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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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  • Monday, 29 December 2014 21:23

    The End of the Road?

    Written by

    Some diligent readers may have noticed that I have posted less material online in recent months than Julian Assange. There are a number of reasons for this (fortunately being holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy is not one) but I don’t think it is a coincidence that my lack of output followed soon after completing my goal to find, taste and post my notes for all of the whiskies in Ian Buxton’s book “101 World Whiskies to Try Before You Die”.

    When I look back at 2011, when I started this website and blog I wrote about using the Ian Buxton’s first book “101 Whiskies to Try before You Die” as a guide.  As I wrote then I felt I needed some structure to my journey, a goal or destination, or I would risk wandering aimlessly

    I have to say I do feel now like a goal has been met and a destination reached. Perhaps by setting a clear goal in some ways I doomed my website and blog as it had a defined “end point” from day one. It had a purpose and that purpose has been achieved. My work has also intervened and this blog will always come third after my family and my career. I also look back and reflect that the blog started at a time I was very unhappy with my career and  it is clear my interest in whisky grew as my interest in my job at that time declined.

    However this cannot be the end. Whisky has permeated my life in no small way and will be harder to remove than the last in-law at Christmas. I have invested (rather more than I intended) in a craft distillery in London that looks like it might return my investment about the same time that my nine year old daughter graduates college and I have made some real friendships that will go beyond a shared love of distilled grains aged in oak barrels.

    So to paraphrase Winston Churchill perhaps this is not the beginning of the end but the end of the beginning. Therefore I intend to continue post tasting notes as I find whiskies of interest (increasingly hard to do by the way) and will restructure website to be more focused on those tasting notes and less as blog, but from time to time you can still expect me to post an ill-informed opinion.

    And what would be a good new goal for this revamped website? As I write today I have reviewed 566 whiskies, so 1000 seems like a nice round number to aim for…. perhaps as a nod to Ian Buxton I should say 1001 Whiskies (yes I know that is another book by another whisky writer but you get my point) and then see what happens.

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    Random Whisky

    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.