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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

    Wednesday, 21 December 2011 14:58

    White Owl

    The final tasting from 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 an unusual, possibly unique, whisky, aged for 10 years and then charcoal filtered until clear and aimed at the cocktail and mixology markets.    The nose has some alcohol, cooked apples and cotton candy.  Very sweet, floral and aromatic.  The taste at first was dominated by vanilla, almost vanilla extract, with a nice mouth feel.   The taste also had notes of corn, pine and with addition of water some oak and green wood notes came though.  When left for while a really strong coconut nose and taste developed as well.  Interesting stuff.  On the 1 to 5 scale of WhiskyCast I gave it a score of 2.5 and on my scale of 1 – 4 stars I gave it 2 stars, it is the only one of the three we tasted I would actually drink at party if offered.

    Wednesday, 21 December 2011 14:56

    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.
    Wednesday, 21 December 2011 14:54

    Buffalo Trace White Dog (Wheated Mash)

    This was the first whiskey we sampled in the WhiskyCast "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.)   Despite a very high ABV of 62.5% the nose was not dominated by alcohol and was quite sweet.  I picked up a fresh paint and solvent notes and some cooked cereal, possibly corn.   The alcohol did come through in the taste along with sweet candy corn.  With water the alcohol dropped and I picked up some more discernible bourbon notes like caramel.   One for cocktails perhaps as I can't see anyone reaching for this to sip.  On the 1 to 5 scale of WhiskyCast I gave it a score of 2 and on my scale of 1 – 4 stars I gave it 1 star.

    Wednesday, 21 December 2011 03:07

    Connemara Peated Cask Strength

    The nose has peat (surprise!) and some sweetness and malt.  The taste has peat smoke and then the more traditional Irish sweet notes of caramel and vanilla come through and the high alcohol content can be detected (bottled at 57.9% ABV).  The peat stays through the long, dry finish with some pepper and a slight medicinal note also comes through.
    Wednesday, 21 December 2011 02:57

    Tullamore Dew 10 year old Reserve

    Found this on sale at my local store for under $30.  What a deal and another great Irish blended whiskey.  The nose has caramel, vanilla and a hint of cereals.    The taste is sweet, more caramel and toffee with vanilla fudge and some soft fruits, maybe banana.  Smooth mouth feel and a slight tingle of oak and spice in the finish.  Not massively complex, but simply delicious.   I am definitely "doing the dew" more often.
    Wednesday, 21 December 2011 02:44

    Glenfarclas 21 year old

    The nose has sweet raisins and citrus fruit with some malt and biscuit notes. The sherry Glenfarclas is famous for is also evident in the nose.   The taste is very smooth and sweet with honey, more orange peel citrus and a long soft finish with some black pepper and hints of leather and tobacco.  Complex and delicious with big flavors.  A great after dinner whisky.
    Wednesday, 21 December 2011 02:39

    BenRiach Dark Rum Finish

    This was a distillery that seemed to pass me by while in Scotland.  Never heard a lot about it or saw much of their product, struck me as one of the many single malt brands still trying to find their place, lots of experimentation and expressions, like a university student trying to find themselves or the kid who doesn't know what he wanted to be when he grew up.   Anyway after a night out with friend at a great whisky bar in Houston (www.reserve101.com) we ordered a dram of this and I have to say I was impressed.  The nose was malty, sweet molasses and vanilla.  The taste was also vanilla and the rum showed up but didn't overpower the whisky.  Sweet and smooth with a nice finish I was very happy to finish the night with this satisfying dram.  Will look for a bottle now and write some more detailed notes.

    Perhaps it does know what it wants to be when it grows up... rum.

    Wednesday, 21 December 2011 02:38

    Mackmyra First Release

    I managed to get sample of this Swedish whisky from Master of Malt (www.masterofmalt.com).  This has an unusual nose... malt, salt, even a little meaty (Bovril?) and oak.   Over a little time the nose opens up to sweet malt biscuit.  The taste has honey at first, then some vanilla.  Light mouth feel and an oaky finish with chocolate and pepper.  Good enough but Scotch is safe from Swede for a while.
    Wednesday, 21 December 2011 02:36

    Highland Park 18 year old

    The nose is sweet malt, honey, dark fruits and a wisp of peat smoke.  The taste is the classic malt harmony of honey sweet, oak wood and smoke with lots of depth.  The mouth feel is creamy and oily and the finish has some tobacco.  With water the nose has some more citrus, and there is more oak and pepper in the finish and a great mouth feel.
    Saturday, 17 December 2011 00:54

    Hennigan's

    Made famous by the Seinfeld TV show in the 1990's and then believed to be lost in a cupboard under the sink for over 15 years, Hennigan's was rediscovered in October 2011 by www.scotchcinema.com.   So I thought I would review this very unusual and hard to find scotch.  I often write tasting notes with my wife, but this time I had some help from my friends Jerry, Elaine, George and Kramer.  The nose is very soft and muted, in fact according to Jerry "I can't smell anything".    However the taste is appealing, as Kramer described it best; "that is damn good stuff" and the finish, well again Kramer put it much better than I can, "mmm boy, that Hennigan's goes down smooth".  Overall impression is best summed up by Elaine as "I'll tell you, it's not bad".  However Hennigan's is definitely not for everyone, unfortunately George "threw up from the Hennigan's" so I am afraid, due the lack of nose and the unfortunate throwing up aspect, I can only give it 1 star.  

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    Random Whisky

    Roast Rare Caperdonich 26 year old

    Another exclusive bottling for one of my favorite restaurants, Roast, in London.  This was distilled at the now defunct Caperdonich distillery in February 1980, is one of only 155 bottles and comes in 56.8% ABV.    The nose is spectacular with nutty caramel, vanilla, marshmallow and some heat from the alcohol.  The taste is sweet, stringent and fruity with citrus and even some cedar wood notes.  The finish is as minty as mouthwash and lingers like a catchy tune.  My first Caperdonich but definately not my last!