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My Handcrafted Opinions on Whiskies, Distilleries and Other Related Stuff

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Most Recent Whisky Review

Red River

This is a Texas bourbon finished in Pinot Noir red wine casks at the Western Son distillery in Pilot Point Texas.  If you haven't heard of Pilot Point, dont worry about it,  neither had I and I have lived and / or worked in Texas for over quarter of a century!  The nose has some red berry fruits and sweet port wine along with the usual suspects of corn and sawdust.  The taste is smooth on palate with some oak, brown sugar and cola.  The finish has white pepper, green oak and ends with drying wine notes.  It's good... but for me this 42.1% ABV expression misses the fruit from the nose in the taste and finish that would help balance out the bitter / oaky notes of the finish.

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  • Friday, 17 January 2014 22:03

    Suntory and Beam: A Great Name for a Detective Show

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    If recent media activity is any indicator (which it probably isn’t) then the merger of Japanese Suntory and Beam is the biggest international whisky based crisis since Makers Mark reduced their ABV for about the same length of time that the Houston Texans were a dominant force in the NFL. For those interested, in both cases, the time was less than 1 month. There are actually images of American consumers pouring bourbon down the sink as a protest at the Japanese ownership of Jim Beam. Caught up in all the hype and excitement I personally poured a bottle of Johnnie Walker Black down the sink, but that had nothing to do with patriotism; I just don’t like it that much.

    As with many things in life I think it is all about how you sell something and the marketing department missed a trick with this one. Personally I think “Suntory and Beam” would be a great cop / buddy story and suggest that if they had promoted the merger in the form of an internet movie trailer everyone would have been thrilled. I propose it would go something like this (imagine caps = deep gravelly voice):

    SUNTORY IS JAPANESE COP AND A STRANGER IN THE USA. HE WAS SENT HERE TO DEFEND HIS HONOR AGAINST THE MYSTERIOUS DIAGEO CRIME EMPIRE AND FORCED TO WORK WITH THE ONLY PERSON WHO CAN HELP HIM, THE SMALL TOWN SHERIFF, JIM BEAM. TOGETHER THEY ARE SUNTORY AND BEAM.

    SUNTORY: We aim to be good corporate citizens not only by delivering top quality products and services to meet the needs of our customers, but also by striving to protect the global environment and undertaking various social initiatives to help realize a truly prosperous society.

    BEAM: Well you are in my country now, and we have a culture and a passion for making some really great spirits and creating innovative spirits brands. Now excuse me, I am going to kick this Diageo’s ass.

    SUNTORY: As we like to say: Yatte Minahare. Go for it

    SUNTORY AND BEAM. COMING TO A LIQUOR STORE NEAR YOU.

    I am afraid can’t take all the credit for the screenwriting. Most of Suntory and Beam’s dialogue was taken from corporate websites. Except the bit about kicking Diageo’s ass. I found that on the back of a Beam Global Ambassador’s business card.

    Internet tip: when searching for images for your blog on the internet with a work PC do not UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES type in the words “Japanese Western partners images”.

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    Vom Fass Jack's Choice

    I recently wrote about the Vom Fass store in my blog. If interested you can read at http://www.somanywhiskies.com/item/754-vom-fass-jack-s-choice

    This expression is named for Jack Teeling so was presumably distilled at Cooley Distillery prior to being sold to Beam Suntory and is described as an 11 year old, 41% ABV Irish single malt that has been finished for 3 months in a sauternes cask (similar to Glenmorangie’s Nectar D’Or). The nose has vanilla and spice along with some alcohol. The taste is rich, sweet and slightly oily with biscuits, coconut pie, vanilla and café latte. Like the Nectar D’Or is has of sweet dessert notes.   The finish is quite long and a little water brings up some more oak in nose and finish. It seems that the lighter malt spirits like Glenmorangie, or in this case a triple distilled (guessing) Irish, work well with the sweet wine casks.