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My Handcrafted Opinions on Whiskies, Distilleries and Other Related Stuff

Most Recent Whisky

Most Recent Whisky Review

Fortnum and Mason London Dry Gin

As the more observant reader will have noticed as this is a slight departure from my usual whisky reviews but as it is made by The London Distillery Company (of which I am shareholder and as at time of writing in September 2017 a Director) I feel it's place is warranted on my website.  (Note: Key words in that sentence are "my website").  This bottle came from Batch 022 and was bottled at 47.1% ABV.  The nose has some citrus peel, herbs, fresh cut fruit and vegetal notes and after while some alcohol starts to come through as well.   The mouthfeel is great, chewy and sticky with honey sweetness along with classic gin notes.  The finish has white ppeer and the alcohol dries the mouth quite quickly.   The addition of tonic water cuts the thickness and sweetness so this works really well in classic G&T format.

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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

    Fireball Cinnamon Whisky

    Lets start with the basics on this "thing".  Made in Canada (shame on you) and bottled in Kentucky (pretty embarrassing) at a modest (and anti-whisky) 33% ABV.  Before I get onto the "tasting notes" let me just say that my major issue is that this is branded and marketed as whisky.. so everything I am about to say is relative to this as a whisky.  I don't have any problem with this drink per say or the people who like it.  I can see the appeal, really I can.  The thing for me is the horrible term "cinnamon whisky" plastered on the bottle / ads / Facebook page etc.    This is not whisky.  It is not even close.  I find it staggering that this type of misdirection and branding was not explicity listed as an abomination unto God in Leviticus.  This is a liqueur by every reasonable, and most unreasonable, definitions as it has clearly been sweetened, flavored and diluted to 33% and yet Canada (and the US) seems to have no issue with it being branded as whisky.  People should be in jail over this.  I will stop short of demanding that they also be forced to drink it twice daily as part of their punishment, as they might like it, but the idea did cross my mind.  If you like Fireball (and I guess a great many do) that is great, keep drinking it, it means more "proper" whisky for me.  If you want to make and sell something called Fireball, good luck but don't waste any more marketing dollars on me.  But if you call it whisky.... then a pox on you and your house.   If this was a small craft product I might have pulled my punches a little, I would never want anything on this site to come across as personal attack, but as it comes from Sazerac, a huge company with a great many real whisky (and whiskey) products I love, I feel OK about typing my mind.  The nose is cinnamon and sweet.  The taste reminded me of the cinnamon hot tamale candy. Has a cough syrup sweetness and gloopy mouthfeel, probably works better with ice. It's really not even that spicy hot.... at least make it hot of you are calling it Fireball!  The finish hangs around like gum on your shoe and is only slightly less desirable.