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My Handcrafted Opinions on Whiskies, Distilleries and Other Related Stuff

Most Recent Whisky

Most Recent Whisky Review

Red River

This is a Texas bourbon finished in Pinot Noir red wine casks at the Western Son distillery in Pilot Point Texas.  If you haven't heard of Pilot Point, dont worry about it,  neither had I and I have lived and / or worked in Texas for over quarter of a century!  The nose has some red berry fruits and sweet port wine along with the usual suspects of corn and sawdust.  The taste is smooth on palate with some oak, brown sugar and cola.  The finish has white pepper, green oak and ends with drying wine notes.  It's good... but for me this 42.1% ABV expression misses the fruit from the nose in the taste and finish that would help balance out the bitter / oaky notes of the finish.

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  • Thursday, 07 June 2012 00:44

    Hibiscus Liqueur and Lapsong Souchong Tea Syrup… are you f****** kidding me?

    Written by

    Am I the only person more than a little surprised by the recent Whisky Advocate article on summer cocktails?   I was really excited about finding new ways to drink whisky during the incredibly long and hot summers we "enjoy" in Texas because I was seriously considering taking my summer drinking business back to simple, cold beer.   Dave Broom did contribute a very nice piece on ice, water and soda with whisky and I will certainly try some of his recommendations, but the piece I was really anticipating on whisky summer cocktails was frustrating to put it mildly.  I am guessing the average whisky enthusiast has a well-stocked bar and could rustle up most common cocktail ingredients and even find a bottle of Angostura bitters in the back of cupboard somewhere.  However there was not one cocktail in the nine recipes offered I could make that did not require a visit to a specialty store to acquire a spirit, liqueur or mixer so obscure that when typed into Google would simply generate "?" as a reply.  In addition all the recipes required me to formulate some syrup or other "pre-drink" concoction (Rosemary-chamomile syrup or fresh peach juice anyone?) before I could even begin to assemble the actual cocktail.

     

    The list of ingredients included the following:

    Mathidle Peche liqueur

    Lapsang Souchong tea syrup

    Aperol

    Fruitlab Hibiscus liqueur

    Bitter Truth aromatic bitters

    Rocky Mountain peach whiskey

    Rosemary-chamomile syrup

    My whisky budget is strained to beyond its intended breaking point and I can't be alone in refusing to buy a bottle of hibiscus liqueur even if I could find it in Texas , which I doubt, and if I did I would probably become the target of an state government observation program.  The subscribers and readers of Whisky Advocate are, I suspect, like me.  They are whisky drinkers not mixologists  and  I am guessing the numbers of actual subscribers who have actually made one of recipes in the magazine would be far less than 1% on a good day.   Was that really your intent?

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    Random Whisky

    Balblair '00

    I found this 50ml bottle at Oddbins on Rosemount in Aberdeen during a recent business trip.   The nose has sweet honey and maybe some oak notes.  Overall quite mild and moderate.  The taste is smooth and creamy, lots of vanilla, lemon peel, black pepper, malt and even rose water.  I am guessing bourbon casks feature heavily in this vintage.  The finish is a little spicy, more vanilla, and a floral note as well.  This distillery is often described as "overshadowed by its neighbour Glenmorangie" as if they are unappreciated or forgotten somehow.  I am starting to form opinion that while good, it maybe overshadowed for the simple reason that Glenmorangie is a little better?