logo

My Handcrafted Opinions on Whiskies, Distilleries and Other Related Stuff

Most Recent Whisky

Most Recent Whisky Review

Akashi Ume

This Japanese plum flavored whiskey is bottled at 30% ABV.  There is sweet, and then there is "have the number of a good dentist handy" sweet.  This one falls into the second category.  The nose is sweet but also delicately floral.  There are some plum notes are in the taste, more sugarplums than The Nutcracker aand some prunes and jelly babies.  Imagine a whiskey flavored Jelly Bean.  The finish is a thick coating of sugar on the teeth combined with some mint from the toothpaste you will have to keep nearby.

Read More
  • Simon Seaton

    Simon Seaton

    Wednesday, 21 December 2011 14:54

    Buffalo Trace White Dog (Wheated Mash)

    This was the first whiskey we sampled in the WhiskyCast "white whiskey" virtual tasting I did in December 2011.  (If you are interested you can download the audio file from iTunes or www.whiskycast.com.)   Despite a very high ABV of 62.5% the nose was not dominated by alcohol and was quite sweet.  I picked up a fresh paint and solvent notes and some cooked cereal, possibly corn.   The alcohol did come through in the taste along with sweet candy corn.  With water the alcohol dropped and I picked up some more discernible bourbon notes like caramel.   One for cocktails perhaps as I can't see anyone reaching for this to sip.  On the 1 to 5 scale of WhiskyCast I gave it a score of 2 and on my scale of 1 – 4 stars I gave it 1 star.

    Wednesday, 21 December 2011 03:07

    Connemara Peated Cask Strength

    The nose has peat (surprise!) and some sweetness and malt.  The taste has peat smoke and then the more traditional Irish sweet notes of caramel and vanilla come through and the high alcohol content can be detected (bottled at 57.9% ABV).  The peat stays through the long, dry finish with some pepper and a slight medicinal note also comes through.
    Wednesday, 21 December 2011 02:57

    Tullamore Dew 10 year old Reserve

    Found this on sale at my local store for under $30.  What a deal and another great Irish blended whiskey.  The nose has caramel, vanilla and a hint of cereals.    The taste is sweet, more caramel and toffee with vanilla fudge and some soft fruits, maybe banana.  Smooth mouth feel and a slight tingle of oak and spice in the finish.  Not massively complex, but simply delicious.   I am definitely "doing the dew" more often.
    Wednesday, 21 December 2011 02:44

    Glenfarclas 21 year old

    The nose has sweet raisins and citrus fruit with some malt and biscuit notes. The sherry Glenfarclas is famous for is also evident in the nose.   The taste is very smooth and sweet with honey, more orange peel citrus and a long soft finish with some black pepper and hints of leather and tobacco.  Complex and delicious with big flavors.  A great after dinner whisky.
    Wednesday, 21 December 2011 02:39

    BenRiach Dark Rum Finish

    This was a distillery that seemed to pass me by while in Scotland.  Never heard a lot about it or saw much of their product, struck me as one of the many single malt brands still trying to find their place, lots of experimentation and expressions, like a university student trying to find themselves or the kid who doesn't know what he wanted to be when he grew up.   Anyway after a night out with friend at a great whisky bar in Houston (www.reserve101.com) we ordered a dram of this and I have to say I was impressed.  The nose was malty, sweet molasses and vanilla.  The taste was also vanilla and the rum showed up but didn't overpower the whisky.  Sweet and smooth with a nice finish I was very happy to finish the night with this satisfying dram.  Will look for a bottle now and write some more detailed notes.

    Perhaps it does know what it wants to be when it grows up... rum.

