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My Handcrafted Opinions on Whiskies, Distilleries and Other Related Stuff

Most Recent Whisky

Most Recent Whisky Review

The Glenlivet Caribbean Reserve

I always find myself so drawn to rum influenced whisky that there is a part of me that thinks maybe I should just drink rum? Anyway this no age statement variation on the theme is bottled at 40% ABV and pretty good value at under $40 in bottle (in Texas anyway). The nose is sweet and fruity with perhaps the tell-tale Glenlivet pineapple notes lurking in the background. The taste starts sweet as well with toffee and brown sugars and I found quite oily. I don’t get fresh fruits but more candy fruit flavors, like Starburst or boiled sweets. The finish balances out the sweetness with bitter citrus oil and peel, essential oils and woody tannins. A little water turns the oily mouthfeel into something more creamy and brings out some banana notes. Really good value.

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  • Simon Seaton

    Simon Seaton

    Saturday, 21 March 2020 19:58

    Bowmore 15 year old

    Avid readers of my blog (that means me, and to be honest I don’t even read this shit) will know that I loved the Bowmore 15 year Darkest expression and it often made my “must have” list. This is the replacement and bottled at same ABV%. The nose is sweet and malty with lemon peel. The taste is dried fruit cake, black treacle, chilli dark chocolate and sherry. The finish has black pepper, a light smokiness and damp oak wood. With water some more sugary notes and lemon marmalade.

    Still a very good example of smoke and sherry – maybe nostalgia - but I think I preferred the Darkest.

    Saturday, 21 March 2020 19:51

    Skrewball Peanut Butter Whiskey

    At 35% ABV and sweeter than your grandmother (not mine, yours) this is a liqueur and not a whiskey but is getting some traction in market the way Fireball did. The nose has ballpark crackerjacks, cough syrup, the inside of a candy store. The taste is sweet with more syrup and marshmallow notes. The peanut butter shows up a bit late but strong in finish along with barley sugar and finally some grainy alcohol notes.

    This is not whiskey. You may like it.

    Saturday, 21 March 2020 19:41

    Glenmorangie Bacalta

    In a distant galaxy, long long ago I wrote about Madeira finished Glenmorganie and it has become a unicorn whisky for me.  So I was delighted to see this release of a Malmsey Madeira cask finished Private Edition release at 46% ABV.

    The nose is sweet with raisins, fresh cut grass and citrus. The taste is brown sugar, maple syrup, plums. Milk chocolate and some spice that continues into finish with stewed black tea, ginger and oak. With water it becomes a little smoother and sweeter, even creamy. Overall this is complex, sweet, rich and a little bit awesome.

    In all honesty probably not a Unicorn, but definately a donkey with a horn on its head.  You would pay to see that right? Of course you would.

    Wednesday, 18 March 2020 18:49

    There's Life in the Old Blog Yet

    Like so many people around the world I am stuck in the house and working from home for at least 4 weeks (and probably more) so I am going to take this opportunity to catch up on my long neglected blog and post some whisky notes and reviews over the next month.  I tried to write a few tasting notes last night as a warm up and was shocked how out of shape my "tasting muscles" have become.  My notes looked as barren and empty as the toilet paper shelves in my local supermarket.  Much work to be done....

    Sunday, 15 March 2020 23:38

    Manhattan Project: Experiment #48

    Location: Oyster Bar, NY, NY

    Date: March 2020

    Price: $14.00 USD

    Recipe: Makers Mark, Sweet Vermouth, Angostora Bitters

    Garnish: 1 orange peel

    Served: Rocks

    Comments: Classic components to make excellent Manhattan in Manhattan at reasonable price

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

    Sunday, 15 March 2020 23:29

    Manhattan Project: Experiment #47

    Location: Le Bernadin, NY, NY

    Date: March 2020

    Price: $21.00 USD

    Recipe: Michter's Rye, Montanaro Dry Vermouth, Amaro Averna, Bendictine, Angostora Bitters

    Garnish: 1 black cherry

    Served: Up

    Comments: Complex and expensive but not sure about the Dry Vermouth, lacked sweetness.

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

    Monday, 28 October 2019 19:19

    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.

    Monday, 28 October 2019 19:12

    Woodford Reserve Rye

    For the whiskey pedants this tasting was from bottle 3532 of batch 0194 which was bottled at 45.2% ABV.  The nose had familiar notes of fresh corn and spearmint chewing gum.   The taste was fresh cut grass, more mint, diet soda, lemon peel and milk chocolate.  The finish had peppercorns, charred oak and yet more mint, this time perhaps peppermint. A classic rye with all the grassy, minty, chocolately rye notes I am used too. 

    Monday, 28 October 2019 19:07

    Manhattan Project: Experiment #46

    Location: Perry's Steakhouse, Houston, Texas

    Date: October 2019

    Price: $15.00 USD

    Recipe: Redemption Rye with Vya Vermouth and bitters

    Garnish: 2 Luxardo cherries

    Served: Up

    Comments: Great and nicely balanced Manhattan but could have been chilled more.  Maybe next time I will try on the rocks.

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

    Monday, 24 June 2019 17:52

    Bellevoye Bleu

    If you had not of heard of this French blended malt you are not alone, because it was new to me as well when I saw it in the Air France Lounge in Paris.  A little online research suggests this is a blend of 3 single malts of different regions of France and finished in new French oak casks.  It is bottled at 40% ABV but nosed like it was much stronger.  Very feisty and malty with barnyard, floral and even perfurmed notes in the nose.  Hot and sweet on the palate with some flashes of toffee which were quickly masked by pepper and even a slightly acrid smokey note.  The finish has some chilli heat with a hint of lemon peel marmalade.  A splash of water improves it greatly, smooths out the grainy mouth feel and brings out some more fruity and sweet flavours.  It is not bad but posseses little elegance or sophistication so in that respect it is not a very French French whisky.

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    Random Whisky

    Jameson 18 year old Limited Reserve

    A great example of how good Irish whiskey (and blended whiskey) can be.  The nose is quite gentle but has notes of fruit and lots of vanilla.  The taste is all sweet toffee, vanilla, butterscotch and some mild spiciness, even coffee.   Smooth and mouthfilling and for 18 years in a cask surprisingly not overly woody or stringent.    A little nutty and maybe some oak and sherry in the finish.