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My Handcrafted Opinions on Whiskies, Distilleries and Other Related Stuff

Most Recent Whisky

Most Recent Whisky Review

Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye

This was unexpectedly declared the “best whiskey in the world” in 2015 by Jim Murray and due to resulting “online hub-bub” (or as I call it OHB) I chose to stay away at that time and revisit this controversial whisky at a later date. I am glad I did because of the excellent price point it is really very good value. Made from a 90% rye mash bill the nose has lemon pledge, coffee, vanilla, toffee and even some floral notes. The taste is smooth and creamy, lots of the notes from nose with Wherther’s Original candy and milk chocolate. The finish has peppermint, some grassy herbal notes and a little oak.  The buttery creamy mouthfeel reminded me of The Macallan. Is it very good but I can’t say if it was the best in the world that year because I did not try them all.

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  • Simon Seaton

    Simon Seaton

    Wednesday, 14 June 2017 06:42

    Manhattan Project: Experiment #32

    Location: The Club at Sea Lounge,  Seattle Airport, USA

    Date: June 2017

    Price: Free ($0.00 USD)

    Recipe: Jack Daniels, sweet vermouth, orange, blood orange bitters

    Garnish: Maraschino cherry

    Served: Up

    Comments: Not sure what the "orange" listed in the recipe was but it was a solid cocktail and the price was right!

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

    Monday, 24 April 2017 12:21

    Manhattan Project: Experiment #31

    Location: Skyview, La Cigale Hotel, Doha, Qatar

    Date: April 2017

    Price: 65 QAR ($17.85 USD)

    Recipe: Np recipe

    Garnish: None

    Served: Rocks

    Comments: Not bad. Well balanced with the biiters coming through to balance out the sweetness.

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

    Monday, 24 April 2017 12:14

    Manhattan Project: Experiment #30

    Location: Emirates Lounge, Johannesburg Airport, South Africa

    Date: April 2017

    Price: Free ($0.00 USD)

    Recipe: 2 x Jack Daniels, 1 x Martini Rosso and Angosturo Bitters

    Garnish: None

    Served: Rocks

    Comments: Unable to find a Manhattan on my Jo'burg hotel cocktail menu I improvised one for myself at airport lounge.

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

    Sunday, 16 April 2017 12:22

    Paul John Brilliance

    If you are reading this and surprised about the fact there is good Indian whisky then stop reading.  Enough has already been written (here and other places) that if you are still reading this blog (and god only knows why) you don't need to hear anymore about how Scotland is not the only country now making very good single malt whisky.   This expression from the Goa based Paul John Distillery is bottled at 46% at ABV and has a fruity and bready nose.  Reminded me of malt loaf with fresh butter.  The mouthfeel is crisp and the flavours bright with nougat, milk chocolate, Terry's Chocolate Orange, vanilla and some spice.  More vanilla and herbal notes in the finish.  With a little water it loses some body and gets sweeter.  My note book says "David Beckham whisky.... very well put together but perhaps a little simple?"

    Sunday, 16 April 2017 12:14

    GlenDronach Cask Strength Batch 4

    I was quite blown away when I tried the Batch 5 (http://www.somanywhiskies.com/reviews/item/802-glendronach-cask-strength-batch-5) so when I saw the Batch 4 on shelf in in the only decent whisky store I have found in the UAE outside of Dubai Duty Free (another story for another day) I had to buy it.  And I did.   This one was bottled at 57.4% ABV and had a sweet nose with fresh baking and fruits.  The taste had more black fruits, bitter dark chocolate, chilli and citrus oils (even a hint of Lemon Pledge).  With water it became sweeter with some biscuit notes as well oak and tannin notes.  Based purely on my notes and general enthusiasm it appears I may have preferred Batch 5, but this is still good.

    Sunday, 16 April 2017 10:34

    Manhattan Project: Experiment #29

    Location: Pacos, Hilton Al Ain, UAE

    Date: April 2017

    Price: 32 AED ($8.71 USD)

    Recipe: Canadian Club, Martini Rosso and Angusturo Bitters

    Garnish: Orange slice

    Served: Rocks

    Comments: A little washed out, the CC did not stand up well against the ice and vermouth.  Good price though.

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

    Sunday, 09 April 2017 10:36

    Dartmoor Distillery, Devon, England

    Ahhh… the internet! A quick glance at the excellent Dartmoor distillery website and you might think this is a fully functioning distillery in a part of England I know well as I grew up in Devon. In recent years I had often thought Dartmoor would make an excellent home for distillery, a sort of Scotland-Lite without the desire for independence with clotted cream teas instead of haggis and shortbread. However a short drive from my sister’s home to the old town hall building in Bovey Tracy reveals that this is still very much a work progress and as the attached photo shows not even a sign on the wall.  If it was not for a little copper visible through a first floor window you would not even know this was a distillery. Still something to look forward to on another trip.

    Sunday, 09 April 2017 07:57

    Manhattan Project: Experiment #28

    Location: Roast, Borough Market, London, UK

    Date: March 2017

    Price: 12 GBP ($14.85 USD)

    Recipe: Buffalo Trace, Dubonnet and Peychaud's bitters

    Garnish: Mashed up Blackberries

    Served: Up

    Comments: Technically this was a little "off piste" as a Manhattan with blackberries and Dubonnet but I liked it....

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

    Monday, 27 February 2017 08:14

    Mortlach Special Strength

    When the much revered Mortlach distillery released a series of No Age Statement whiskies it caused quite a little online kerfuffle (OK…. It was outright pissing and moaning) due to price point and bottle size.  This one comes in 500 ml and this is the travel retail expression from the series bottled at 49% ABV, hence the name. The nose was rich and spicy with candied orange peel and some alcohol. However for me at least none of the famous “meat” notes that other find.  The taste is a little sharp at first (a drop of water does not this one) and then gives way dried fruits, cinnamon and black tea. There is also some oak that becomes smoked and even candied bacon (meaty I guess). The finish has brown sugar, coca cola and spice. With some water the spice in the taste goes down and some more wood notes and sweetness comes up with some lemon peel as well.

    Monday, 27 February 2017 08:11

    The Macallan Estate Reserve

    This is bottled at 80 UK proof expression (which explains the rather unusual 45.7% ABV) and at first nosing is exactly what you might expect for a sherried Speyside classic like The Macallan; floral and fruity notes like prunes and some musty old books and leather. However I also got a hint of Sulphur, like a recently struck match. The taste is rich and juicy with more prunes, then dark chocolate, vanilla, black tea and tannins. The finish is long, a little bitter with burnt orange peel and cinnamon. It is really good but not great as I can’t quite get past the sulphurous note.

    Whiskies Tried...

    Total to Date: 627

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    Visited to Date: 58

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    Random Whisky

    Jack Daniel's Old No 7 (Green Label)

    This is not something you will often find reviewed on many whisky blogs.  In fact it not something you will often find.  This is the red headed (green labelled) step child of the Jack Daniel's family (it doesn't appear on the JD website at all).  Some internet research suggests this is a younger (therefore cheaper) version of the traditional black label aimed at the "value" market.  The nose is not that strong, but some familiar bourbonesque notes and vanilla.  Not bad at all.  The taste is light and quite smooth.  More vanilla but nothing else really jumps out or jars.  Gets a little bitter in the finish, chocolate, burnt coffee and toasted oak.  If there is an off note then it is in the finish.   Overall not that bad and if you are going to mix your JD with cola anyway you might want to save a few bucks and go green.