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My Handcrafted Opinions on Whiskies, Distilleries and Other Related Stuff

Most Recent Whisky

Most Recent Whisky Review

London Distillery LV 1767 Edition

Note: This was first attempt to limit my increasingly rare tasting notes to 280 characters so I can also tweet full review rather than link for all my millenial readers....

London Distillery LV 1767 Edition

54.3% ABV, 100% Rye and aged for 1400 days

Nose: Black cherry, plum, Cadbury Fruit and Nut with biscuit

Taste: Sweet, chocolate, coffee and more fruit

Finish: Peppermint and oak bitterness. Slight grain note indicative of youth

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  • Simon Seaton

    Simon Seaton

    Monday, 07 November 2011 22:55

    Maker's Mark

    I was introduced to Makers Mark by a Mark, Mark Gillespie of Whisky Cast.  The recipe includes wheat which makes it sweeter and smoother than many bourbons and it has become my "go to" bourbon.  The nose has ginger, peppery spice and some oak.  The taste is sweet and spicy with the American oak imparting hints of vanilla and toffee.  With water or ice it gets even sweeter, and then banana, caramel and creaminess, leave you with a perfect impression of a banoffee pie. 
    Monday, 07 November 2011 22:54

    Long John

    Nose at first is honey sweet then malty and some vanilla.  Nose is quite pronounced but balanced.  Like the nose, sweet to taste at first then fades to reveal some harsher oak and perhaps peat and smoke, even ashes.  Taste balanced and feels silky in the mouth. Smokey finish lingers around far longer than expected – lives up to the name Long John.  With a drop of water the smoke and oak seems to increase too much and to me and loses a little balance.
    Monday, 07 November 2011 22:53

    Crown Royal

    The color is richer and darker than I expected.  The nose has some heat and bitter baker's chocolate notes.  The taste is rich with white pepper on the tongue and some oak but not the heavily toasted notes the color suggested.  Stringent, drying and a little bitter, without being unpleasant, in the finish.  Not overly complex.  Softens and sweetens nicely with water to reveal more dark chocolate and a more silky mouth feel, but the pepper still  comes through as does a hint of sweet vanilla crème.  The water helps a lot and the strong notes of pepper and oak would stand up well to ice or even cola.
    Monday, 07 November 2011 22:52

    Old Pulteney 12 year old

    The color is golden and the nose is sweet and reminds of bread pudding.  The taste is rich and oily with a honey sweetness and, though hard to identify, definitely some fruits as well.  A slightly salty quality but still sweet and smooth.  An under rated distillery and whisky.  Try it with seafood, the saltiness works really well with fish.
    Monday, 07 November 2011 22:52

    Cutty Sark

    A very pale yellow whisky, especially for a blend, with a hint of green (or is that the iconic green bottle subconsciously appearing in my whisky?)   The nose is strong, cereals dominates, with lemon furniture polish and wax in the background.   The digestive biscuit and cereal flavors are also in the taste with a vanilla, something like cake or bread, or a vanilla animal cracker cookie.  There is some heat and prickle on the tongue as well.   Definitely interesting and not your typical "bagpipes and tartan" blend.

    Update:   I recently retried Cutty Sark and was able to better identify the cake, with the biscuit crumb and some citrus lime in the nose it reminded me of a key lime pie.

    Monday, 07 November 2011 22:50

    Duncan Taylor NC2 Craigellachie 1999

    The whisky is a pale golden straw with banana, citrus fruits, honey and vanilla in the nose.  Even at 46% ABV the nose is quite soft and muted.   Taste is peppery, then honey and toffee which gives way to white wine and leathery notes.  A winey, dry finish with a hint of beeswax.  The whisky sweetens with a little water.  An aperitif whisky which is very approachable,  and for that reason I had 48 bottles of this great single malt packaged by Duncan Taylor for giving to clients in 2010.
    Monday, 07 November 2011 22:49

    Famous Grouse 21 year old

    Nose is soft but has notes of sherry and wine, perhaps port, orange peel and chocolate.  The taste is smooth and mellow with orange, tobacco, dark chocolate and mince pies.  Some mustiness and slight smoke, overall well balanced and fine, but it didn't get me over excited either.   Of all the Famous Grouse blended malts we tried at a tasting at Glenturret distillery, (see Distilleries) including the 10, 12, 15, 18, 21 and 30 year old, this was my favorite and had the best overall balance of wood and spirit.  However given the price point I think the Famous Grouse blended scotch is better value and the Famous Grouse 12 year old Gold Reserve might be a better dram. 
    Monday, 07 November 2011 22:48

    Signatory North British 1997

    A pale gold color with a nose that has cake, butter, raisins , lemon citrus and some sweetness.  The taste had some spice and pepper but with toffee and butterscotch and finishes with marzipan and almonds.  Like blended scotch, grain whisky often takes the back seat to single malt in the whisky world, but this is a great example of why every now and again grain whiskies should call "shotgun" and ride in the front seat.
    Monday, 07 November 2011 22:47

    English Whisky Company Chapter 9

    The color is very pale, almost straw.  The nose is peaty and earthy and at 46% ABV you pick up the alcohol.  For some reason it reminded me of a farmyard.   The taste is dominated by white pepper at first which is then followed by sweetness and smoke.  Lemony citrus notes with a sweet white wine drying finish.  Think "English Ardbeg".
    Monday, 07 November 2011 22:46

    Bushmills Black Bush

    I like Ian Buxton's phrase "Ronseal whisky" and I think that it applies perfectly here.  Don't panic, it just means this is a whiskey that "does what it says on the tin".  A well put together blend of smooth Irish triple distilled whiskies with sherry influence.  The nose gives you a preview of the sherry and some apple and sweetness.  The taste has the dark fruits like raisins and it feels silky in the mouth.  Slightly drying and stringent in the finish.  Well balanced and put together. Sweet, smooth and sherry - just like it says on the tin.

    Whiskies Tried...

    Total to Date: 655

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    Random Whisky

    Cragganmore 12 year old

    I first tried this one at a tasting led by Gordon Muir (see links) in Aberdeen in 2009.  I don't have any detailed tasting notes from that event but this was one of my least favorite whiskies that day. However, as often happens when I revisit a whisky I haven't tried in a while, my most recent tasting of Cragganmore in bar was a nice surprise.  This time I got fruit in the nose and lots of vanilla and even butterscotch in the taste.  Overall quite light and a dry woody finish with a hint of smoke.