    Wednesday, 21 December 2011 02:38

    Mackmyra First Release

    I managed to get sample of this Swedish whisky from Master of Malt (www.masterofmalt.com).  This has an unusual nose... malt, salt, even a little meaty (Bovril?) and oak.   Over a little time the nose opens up to sweet malt biscuit.  The taste has honey at first, then some vanilla.  Light mouth feel and an oaky finish with chocolate and pepper.  Good enough but Scotch is safe from Swede for a while.
    Wednesday, 21 December 2011 02:36

    Highland Park 18 year old

    The nose is sweet malt, honey, dark fruits and a wisp of peat smoke.  The taste is the classic malt harmony of honey sweet, oak wood and smoke with lots of depth.  The mouth feel is creamy and oily and the finish has some tobacco.  With water the nose has some more citrus, and there is more oak and pepper in the finish and a great mouth feel.
    Saturday, 17 December 2011 00:54

    Hennigan's

    Made famous by the Seinfeld TV show in the 1990's and then believed to be lost in a cupboard under the sink for over 15 years, Hennigan's was rediscovered in October 2011 by www.scotchcinema.com.   So I thought I would review this very unusual and hard to find scotch.  I often write tasting notes with my wife, but this time I had some help from my friends Jerry, Elaine, George and Kramer.  The nose is very soft and muted, in fact according to Jerry "I can't smell anything".    However the taste is appealing, as Kramer described it best; "that is damn good stuff" and the finish, well again Kramer put it much better than I can, "mmm boy, that Hennigan's goes down smooth".  Overall impression is best summed up by Elaine as "I'll tell you, it's not bad".  However Hennigan's is definitely not for everyone, unfortunately George "threw up from the Hennigan's" so I am afraid, due the lack of nose and the unfortunate throwing up aspect, I can only give it 1 star.  

    Saturday, 17 December 2011 00:51

    Another Lost Whisky Rediscovered in 2011

    Looking back, one of my favorite whisky memories of 2011 was the amazing find of a whisky many thought was lost to the world.   I am not talking about the Shackleton stuff found in Antarctica, but the much more elusive and rare Hennigan's Scotch Whisky.  Made famous by the Seinfeld TV show in the 1990's and then believed to be lost in a cupboard under the sink for over 15 years, Hennigan's was rediscovered in October 2011 by www.scotchcinema.com.  I thought I would end 2011by reviewing this very unusual and hard to find scotch and in many ways I feel this should be the whisky of the year.
    I often write tasting notes with my wife, but this time I had some help from my friends Jerry, Elaine, George and Kramer.    The nose is very soft and muted, in fact according to Jerry "I can't smell anything".    However the taste is appealing, as Kramer described it best; "that is damn good stuff" and the finish, well again Kramer put it much better than I can, "mmm boy, that Hennigan's goes down smooth".  Overall impression is best summed up by Elaine as "I'll tell you, it's not bad".  However Hennigan's is definitely not for everyone, unfortunately George "threw up from the Hennigan's" so I am afraid, due the lack of nose and the unfortunate throwing up aspect, I can only give it 1 star.   http://www.somanywhiskies.com/reviews/item/157-hennigans
    Wednesday, 14 December 2011 18:44

    Laphroaig Quarter Cask

    I first tried this expression on Islay and it is certainly my favorite Laphroaig so far.  The nose is quite earthy and peaty (rather than smokey) also some sea spray and salty notes and some rich fruit.  The taste also has peat and of course the famous (or infamous) Laphroaig medicinal notes but I think more subdued in this expression.  There is also some sweetness like toffee, candied fruits, even chocolate.  The finish is dry and quite tannic, with black tea and pepper.  Very good.  If you don't like the standard Laphroaig 10 year old try this one.  

    Whiskies Tried...

    Total to Date: 681

    Distilleries

    Visited to Date: 66

    Follow Me on Twitter!

    Random Whisky

    Auchentoshan Three Wood

    This expression is a bit of an outlier for a lowland whisky.  Complex, delicious and pretty robust, this is not "breakfast" whisky.  The nose has rich dark fruits, cocoa and the sherry influence is obvious (the "three woods" are sherry, bourbon and port casks).  The taste has trademark triple distilled smoothness, but is also very chewy and rich for a lowland.  Some dark chocolate and fruit notes come through (port wood influence I suspect) and a floral note that carries into finish that also has berries and dry sherry before oak makes an appearance right at the end.  While many whiskies with multiple cask finishes can come across as gimmicky, this one really works.  Great stuff and if you only had one lowland whisky to drink for rest of your life you could do a lot worse than this one (at least until Glengoyne finally accept the facts of geography and brand themselves as a lowland malt).