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My Handcrafted Opinions on Whiskies, Distilleries and Other Related Stuff

Most Recent Whisky

Most Recent Whisky Review

Highland Park Viking Honour 12 year old

The nose on this is salty and fruity, with some seaweed, a hint of rubber and a prick of alcohol even at 43% ABV.    The taste is rich with toffee, burnt coffee, caramel at first then some more acrid camp fire notes and along with bitter fruit peels and spices.  The finish is gentle hum of heat and peppermint along with some smokiness.  At 43% ABV it can take a drop of water and still hold up, but it doesn't need it.  Overall a delicious expression from one of my favourite distilleries.

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  • Wednesday, 28 December 2011 03:18

    My Alfred Barnard Blend Project Part 3

    Written by

    I quite liked my second version of the recipe and I have posted tasting notes under Reviews.  

    The nose has some malt and peat smoke.  This version is a bit more subdued than Blend #1,  The taste is still smooth and rich, orange maramalade and caramel notes.  The finish is spicy and long with tobacco and smoke.  With water the finish becomes a little more peppery.  Overall  this is still pretty hefty for a blend and my guess with just 25% grain most people would assume this is a single or perhaps a blended malt whisky.

    This version was more balanced than blend #1, but overall I think I will stick to drinking whisky and let the experts do the blending.  Those that can, do.  Those that can't, write blogs.

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    Random Whisky

    Balcones Fifth Anniversary Bourbon

    This whiskey created a lot of buzz in whiskyworld on the back of the ongoing general "Balconesmania" that I don't quite get.  I love the fact that a Texas whiskey is making bloggers drool and whisky magazine cover pages, but I am a little puzzled why.  Their products have ranged, in my opinion, from good (Texas Single Malt) to bizarre (Brimstone) and even their  biggest fans will admit to a little inconsistency in their early bottlings.  I would have to put this one however in the category of "best one yet" and suggests to me they do their best work when working with tried and true whisky recipes (eg single malt, bourbon) rather than blue corn and mesquite wood smoke.  Sometimes cliches are cliches for a reason (which maybe a cliche as well).  The nose has alcohol, toasted wood, vanilla and sweet cookie dough.  The taste is hot at first, then corn syrup, charred wood, vanilla, cinnamon and pepper.  Rich and powerful stuff but still balanced with a silky mouthfeel.  A velvet fist in an iron glove?  The finish is long and dry like a Texas drought.