logo

My Handcrafted Opinions on Whiskies, Distilleries and Other Related Stuff

Most Recent Whisky

Most Recent Whisky Review

Maker's Mark Private Select

This was picked by Mike Raymond of Houston's Reserve 101 as their 10th anniversary bottling. As the regular readers (both of them) know by now I love Maker's Mark, I love Houston, I love Reserve101 and I have very strong feelings for Mike.  But for some reason this one did not quite work for me, but give it a try as it might for you.   The nose is oaky with some fruity wine notes as well.  Sopem heat from the 55.65% ABV along with calssic vanilla, corn and cola notes.  The taste is hot and a little sharp at first with some black cherry, dark chocolate, jalepeno, burnt caramel and oak char.  The finish is pepper and even a little sour.  With water it gets creamier with some brown sugar and more vanilla. It definately needs a little water (or ice or time) to open it up.

Read More
  • Saturday, 31 December 2011 23:30

    A New Year Whisky Resolution Worth Keeping

    Written by

    OK I admit this is a VERY clichéd thing to do, but I promise to avoid all of the obvious traps about drinking less or spending less.  Instead, I have decided that instead of sticking to budgets I will stick to my opinions as my first resolution of 2012.  I still sometimes get an emotional reaction that "I got it wrong" about my reviews and tasting notes after I read others, even though rationally I know that there is no right answer.   I taste what I taste and I like what I like, so I am resolved to resist the temptation to "review my reviews" in 2012 based on the opinions of others.  That said, I may from time to review my review based on my own tasting experiences, and I have already revisited some after a later tasting and updated the notes. 

    I originally wrote that my second resolution was to complete my 101challenge and find a new whisky adventure for 2013 and beyond.   But then as I was drafting this piece, I read a very interesting blog by an old friend of mine (www.dingsbeerblog.com) and it has made me reflect at this time of year as to WHY I drink whisky and why I have become so passionate about whisky over the last two or three years.  In his blog of December 7th, 2011, Ding discusses the danger of "pursuing the thrill of accumulation, and, in turn, had lost all perspective in terms of the very essence of what beer is all about".  I must confess to seeing a little of that in my behavior at times, such as buying the next bottle "on my list" when there were several very good bottles already open at home, just waiting for me to drink or share with others.   

    So my second resolution is to make sure I take the time in 2012 to stop and smell the "whisky", not simply run around glugging down the next or newest whisky to add to a list of reviews, to check off a list or to be one of the "cool people" who has tried the latest bottling.  Rather than those slightly fanatical and obsessive behaviors, I will focus on what I love about whisky, the simple enjoyment I get drinking a whisky at the end of the day (or sometimes in the middle of the day), sharing something I love with friends and family and the great people I meet at whisky events and online.  If I get to finish my list of 101 whiskies in the course of 2012.... that's just a bonus.

    Thanks for that reminder Ding, and for giving me a resolution in 2012 that is truly worthwhile. Cheers!

    Leave a comment

    Make sure you enter all the required information, indicated by an asterisk (*). HTML code is not allowed.

    Whiskies Tried...

    Total to Date: 654

    Distilleries

    Visited to Date: 58

    Follow Me on Twitter!

    Random Whisky

    Bailie Nicol Jarvie (BNJ)

    I first picked a bottle of this up in Oddbins in Cults, attracted by the rather unusual label and value price.  It is a smooth and floral whisky and pleasant if a little oaky, and certainly nothing wrong with it (can you tell I wasn't taking detailed notes in 2009?).  However the simple fact is, for all the times I went back in that shop (and it was a lot until the Great Odbbins Closure of 2011)  I never felt compelled to buy another bottle again.  There was always something more interesting and appealing to buy even at that lower price point.  I like blends, I really do, and so I promise to revisit and do some more detailed tasting notes, but I feel the overall impression I was left with says more than any detailed notes can.  

    Update:  Here are some more detailed notes that I took after buying a 5 cl miniature on www.whiskyexchange.com in April 2012.  The nose has malt, fruity pear drops and a floral note, maybe even marzipan.  The taste is very smooth, more malt, caramel and then builds into an oaky, bitter finish with some of the flowers and esters from the nose.   With water the mouthfeel gets a little richer and it gets a little more peppery in the finish.  Definately a little better than I remembered.