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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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  • Saturday, 21 July 2012 16:33

    101 World Whiskies To Try Before You Die

    Written by

    When I read Ian's first book in this series (I guess it is now a series) called 101 Whiskies To Try Before You Die I was immediately impressed by Ian's approach as it seemed so at odds with other whisky publications. The book was not about the 101 "best" whiskies, but instead celebrated and enjoyed whisky in all its many forms and styles and as a relative new comer to whisky that was exactly what I wanted to do.   Importantly for me it was also about accessible whisky, whisky you could buy in your local bar, shop or absolute worst case specialist retailer, and some, but not all, of it was even cheap.  Ian clearly believes that great whisky is not limited to a particular style like single malt or bourbon... and in 101 World Whiskies To Try Before You Die he not only explores the many different styles but also the many different whisky producing countries.  In fact there are whiskies from 21 different countries reviewed in the book.

    Ian's writing style is engaging, often funny, and it makes a refreshing change from some of the pomposity that creeps into a little too much whisky writing today. He manages to keep the pace moving along and interest level high without delving too much in to the techy stuff but still shows a depth of knowledge in his subject. That is a hard trick pull off sometimes.  His previous book inspired me enough to find, taste and review all 101 over the last year or so and his 202 suggestions so far have also helped me with one of the major drawbacks of being a whisky fanatic.... the tyranny of choice. Sometimes standing in that store or bar you just don’t know where to start, but his books solve that problem (if you want to call that a problem and I admit as problems go that is not the worse). 

    I don’t want to ruin the surprise too much but  I will say there are some choices I agree wholeheartedly with like Black Bush and Jim Beam Black, some I didn’t quite as much (there  are some flavored whiskies and whisky liqueurs in the lists) and one or two what  I feel are glaring omissions….for example still nothing from Forty Creek!  But these types of arguments are exactly what makes these lists so enjoyable!  Any complaints or niggles? Only that I did originally buy this book for my Kindle, but because I know I will reference it over and over again I don't think that Kindle is the best format for that and so I have now bought a hard back copy as well.  I am sure Ian didn’t mind that. 

    I have already reviewed 26 of the whiskies in this book, that just leaves me 75 to find… I suggest you get a copy and start crossing off your list too.  Trust me, it's fun!

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