warming spices like cloves and cinnamon. With water it is a little spicier with oak, tannin and even hints of smoke. Overall nothing offensive and considering this a value priced whisky I think it is pretty good.

    Wednesday, 25 March 2020 17:14

    Kilbrin

    It appears to be Total Wines and More in-house Irish brand, bottled at 40% abv but with no indication of provenance.   It must be special because it says “handcrafted” on the label as opposed to the usual stuff made by Irish Cyborg-Robot distillers. The nose is floral and light, some fruit and hints of oak. The taste is creamy and smooth with toffee, vanilla and even hints of peach. The finish gets spicier with some heat, chilli and tobacco. With a little water there is a sweet Juicy Fruit gum note as well.

    Overall a nicely balanced – spicier than your average – Irish whiskey.

    Sunday, 22 March 2020 13:56

    Manhattan Project: Experiment #49

    Location: Georgia James, Houston, TX

    Date: March 2020

    Price: $11.00 USD (22 x 2)

    Recipe: Menu says "Rye whiskey, sweet vermouth, angostura"

    Garnish: None

    Served: Rocks

    Comments: First "to go" Manhattan under relaxed TX laws due to COVID 19 was great one

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

    Saturday, 21 March 2020 20:07

    Wild Turkey Forgiven

    According to most sources… an accident. The story goes that Wild Turkey mistakenly blended small batch bourbon with high proof rye whiskey. Bottled at 45.5% ABV and this bottle came from Batch 303. The nose has a nutty, corn sweetness and grassy herbal notes. The taste is corn, sawdust and caramel. Very chewy, complex and good. Rye spice and cinnamon notes begin to push through and stay in the slightly hot finish along with peppermint.

    It tastes exactly like you might expect a bourbon and rye blend to taste. Funny that. Must try in a Manhattan.

    Saturday, 21 March 2020 19:58

    Bowmore 15 year old

    Avid readers of my blog (that means me, and to be honest I don’t even read this shit) will know that I loved the Bowmore 15 year Darkest expression and it often made my “must have” list. This is the replacement and bottled at same ABV%. The nose is sweet and malty with lemon peel. The taste is dried fruit cake, black treacle, chilli dark chocolate and sherry. The finish has black pepper, a light smokiness and damp oak wood. With water some more sugary notes and lemon marmalade.

    Still a very good example of smoke and sherry – maybe nostalgia - but I think I preferred the Darkest.

    Saturday, 21 March 2020 19:51

    Skrewball Peanut Butter Whiskey

    At 35% ABV and sweeter than your grandmother (not mine, yours) this is a liqueur and not a whiskey but is getting some traction in market the way Fireball did. The nose has ballpark crackerjacks, cough syrup, the inside of a candy store. The taste is sweet with more syrup and marshmallow notes. The peanut butter shows up a bit late but strong in finish along with barley sugar and finally some grainy alcohol notes.

    This is not whiskey. You may like it.

    Saturday, 21 March 2020 19:41

    Glenmorangie Bacalta

    In a distant galaxy, long long ago I wrote about Madeira finished Glenmorganie and it has become a unicorn whisky for me.  So I was delighted to see this release of a Malmsey Madeira cask finished Private Edition release at 46% ABV.

    The nose is sweet with raisins, fresh cut grass and citrus. The taste is brown sugar, maple syrup, plums. Milk chocolate and some spice that continues into finish with stewed black tea, ginger and oak. With water it becomes a little smoother and sweeter, even creamy. Overall this is complex, sweet, rich and a little bit awesome.

    In all honesty probably not a Unicorn, but definately a donkey with a horn on its head.  You would pay to see that right? Of course you would.

    Whiskies Tried...

    Total to Date: 692

    Distilleries

    Visited to Date: 66

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    Random Whisky

    Original Moonshine

    The second whiskey we tried in the Whisky Cast "white whiskey" virtual tasting I did in December 2011.  (If you are interested you can download the audio file from iTunes or www.whiskycast.com.)    This is 100% unaged corn whiskey and distilled 4 times which explains (for me) a lot about the tasting notes – or lack of them.  The nose has fresh paint and bubble gum and the taste is very sweet and smooth, in fact so smooth it's almost unrecognizable as whisky.  It tastes more like flavored vodka and perhaps some hints of tequila and even mineral water.  It is obviously well made and not "bad", but lacks all the complexity and depth I love about whiskey.   On the 1 to 5 scale of WhiskyCast I gave it a score of 1.5 and on my scale of 1 to 4 stars I gave it 1 star.