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My Handcrafted Opinions on Whiskies, Distilleries and Other Related Stuff

Most Recent Whisky

Most Recent Whisky Review

Glenfiddich Fire and Cane

This release is part of the Glenfiddich Experimental series and bottled at 43% ABV (which is quite unusual from Glenfiddich).   It is a peated malt that is finished in rum casks, hence the Fire and Cane (as in sugarcane)  name.  The nose is smokey, but more camp fire rather than strong peat.  Fire before the Cane.  The taste is spicy and nutty, chocolate, pepper, brown sugar and some honey and a hint of the phenol from peat.  The finish is a little hot, like eating burnt cake batter off a wooden spoon.  Water brings up more brown sugar and some lemon peel.  Very nicely done but not sure I would pair peat and rum casks, personnally I prefer peat and sherry casks.

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  • Simon Seaton

    Simon Seaton

    Monday, 12 September 2016 12:31

    Manhattan Project: Experiment #24

    Location: Liquid, Atmosphere Kanifushi, The Maldives

    Date: September 2016

    Price: Free (as part of an all inclusive package)

    Recipe: Equal parts bourbon and sweet vermouth

    Garnish: Lemon peel

    Served: Rocks

    Comments: Not bad, my favorite garnish is the lemon peel and drinking this poolside "on the rocks" was the only way to go....

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

    Sunday, 04 September 2016 13:15

    Mehkong Thai Whisky

    Before we get started let's be clear that this is not a whisky by most legal (and reasonable) definitions.  However it was "presented" to me as whisky in Thailand, though the label on the bottle takes a more conservative approach calling this a "Thai spirit".  Further reading reveals that ingredients include molasses, rice and herbs and it is bottled at a liqueur level of 35% ABV.   The nose is fresh paint with some herbal, aromatic even vegetal notes notes in the background.  A freshly painted Indian grocery store.  The tast is also herbal, like medicinal cough sweets (Riccola?), reminded me of a liqueur without the sugar but there was a hint of caramel - perhaps that is what gave this it's whisky coloring?  The finish?  I would call it an after taste more than a finish, as if you had licked the walls of the grocery store.  

    Sunday, 04 September 2016 13:09

    Manhattan Project: Experiment #23

    Location: Roast, Borough Market, London, UK

    Date: September 2016

    Price: 16.50 GBP ( $ 21.94 USD)

    Recipe: Crown Royal Special Reserve and mixed "perfect" with dry and sweet vermouth

    Garnish: Black Cherry

    Served: Up

    Comments: I think the Canadian style  does not lend it self as well to Dry Vermouth.  I should have gone with a sweeter bourbon for balance.

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

    In 2016 the London Distillery had to move from it's original Batersea home to Druid Street near London Bridge station.  When I visited the new site in August 2016 Christina the gin still (shown in the photograph) was back to work producing Dodd's and Kew Gin but a lot more more work is required on the site before Matilda the whisky still would be operational again.  When it is finished the new site promises to be wonderful and attract a lot more visitors because of the location and surrounding attractions.  Hopefully when I return later this year the new site is fully rennovated and can see that for myself and that they will be making more whisky and offering tours and visits again! 

    Thursday, 18 August 2016 15:44

    Hull Distillery Company Ltd, Hull, England

    You won't find this mentioned on very many whisky blogs because it is not a whisky distillery.  In fact it doesn't even exist anymore, but over time the site has transformed into the Saltend Chemicals Park (or SCP) operated by BP.  The site is not open to the public (or even part of a "British Petrochemical Trail") but because of my job (Amazingly I am not a full time whisky blogger!) I was able to get a tour of SCP which still produces industrial alcohol / biofuel today from grain in August 2016.  The history of the Hull Distillery Co Ltd  goes back to 1924 when Herbert Green opened an industrial distillery and in 1925 he sold it to DCL.  By 1963 DCL had three divisions, a Drinks Group that manufactured Scotch Whisky, Gin and Vodka, a Food Group that included United Yeast Co, and Peerless Refining Co. and an Industrial Group principally involved in chemicals and plastics.  In 1967 sold their Chemcials and Plastics business to British Petroleum (BP) including the Saltend Distillery.

    Now an interesting footnote in UK distilling history but no samples on this tour... which was probably for the best.

    Ref: http://saltendchemicalspark.co.uk/history

    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

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    Random Whisky

    Jack Daniel's Old No 7 (Green Label)

    This is not something you will often find reviewed on many whisky blogs.  In fact it not something you will often find.  This is the red headed (green labelled) step child of the Jack Daniel's family (it doesn't appear on the JD website at all).  Some internet research suggests this is a younger (therefore cheaper) version of the traditional black label aimed at the "value" market.  The nose is not that strong, but some familiar bourbonesque notes and vanilla.  Not bad at all.  The taste is light and quite smooth.  More vanilla but nothing else really jumps out or jars.  Gets a little bitter in the finish, chocolate, burnt coffee and toasted oak.  If there is an off note then it is in the finish.   Overall not that bad and if you are going to mix your JD with cola anyway you might want to save a few bucks and go green.