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My Handcrafted Opinions on Whiskies, Distilleries and Other Related Stuff

Most Recent Whisky

Most Recent Whisky Review

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.

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  • Simon Seaton

    Simon Seaton

    Monday, 09 November 2015 04:00

    The Singleton of Glen Ord 12 year old

    This is the Asian expression of the Singleton collection and one I found on recent trip to India. I have been utterly underwhelmed by this “Singletons” to date, nothing bad or offensive about them but they seem to highlight that there are too many perfectly average single malt whiskies on the market today that are only differentiated by marketing budgets and packaging.  However in this case I was surprised. This was excellent and knocked the other two Singletons into a cocked hat. Yes I said it, a cocked hat. The nose was elusive but enticing with hints of vanilla. The taste had sweet red apple with some sherry and dark chocolate. The mouthfeel was rich and very smooth. The finish was also sweet with brown sugar and baked apples and spices. It was delicious and almost worth the trip on it’s own. Very curious to try the 18 year old expression now.

    Monday, 09 November 2015 02:38

    Manhattan Project: Experiment #3

    Location: Homemade, Singapore

    Date: November 2015

    Price: NA

    Recipe: 2 parts Bulliet Bourbon, 1 part Antica Formula Vermouth, 2 dash Peychauds bitters

    Garnish: Sour morello cherry

    Served: Up

    Comments: I liked the ever so slightly sour cherry note with the sweet bourbon / vermouth in this one  

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

    Monday, 02 November 2015 11:38

    Manhattan Project: Experiment #2

    Location: JW Marriott, Juhu, Mumbai, Reflections Bar

    Date: November 2015

    Price: $11.49 (753 Rupee)

    Recipe: Not observed but bar tender told me used Canadian Club

    Garnish: Maraschino cherry

    Served: Up

    Comments: Nice and cold on the larger side.  Use of Canadian Club meant it was less sweet than one made with bourbon.  Good one.   

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

    Saturday, 31 October 2015 03:41

    Manhattan Project: Experiment #1

    Location: Moscow Monarch Centre Hotel, Lobby Bar

    Date: October 2015

    Price: $12.50 (800 Rubles)

    Recipe: No info provided / not observed

    Garnish: Maraschino cherry

    Served: Up

    Comments: Nice, clean, not too sweet.  A well executed "classic" Manhattan

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

    Thursday, 29 October 2015 14:48

    The Manhattan Project II

    The original Manhattan Project was a research and development project that produced the first nuclear weapons during World War II. My personal Manhattan project will be slightly less impactful. Probably. As readers know in 2011 I set myself the task of finding and reviewing every whisky in Ian Buxton’s recent books 101 Whiskies to Try Before You Die and 101 World Whiskies to Try Before You Die. I was successful (pausing for gentle round of applause) but it did have a side effect. I know Ian won’t mind me saying that some, while interesting, were not that great and so I frequently found myself with bottles that I did not particularly enjoy. I have enough Scots blood in me to know that I could not see them go to waste so I started to dabble in mixing cocktails and found two that I particularly enjoyed. For unwanted or unloved scotch I would mix Rusty Nails (equal parts Drambuie and Scotch over ice) and for American whiskies, bourbon, rye and Canadian, I started mixing Manhattans. The simple and classic Manhattan recipe is 2 parts whiskey, 1 part sweet vermouth, 2 dash of bitters a garnish (cherry or citrus peel) served usually chilled but occasionally (and as I came to like them best in the Texas summer) over ice.

    I have the great fortune to travel a lot for my job which means I frequently find myself in airport lounges, hotels and restaurants and often bored to tears by their whisky options I started to order Manhattans (a classic cocktail so there is a variant of it on almost every cocktail menu). And so like the thermonuclear chain reaction that was at heart of original Manhattan project, one passion led to another and now I find myself trying Manhattan’s all around the world. From now on, armed with a trusty camera phone (and probably a little too much jetlag), I will also use my website to track my Manhattan project noting location, price, quality, garnish, recipes and any other tweaks or embellishments of interest. Like the England football team in a World Cup penalty shootout I won’t be trying to score them, I don’t score whiskies either, just sharing my experiences and opinions with all of my readers (if there are any left).

