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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

    Balvenie Triple Cask 12 year old

    To be honest this name slightly annoys me and I was expecting that to influence how I liked / disliked the liquid but the truth is that this 40% abv travel expression was good enough to overcome this obstacle.  The name refers to first fill bourbon casks, sherry casks and what the label describes as "tradiotional whsksy casks" which means I assume re-used bourbon or sherry casks.  So to call this a "triple cask' is sort of like saying Brexit is "the will of the people" when less than 50% of the country actually voted to Leave.  The nose is fruity with green apples and polished wood.  The taste has toffee sweetness, vanilla, barley sugar, marmalade and hints of oak that build into a bitter sweet but balanced finish.  Drink neat as water does nothing for this, it just gets thin in mouth feel.  Dont like the name but still a great product.