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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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  • Simon Seaton

    Simon Seaton

    Wednesday, 25 March 2020 17:15

    Shieldaig 12 year old

    This is a 40% ABV, private label I picked up at Total Wines and More in Houston. The nose is malty with some floral honey notes. The taste has more honey, sugar and lemon. Like a hot toddy, but cold. Is there is a such a thing cold toddy? The finish is strong tea and warming spices like cloves and cinnamon. With water it is a little spicier with oak, tannin and even hints of smoke. Overall nothing offensive and considering this a value priced whisky I think it is pretty good.

    Wednesday, 25 March 2020 17:14

    Kilbrin

    It appears to be Total Wines and More in-house Irish brand, bottled at 40% abv but with no indication of provenance.   It must be special because it says “handcrafted” on the label as opposed to the usual stuff made by Irish Cyborg-Robot distillers. The nose is floral and light, some fruit and hints of oak. The taste is creamy and smooth with toffee, vanilla and even hints of peach. The finish gets spicier with some heat, chilli and tobacco. With a little water there is a sweet Juicy Fruit gum note as well.

    Overall a nicely balanced – spicier than your average – Irish whiskey.

    Sunday, 22 March 2020 13:56

    Manhattan Project: Experiment #49

    Location: Georgia James, Houston, TX

    Date: March 2020

    Price: $11.00 USD (22 x 2)

    Recipe: Menu says "Rye whiskey, sweet vermouth, angostura"

    Garnish: None

    Served: Rocks

    Comments: First "to go" Manhattan under relaxed TX laws due to COVID 19 was great one

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

    Saturday, 21 March 2020 20:07

    Wild Turkey Forgiven

    According to most sources… an accident. The story goes that Wild Turkey mistakenly blended small batch bourbon with high proof rye whiskey. Bottled at 45.5% ABV and this bottle came from Batch 303. The nose has a nutty, corn sweetness and grassy herbal notes. The taste is corn, sawdust and caramel. Very chewy, complex and good. Rye spice and cinnamon notes begin to push through and stay in the slightly hot finish along with peppermint.

    It tastes exactly like you might expect a bourbon and rye blend to taste. Funny that. Must try in a Manhattan.

    Saturday, 21 March 2020 19:58

    Bowmore 15 year old

    Avid readers of my blog (that means me, and to be honest I don’t even read this shit) will know that I loved the Bowmore 15 year Darkest expression and it often made my “must have” list. This is the replacement and bottled at same ABV%. The nose is sweet and malty with lemon peel. The taste is dried fruit cake, black treacle, chilli dark chocolate and sherry. The finish has black pepper, a light smokiness and damp oak wood. With water some more sugary notes and lemon marmalade.

    Still a very good example of smoke and sherry – maybe nostalgia - but I think I preferred the Darkest.

    Saturday, 21 March 2020 19:51

    Skrewball Peanut Butter Whiskey

    At 35% ABV and sweeter than your grandmother (not mine, yours) this is a liqueur and not a whiskey but is getting some traction in market the way Fireball did. The nose has ballpark crackerjacks, cough syrup, the inside of a candy store. The taste is sweet with more syrup and marshmallow notes. The peanut butter shows up a bit late but strong in finish along with barley sugar and finally some grainy alcohol notes.

    This is not whiskey. You may like it.

    Saturday, 21 March 2020 19:41

    Glenmorangie Bacalta

    In a distant galaxy, long long ago I wrote about Madeira finished Glenmorganie and it has become a unicorn whisky for me.  So I was delighted to see this release of a Malmsey Madeira cask finished Private Edition release at 46% ABV.

    The nose is sweet with raisins, fresh cut grass and citrus. The taste is brown sugar, maple syrup, plums. Milk chocolate and some spice that continues into finish with stewed black tea, ginger and oak. With water it becomes a little smoother and sweeter, even creamy. Overall this is complex, sweet, rich and a little bit awesome.

    In all honesty probably not a Unicorn, but definately a donkey with a horn on its head.  You would pay to see that right? Of course you would.

    Wednesday, 18 March 2020 18:49

    There's Life in the Old Blog Yet

    Like so many people around the world I am stuck in the house and working from home for at least 4 weeks (and probably more) so I am going to take this opportunity to catch up on my long neglected blog and post some whisky notes and reviews over the next month.  I tried to write a few tasting notes last night as a warm up and was shocked how out of shape my "tasting muscles" have become.  My notes looked as barren and empty as the toilet paper shelves in my local supermarket.  Much work to be done....

    Sunday, 15 March 2020 23:38

    Manhattan Project: Experiment #48

    Location: Oyster Bar, NY, NY

    Date: March 2020

    Price: $14.00 USD

    Recipe: Makers Mark, Sweet Vermouth, Angostora Bitters

    Garnish: 1 orange peel

    Served: Rocks

    Comments: Classic components to make excellent Manhattan in Manhattan at reasonable price

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

    Sunday, 15 March 2020 23:29

    Manhattan Project: Experiment #47

    Location: Le Bernadin, NY, NY

    Date: March 2020

    Price: $21.00 USD

    Recipe: Michter's Rye, Montanaro Dry Vermouth, Amaro Averna, Bendictine, Angostora Bitters

    Garnish: 1 black cherry

    Served: Up

    Comments: Complex and expensive but not sure about the Dry Vermouth, lacked sweetness.

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

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    Random Whisky

    Yoichi 15 year old

    The Yoichi 10 year old was my first Japanese whisky and made a very positive impression. This is also good. The nose had smoke, reminded me of barbecue and smoked salmon rather than peaty Scottish smoke. The taste is creamy and sweet, smoke still around along with milk chocolate and fruitiness. Suggests sherry casks to me. Smoke lingers through finish and dries out nicely. Subtle smokiness done really well. Some scotch whiskies could learn from this.