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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

    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

    Monday, 02 November 2015 11:38

    Manhattan Project: Experiment #2

    Location: JW Marriott, Juhu, Mumbai, Reflections Bar

    Date: November 2015

    Price: $11.49 (753 Rupee)

    Recipe: Not observed but bar tender told me used Canadian Club

    Garnish: Maraschino cherry

    Served: Up

    Comments: Nice and cold on the larger side.  Use of Canadian Club meant it was less sweet than one made with bourbon.  Good one.   

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

    Saturday, 31 October 2015 03:41

    Manhattan Project: Experiment #1

    Location: Moscow Monarch Centre Hotel, Lobby Bar

    Date: October 2015

    Price: $12.50 (800 Rubles)

    Recipe: No info provided / not observed

    Garnish: Maraschino cherry

    Served: Up

    Comments: Nice, clean, not too sweet.  A well executed "classic" Manhattan

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

    Thursday, 29 October 2015 14:48

    The Manhattan Project II

    The original Manhattan Project was a research and development project that produced the first nuclear weapons during World War II. My personal Manhattan project will be slightly less impactful. Probably. As readers know in 2011 I set myself the task of finding and reviewing every whisky in Ian Buxton’s recent books 101 Whiskies to Try Before You Die and 101 World Whiskies to Try Before You Die. I was successful (pausing for gentle round of applause) but it did have a side effect. I know Ian won’t mind me saying that some, while interesting, were not that great and so I frequently found myself with bottles that I did not particularly enjoy. I have enough Scots blood in me to know that I could not see them go to waste so I started to dabble in mixing cocktails and found two that I particularly enjoyed. For unwanted or unloved scotch I would mix Rusty Nails (equal parts Drambuie and Scotch over ice) and for American whiskies, bourbon, rye and Canadian, I started mixing Manhattans. The simple and classic Manhattan recipe is 2 parts whiskey, 1 part sweet vermouth, 2 dash of bitters a garnish (cherry or citrus peel) served usually chilled but occasionally (and as I came to like them best in the Texas summer) over ice.

    I have the great fortune to travel a lot for my job which means I frequently find myself in airport lounges, hotels and restaurants and often bored to tears by their whisky options I started to order Manhattans (a classic cocktail so there is a variant of it on almost every cocktail menu). And so like the thermonuclear chain reaction that was at heart of original Manhattan project, one passion led to another and now I find myself trying Manhattan’s all around the world. From now on, armed with a trusty camera phone (and probably a little too much jetlag), I will also use my website to track my Manhattan project noting location, price, quality, garnish, recipes and any other tweaks or embellishments of interest. Like the England football team in a World Cup penalty shootout I won’t be trying to score them, I don’t score whiskies either, just sharing my experiences and opinions with all of my readers (if there are any left).

    Thursday, 29 October 2015 14:39

    Dimple Golden Selection

    The nose on this is malty and sweet, almost bready with perhaps a faint hint of orange marmalade on warm toast.  Smooth and rich taste with more sweet citrus notes, cooked banana, cayenne with a slighty bitter and peppery (but long) finish.  Despite being bottled at 40% ABV a little water helped mellow this and bring out some dried fruits and even a little oak bite.  Certainly a little richer and more complex than your standard blend and the more I drank.... the more I liked it!

    Monday, 26 October 2015 01:08

    Hakushu Single Malt

    As I had hoped, living in Singapore and spending time in Asia is giving me access to some Japanese whiskies I had never seen before (or even knew existed).  I found this no age expression Hakushu in an airport lounge in Tokyo.  As the entire label was in Japanese I could not determine ABV or anything else for that matter and given the fact I was in transit and rather tired my palatte may have been a bit "off".  The nose has freshly cut pine wood, sweet bananas and lemon.  The taste is quite and peppery and needed a drop of water to settle down and reveal more lemon and some caramel which lingered into the finish.  Overall young and feisty but still very nice and I would like to try this again sometime as I seemed to miss the famous Hakushu peat notes 

    Whiskies Tried...

    Total to Date: 623

    Distilleries

    Visited to Date: 58

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    Random Whisky

    Colonel EH Taylor Rye

    Yes another US whiskey named after someone I haven’t heard of.  In this case a little research reveals that Col. Taylor owned the distillery in Versailles where its claimed Dr Crow invented the sour mash process and later became Woodford Reserve.  The nose on this rye is impressive, for some reason inspired me to write the tasting note… “indian food and cucumbers”. I think we can assume it came across as very fresh and spicy? The taste is rich, more spice and familiar chocolate notes, toasted oak, pepper and something sweet but a little mysterious. Marshmallow? Caramel? The finish is drying with rye bread, chocolate and mint. This is really good rye whiskey.