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My Handcrafted Opinions on Whiskies, Distilleries and Other Related Stuff

Most Recent Whisky

Most Recent Whisky Review

Mortlach 12 year old

The nose on 43.4% expression is very floral with some wheaty breakfast biscuits and spicy notes.  The taste is very smooth with baked spiced apples (maybe even slightly burnt) caramel and honey.  The finish has some slow building heat along with some Bovril (salty / meaty) notes.  Reminded me of good Texas barbeque brisket with strong spice bark.  Overall a ittle too much burnt, salty and bitter notes with not enough sweetness to balance it for me. 

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  • Simon Seaton

    Simon Seaton

    Monday, 09 November 2020 20:37

    Manhattan Project: Experiment #57

    Location: Islamorada, Florida, USA

    Date: November 2020

    Price: $6.00

    Recipe: Rye Whiskey, Sherry, Bitters

    Garnish: None

    Served: Rocks

    Comments: Manhattan in a can.... made with Sherry?  Seemed to work however and a good price.

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

    Monday, 09 November 2020 20:21

    Ardbeg Wee Beastie 5 year old

    Bravo!  Bra - Fucking - Vo!

    Finally someone North of Hadrian's Wall has decided to "grow a pair" and just be honest and transparent about selling a young whisky.  Usual marketing tactic is to put no age statement, create a weak back story and slap on an unpronounceable Gaelic name for the younger stuff.  I am extra delighted that it is a distillery I happen like a lot.    In fact I am a little reluctant to post the review  because it is not my favorite Ardbeg... and I really don't want to say anything negative.  The nose is smoky bbq with orange peel and even floral notes.  The taste is creamy at first with barley sugar, black tea and more bitter, slightly burnt, orange peel.  The finish is peppery, smoky with more strong tea tannins and yes there are some grainy (ie young) spirit notes.  Not super complex but balanced, flavorful and pretty punchy.  Lives up to the name.

    Monday, 28 September 2020 15:12

    Manhattan Project: Experiment #56

    Location: Katz's, Houston, Texas 

    Date: September 2020

    Price: $12.00

    Recipe: Rye Whiskey, Sweet Vermouth and Angostura Bitters 

    Garnish: Luxardo maraschino cherry

    Served: Up

    Comments: On the larger side which as it was served "up" in a tumbler warmed a little too quickly

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

    Thursday, 13 August 2020 12:45

    Grangestone Sherry Cask Finish

    The third expression in this series is, like the other two, bottled at 40% ABV.  The nose has lots of dried fruits, prunes, raisins, digestive biscuits and a slight farmyuard, vegatal funkiness.   The taste is more dried fruit, prunes, bitter dark chocolate and citrus peel.  The mouthfeel is quite creamy, chewy and even oily.  The finish is spicy with fresh cut jalepenos and black pepper.  Not massively complex... consider if Macallan had an off day.  However Macallan's bad days are still better than many distilleries good days.

    Wednesday, 12 August 2020 22:52

    Grangestone Bourbon Cask Finish

    This is the second whisky in this range I have tried.   Like the others it is a 40% ABV, NAS, private label bottling for Total Wines with little clue to it's origin other than Scotland.... there is no Grangestone distillery (although the rate at which distilleries open now it is not impossible that I could be wrong about that).  Vanilla hits you immediately in the nose, along with sweet caramel and ripe bananas.  The taste has more banana, butterscotch and some pepper.  The finish get slightly bitter and oaky.  Not spectacular, but a solid "bourbon" cask expression.

    Thursday, 06 August 2020 13:28

    Manhattan Project: Experiment #55

    Location: Ristorante del Lago, The Broadmoor, Colorado Springs 

    Date: July 2020

    Price: $14.00

    Recipe: Padua Manhattan which according to menu is ... Michters Rye, Green Chartreuse, Aperol, Orange Bitters

    Garnish: Lemon Peel

    Served: Up

    Comments: Good cocktail, but not a Manhattan

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

    Sunday, 02 August 2020 19:31

    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.

    Sunday, 02 August 2020 19:23

    Manhattan Project: Experiment #54

    Location: Fogo de Chao, Denver, CO

    Date: July 2020

    Price: $13.50

    Recipe: Buffalo Trace, Carpano Antica, Blood Orange, Angusturo Bitters

    Garnish: Orange peel

    Served: Rocks

    Comments: A little Orange peel or Triple sec or Orange bitters is good, but this was overpowered by Orange juice. It was fine, but not a Manhattan.

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

    Sunday, 02 August 2020 19:19

    Manhattan Project: Experiment #53

    Location: The Tavern, The Broadmoor, Colorado Springs 

    Date: July 2020

    Price: $14.00

    Recipe: Spencer's Manhattan which according to menu is ... Rye Whiskey, Drambuie, Bitters

    Garnish: 3 cherries

    Served: Up

    Comments: Drambuie in a Manhattan?  No Vermouth? That was a first.  The color strongly suggests that vermouth was in the recipe.

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

    Thursday, 16 July 2020 13:59

    Woody Creek Rye

    This is a 45% ABV Colorado produced straight rye I was able to try on recent family trip to Denver.  The nose is sweet and fruity, candy and fresh cut grass and after some time some grainy notes (suggesting it is probably quite young).  The taste starts spicy and sweet; Hot Tamales, cinnamon and cola.  With time some sweet dried fruits like prunes develop as well.  The finish has peppermint which fades to leave a signature herbal note.  Overall a classic young rye, fresh, fruity, peppery and sweet all at the same time.

    Whiskies Tried...

    Total to Date: 692

    Distilleries

    Visited to Date: 66

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    Random Whisky

    Fireball Cinnamon Whisky

    Lets start with the basics on this "thing".  Made in Canada (shame on you) and bottled in Kentucky (pretty embarrassing) at a modest (and anti-whisky) 33% ABV.  Before I get onto the "tasting notes" let me just say that my major issue is that this is branded and marketed as whisky.. so everything I am about to say is relative to this as a whisky.  I don't have any problem with this drink per say or the people who like it.  I can see the appeal, really I can.  The thing for me is the horrible term "cinnamon whisky" plastered on the bottle / ads / Facebook page etc.    This is not whisky.  It is not even close.  I find it staggering that this type of misdirection and branding was not explicity listed as an abomination unto God in Leviticus.  This is a liqueur by every reasonable, and most unreasonable, definitions as it has clearly been sweetened, flavored and diluted to 33% and yet Canada (and the US) seems to have no issue with it being branded as whisky.  People should be in jail over this.  I will stop short of demanding that they also be forced to drink it twice daily as part of their punishment, as they might like it, but the idea did cross my mind.  If you like Fireball (and I guess a great many do) that is great, keep drinking it, it means more "proper" whisky for me.  If you want to make and sell something called Fireball, good luck but don't waste any more marketing dollars on me.  But if you call it whisky.... then a pox on you and your house.   If this was a small craft product I might have pulled my punches a little, I would never want anything on this site to come across as personal attack, but as it comes from Sazerac, a huge company with a great many real whisky (and whiskey) products I love, I feel OK about typing my mind.  The nose is cinnamon and sweet.  The taste reminded me of the cinnamon hot tamale candy. Has a cough syrup sweetness and gloopy mouthfeel, probably works better with ice. It's really not even that spicy hot.... at least make it hot of you are calling it Fireball!  The finish hangs around like gum on your shoe and is only slightly less desirable.