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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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  • Friday, 24 February 2012 19:29

    Top 5 Things I Don't Like About Whisky

    Written by

    No more beer and wine for me.  I like beer and wine and there are times when they fit exactly the mood I am in, but now the whisky bug has bitten and the fever taken hold I don't spend any time in the store browsing the latest wines and beers.  Instead I am drawn like a moth straight to the whisky section. With my beverage budget blown more often than a Euro Zone government, other drinks simply don't get a look in any more. 

    When your hobby involves alcohol, Texas and getting home.  For some reason, in most of the USA, the idea of clean, affordable public transport seems to translate to a concept bordering on communism.   It limits or even eliminates the enjoyment of whisky at events and bars due to the simple fact I have to drive home.  Take a taxi I hear you say?  You have never been in a Houston cab at night I say back.   I once saw a Houston taxi driver threaten someone because he didn't like the tip with a hammer he kept in the front seat.  I rather skip the drink. 

    Whisky websites that require me to enter my age.  This is getting really annoying and seems quite pointless to me.  The delinquent web page user can simply enter an incorrect date and access all the whisky pages their heart desires.  I understand if I am buying something there is an obligation to confirm my age, but to browse a web page?  If you must, at least keep it simple and ask to me to confirm with a simple click if I am of legal drinking age rather than selection of country, and the entry of a specific birth date via drop down menus.    Please.

    The Tyranny of Choice.  OK, it's not the worse problem to have maybe but nonetheless still an annoyance as every day there is a new bottle on the store shelf or a new expression released.  Which whisky to choose from a well stocked bar or even from my home selection?  Do I enjoy an old a favorite or try a new bottling?  It's all so good I find myself some just staring at a menu or at my whisky shelf like a "deer in the headlights" and trying to keep up now is simply impossible. 

    The lack of respect for American and Canadian whiskies.  Too often I see people pass over Canadian and even American whiskies in preference for the Scottish varietals.  People also sometimes seem more interested in the products of new countries like Sweden, Taiwan, Finland, India and Australia which are priced high (due the nature of their limited production and high fixed costs per bottle) and to me often don't represent good whisky value.  It seems that people are  overlooking some great North American products and some great value as well.  I believe a bottle of bourbon is usually better than an equivalent priced scotch, in part, I accept, because it matures quicker so it costs less to produce.  Jim Murray stated in no uncertain terms that he feels today the average barrel of whisky maturing in Kentucky is better quality that the average barrel maturing in Scotland.   I tend to agree.

    Based on web page hits I know there are at least 100 people out there who read these random ramblings... what about the wide world of whisky annoys you?

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    Random Whisky

    Aberfeldy Single Cask 16 year old

    It is rather hard to find official distillery single cask bottlings from Aberfeldy, especially in the USA.  This sample came via Master of Malt from one of 318 bottles released to commemerate Scottish singer / songwriter King Creosote's "Bits of Strange" tour.  The nose has sherry and oranges and is floral and fruity with some creamy sweetness.   The taste has a spicy and sweet, rich mouthfeel.  Caramel and mint  also come through.   The finish is a little hot (bottled at 55.1% ABV) with citrus and oak.  Dry and warming.