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My Handcrafted Opinions on Whiskies, Distilleries and Other Related Stuff

Most Recent Whisky

Most Recent Whisky Review

Highland Park Viking Honour 12 year old

The nose on this is salty and fruity, with some seaweed, a hint of rubber and a prick of alcohol even at 43% ABV.    The taste is rich with toffee, burnt coffee, caramel at first then some more acrid camp fire notes and along with bitter fruit peels and spices.  The finish is gentle hum of heat and peppermint along with some smokiness.  At 43% ABV it can take a drop of water and still hold up, but it doesn't need it.  Overall a delicious expression from one of my favourite distilleries.

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  • Sunday, 15 July 2012 16:58

    101 Whiskies I Tried (and I Haven't Died)

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    After trying all 101 whiskies from Ian Buxton's book I have compiled the list of my favorites based on my admitedly unsophisticated 4 star rating system.  The best whiskies, in no particular order, were Mortlach 16, Highland Park 21 and 40, Wild Turkey Rare Breed, Macallan 18, Chivas Regal 25, Jameson 18 Limited Reserve, Maker's Mark and Ardbeg Uigeadail.  Some of these were favorites before I read the book (Macallan 18 and Maker's Mark) so that leaves six whiskies that stood out for me.  

    The Mortlach 16 may have been the biggest surprise in the book, a delicious example sherried Speyside whisky that could compete "toe to toe" with anything from Macallan and Glenfarclas.  I expected great things from Highland Park and Ardbeg and they delivered in a big way.  It was also no surprise to me that a Jameson blend was one of my favorites, my interest in whisky was sparked by a visit to Jameson's Midelton distillery in 2006.  Chivas 25 was the other big surprise.  I like premium Scottish blends however the Chivas family hasn't always been something I have loved.   The Chivas 25 year old was great though and I can still remember the taste of oranges.  That leaves the Wild Turkey Rare Breed as my favorite bourbon and again I can still recall the black cherry fruit notes.

    I won't dwell on my two least favorites (this blog is just a personal opinion) and my feelings about Johnnie Walker Black need no further comment (you can look up review if interested) and the Glenglassaugh spirit was a "new make" that had some novelty value and never produced as a drink in it's own right.

    There were some other tremendous whiskies that for various reasons, perhaps price or rarity, that I did not rate as 4 star but deserve an honorable mention, including Hibiki 30, Blue Hanger, Glen Rothes Select Reserve, Van Winkle Family Reserve Rye 13 old, Old Pulteney 17 and Thomas H Handy Sazerac Rye. 

     

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    Scottish Leader

    This is an interesting blended Scotch that actually mentions one of its constituent single malts, Deanston, on the label.   Nothing jumps out from the nose, good or bad. Quite ordinary in fact with some time a little malt and sweet notes , perhaps a suggestion of sherry? The taste is where this one starts to separate itself from the pack like a Kenyan marathon runner; rich with caramel, candied ginger, and chili infused chocolate. The finish also reminded me of Kenya; unfortunately because it was dry and hot. A little water helps this one come together, perhaps to the detriment of taste but improves the finish.