    Thursday, 29 October 2015 14:39

    Dimple Golden Selection

    The nose on this is malty and sweet, almost bready with perhaps a faint hint of orange marmalade on warm toast.  Smooth and rich taste with more sweet citrus notes, cooked banana, cayenne with a slighty bitter and peppery (but long) finish.  Despite being bottled at 40% ABV a little water helped mellow this and bring out some dried fruits and even a little oak bite.  Certainly a little richer and more complex than your standard blend and the more I drank.... the more I liked it!

    Monday, 26 October 2015 01:08

    Hakushu Single Malt

    As I had hoped, living in Singapore and spending time in Asia is giving me access to some Japanese whiskies I had never seen before (or even knew existed).  I found this no age expression Hakushu in an airport lounge in Tokyo.  As the entire label was in Japanese I could not determine ABV or anything else for that matter and given the fact I was in transit and rather tired my palatte may have been a bit "off".  The nose has freshly cut pine wood, sweet bananas and lemon.  The taste is quite and peppery and needed a drop of water to settle down and reveal more lemon and some caramel which lingered into the finish.  Overall young and feisty but still very nice and I would like to try this again sometime as I seemed to miss the famous Hakushu peat notes 

    Sunday, 18 October 2015 03:50

    Cyrus Noble

    Yet another bourbon named after its creator in the great tradition of Elijah Craig, Jim Beam, Basil Hayden, George Stagg and Dr Pepper. Since moving to Singapore I have found bourbon harder to find than Scotch and so when I saw this recently and at a price that did not require me to sell a kidney or start negotiations with bank for a second mortgage I grabbed it. And I am glad I did. It is promoted as California’s finest bourbon – which I can well believe – but that is a bit like claiming to be Alaska’s finest wine. The nose is mild and quite bready with a little spike of alcohol as well (bottled at 45% ABV). The taste is smooth and sweet with lemon, caramel, milk chocolate and oak. Quite understated and subtle. The finish is oaky and sweet.

    Monday, 07 September 2015 06:28

    Girvan Patent Still No.4 Apps

    This single grain from William Grant has a couple of odd features to my mind.  First is the name.  If you have to repeat the name to me three times and I still don't get it... its a bad name.   "Patent Still Number 4 Apps" is a bad name.  The other thing that struck me was the decision to bottle at 42%.  I have seen plenty of whisky at 43% and of course most blends show up at the minimum 40%... but 42%?  It seems like someone at William Grant is trying just a bit too hard to be "quirky"?   Anyway the nose is very light and fresh, almost floral, with some caramel as well.  The taste has more floral notes - lavander maybe? - parma violets, mint, ripe banana and toffee. Very sweet on palate and finish has a little pine, oil and pepper.  Perfect summer dram (but the name sucks). 

    Thursday, 23 July 2015 16:08

    Alaska Outlaw Whiskey

    To say I like Alaska a lot is like saying Alaskans like guns and fishing a lot. That is if by “like a lot” you mean “absolutely bat shit crazy”. Alaskan whiskey isn’t really that crazy of an idea when you consider show similar it is in climate to parts of Scotland and Canada and this expression is closer in style to Canadian whiskey as it is a blend made from barley and corn. The nose is lighter than a June night in Anchorage, a little sweet with ripe banana. The taste is woody (the website says smoky… optimistic I think) with toasted coconut and brown sugar. The finish is a little spicy and shorter than (….you guessed it) a winter’s day in Fairbanks. Easy enough to drink and probably easy to dismiss, but it’s inoffensive and as much as I love Alaska I have to admit no one is going to go “absolutely bat shit crazy” over this one yet.

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    Random Whisky

    Forty Creek Port Wood Reserve

    Perhaps my favorite whisky (so far) from my favorite Canadian distillery.  This special edition comes at 45% and won an award or two in 2013.  The nose is port led, fruity and sweet.  The taste has lots going on with tawny port, ripe banana, dried fruit, cocoa, vanilla and perhaps toasted oak.  The finish finally sees some cinnamon spice push past the sweet and complex palate.  For me, at some point, we cross a line from a port finished whisky to a port flavored whisky and if this one does not cross the line it certainly gets right up close to it.  I happen to love port influenced whiskies so it bother me not, but I could understand someone telling me it was too much with this one.