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My Handcrafted Opinions on Whiskies, Distilleries and Other Related Stuff

Most Recent Whisky

Most Recent Whisky Review

Glenfiddich Fire and Cane

This release is part of the Glenfiddich Experimental series and bottled at 43% ABV (which is quite unusual from Glenfiddich).   It is a peated malt that is finished in rum casks, hence the Fire and Cane (as in sugarcane)  name.  The nose is smokey, but more camp fire rather than strong peat.  Fire before the Cane.  The taste is spicy and nutty, chocolate, pepper, brown sugar and some honey and a hint of the phenol from peat.  The finish is a little hot, like eating burnt cake batter off a wooden spoon.  Water brings up more brown sugar and some lemon peel.  Very nicely done but not sure I would pair peat and rum casks, personnally I prefer peat and sherry casks.

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  • Simon Seaton

    Simon Seaton

    Tuesday, 05 January 2016 09:35

    Manhattan Project: Experiment #6

    Location: Cru, Queenstown Hilton, New Zealand

    Date: December 2015

    Price: $22 NZD (15 USD)

    Recipe: No recipe, bartender told me he used Sazarac rye

    Garnish: Cherry

    Served: Up

    Comments: Mixed for me upon request, not on cocktail menu.  Good but great which was a small surprise as I really like Sazarac rye.  

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

    Monday, 14 December 2015 06:44

    Manhattan Project: Experiment #5

    Location: Homemade, Singapore

    Date: December 2015

    Price: NA

    Recipe: 2 parts Marker's Mark, 1 part Antica Formula Vermouth

    Garnish: Lemon peel

    Served: Up

    Comments: I  recreated the simple recipe I recently tried in Dubai (with no bitters) and a lemon peel garnish.  It worked well.  

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

    Thursday, 03 December 2015 07:53

    The London Distillery Company English Rye

    Full disclosure…. I am a shareholder in this craft distillery so expect bias and favoritism throughout this review. I recently visited the distillery and was lucky enough to try three samples. A single malt, a 100% rye and this 1 year old, cask strength 80% rye / 20% barley mash that had been matured in a virgin British oak cask. All three were interesting and indicate some good products to come but this is the one I requested a sample of to take home and write some more detailed notes about.

    The nose is jammy and sweet with marmalade and baked fruits and oak. I wrote “lemon marmalade smeared on newly sanded oak door” in my notes. Perhaps the cask strength was getting to me? The taste has lots of chocolate and toffee notes, sharp citrus, sweet cola and lots of black fruits and tannins in the finish. A strong cup of blackberry tea? With a good bit of water added I get some peppermint on the palate as well. Some really interesting aspects to this one (which is why I picked it) but still not quite integrated and balanced enough (yet).

    Thursday, 03 December 2015 07:01

    Manhattan Project: Experiment #4

    Location: Manhattan Grill, Hyatt Regency, Dubai

    Date: December 2015

    Price: 65 Dirhams ($17.70)

    Recipe: Makers Mark, Carpono Rosso, bourbon infused cherry

    Garnish: Menu said cherry but it came with lemon peel

    Served: Up

    Comments: Most expensive to date but good.  Balanced and not too sweet.  No mention of bitters in menu. 

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

    Thursday, 26 November 2015 20:33

    Vom Fass Great Glen Highland Blended Malt

    I recently wrote about the Vom Fass store in my blog. If interested you can read at http://www.somanywhiskies.com/item/754-vom-fass-jack-s-choice

    I don’t know much about this one except that it is 8 years old, contains some Clynelish (often so do I) and is bottled at 43% ABV. The nose is malty with sweet biscuits and green oak wood. The taste is sharp and spirited (youngish) at first then caramel, citrus oils and milk chocolate come through. Pepper and more green oak in finish and perhaps a whiff of peat? I liked it, but if I had a complaint it is the slightly off “green” wood notes.

    Thursday, 26 November 2015 20:31

    Vom Fass Jack's Choice

    I recently wrote about the Vom Fass store in my blog. If interested you can read at http://www.somanywhiskies.com/item/754-vom-fass-jack-s-choice

    This expression is named for Jack Teeling so was presumably distilled at Cooley Distillery prior to being sold to Beam Suntory and is described as an 11 year old, 41% ABV Irish single malt that has been finished for 3 months in a sauternes cask (similar to Glenmorangie’s Nectar D’Or). The nose has vanilla and spice along with some alcohol. The taste is rich, sweet and slightly oily with biscuits, coconut pie, vanilla and café latte. Like the Nectar D’Or is has of sweet dessert notes.   The finish is quite long and a little water brings up some more oak in nose and finish. It seems that the lighter malt spirits like Glenmorangie, or in this case a triple distilled (guessing) Irish, work well with the sweet wine casks.

    Wednesday, 25 November 2015 19:05

    William Lawson's

    A blended Scotch bottled at 40% ABV. The nose is sweet with baked fruits, lemon and some damp woody notes. On the palate it is quite light – some reviews say medium but that is generous – and smooth and sweet. With time some tobacco, oak and tannins and pepper come through and in finish is even a little herbal tea and sweet peppermint.

    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.


    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

    Whiskies Tried...

    Total to Date: 660

    Distilleries

    Visited to Date: 58

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    Random Whisky

    Russell's Reserve Rye 6 year old

    I first tried this at the Wild Turkey distillery and was impressed.  Very similar in style (and age) to one of my favorite whiskies, Sazerac Rye.  The nose is very complex some wood and spirit notes.  I recently heard someone describe a rye whisky nose like a building site with the smell of wood and fresh paint and this one has that same quality.  With time I also got a baked bread note.  The taste is floral and slightly perfumed, like turkish delight or rose water.  Smooth and sweet at first and then dries out.  The finish is classic rye, herbal, minty and even menthol.