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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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  • Simon Seaton

    Simon Seaton

    Tuesday, 28 August 2018 05:29

    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.

    Tuesday, 28 August 2018 05:19

    Balvenie Triple Cask 12 year old

    To be honest this name slightly annoys me and I was expecting that to influence how I liked / disliked the liquid but the truth is that this 40% abv travel expression was good enough to overcome this obstacle.  The name refers to first fill bourbon casks, sherry casks and what the label describes as "tradiotional whsksy casks" which means I assume re-used bourbon or sherry casks.  So to call this a "triple cask' is sort of like saying Brexit is "the will of the people" when less than 50% of the country actually voted to Leave.  The nose is fruity with green apples and polished wood.  The taste has toffee sweetness, vanilla, barley sugar, marmalade and hints of oak that build into a bitter sweet but balanced finish.  Drink neat as water does nothing for this, it just gets thin in mouth feel.  Dont like the name but still a great product.

    Wednesday, 15 August 2018 06:49

    Seaton's Laws of Whisky Investing

    Although the image I chose for this blog is of Einsten I don't try to pretend that this is rocket science.  In fact I think Whisky investing is really so simple that I have summarized it in my Three Laws of Whisky Investing below. I can condense this further in just two words and in any future publication on the subject I would suggest they take their cue from The Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy and print on the cover, in large friendly letters, the same two words:  "Don't Bother".

    Law 1 Investing: Allocate for investment in Whisky exactly the same amount of money you would be willing throw onto a fire and watch burn

    Law 2 Buying: If you are reading on the internet or in a magazine about a great investment, then it isn't.  Law 3 now applies.

    Law 3 Selling: Appear in a series of magazine articles and internet postings about how great whisky investing is.  Then sell your shit.

    Monday, 23 July 2018 18:01

    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.

    Monday, 23 July 2018 17:56

    Manhattan Project: Experiment #43

    Location: Bottled barrel-aged Manhattan at 34% ABV

    Date: July 2018

    Price: Approx. $40.00 USD a bottle (or +/- $5 a 3 oz measure)

    Recipe: Described as Manhattan but a little reseach indicates it is a "Perfect" recipe with both dry and sweet vermouth

    Garnish: None

    Served: Rocks

    Comments:  Acceptable and at a good price point but I am not a fan of perfect Manhattans and usually prefer the sweeter versions.

    What is this about? Check out  http://www.somanywhiskies.com/item/749-the-manhattan-project-ii

    Monday, 23 July 2018 17:50

    Manhattan Project: Experiment #42

    Location: Black Hat Whiskey Room, Terminal E, Houston Intercontintal Airport

    Date: July 2018

    Price: 2220 United Airmiles (or $14.00 USD)

    Recipe: Same online system as #41 but this time with Knob Creek and I paid with United Airmiles.... cool.

    Garnish: Black Cherry

    Served: Up

    Comments:  Same as experiment #41, overall good but lacked bitters

    What is this about? Check out  http://www.somanywhiskies.com/item/749-the-manhattan-project-ii

    Monday, 23 July 2018 17:45

    Manhattan Project: Experiment #41

    Location: Texas Barbeque Q Smokehouse, Terminal E,Houston Intercontinental Airport

    Date: July 2018

    Price: $15.00 USD

    Recipe: Makers Mark, sweet vermouth and a few dashes of Angosturo bitters

    Garnish: Black Cherry

    Served: Up

    Comments:  Cool online ordering system and a good Manhattn, lacked some bitters for me.

    What is this about? Check out  http://www.somanywhiskies.com/item/749-the-manhattan-project-ii

    Monday, 28 May 2018 10:48

    Manhattan Project: Experiment #40

    Location: Pearson International Airport, Terminal 1, Toronto

    Date: May 2018

    Price: $10.50 CAD ($8.08 USD)

    Recipe: Described as "Rye whiskey balanced out with sweet vermouth and a few dashes of Angosturo bitters"

    Garnish: Cherry

    Served: Up

    Comments:  A very solid offering at a great price made with Crown Royal (*what else in Canada)

    What is this about? Check out  http://www.somanywhiskies.com/item/749-the-manhattan-project-ii

    Monday, 28 May 2018 08:28

    Mt. Logan 20 year old

    I don't recall seeing very many 15 - 20 year old Canadian whiskies so I was intrigued when I saw the 20 and 15 year old expressions of Mt Logan in the Liquor Depot in Alberta on a recent business trip.  The Mt. Logan brand is exclusive to the Liquor Depot retailer and the juice is made at the Highwood Distillery in Alberta and bottled as Canadian Rye whisky at 40% ABV.  The nose is sweet with vanilla, Werthers Candy and lemon peel.  The taste is very smooth and creamy with coffee, cocoa powder, butterscotch, vanilla toffee and Scottish tablet.  The finish shows some sign of 20 years in a cask with pepper and oak notes and black tea.  A little water thins out the creamy mouthfeel and the sweetness goes down (which some might find more balanced) but overall I would avoid water with this as it doesn't handle it very well, for my palate anyway, and would be easy to over dilute.  Of the two expressions of Mt. Logan Canadian Rye that I tried (15 year old and 20 year old) I preferred the 20 years old (neat) but both were good.

    Monday, 28 May 2018 08:22

    Mt. Logan 15 year old

    There was a little debate as to how to classify this as it is described as 40% ABV Canadian Rye whisky on the label but probably has a higher corn than rye content, and one online source suggested it was 100% corn.  The nose is fruity, baked apple crumble with vanilla custard and some lemon.  The taste  is sweet, with candied fruits, milk chocolate biscuits and balnced out with lemon peel.  The finish is also sweet and lingers with some pepper spice and charred oak notes.  A little brought up more milk chocolate and less grainy biscuit note.  I liked this one but prefered the Mt Logan 20 year old.

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