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My Handcrafted Opinions on Whiskies, Distilleries and Other Related Stuff

Most Recent Whisky

Most Recent Whisky Review

Maker's Mark Private Select

This was picked by Mike Raymond of Houston's Reserve 101 as their 10th anniversary bottling. As the regular readers (both of them) know by now I love Maker's Mark, I love Houston, I love Reserve101 and I have very strong feelings for Mike.  But for some reason this one did not quite work for me, but give it a try as it might for you.   The nose is oaky with some fruity wine notes as well.  Sopem heat from the 55.65% ABV along with calssic vanilla, corn and cola notes.  The taste is hot and a little sharp at first with some black cherry, dark chocolate, jalepeno, burnt caramel and oak char.  The finish is pepper and even a little sour.  With water it gets creamier with some brown sugar and more vanilla. It definately needs a little water (or ice or time) to open it up.

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  • Simon Seaton

    Simon Seaton

    Monday, 27 June 2016 10:06

    Teeling Distillery, Dublin, Ireland

    My first distillery visit of 2016 coincided with Teeling's first birthday, this new distillery (one of many springing up in Ireland)  had been open about 1 year and 2 days. The site is a short, damp, walk from Dublin city center and is very impressive and includes a fantastic little cafe, gift shop, extensive tasting bar and well run and efficient tour.  You definately get the sense that the whole distillery was designed as a Dublin city tourist attraction first and a distillery second.   With no maturation on site (due to old Dublin bylaws, following a fire in the past, all whisky is matured away from the distillery) the tour is quite short and content clearly targeted at the tourist rather than the whiskey fanatic.   Due to their young age all their current stocks and bottlings are from stock produced by the Teeling family when they owned and operated Cooley Distillery.

    There are multiple options for tastings at end of tour ranging from the basic line to cocktails to the more expensive single malt tasting that I opted for.  At 30 Euros for tour and tasting I don't think I have ever paid more for a distillery tour, except when I signed up for the rather expensive Magnus Eunson tour at Highland park which was at $100+ depending on exchange rate, but to be fair it did include a 40 year Highland Park. Like most Irish whiskey the tour is smooth, approachable and easy to consume... and I enjoyed it but perhaps would leave some wanting a little more.

    Sunday, 12 June 2016 09:58

    Manhattan Project: Experiment #19

    Location: Hilton Americas Lobby Bar, Houston, Texas

    Date: June 2016

    Price: $ 15 ($20.40 SGD)

    Recipe: Bulliet Rye based

    Garnish: Black Cherry

    Served: Rocks

    Comments: Nice rye forward and not too sweet.  Also gave me choice of bourbon or rye...

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

    Monday, 06 June 2016 21:26

    Manhattan Project: Experiment #18

    Location: Emirates Lounge, Changi Airport, Singapore

    Date: June 2016

    Price: Free (self made)

    Recipe: Jim Beam, Martini Rossi, Angostura Bitters

    Garnish: None

    Served: Rocks

    Comments: Noticed all ingredients available at the bar... so made a simple / classic  Manhattan for myself.

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

    Thursday, 26 May 2016 08:59

    Manhattan Project: Experiment #17

    Location: Ciel de Paris, Montparnasse, Paris

    Date: May 2016

    Price: 18 Euros ($27.71 SGD)

    Recipe: Simply Four Roses Bourbon and Martini Rossi.... (nearly $28!)

    Garnish: None

    Served: Up

    Comments: Amazing view from 56th floor restaurant but I paid for it with a below average Manhattan

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

    Sunday, 22 May 2016 13:50

    Manhattan Project: Experiment #16

    Location: Homemade, Singapore

    Date: May 2016

    Price: N/A

    Recipe: Bulleit Rye, Dolin, Luxardo Maraschino, Angostura Bitters

    Garnish: None

    Served: Up

    Comments: Recreated Reserve 101 "classic" recipe with Bulleit rye, great balance.

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

    Friday, 13 May 2016 05:58

    Manhatten Project: Experiment #15

    Location: Lawry's Prime Rib, Singapore

    Date: May 2016

    Price: $ 15 SGD ($10.92 USD)

    Recipe: Canadian Club, Sweet and Dry Vermouth (no bitters?)

    Garnish: Orange peel

    Served: Up

    Comments: Good value (for Singapore) and my first "perfect Manhattan" experiment

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

    Thursday, 12 May 2016 04:07

    Bowmore Mizunara Cask Finish

    I always try to keep Bowmore, especially the 15 year old Darkest, close at hand.  It is one of my go to whiskies and my visit there (http://www.somanywhiskies.com/distilleries/item/13-bowmore-islay-scotland) ranks as one of my top visitor experiences as well.  This is not cheap... but I have to say it is probably worth every penny, and thanks to the always well stocked bar at Reserve 101 in Houston I got to try a dram of this 53.9% ABV expression.  The nose is peaty with some citrus and classic islay medicinal notes as well.  The taste is dry, spicy and creamy with milk chocolate maltesers and rich dried fruit notes.  Lots of sherry and creaminess made me think of something like a Bailey's liqueur but made with Sherry.  Peppery long finish.  My notes contained the phrase  "mind blowing"..... pretty much says it all.

    Monday, 09 May 2016 08:24

    Manhattan Project: Experiment #14

    Location: Reserve 101, Houston, Texas

    Date: April 2016

    Price: $ 8 USD

    Recipe: Dolin Vermouth, Bulleit Bourbon, Maraschino Liqueur, Angostura Bitters

    Garnish: Cherry

    Served: Rocks

    Comments: One of my favorites (love the maraschino) and great value.  Must try with rye....

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

    Tuesday, 26 April 2016 16:55

    Manhattan Project: Experiment #13

    Location: Oak Room, Fairmont Palliser, Calgary, Canada

    Date: April 2016

    Price: $ 18 CAD ($14.19 USD)

    Recipe: Carprano Antica Vermouth, Knob Creek, Angostura Bitters

    Garnish: Black cherry

    Served: Up

    Comments: Nice and sweet with Bourbon but still balanced due to heavy dash of bitters.

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

    This 41% ABV expression has a peat dominated nose with some cirtus and malt notes as well.  Complex and even a little nutty.  The taste is sweet and light with toffee, pepper, milk chocolate, smoked ripe bananas, perfumed heather and some more peat.  The spice and smoke work well together in the finish along with some lemon peel.

    Whiskies Tried...

    Total to Date: 654

    Distilleries

    Visited to Date: 58

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    Random Whisky

    Ardbeg Corryvrecken

    Tasted this at an Ardbeg Committee meeting in Houston in December 2011, and will revisit for more detailed tasting notes in the future but was perhaps my least favorite in the Ardbeg range (which I love but someone has to be last).  This has a high ABV at 57.1% and I found the nose dominated by alcohol at first and then the peat comes through.  Alcohol also dominates the taste at first, before the balancing sweetness and fruit I associated with Ardbeg can be found.   It is quite smokey in the finish but not hugely complex, I even got some new make spirit type notes.  With a little water the alcohol is subdued and some more subtle chocolate and spice notes are there.  For my palate I just feel there are better Ardbeg options out there.