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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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  • Sunday, 27 January 2013 17:31

    Old Friends and Jet Bags

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    I am writing this entry whilst in the middle of a long business trip. I am very fortunate because these trips always provide some opportunities to find and try new whiskies. This can take many forms including airline lounges, duty free shops, whisky shops and bars, hotel bars and even hotel mini bars (See my Cardhu review). It rare that I come home from a trip without making a new friend or two along the way and this trip, so far, is no different. I was delighted to find behind the bar of anonymous city center chain hotel a bottle of the recently reproduced Mackinlay’s Rare Old Highland Malt. Even better they were down to last dram and when he went to pour my double (50 ml to exact; don’t get me started in standard UK measure of 25 ml!) the barman rather than put back an almost empty bottle (I don’t think was a big seller for him) generously topped my glass up.  

    However I have to say such finds are becoming rarer for me now, it is getting harder to find whiskies that I haven’t tried and make these new liquid friends. So instead on this trip I took the time to reintroduce myself to some old friends; Glenfiddich 12 year old and Dalwhinnie 15 year old. I am glad I did. I have a real soft spot for Glenfiddich and have always felt it was overlooked and underrated in the whisky community. I know it isn’t trendy but, I tell you what, it is bloody good. If you don’t believe me PLEASE go back and try it again. As for the Dalwhinnie, I spent a lovely evening at the house of an old friend, in snowy Scotland catching up and doing severe damage to his only bottle of single malt. Context is of course everything, but at that moment, in that place, the Dalwhinnie was the perfect dram.

    Just before I left for this trip I found myself in the Container Store in Houston and spotted the JetBag™ in the photo. What I love about this bottle protector (apart from fact it pretty cheap at just $3.99) is that not only does it protect the bottle but it also contains an interior that will absorb the full 750 ml of fluid if bottle does break. Touch wood, I have never had a bottle break in my luggage but I can travel with a little more confidence because one day I know it will happen! So I guess that makes JetBag my first official www.somanywhiskies.com product endorsement. Right now, as I write this, it is protecting the bottle of Longmorn 16 year old I bought in Scotland, another one of the 101 World Whiskies To Try Before You Die and so I need to get on with posting that review (and the Mackinlay’s).

    Whiskies Tried...

    Total to Date: 690

    Distilleries

    Visited to Date: 66

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    Random Whisky

    Van Winkle Family Reserve Rye 13 year old

    This one is hard to find, has limited releases (one liquor store in Texas tells me his allocation is just 4 bottles) and it sells out quicker that a "gangster rapper" with a disney movie contract due to a near cult following, all of which always usually puts me off a whiskey.  However this is good so they are, at least in part, forgiven.  The nose has lots of oak notes, vanilla and some rye.  The mouth feel is light and the taste has more vanilla notes and milk chocolate.  Very smooth, rich and delicious and with rye notes, cayenne and more oak in the finish.