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My Handcrafted Opinions on Whiskies, Distilleries and Other Related Stuff

Most Recent Whisky

Most Recent Whisky Review

Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye

This was unexpectedly declared the “best whiskey in the world” in 2015 by Jim Murray and due to resulting “online hub-bub” (or as I call it OHB) I chose to stay away at that time and revisit this controversial whisky at a later date. I am glad I did because of the excellent price point it is really very good value. Made from a 90% rye mash bill the nose has lemon pledge, coffee, vanilla, toffee and even some floral notes. The taste is smooth and creamy, lots of the notes from nose with Wherther’s Original candy and milk chocolate. The finish has peppermint, some grassy herbal notes and a little oak.  The buttery creamy mouthfeel reminded me of The Macallan. Is it very good but I can’t say if it was the best in the world that year because I did not try them all.

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  • Friday, 24 February 2012 19:29

    Top 5 Things I Don't Like About Whisky

    Written by

    No more beer and wine for me.  I like beer and wine and there are times when they fit exactly the mood I am in, but now the whisky bug has bitten and the fever taken hold I don't spend any time in the store browsing the latest wines and beers.  Instead I am drawn like a moth straight to the whisky section. With my beverage budget blown more often than a Euro Zone government, other drinks simply don't get a look in any more. 

    When your hobby involves alcohol, Texas and getting home.  For some reason, in most of the USA, the idea of clean, affordable public transport seems to translate to a concept bordering on communism.   It limits or even eliminates the enjoyment of whisky at events and bars due to the simple fact I have to drive home.  Take a taxi I hear you say?  You have never been in a Houston cab at night I say back.   I once saw a Houston taxi driver threaten someone because he didn't like the tip with a hammer he kept in the front seat.  I rather skip the drink. 

    Whisky websites that require me to enter my age.  This is getting really annoying and seems quite pointless to me.  The delinquent web page user can simply enter an incorrect date and access all the whisky pages their heart desires.  I understand if I am buying something there is an obligation to confirm my age, but to browse a web page?  If you must, at least keep it simple and ask to me to confirm with a simple click if I am of legal drinking age rather than selection of country, and the entry of a specific birth date via drop down menus.    Please.

    The Tyranny of Choice.  OK, it's not the worse problem to have maybe but nonetheless still an annoyance as every day there is a new bottle on the store shelf or a new expression released.  Which whisky to choose from a well stocked bar or even from my home selection?  Do I enjoy an old a favorite or try a new bottling?  It's all so good I find myself some just staring at a menu or at my whisky shelf like a "deer in the headlights" and trying to keep up now is simply impossible. 

    The lack of respect for American and Canadian whiskies.  Too often I see people pass over Canadian and even American whiskies in preference for the Scottish varietals.  People also sometimes seem more interested in the products of new countries like Sweden, Taiwan, Finland, India and Australia which are priced high (due the nature of their limited production and high fixed costs per bottle) and to me often don't represent good whisky value.  It seems that people are  overlooking some great North American products and some great value as well.  I believe a bottle of bourbon is usually better than an equivalent priced scotch, in part, I accept, because it matures quicker so it costs less to produce.  Jim Murray stated in no uncertain terms that he feels today the average barrel of whisky maturing in Kentucky is better quality that the average barrel maturing in Scotland.   I tend to agree.

    Based on web page hits I know there are at least 100 people out there who read these random ramblings... what about the wide world of whisky annoys you?

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    Random Whisky

    Glenfiddich Reserve Cask

    One of three recently release no age statement Glenfiddich single malts available through travel retail (fancy marketing talk for Duty Free). As reader will know I have a soft spot for Glenfiddich and feel it is often overlooked, in part because it is too ubiquitous for the whisky nerd community who prefer to blog, vlog and generally drool over whiskies that are more elusive than Scottish world cup victories. The nose on this expression has sweet sherry, brown sugar, mince pies and oak. Overall very rich and delicious. The taste is sweet with honey, orange peel and a hint of granny spirit bite I sometimes find in younger whiskies.   The finish has some back tea and tannin notes and is quite dry and warm. Not hugely complex but tasty. One dimensional is fine if it is a good dimension, and this is.