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My Handcrafted Opinions on Whiskies, Distilleries and Other Related Stuff

Most Recent Whisky

Most Recent Whisky Review

Kew Orangery

Not to be confused with Compass Box Orangerie, a product I remember having very mixed feelings about. I have never been able to get fully onboard the Compass Box bandwagon for reasons that elude me, but I think that products like Orangerie contributed too. In my review at the time (https://www.somanywhiskies.com/reviews/item/381-compass-box-orangerie) I called it a “franken-whisky” and said “this feels to me like a whisky drink aimed at people who don't like whisky” which is genre I am personally not a fan of… (hello Skrewball and Fireball). However I digress and this is in fact an organic Triple Sec produced by The London Distillery Company under their Kew brand license and bottled at 29.9% abv.  

The nose is pure orange oil, juicy and sweet. The mouth feel is creamy and thick while the taste is little washed out and faded; what is there is sweet, satsuma more than orange and some oily and bitter pith notes as well. Not much to say really but no-one is really drinking this stuff, it is being used in cocktails.

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  • Simon Seaton

    Simon Seaton

    Sunday, 15 April 2018 14:55

    Kew Organic Gin Explorers' Strength

    This is another fine product  from The London Distillery Company (disclaimer: I am biased and I don't try to hide it) and bottled at 57% ABV compared to 47% for the regular Kew Organic Gin.  The nose has lots of lemon peel, fresh cut grass, sage and other herbal notes.  The taste is at first very sharp, citrus oil and alcohol dominate but then turns to peppermint.  Rich and stringent mouthfeel, powerful but not overpowering.  Finish dries as alcohol disapates leaving white pepper on the tongue.  Drinking it neat with the alcohol, mint, citrus and pepper spiciness it made me think of Christmas.  Probably not for everyone at this strength but it does mean it can stand up well to lots of ice and tonic.

    Wednesday, 11 April 2018 08:59

    Manhattan Project: Experiment #39

    Location: The Oberoi Rajvilas, Jaipur, India

    Date: April 2018

    Price: 700 Indian Rupee ($10.73 USD)

    Recipe: Listed as "American whiskey, Martini Rosso and Angosturo bitter"

    Garnish: Cherry

    Served: Up

    Comments: Interesting twist which I liked a lot was glass rim was dipped in Bitters.  Key to Manhattan is balancing sweetness and punch of bitters and the "rimming" helped with that.

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

    Wednesday, 11 April 2018 08:36

    Manhattan Project: Experiment #38

    Location: The Oberoi Amarvilas, Agra, India

    Date: April 2018

    Price: 900 Indian Rupee ($13.80 USD)

    Recipe: Listed as Perfect Manhattan with "whisky, bitters and vermouth"

    Garnish: Cherry

    Served: Up

    Comments: As Perfect Manhattan it would be a mix of sweet and dry vermouths and it lacked sweetness I look for.  May appeal to others.  Could have been bigger.

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

    Wednesday, 21 March 2018 10:14

    The Pogues

    I was a little bit skeptical of a whiskey that branded itself the "Official Irish Whiskey of the Legendary Band". I was also a little surpised that they only appear to be the official Irish whiskey.... leaving an opportunity for someone else to become the band's official Scotch or Bourbon!   In fact the actual liquid, bottled at 40% ABV and produced by West Cork Distillers, was pretty good.   The nose has lemon peel, vanilla and bubble gum notes.  The taste is sweet with caramel, butter, soft red apples, popcorn and Diet Coke.  The was little soft and unlike Pogues concert, this one slips quietly away.  With water it gets sweeter with a little honey.

    Wednesday, 21 March 2018 09:56

    Dodd's Old Tom Small Batch Gin

    Old Tom is a sweeter style of gin that has fallen out of favour compared to the far more common London Dry gins.  I am obliged to mention that Dodd's comes from The London Distillery Company, the same TLDC that I am a Director and shareholder in, so I am not in any way "neutral" when it come to this product line and that is the only reason there is any gin at all on my "whisky" website.  The Old Tom expression is bottled at 46% ABV compared to Dodd's which is bottled at 50% ABV.  The nose is herbal with citrus peel.  The taste is very soft, even creamy, and sweet with more citrus, honey and a hint of caramel.  The finish is, of course, short and clean.  It is not massively complex (it is a white, unaged spirit) but makes a sweeter, excellent G&T especially with a good squeeze of lime to work in harmony with the citrus notes in the gin.   I recently tasted at the distillery a barrel aged verson of Old Tom and I thought the oak worked well with the sweetness and complimented the slight caramel notes of Old Tom.  Go out and buy some.  Please.

    Saturday, 10 March 2018 22:58

    Manhattan Project: Experiment #37

    Location: Oak Bar, Park Hyatt, Buenos Aires, Argentina

    Date: March 2018

    Price: $ 250 Argentine Pesos ($12.36 USD)

    Recipe: No recipe but saw Bulliett Bourbon being poured

    Garnish: Lemon peel

    Served: Rocks

    Comments: Was told it was best Manhattan in Buenos Aires but lacked punch (maybe to little bitters?) for me. A little too washed out on the rocks.

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

    Friday, 16 February 2018 10:59

    Elijah Craig Small Batch

    This "no age statement" expression replaced the 12 year old Elijah Craig in 2016.  The nose has vanilla, popcorn and toasted oak.  Oily and peppery on palate, a little honey but not as sweet as nose suggests. Not as balanced as I would like but a little water helped and brought up some caramel sweetness and apple tartness.

    This ten year old expression was bottled to celebrate Houston’s Reserve 101’s tenth anniversary and chosen by Mike Raymond (@whiskeyrevolt). The nose is an amazing fruit-fest with strong notes of prunes and plums. The taste is a little hot and chewy when neat, black sour cherries, Parma Violets, esters and oak furniture polish. The finish is spicy; chilli infused prune juice. This needs a few drops of water to claim it down and bring up sweet toffee notes.

    Friday, 16 February 2018 10:56

    Red Breast Lustau Edition

    The nose on this sherry led expression has sweet bananas, dried fruit and burnt sugar notes. The taste is incredibly smooth on the palate, sweet red fruits, vanilla, green grass and a spicy finish with chilli and oak. With water this falls apart a little with some notes with marshmallow and citrus. A very drinkable and sweet whisky but probably not my favorite Red Breast.

    Friday, 16 February 2018 10:55

    Beam's Eight Star

    I had never seen this before it was offered to me as a free drink at hotel happy hour in early 2018. It may still have been a little over priced. It is a 40% ABV blend of neutral grain spirit and straight whiskey. The nose is quite light and woody with some hints of vanilla.   The taste – if you want to call it that – is thin and lacking in sweetness with a slightly spicy, woody finish. This one is more about what you don’t taste than what you do.  If it is an “eight star” whisky then I can only assume it is 8 / 100.

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    Random Whisky

    Dalmore Millenium

    Apparently this expression is only available at the Distillery shop but my sample was poured for me by none other than Richard Patterson, Master Blender for Whyte and Mackay aka The Nose at WhiskyLive London 2013.  What a beauty (even at a hefty 57.7% ABV) and one of my favorites of the show.   The nose is lovely with sweet sherry and boiled fruit flavored sweets. The taste is very drying (not a surprise at 57% alcohol) and then a burst of sweetness, like a mouthful of opal fruits and toffee. The finish is dry but faint pepper and fruit notes linger. Small pour but a big whisky, spirit led (the way I like it) and worth a trip to the distillery on its own. How I wish Dalmore would stop f***ing around with the BS exclusive expressions they like so much and just make more like this and the King Alexander III.