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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, 26 March 2012 13:28

    The Final Four: Help Required

    Written by

    Sports fans in the United States are currently enjoying the phenomena known as March Madness (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NCAA_Men%27s_Division_I_Basketball_Championship ).  This is the 68 best college basketball teams competing in a tournament, mostly held during the month of March, to be one of the four teams who compete in the final weekend (or the Final Four as it is known) for the National Championship.    I also have my own final four, the four whiskies I have to yet to track down either a dram in a bar or a bottle somewhere in my search for all “101 Whiskies To Try Before You Die” (http://www.somanywhiskies.com/101-whiskies-to-try-before-you-die) .  While I am yet to post all 97 reviews, I have posted 85, I have a few more I have found (or even bought but I am yet to develop notes for) and I do have a plan to acquire or taste the others soon, but these final four elude me. 

    So I have decided to put out a request for help.  Any ideas where I can acquire a dram or bottle of these  whiskies (in person or online) would be appreciated and if you have a bottle perhaps an exchange of samples or a small donation in kind could be made?  If you have any contacts or know of any other whisky fanatic please feel free to pass this request on.

    Hibiki 30 year old

    Glen Breton Rare (lives up to the name in USA anyway)

    Highland Park 21 year old (seems to be very limited re-release and only in the UK)

    Hakushu 18 year old

    Just these four whiskies lie between and my goal of reviewing all 101 whiskies from the book 101 Whiskies To Try Before You Die.  If you can help please leave a comment or suggestion, email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or via twitter @somanywhiskies.

     

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    Random Whisky

    Bailie Nicol Jarvie (BNJ)

    I first picked a bottle of this up in Oddbins in Cults, attracted by the rather unusual label and value price.  It is a smooth and floral whisky and pleasant if a little oaky, and certainly nothing wrong with it (can you tell I wasn't taking detailed notes in 2009?).  However the simple fact is, for all the times I went back in that shop (and it was a lot until the Great Odbbins Closure of 2011)  I never felt compelled to buy another bottle again.  There was always something more interesting and appealing to buy even at that lower price point.  I like blends, I really do, and so I promise to revisit and do some more detailed tasting notes, but I feel the overall impression I was left with says more than any detailed notes can.  

    Update:  Here are some more detailed notes that I took after buying a 5 cl miniature on www.whiskyexchange.com in April 2012.  The nose has malt, fruity pear drops and a floral note, maybe even marzipan.  The taste is very smooth, more malt, caramel and then builds into an oaky, bitter finish with some of the flowers and esters from the nose.   With water the mouthfeel gets a little richer and it gets a little more peppery in the finish.  Definately a little better than I remembered.