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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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  • Sunday, 22 November 2015 18:05

    Vom Fass: A New Destination in My Whisky Journey

    Written by

    I recently moved to Singapore which for the most part has been a fantastic experience and a great professional and personal move.   However whisky in Singapore is heavily taxed and expensive. How expensive you wonder? Let me put it this way, on the last occasion I purchased a few bottles of my favorite whiskies I soon received two phone calls on my mobile as I was leaving the store. The first was from my bank asking me if I aware that someone had obviously hacked into my account online and was draining all of my cash and savings at an alarming rate.   The second call was from the Prime Minister of Singapore thanking me for the contribution I was making to their welfare budget and because of me the hospitals could stay open for another month. He also asked if I knew when I was next going to buy some whisky so they could place an advance order for a new fighter jet.

    Aside - I have found this great new app on my iphone. Its called "Phone" and everyone who has it has their own unique number (It is usually the same number you use for texting people, I guess that is where they got the idea) and if you enter the number and press send the app connects you to them and you can actually talk to each other.

    Then a couple of weeks ago I found the Vom Fass store in a mall. Vom Fass sells their own range of liqueurs, oils, vinegars, cognac and of course, whisky. But what makes it such a great place, especially in Singapore, is that they will let you sample anything in the store and sell the range in 100 ml, 250 ml, 500 ml and 750 ml bottles. This means I can try and buy a wide range of whiskies, and recently their 25 year old Armagnac, without spending so much money that even a corrupt FIFA official (that is all of them apparently) at a World Cup venue selection meeting would say “ooh, that’s a bit much”.

    As I have said before, usually when discussing distillery tours, Seaton’s Success Formula is “Samples = Sales” and the more I have to spend (and in Singapore it is always more) the more I need to be sure I am buying something I will enjoy or at least find interesting (increasingly hard to do now I am 600 whiskies into this website).   I will post notes for the first two whiskies shortly and you can expect to see many more, including the Armagnac, over coming weeks and months.


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    Random Whisky

    Balblair '00

    I found this 50ml bottle at Oddbins on Rosemount in Aberdeen during a recent business trip.   The nose has sweet honey and maybe some oak notes.  Overall quite mild and moderate.  The taste is smooth and creamy, lots of vanilla, lemon peel, black pepper, malt and even rose water.  I am guessing bourbon casks feature heavily in this vintage.  The finish is a little spicy, more vanilla, and a floral note as well.  This distillery is often described as "overshadowed by its neighbour Glenmorangie" as if they are unappreciated or forgotten somehow.  I am starting to form opinion that while good, it maybe overshadowed for the simple reason that Glenmorangie is a little better?