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My Handcrafted Opinions on Whiskies, Distilleries and Other Related Stuff

Most Recent Whisky

Most Recent Whisky Review

Wild Turkey Rare Breed Barrel Proof

Wild Turkey Rare Breed was one of the best bourbons I discovered while trying all the 101 Whiskies to Try Before You Die so iIwas very interested when I saw this 112 proof (or 56% ABV) expression in a Texas liquor store.  The nose was dominated by alcohol with sweet grainy notes of corn and rye and some butter.  The taste was oaky at first with caramel, vanilla and sweet brown sugar.  The finish was a little hot and spicy with grassy rye notes.  With a little water it became sweeter and mellow with some black pepper notes.

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  • Simon Seaton

    Simon Seaton

    Friday, 05 August 2016 04:46

    Talisker Port Ruighe

    The nose on this No Age Statement, 45.6% ABV expression is pure Talisker: salt, pepper and peat all clash and collide.  The taste is sharp at first, then some toffee sweetness comes through, along with more salt, dark chocolate and a sour citrus note.  Chilli and pepper in the finish along with some smoke.  I didn't find much evidence of the port pipe maturation, maybe the dark chocolate was the port influence, but this is pretty good.

    Friday, 05 August 2016 04:41

    House of Hazelwood 21 year old

    The nose on this 40% ABV blend nose is perfumed and floral (or perhaps that is suggested by the bottle which resembles something I would expect to find in a grandmothers bathroom cabinet) with some foamed banana candy, baked bread and even some fresh paint.  The taste is a little woody at first, then some sweetness, lemon, spice and even a hint of smoke.  Quite full bodied and robust for a blend.  Some water will bring up more caramel sweetness and to my palate makes it slighty more balanced.  The finiush has more oaky tannins, pepper and a suggestion of sherry.

    Friday, 05 August 2016 04:30

    Vom Fass Bowmore 1998 Bordeaux Cask

    This 56.9% ABV expression has a briney and sweet nose with some peaty notes.  The taste was very sharp at first, sweet and medicinal with a peaty and peppery finish.  These notes reflect that when I tasted this one neat it did not give me a lot to work with.  With a little water (and at 56.9% it needs a little) the nose develops a more rubbery, even tarry note.  The taste was also much better with a less sharp mouthfeel and much easier to get past the alcohol to find a nice interplay of smoke and sweet barley sugar.  Some black tea, pepper and lemon peel notes now appear in the finish.

    Friday, 05 August 2016 04:24

    Manhattan Project: Experiment #22

    Location: Homemade, Galveston, Texas

    Date: July 2016

    Price: Free

    Recipe: 2 x Forty Creek, 1 x Dolin sweet vermouth, 1 x Luxardo and Angostura bitters

    Garnish: Black Cherry

    Served: Up

    Comments: I had a feeling that Forty Creek would work really well in this recipe, and it did.

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

    Thursday, 28 July 2016 19:27

    Manhattan Project: Experiment #21

    Location: Crows Nest, Capt Cook Hotel, Anchorage, Alaska

    Date: July 2016

    Price: $ 14.50

    Recipe: Sazerac rye with sweet vermouth and almost obligatory Angostura bitters

    Garnish: Maraschino Cherry

    Served: Up

    Comments: I like it when they offer me choice of bourbon or rye... esp. when rye is Sazerac.  Very nice.

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

    Thursday, 28 July 2016 19:20

    Manhattan Project: Experiment #20

    Location: Zatta Bar, Hilton Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan

    Date: July 2016

    Price: Ummm.... forgot to check

    Recipe: Glenlivet 12 year old, Vermouth, Angostura Bitters

    Garnish: Maraschino cherry

    Served: Up

    Comments: When is a Manhattan not a Manhattan?  When it is a Rob Roy ie made with Scotch... oh well

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

    Monday, 27 June 2016 10:06

    Teeling Distillery, Dublin, Ireland

    My first distillery visit of 2016 coincided with Teeling's first birthday, this new distillery (one of many springing up in Ireland)  had been open about 1 year and 2 days. The site is a short, damp, walk from Dublin city center and is very impressive and includes a fantastic little cafe, gift shop, extensive tasting bar and well run and efficient tour.  You definately get the sense that the whole distillery was designed as a Dublin city tourist attraction first and a distillery second.   With no maturation on site (due to old Dublin bylaws, following a fire in the past, all whisky is matured away from the distillery) the tour is quite short and content clearly targeted at the tourist rather than the whiskey fanatic.   Due to their young age all their current stocks and bottlings are from stock produced by the Teeling family when they owned and operated Cooley Distillery.

    There are multiple options for tastings at end of tour ranging from the basic line to cocktails to the more expensive single malt tasting that I opted for.  At 30 Euros for tour and tasting I don't think I have ever paid more for a distillery tour, except when I signed up for the rather expensive Magnus Eunson tour at Highland park which was at $100+ depending on exchange rate, but to be fair it did include a 40 year Highland Park. Like most Irish whiskey the tour is smooth, approachable and easy to consume... and I enjoyed it but perhaps would leave some wanting a little more.

    Sunday, 12 June 2016 09:58

    Manhattan Project: Experiment #19

    Location: Hilton Americas Lobby Bar, Houston, Texas

    Date: June 2016

    Price: $ 15 ($20.40 SGD)

    Recipe: Bulliet Rye based

    Garnish: Black Cherry

    Served: Rocks

    Comments: Nice rye forward and not too sweet.  Also gave me choice of bourbon or rye...

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

    Monday, 06 June 2016 21:26

    Manhattan Project: Experiment #18

    Location: Emirates Lounge, Changi Airport, Singapore

    Date: June 2016

    Price: Free (self made)

    Recipe: Jim Beam, Martini Rossi, Angostura Bitters

    Garnish: None

    Served: Rocks

    Comments: Noticed all ingredients available at the bar... so made a simple / classic  Manhattan for myself.

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

    Thursday, 26 May 2016 08:59

    Manhattan Project: Experiment #17

    Location: Ciel de Paris, Montparnasse, Paris

    Date: May 2016

    Price: 18 Euros ($27.71 SGD)

    Recipe: Simply Four Roses Bourbon and Martini Rossi.... (nearly $28!)

    Garnish: None

    Served: Up

    Comments: Amazing view from 56th floor restaurant but I paid for it with a below average Manhattan

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

    Whiskies Tried...

    Total to Date: 623

    Distilleries

    Visited to Date: 58

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    Random Whisky

    Duncan Taylor NC2 Craigellachie 1999

    The whisky is a pale golden straw with banana, citrus fruits, honey and vanilla in the nose.  Even at 46% ABV the nose is quite soft and muted.   Taste is peppery, then honey and toffee which gives way to white wine and leathery notes.  A winey, dry finish with a hint of beeswax.  The whisky sweetens with a little water.  An aperitif whisky which is very approachable,  and for that reason I had 48 bottles of this great single malt packaged by Duncan Taylor for giving to clients in 2010.