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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, 01 July 2013 21:52

    The World's Most Expensive Bottle of Whisky?

    Written by

    Forget the ridiculous recent diamond studded offerings of Dalmore, ignore old Macallans or the recent Glenfiddich releases and completely dismiss the seemingly endless supply of very rare Bowmore (If it so so rare where does it all come from? My theory is that the same bottle is being auctioned over and over again). The most expensive bottle whisky I have ever heard came from Norway and I estimate it cost, very conservatively, about $200,000,000. Yes… two hundred million dollars. I can imagine the Dalmore marketing department now keeling over with sudden heart failure and I am quite enjoying the image.

    This story begins with the Ekofisk oil field in Norway. This massive offshore oil field produced on average 200,000 barrels of oil per year since its discovery in 1969 until 2005, and it is expected to continue production, albeit at lower levels, until 2050. Using a low price of $25 / barrel of oil you quickly get to a value that is eye wateringly large. Despite hours and hours of diligent efforts (OK… a couple of Google searches) I have been unable to verify this story but it was repeated in recent energy magazine blog so I am not the only one who has heard it. In short it goes like this;

    A few years prior to any North Sea oil discovery in 1969 the Danish and Norwegians were negotiating over the other great maritime resource… fish. At this time countries all negotiated their borders and boundaries for their fishing fleets. It was these same maritime boundaries that become the basis for defining offshore North Sea oil and gas access and ownership in the 1970’s. The story goes that the Norwegian and Danes were in deadlock over the last area and the deadlock was finally broken when the Norwegian delegate offered the Danish delegate a bottle of scotch and the deal was struck. Within a few years the Ekofisk field was discovered in that area. If you look at the attached map you will how closely it just fits within the Norwegian boundary and how it could have been easily defined as a Danish (or at least shared) possession with a small nudge of the line. That Danish official paid a tremendous price for his bottle of whisky, I can’t help wondering what it was? I hope he enjoyed it at least!

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    Random Whisky

    The Macallan Estate Reserve

    This is bottled at 80 UK proof expression (which explains the rather unusual 45.7% ABV) and at first nosing is exactly what you might expect for a sherried Speyside classic like The Macallan; floral and fruity notes like prunes and some musty old books and leather. However I also got a hint of Sulphur, like a recently struck match. The taste is rich and juicy with more prunes, then dark chocolate, vanilla, black tea and tannins. The finish is long, a little bitter with burnt orange peel and cinnamon. It is really good but not great as I can’t quite get past the sulphurous note.