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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, 18 February 2013 22:33

    And Now for Something Completely Different....

    Written by

    This is a first... a wine review on a whisky blog.  On recent trip to Texas wine country (yes there really is one!) near San Antonio we visited Bending Branch Winery in Comfort, Texas. This annual special edition is a picpoul (picpoul is french for lip stinger) based white that is finished in an ex-bourbon cask.  The lady who poured this for me at their very nice vistors center insisted that it was not finished in just any bourbon barrel, but a Pappy Van Winkle barrel!  Apparently they do this one special bottling every year for their Kentucky Derby party.  These are my kind of wine people.  I have come across lots of whisky finished in wine casks (Glenmorangie like to do this with expressions like Artein and Nectar D'Or), but this was the first time I have seen a wine finished in a whisky cask.  The nose was at first crisp green apples, tart, but some sweetness as well (the bourbon influence perhaps).  The taste has the first same clean fresh and tart notes from the nose (the reason this grape variatel is called lip stinger).  As wine warms in the glass the sweetness comes through as creamy marshmallow and even taffy.  The finish has some vanilla, oak and even creme brulee.  Very interesting, I can't say for sure if I would have picked this as "whisky finished wine" if I don't know, but some very familiar elements were definately on display. 

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    Random Whisky

    Jura Origin 10 year old

    I have started to regret never going to Jura when I had the chance because the more I try their whisky the more I like it.  They are not flashy or overly pricey (this is the standard 10 year old) but they have character and some complexity despite being a distillery built to support blended scotch.  Is this Highland Park II?  No, but it is a lot better than Jurassic Park III and god help us if the rumours are true, Jurassic Park IV.    This has a nice nose with stewed summer fruits and rhubarb.  Nougat and fruit in taste and then some dry pine wood and subtle peat smoke in finish.  Overall it reminded me of rhubarb crumble and custard from my childhood (without the smoke).  Is it one of better "standard" 10 year expressions?  I think it might be, it doesn't compete with an Ardbeg 10, but then it isn't trying too.