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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.

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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

    Kilchoman Sanaig

    I am a big fan of sherry cask aged and finished Islay whisky (Bowmore 15 The Darkest is still all time Top 10 for me) and so I was looking forward to this 46% ABV no age statement expression from Islay's youngest distillery (but not for much longer!). The nose is classic "bonfire on the beach" with some cooked fruits as well.  The taste is very sweet with caramel, vanilla toffee, green apples and of course some peat which then goes on to dominate the finish while some tannin Sherry notes also push through drying the mouthfeel.  With water the sweetness turns to brown sugar and the peat turns more smokey; hot and peppery on the palate.  It is good but the sherry feels held  back rather than forward on this one.