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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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  • Sunday, 15 July 2012 16:58

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

    Written by

    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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    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.