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My Handcrafted Opinions on Whiskies, Distilleries and Other Related Stuff

Most Recent Whisky

Most Recent Whisky Review

Grangestone Sherry Cask Finish

The third expression in this series is, like the other two, bottled at 40% ABV.  The nose has lots of dried fruits, prunes, raisins, digestive biscuits and a slight farmyuard, vegatal funkiness.   The taste is more dried fruit, prunes, bitter dark chocolate and citrus peel.  The mouthfeel is quite creamy, chewy and even oily.  The finish is spicy with fresh cut jalepenos and black pepper.  Not massively complex... consider if Macallan had an off day.  However Macallan's bad days are still better than many distilleries good days.

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  • Monday, 18 February 2013 22:33

    And Now for Something Completely Different....

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    This is a first... a wine review on a whisky blog.  On recent trip to Texas wine country (yes there really is one!) near San Antonio we visited Bending Branch Winery in Comfort, Texas. This annual special edition is a picpoul (picpoul is french for lip stinger) based white that is finished in an ex-bourbon cask.  The lady who poured this for me at their very nice vistors center insisted that it was not finished in just any bourbon barrel, but a Pappy Van Winkle barrel!  Apparently they do this one special bottling every year for their Kentucky Derby party.  These are my kind of wine people.  I have come across lots of whisky finished in wine casks (Glenmorangie like to do this with expressions like Artein and Nectar D'Or), but this was the first time I have seen a wine finished in a whisky cask.  The nose was at first crisp green apples, tart, but some sweetness as well (the bourbon influence perhaps).  The taste has the first same clean fresh and tart notes from the nose (the reason this grape variatel is called lip stinger).  As wine warms in the glass the sweetness comes through as creamy marshmallow and even taffy.  The finish has some vanilla, oak and even creme brulee.  Very interesting, I can't say for sure if I would have picked this as "whisky finished wine" if I don't know, but some very familiar elements were definately on display. 

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    Random Whisky

    Aberlour a’bunadh (Batch 19)

    When I originally reviewed Aberlour a’bunadh I neglected to identify the batch number (it was 34).  It occurred to me to try another batch some time and see if I could identify any differences, and so when I saw a 3 ml sample on Master of Malt website of batch 19 I couldn't resist it.  The nose on batch 19 was dominated at first by alchohol, but I also got notes of sweet fruits like rasins, some malty biscuits and even sherry.   The taste is also alcohol led at first, lots of heat, but fades to reveal bitter orange notes.  A dry finish.  Like the Batch 34 needs water and then even more orange comes through, but sweeter.  With water some more oak and maybe licorice and tobacco notes.  Overall very similar to Btach 34 - looking at the notes maybe a slightly different nose between the batches or maybe the difference in just in my nose.

    To avoid confusion, although a'bunadh is in the 101 Whiskies to Try book as I already reviewed Batch 34 I did not inlcude Batch 19 in the 101 whisky countdown.