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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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  • Thursday, 15 August 2013 16:17

    There are Some Greedy Angels in Texas

    Written by

    Some readers (yes I still cling, despite all evidence to contrary, to the illusion that I have some regular readers like a shipwrecked sailor clings to the wreckage of his boat) may remember that a few months ago after a trip to Tennessee I poured the best part of a bottle of Jack Daniel’s Unaged Rye whiskey into my miniature cask to see how a little aging would impact it.

    http://www.somanywhiskies.com/blog/item/562-the-jack-daniels-unaged-tennesee-rye-experiment

    To be completely honest I had forgotten about it. Then I attended a recent tasting event at Reserve 101 (#houstonsbestbar) with Dan Garrison of Garrison Bros (#texasbestbourbon) and he mentioned that in Texas they enjoy up to 13% “angels share” per year. That reminded me of my little rye aging experiment and when I got home that night I opened the tap on my cask with my empty Glencairn ready and waited. Nothing. Nada. The whisky was harder to find than Edward Snowden at a NSA reunion. Bloody angels or to give them more accurate title....thieving little gits. Using my University of Wales maths, I calculate the angel’s share was 100% in 4 months, so approximately 300% per year!

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    Random Whisky

    Old Crow Reserve

    This was one of the first whiskies I bought just because it was in Ian Buxton's 101 World Whiskies to Try Before You Die.   I have in general been very impressed with "value" bourbons like this and was hopeful this would be another gem, a diamond in the rough for under $20.  It turns out it was just some $20 rough.  Not a bad thing but better deals and whiskies (certainly in the USA) can be had this price.  Jim Beam Black, Very Old Barton and W L Weller are examples.  The nose is mild, some corn syrup, vaniilla, a little woody and the acetone note I get in many bourbons.  The taste is sweet, think candy corn, and brown sugar and then the finish has a very nice rye note (I would guess a high rye content in this mashbill) and some oaky bite.   Ian suggested adding ice to calm down sweetness and bite and he, as usual, has a point.  Good one for a hot Texas summer day... you can ice it down (and not feel guilty due to price) and it has enough "oomph" to still be able to taste something.