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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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  • Sunday, 15 July 2012 16:58

    101 Whiskies I Tried (and I Haven't Died)

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    After trying all 101 whiskies from Ian Buxton's book I have compiled the list of my favorites based on my admitedly unsophisticated 4 star rating system.  The best whiskies, in no particular order, were Mortlach 16, Highland Park 21 and 40, Wild Turkey Rare Breed, Macallan 18, Chivas Regal 25, Jameson 18 Limited Reserve, Maker's Mark and Ardbeg Uigeadail.  Some of these were favorites before I read the book (Macallan 18 and Maker's Mark) so that leaves six whiskies that stood out for me.  

    The Mortlach 16 may have been the biggest surprise in the book, a delicious example sherried Speyside whisky that could compete "toe to toe" with anything from Macallan and Glenfarclas.  I expected great things from Highland Park and Ardbeg and they delivered in a big way.  It was also no surprise to me that a Jameson blend was one of my favorites, my interest in whisky was sparked by a visit to Jameson's Midelton distillery in 2006.  Chivas 25 was the other big surprise.  I like premium Scottish blends however the Chivas family hasn't always been something I have loved.   The Chivas 25 year old was great though and I can still remember the taste of oranges.  That leaves the Wild Turkey Rare Breed as my favorite bourbon and again I can still recall the black cherry fruit notes.

    I won't dwell on my two least favorites (this blog is just a personal opinion) and my feelings about Johnnie Walker Black need no further comment (you can look up review if interested) and the Glenglassaugh spirit was a "new make" that had some novelty value and never produced as a drink in it's own right.

    There were some other tremendous whiskies that for various reasons, perhaps price or rarity, that I did not rate as 4 star but deserve an honorable mention, including Hibiki 30, Blue Hanger, Glen Rothes Select Reserve, Van Winkle Family Reserve Rye 13 old, Old Pulteney 17 and Thomas H Handy Sazerac Rye. 

     

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    Random Whisky

    Russell's Reserve Rye 6 year old

    I first tried this at the Wild Turkey distillery and was impressed.  Very similar in style (and age) to one of my favorite whiskies, Sazerac Rye.  The nose is very complex some wood and spirit notes.  I recently heard someone describe a rye whisky nose like a building site with the smell of wood and fresh paint and this one has that same quality.  With time I also got a baked bread note.  The taste is floral and slightly perfumed, like turkish delight or rose water.  Smooth and sweet at first and then dries out.  The finish is classic rye, herbal, minty and even menthol.