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My Handcrafted Opinions on Whiskies, Distilleries and Other Related Stuff

Most Recent Whisky

Most Recent Whisky Review

Woodford Reserve Distillers Select Straight Rye

This bottle was labelled #3031 from Batch 0887 and bottled at 45.2% ABV.  The nose was very nice, herbal tea with mint and sweet vanilla notes.  The mouthfeel is fresh, light and oily, bittersweet on palate with more vanilla, candy, black coffee and dark chocolate.  The finish has peppermint, wood and grassy rye notes.  With water it gets sweeter, even honeyed, while heat builds in the finish with chilli spiced dark chocolate.  Overall very delicious; a light and subtle of straight rye.

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  • Thursday, 20 February 2014 22:14

    114 Whiskies to Try Before You Die Part 2: The Blogger Strikes Back

    Written by

    The table at the bottom of this entry reflects all the changes from the first edition of 101 Whiskies to Try Before You Die and the second edition released in 2013. There are thirteen changes in total and in this blog I will focus on the departures which I will categorize accordingly:

    “The Marketing Department’s Revenge”: Three victims here. Some were simply a straight swap of one expression to an updated expression. That accounts for Cutty Sark 18 for 25 and the Bruichladdich 10 for 12. I am pretty sure even their own Marketing department agreed that continuing to sell Glenglassaugh’s new make spirit was not a good idea now that they had real whisky.

    “TTTTTThat’s All Folks!”: Phrases you don’t often hear include “Justin Bieber is a wise young man” and “Of course I have a bottle Glen Grant 25 year old, doesn’t everyone?” Adios Gordon and MacPhail Glen Grant 25 year old and Glenglassaugh 26 year old. If you still have a bottle of one of these enjoy it, because they are rarer than a Scottish World Cup victory

    “Compass Box: Your 15 Minutes of Fame is Up”: I think even John Glaser’s mother would agree Compass Box get a pretty good shake of the whisky publicity tree and had a more than fair representation in the original edition. However they have been culled like a Canadian seal pup in this version. Their redaction (it’s a word – look it up) accounts for three more victims.

    “Three for one”: Macallan have recently revamped their well-established line up for a new “no age statement” offering based on colors (I still giggle when I read the “official” explanation). Their fully deserved punishment is three out with just one of the newbies, Macallan Gold, making the second edition cut. They are getting off lightly.

    “The Conspiracy Theory”: At face value the final two British badgers in Buxton’s gun sights may seem unconnected, Berry Bros and Rudd’s Blue Hanger and Glen Rothes Select Reserve. Except that as every whisky anorak worth his tattered copy of Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible knows they are in fact very closely related with BBR jointly developing the concept of whisky vintages with Glen Rothes single malts.   As these are both great products and still available, I have to assume a Christmas card got lost in the post in 2012 and a score had to be settled.  

    OUT

    IN

    Compass Box Aysla

    Balcones Baby Blue

    Blue Hanger

    Bruichladdich The Laddie 10

    Bruichladdich 12 year old

    Cutty Sark 18 year old

    Cutty Sark 25 year old

    Glenglassaugh Evolution

    Glenglassaugh spirit

    Johnnie Walker The Spice Road

    Glenglassaugh 26 year old

    Kavalan Concertmaster

    Gordon and Macphail Glen Grant 25 year old

    Lord Elcho 15 year old

    Compass Box Hedonism

    Mackinlay’s Rare Old

    Macallan 10 year old Sherry Oak

    Balvenie Tun 1401

    Macallan 18 year old Sherry Oak

    Dalmore Cigar Malt Reserve

    Macallan 30 year old Fine Oak

    Macallan Gold

    Glen Rothes Select Reserve

    Naked Grouse

    Compass Box The Spice Tree

    Tweeddale 12 year old

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    Random Whisky

    Jura Superstition

    This was one of five whiskies that we tried at a tasting led by Ian Buxton in May 2011 in Aberdeen.  Of the five this was not the most expensive or unusual whisky we tried that day, but for me it was the the most surprising and enjoyable, probably because I had some preconceptions regarding the Isle of Jura distillery as producing "middle of the road" malts for blending.  I did not take detailed tasting notes that day, but this is definately a whisky I will be going back to try again and I will post tasting notes then.  Rich, complex and smokey, not unlike Highland Park, this was a great example of why you should try all whiskies and not assume anything.  The only downside was the pang of regret I felt because we did not visit Jura when we went to Islay in 2010.

    Update:  As promised here are some more detailed tasting notes.  The nose is rich and inviting with smoke, pears and seaweed.  The taste is very nice, smooth, smoky but balanced with some caramel.  Fades to a nice oaky, sweet finish and a little more caramel at the end.  This is an excellent every day dram and has the smokiness of an Islay combined with some of the richness of a speyside.