logo

My Handcrafted Opinions on Whiskies, Distilleries and Other Related Stuff

Most Recent Whisky

Most Recent Whisky Review

Jura Prophecy

I have said it before and I will say it again, I do regret never going to Jura when I had the chance because the more I try their whisky the more I like it.  The label describes this 46% ABV expression as "heavily peated" which might be a slight overstatement, but I did like it and my prophecy is I that will drink this again sometime.     The nose was more smoky than peaty, with lots of citrus peel and dried fruits that also came through in the taste, along with sweet, sugary marmalade - even jammy - notes and a oily, mouthcoating  richness.  Very approachable and morish (moorish?).  The oily, smokey and slightly bitter, burnt wood notes in the finish balance the sweetness well.  If I still rated whiskies with stars this would get some. 

Read More
  • Friday, 02 March 2012 18:25

    Cowboy Whiskey… Gimme a Shot of Rye

    Written by
    It is Livestock Show and Rodeo time in Houston and that means it is "cowboy" time.  Seeing all the hats, boots, big belt buckles and slightly too tight jeans (which can be a good or bad or bad thing depending on the wearer) got me thinking about the link between cowboy culture and whiskey and that is of course specifically rye whiskey. 

    Many cowboy movies contain the iconic scene of cowboy walking through the saloon doors (often the music stops and the locals turn and stare at the stranger), striding up to bar with his spurs jangling and ordering a whiskey.  The timid and nervous looking barman (always in a bowtie for some reason) pulls a cork out of a bottle, pours a shot and the hero throws it back, stamps his foot, pulls a face then orders another or says " ...leave the bottle".  In many cases that same bottle is smashed over the head of Bad- Breath Pete (that's a good name for independent Islay bottling) later in the scene.   In the cowboy-comedy-cartoon version the drinker's hat flies off, steam comes out of his ears and the barman then makes a comment about it being "the good stuff".   You never see the cowboy comment to the barman about the nose and making some notes in his leather bound whiskey journal.   The overall impression you are left with is that rye whiskey is stuff to get down as quick as possible and is about getting drunk and quite often leads to a gun fight.  In the politically incorrect movies the local tribes were always keen to drink the white man's "fire water".  That name is not exactly positive either and would have the marketing guys today reaching for their six guns (or at least their iPhones).

    Then I tried Sazerac Rye and that all changed.  The standard Sazerac rye is good.  It is cotton picking, rooting tooting good.    I have also now tasted and reviewed the Sazerac 18 year old, Thomas H Handy and Pappy Van Winkle rye whiskies and find they are also as complex, rich and rewarding as any single malt.  I can't recommend them enough (other than the fact they are hard to find and not cheap) and as yet since I started drinking ryes I have not been involved in single gun fight and considering I live in Houston, Texas that is not something you can actually rule out.  So my advice is if you also have the image of rye whisky as the cowboy whiskey, you need to go to your local store or favorite online retailer and order a bottle of Sazerac.  You can thank me later pardner or to paraphrase John Wayne... "Get off your horse and drink your whiskey".

    Leave a comment

    Make sure you enter all the required information, indicated by an asterisk (*). HTML code is not allowed.

    Whiskies Tried...

    Total to Date: 689

    Distilleries

    Visited to Date: 66

    Follow Me on Twitter!

    Random Whisky

    Glenfiddich Rich Oak

    I tasted this whisky during my second appearance on WhiskyCast Virtual Tastings at the Victoria Whisky Festival in January 2012, and which you can download from iTunes if interested.  I was very impressed and rated it the highest at that event.    The nose was very fruity and light, with orange, raisin and some malt.  The taste was also smooth and light, sweet and the orange notes in the noise and a perfume character combined to give an impression of a citric pot pourri.  This is light, elegant whisky with fairly dry and tannic finish presumably from the rich oak, appetizing and therefore perhaps the perfect pre- dinner dram.  The orange notes I found also reminded me a little of the Glenfiddich Snow Phoenix release in 2011.