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My Handcrafted Opinions on Whiskies, Distilleries and Other Related Stuff

Most Recent Whisky

Most Recent Whisky Review

Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye

This was unexpectedly declared the “best whiskey in the world” in 2015 by Jim Murray and due to resulting “online hub-bub” (or as I call it OHB) I chose to stay away at that time and revisit this controversial whisky at a later date. I am glad I did because of the excellent price point it is really very good value. Made from a 90% rye mash bill the nose has lemon pledge, coffee, vanilla, toffee and even some floral notes. The taste is smooth and creamy, lots of the notes from nose with Wherther’s Original candy and milk chocolate. The finish has peppermint, some grassy herbal notes and a little oak.  The buttery creamy mouthfeel reminded me of The Macallan. Is it very good but I can’t say if it was the best in the world that year because I did not try them all.

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  • Simon Seaton

    Simon Seaton

    Monday, 22 February 2016 02:51

    Manhattan Project: Experiment #8

    Location: PS Cafe, Singapore

    Date: February 2016

    Price: 19 SGD ($13.50 USD)

    Recipe: Not on menu so no recipe

    Garnish: I cherry

    Served: Up

    Comments: Nice and fairly priced (for Singapore), perhaps a little sweet for my taste

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

    Tuesday, 26 January 2016 14:08

    Suntory Whisky

    I found this Japanese blend, bottled at 40% ABV, in the Esso station a few meters from my house in Singapore. The nose is fruity at first, with vanilla. Maybe because it was December I wrote "christmas pudding with custard". A little bite of alcohol also even at this low ABV. The taste is also fruity with some sweet and lemon notes. Very smooth and mellow. The finish is gentle and a little spicy. With a little water it becomes more honeyed and little grainy. Overall I prefer it neat. This really very good for a relatively cheap blend and also really good with mixed with soda into a highball.

    Tuesday, 26 January 2016 13:52

    Cardrona Distillery, New Zealand

    I first heard of this new distillery while listening to WhiskyCast in December 2015. It turned out that they had just opened and it so happened that I was going to be on vacation in Queenstown, a short but very impressive drive away, over Christmas. A few emails later and I had a tour set up for December 26th, within just a few days of their official opening. The site is impressive and well designed and will also house a small museum focused on the town of Cardrona however that was still in development when I visited. The highlight was that I also got to spend some time with many of family who built it and experience their passion and excitement for what they are doing here. If their product is half as enjoyable as their hospitality (and I see no reason why not based on the excellent site and investment they have made) then we will have very nice Kiwi whisky in a few years’ time.

    After the tour there was a lot to try (I had to take samples as I drove there) including their excellent Reid Single Malt Vodka, which is one of the best white spirits I have tried in a long time and a good solution to the “how do we make money for first three years of a whisky distillery” problem, the Rose Rabbit Orange Liqueur (not my thing but for sure someone’s thing) and their Single Malt new make. I have tried a lot of new make spirit but do not consider myself qualified to project on how well a new make will mature and develop but I have posted tasting notes for all of three of these Cardrona products on the website.

    So if you find yourself in the Queenstown region of New Zealand and perhaps need a break from flinging yourself off a bridge with just an elastic bungy cord tied to your legs and are tired of gorging on the region’s stunning Pinot Noirs can I suggest you add this to your NZ Bucket List along (and blue cod “fush and chups”). You will thank me.

    Tuesday, 05 January 2016 09:39

    Manhattan Project: Experiment #7

    Location: db Bistro, Marina Bay Sands, Singapore

    Date: December 2015

    Price: 25 SGD ($17.70 USD)

    Recipe: Rittenhouse Rye, Antica Formula Vermouth, Orange bitters

    Garnish: Not 1, not 2 but 3 cherries!

    Served: Up

    Comments: High price for standard cocktail (welcome to Singapore) but very good, so I had two!

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

    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.

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    Random Whisky

    Glenglassaugh Spirit

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