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My Handcrafted Opinions on Whiskies, Distilleries and Other Related Stuff

Most Recent Whisky

Most Recent Whisky Review

Glenfiddich Fire and Cane

This release is part of the Glenfiddich Experimental series and bottled at 43% ABV (which is quite unusual from Glenfiddich).   It is a peated malt that is finished in rum casks, hence the Fire and Cane (as in sugarcane)  name.  The nose is smokey, but more camp fire rather than strong peat.  Fire before the Cane.  The taste is spicy and nutty, chocolate, pepper, brown sugar and some honey and a hint of the phenol from peat.  The finish is a little hot, like eating burnt cake batter off a wooden spoon.  Water brings up more brown sugar and some lemon peel.  Very nicely done but not sure I would pair peat and rum casks, personnally I prefer peat and sherry casks.

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  • Monday, 13 February 2012 01:01

    Kentucky: Famous for Whiskey, Horses and One More Thing

    Written by
    The last edition of Whisky Magazine was a milestone 100th edition and in recognition of that the publishers included a list of the 100 Greatest Distilleries to Visit.  As anyone who has seen my website knows, I like lists. In fact my website was really born after reading a list of 101 Whiskies to Try Before You Die, an excellent book by Ian Buxton.  I also like visiting distilleries and a quick count revealed that I had indeed visited 18 of the 100 listed, 2 in Ireland, 1 in Wales and the rest in Scotland. (http://www.somanywhiskies.com/distilleries?Name=Value )

    The St George's Distillery in England was notably absent, which is a pity because I had visited that one as well and I felt it was a great visitor experience, better than some of the named Scottish distilleries, where else does the distiller actually lead the tour? It also happens to make a great product. http://www.somanywhiskies.com/distilleries/item/62-st-georges-distillery-norfolk-england

    I decided I would like to take my family on a road trip this summer and visit some USA distilleries in Kentucky and perhaps Tennessee on the way back.  We did similar road trip for two summers in Scotland (not to Kentucky - very long drive) and they turned out to be great family vacations, at least I thought so,  so I was pretty sure I could sell my wife and 6 year old daughter on the plan.  So I carefully picked my moment, and announced I had a great idea for a family road trip this summer, and then asked what Kentucky is most famous is for?  As my wife likes whisky and my daughter loves horses and horse riding I was confident in their response.  After a pause and a moment of consideration my wife offered the suggestion "Fried Chicken?"

    She was of course, as usual, right.  Other then the whiskey obsessed, I think the thing most people around the globe will always associate with Kentucky first is fried chicken and a man in white suit called Colonel Sanders.  It is one of the truly global brands and according to their website (www.kfc.com) is in "109 countries and territories around the world ..... operates more than 5,200 restaurants in the United States and more than 15,000 units around the world."  As I was  thinking about this blog, on my last business trip to Lagos, Nigeria just before I pulled into my hotel I was greeted with familiar KFC logo and took a quick picture to include with this entry.

    kfc

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    Random Whisky

    Teacher's Highland Cream

    Along with Bell's, Famous Grouse and Johnnie Walker Red this is one of the ubiquitous scotch blends in the UK, easy to find in almost any pub or supermarket.  I remember it being the standard scotch in my father's drink cabinet in the 1970's and therefore quite possibly the first scotch I ever drank but one I had not revisited since I really started drinking whisky in 2009.  As anyone who has read my posts knows I am not biased against blends, in fact some of my best friends are blends, but I  feel blends usually work best when they are sweet, subtle and sophisticated, playing off and even highlighting the grain whisky component.  If I want a smoky, beefy, malt whisky I will order one and this expression falls into the same trap (for me) as Johnnie Walker Black and other "bold" blends of trying to be a single malt and overpowering the grain, but lacks the depth or complexity to pull it off.  The nose is slightly floral, heather honey, malty and grassy with a hint of acrid woodsmoke.  The taste is a little sharp (nice word for harsh) at first which gives way to lemon zest and some sweet toffee, some nice flavours but lacks a little body and balance.  The finish has some more honey, but lots of pepper spice and more woodsmoke.