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Most Recent Whisky Review

Bushmills #3 Char Bourbon Cask

I always question "bourbon cask" finished as a feature of any whisky as most Scotch and Irish is matured in Bourbon casks.  It is like saying a "metal car" or a "terrible Brexit plan"; it's a  bit redundant.  Bushmills have highlghted the #3 char of oak casks used (meaning a few seconds less exposure to fire than the more common #4) as the USP of this expression.  The nose is malty with banana, vanilla and milk chocolate.  The taste also has malt and nuts, lemon citrus peel and sweet peanut brittle.  The finish is initially sugar coating on tongue with a spicy note of cinnamon and tamale hots candy at the end.  At end of the day it is another bourbon cask finished whisky and there is not much here that stands out so if you are in mood for no-age expression Bushmills (and why not) I would probably recommend Black Bush over this one.

 

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  • Thursday, 20 February 2014 22:14

    114 Whiskies to Try Before You Die Part 2: The Blogger Strikes Back

    Written by

    The table at the bottom of this entry reflects all the changes from the first edition of 101 Whiskies to Try Before You Die and the second edition released in 2013. There are thirteen changes in total and in this blog I will focus on the departures which I will categorize accordingly:

    “The Marketing Department’s Revenge”: Three victims here. Some were simply a straight swap of one expression to an updated expression. That accounts for Cutty Sark 18 for 25 and the Bruichladdich 10 for 12. I am pretty sure even their own Marketing department agreed that continuing to sell Glenglassaugh’s new make spirit was not a good idea now that they had real whisky.

    “TTTTTThat’s All Folks!”: Phrases you don’t often hear include “Justin Bieber is a wise young man” and “Of course I have a bottle Glen Grant 25 year old, doesn’t everyone?” Adios Gordon and MacPhail Glen Grant 25 year old and Glenglassaugh 26 year old. If you still have a bottle of one of these enjoy it, because they are rarer than a Scottish World Cup victory

    “Compass Box: Your 15 Minutes of Fame is Up”: I think even John Glaser’s mother would agree Compass Box get a pretty good shake of the whisky publicity tree and had a more than fair representation in the original edition. However they have been culled like a Canadian seal pup in this version. Their redaction (it’s a word – look it up) accounts for three more victims.

    “Three for one”: Macallan have recently revamped their well-established line up for a new “no age statement” offering based on colors (I still giggle when I read the “official” explanation). Their fully deserved punishment is three out with just one of the newbies, Macallan Gold, making the second edition cut. They are getting off lightly.

    “The Conspiracy Theory”: At face value the final two British badgers in Buxton’s gun sights may seem unconnected, Berry Bros and Rudd’s Blue Hanger and Glen Rothes Select Reserve. Except that as every whisky anorak worth his tattered copy of Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible knows they are in fact very closely related with BBR jointly developing the concept of whisky vintages with Glen Rothes single malts.   As these are both great products and still available, I have to assume a Christmas card got lost in the post in 2012 and a score had to be settled.  

    OUT

    IN

    Compass Box Aysla

    Balcones Baby Blue

    Blue Hanger

    Bruichladdich The Laddie 10

    Bruichladdich 12 year old

    Cutty Sark 18 year old

    Cutty Sark 25 year old

    Glenglassaugh Evolution

    Glenglassaugh spirit

    Johnnie Walker The Spice Road

    Glenglassaugh 26 year old

    Kavalan Concertmaster

    Gordon and Macphail Glen Grant 25 year old

    Lord Elcho 15 year old

    Compass Box Hedonism

    Mackinlay’s Rare Old

    Macallan 10 year old Sherry Oak

    Balvenie Tun 1401

    Macallan 18 year old Sherry Oak

    Dalmore Cigar Malt Reserve

    Macallan 30 year old Fine Oak

    Macallan Gold

    Glen Rothes Select Reserve

    Naked Grouse

    Compass Box The Spice Tree

    Tweeddale 12 year old

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    Random Whisky

    Special Highland Blend 14 year old

    Well this was number 101.  The last whisky I had to track down and taste from Ian Buxton's 101 Whiskies to Try Before You Die and I managed it just before the release of his follow up book; 101 World Whiskies to Try Before You Die.  This was also one of the hardest whiskies to find, you have to join the UK based Wine Society to get this "members only" bottling.  As a keen "defender of the blends" I also think it appropriate that the last whisky was a blended scotch.  So how was it?  The nose was malty (even biscuity) with sweet toffee and lemon zest.  Lots of classic blended scotch in the nose.    This whisky has quite a light mouthfeel, with grassy and herbal notes as well as caramel sweetness balanced by dry sherry and pepper.  The finish is dry, with a little smoke, more of the grassy notes from the nose, peppery spices and even slightly bitter woody notes.   Not overly complex but shows maturity and the slighty rough edges show character and slightly add to the experience.