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My Handcrafted Opinions on Whiskies, Distilleries and Other Related Stuff

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Most Recent Whisky Review

Bellevoye Bleu

If you had not of heard of this French blended malt you are not alone, because it was new to me as well when I saw it in the Air France Lounge in Paris.  A little online research suggests this is a blend of 3 single malts of different regions of France and finished in new French oak casks.  It is bottled at 40% ABV but nosed like it was much stronger.  Very feisty and malty with barnyard, floral and even perfurmed notes in the nose.  Hot and sweet on the palate with some flashes of toffee which were quickly masked by pepper and even a slightly acrid smokey note.  The finish has some chilli heat with a hint of lemon peel marmalade.  A splash of water improves it greatly, smooths out the grainy mouth feel and brings out some more fruity and sweet flavours.  It is not bad but posseses little elegance or sophistication so in that respect it is not a very French French whisky.

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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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    Phillips Union

    I found this blend of Canadian whiskey and Kentucky bourbon in a bar in Anchorage, Alaska. Fearing the worst (a Canadian and American Franken-whisky) I was pleasantly surprised by this one.  The nose reminded me of a freshly painted grain silo with some cocoa sprinkled around. The mouth feel is a little lacking, thin and even oily, but the Canadian and bourbon influences are both evident in palate and I would describe it as” blended but not married”. With a little time I could detect caramel popcorn, vanilla and lemon pie filling. Some rye and pepper in the finish. I have had much worse whisky based on much better ideas and giving this a little time to open up and some water (even ice) helps with the mouth feel making it creamier.