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My Handcrafted Opinions on Whiskies, Distilleries and Other Related Stuff

Most Recent Whisky

Most Recent Whisky Review

Jura Prophecy

I have said it before and I will say it again, I do regret never going to Jura when I had the chance because the more I try their whisky the more I like it.  The label describes this 46% ABV expression as "heavily peated" which might be a slight overstatement, but I did like it and my prophecy is I that will drink this again sometime.     The nose was more smoky than peaty, with lots of citrus peel and dried fruits that also came through in the taste, along with sweet, sugary marmalade - even jammy - notes and a oily, mouthcoating  richness.  Very approachable and morish (moorish?).  The oily, smokey and slightly bitter, burnt wood notes in the finish balance the sweetness well.  If I still rated whiskies with stars this would get some. 

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  • Simon Seaton

    Simon Seaton

    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

    Monday, 28 October 2019 19:19

    Glenfiddich Fire and Cane

    This release is part of the Glenfiddich Experimental series and bottled at 43% ABV (which is quite unusual from Glenfiddich).   It is a peated malt that is finished in rum casks, hence the Fire and Cane (as in sugarcane)  name.  The nose is smokey, but more camp fire rather than strong peat.  Fire before the Cane.  The taste is spicy and nutty, chocolate, pepper, brown sugar and some honey and a hint of the phenol from peat.  The finish is a little hot, like eating burnt cake batter off a wooden spoon.  Water brings up more brown sugar and some lemon peel.  Very nicely done but not sure I would pair peat and rum casks, personnally I prefer peat and sherry casks.

    Monday, 28 October 2019 19:12

    Woodford Reserve Rye

    For the whiskey pedants this tasting was from bottle 3532 of batch 0194 which was bottled at 45.2% ABV.  The nose had familiar notes of fresh corn and spearmint chewing gum.   The taste was fresh cut grass, more mint, diet soda, lemon peel and milk chocolate.  The finish had peppercorns, charred oak and yet more mint, this time perhaps peppermint. A classic rye with all the grassy, minty, chocolately rye notes I am used too. 

    Monday, 28 October 2019 19:07

    Manhattan Project: Experiment #46

    Location: Perry's Steakhouse, Houston, Texas

    Date: October 2019

    Price: $15.00 USD

    Recipe: Redemption Rye with Vya Vermouth and bitters

    Garnish: 2 Luxardo cherries

    Served: Up

    Comments: Great and nicely balanced Manhattan but could have been chilled more.  Maybe next time I will try on the rocks.

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

    Monday, 24 June 2019 17:52

    Bellevoye Bleu

    If you had not of heard of this French blended malt you are not alone, because it was new to me as well when I saw it in the Air France Lounge in Paris.  A little online research suggests this is a blend of 3 single malts of different regions of France and finished in new French oak casks.  It is bottled at 40% ABV but nosed like it was much stronger.  Very feisty and malty with barnyard, floral and even perfurmed notes in the nose.  Hot and sweet on the palate with some flashes of toffee which were quickly masked by pepper and even a slightly acrid smokey note.  The finish has some chilli heat with a hint of lemon peel marmalade.  A splash of water improves it greatly, smooths out the grainy mouth feel and brings out some more fruity and sweet flavours.  It is not bad but posseses little elegance or sophistication so in that respect it is not a very French French whisky.

    Monday, 24 June 2019 17:46

    Bushmills Port Cask

    This is the third expression in the Bushmills Steamship Collection travel retail series and the most expensive.  There is lots of red fruits and wine in the nose.  The mouthfeel is smooth and the taste has dates, digestive biscuits, red grape skins, cinnamon and a little oak which carries into the finish.  With water it gets much sweeter and even smoother with an almost glassy mouthfeel and toffee.  Even at 40% ABV this needs a little water.   A very smooth, easy drinking Irish whiskey and maybe the first in this series I might order instead of my go to Bushmills product Black Bush (....unless I am paying).

    Monday, 29 April 2019 03:29

    Out of the Whisky Wilderness

    I am very happy to announce that I will returning to Houston Texas this summer after almost 4 years working overseas.   Most of that time has been spent in Dubai which has not been a great place to blog about whisky but once I am back in Texas I hope to refresh the website (which is well overdue) and promise to try and post more regular blogs and whisky reviews that everyone out there can then just ignore much more frequently.  In summary, everything will be just like it was before....

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    Random Whisky

    Kilchoman Machir Bay (2012 Release)

    This whisky is named after a great beach on Islay near the distillery that I have been lucky enough to visit.  How best to describe the nose on this one?  I know... peat.  There are some beach notes as well and something else sweet flashes by as well... possibly caramel.  The taste has more of the sweetness from the nose, but the peat quickly kicks in.  Behind the peat there is some vanilla and even oranges hiding.  With a little water the peats settles down and the caramel finally emerges.  The finish has peat of course, some fruit and a little pepper on the lips.  Peat leads throughout but always something hiding behind... like a game of peek-a-boo.  Peat-a-boo perhaps?