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My Handcrafted Opinions on Whiskies, Distilleries and Other Related Stuff

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Most Recent Whisky Review

Red River

This is a Texas bourbon finished in Pinot Noir red wine casks at the Western Son distillery in Pilot Point Texas.  If you haven't heard of Pilot Point, dont worry about it,  neither had I and I have lived and / or worked in Texas for over quarter of a century!  The nose has some red berry fruits and sweet port wine along with the usual suspects of corn and sawdust.  The taste is smooth on palate with some oak, brown sugar and cola.  The finish has white pepper, green oak and ends with drying wine notes.  It's good... but for me this 42.1% ABV expression misses the fruit from the nose in the taste and finish that would help balance out the bitter / oaky notes of the finish.

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  • Tuesday, 27 December 2011 15:47

    My Alfred Barnard Blend Project Part 2

    Written by

    I made up my blend as per the recipe in the previous blog entry and left it to "marry" in the flask provided as part of the kit (which I sealed with cling film) for about 8 hours.  With about 8 cl of total blend it was enough for my wife and I to taste and review.  The nose was quite salty and tangy, like sea spray (the Islay's clearly evident) and also quite peaty, but in an earthy rather than smokey way.  There was even a hint of maple syrup smoked bacon.  The taste was very smooth and sherry starts to come through, followed by spices like pepper and cinnamon.  There were also some sweet fruit notes, like a jam, but the kind of generic sweet red jam you might get in bed and breakfast.  There was some smoke in the finish and with a little water some oak notes also came through.  This was quite rich for a blend, but then this has only 25 % grain whisky, most blends today are probably closer to 50/50 grain to malt whisky, and I found the Islay influence dominant in the nose (even though it was less than 20% of the total ) but overall whisky was very drinkable and smooth.  Going to Master of Malt website if I was to make a bottle according to this recipe it would cost $83 for a 700 ml bottle and have an ABV of 40.75%.  Because I found the nose and taste a little disjointed I can only give this 2 stars and I will tweak recipe slightly.

     

    Barnard Blend Recipe #2:  Speyside single malt (1 ½ cl of sherry matured) and 1 cl old Speyside single malt,  1 ½ cl of Islay single malt,  1 ½ cl of Lowland single malt, ½  cl old Highland single malt (sherry finished), 1 cl of single grain and finally 1 cl of very, very old single grain.

    The idea here was to remove the very old Islay and increase the very, very old grain.  I also replaced the Highland with an old Highland sherry finished.  I will now blend this one and post a review.  I think this may balance out the nose and the taste but stay true to Alfred Barnard basic recipe. It also reduces price to $ 75 / 700 ml bottle and increases ABV to 41.1%.

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    Random Whisky

    Talisker 59’ North

    This “ageless” expression from Talisker is bottled at 57% ABV. The nose is classic sea spray and salty aromas. Some peat and sweet caramel in the background. The taste is stringent with alcohol at first, then toffee and peat. High intensity and very flavorful, some fruity notes also appear with time. In the finish the alcohol dries and the smoke lingers along with toffee on the palate. With water it gets a little smoother and definitely fruitier, even orange marmalade. Wood starts to come through in finish as well but I suspect this is a younger dram and spirit led rather than cask, but I think there may be some sherry casks in this expression.