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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, 21 March 2018 09:56

    Dodd's Old Tom Small Batch Gin

    Old Tom is a sweeter style of gin that has fallen out of favour compared to the far more common London Dry gins.  I am obliged to mention that Dodd's comes from The London Distillery Company, the same TLDC that I am a Director and shareholder in, so I am not in any way "neutral" when it come to this product line and that is the only reason there is any gin at all on my "whisky" website.  The Old Tom expression is bottled at 46% ABV compared to Dodd's which is bottled at 50% ABV.  The nose is herbal with citrus peel.  The taste is very soft, even creamy, and sweet with more citrus, honey and a hint of caramel.  The finish is, of course, short and clean.  It is not massively complex (it is a white, unaged spirit) but makes a sweeter, excellent G&T especially with a good squeeze of lime to work in harmony with the citrus notes in the gin.   I recently tasted at the distillery a barrel aged verson of Old Tom and I thought the oak worked well with the sweetness and complimented the slight caramel notes of Old Tom.  Go out and buy some.  Please.

    Saturday, 10 March 2018 22:58

    Manhattan Project: Experiment #37

    Location: Oak Bar, Park Hyatt, Buenos Aires, Argentina

    Date: March 2018

    Price: $ 250 Argentine Pesos ($12.36 USD)

    Recipe: No recipe but saw Bulliett Bourbon being poured

    Garnish: Lemon peel

    Served: Rocks

    Comments: Was told it was best Manhattan in Buenos Aires but lacked punch (maybe to little bitters?) for me. A little too washed out on the rocks.

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

    Friday, 16 February 2018 10:59

    Elijah Craig Small Batch

    This "no age statement" expression replaced the 12 year old Elijah Craig in 2016.  The nose has vanilla, popcorn and toasted oak.  Oily and peppery on palate, a little honey but not as sweet as nose suggests. Not as balanced as I would like but a little water helped and brought up some caramel sweetness and apple tartness.

    This ten year old expression was bottled to celebrate Houston’s Reserve 101’s tenth anniversary and chosen by Mike Raymond (@whiskeyrevolt). The nose is an amazing fruit-fest with strong notes of prunes and plums. The taste is a little hot and chewy when neat, black sour cherries, Parma Violets, esters and oak furniture polish. The finish is spicy; chilli infused prune juice. This needs a few drops of water to claim it down and bring up sweet toffee notes.

    Friday, 16 February 2018 10:56

    Red Breast Lustau Edition

    The nose on this sherry led expression has sweet bananas, dried fruit and burnt sugar notes. The taste is incredibly smooth on the palate, sweet red fruits, vanilla, green grass and a spicy finish with chilli and oak. With water this falls apart a little with some notes of marshmallow and citrus. A very drinkable and sweet whisky but probably not my favorite Red Breast.

    Friday, 16 February 2018 10:55

    Beam's Eight Star

    I had never seen this before it was offered to me as a free drink at hotel happy hour in early 2018. Even at "free" it was still a little over priced. It is a 40% ABV blend of neutral grain spirit and straight whiskey. The nose is quite light and woody with some hints of vanilla.   The taste – if you want to call it that – is thin and lacking in sweetness with a slightly spicy, woody finish. This one is more about what you don’t taste than what you do.  If it is an “eight star” whisky then I can only assume it is 8 / 100.

    Tuesday, 02 January 2018 12:14

    Dalmore Regalis

    The nose has vanilla, spices and cherrywood (or at least what I imagine cherry wood would smell like which is basically cherries and wood).  The taste is nutty, with tobacco, raspberry, caramel and milk chocolate.  The finish is woody, spicy with some cigar smoke.  With water it gets sweeter with ripe banana, more caramel and more tobacco in finish.  Overall a very nice, 40% ABV, sherry finished travel retail expression from Dalmore.

    Tuesday, 02 January 2018 10:42

    Glenfiddich Project XX

    This 47% ABV expression is the second in the Glenfiddich Experimental Series.  The XX refers to the 20 brand ambassadors who selected the casks that went into this bottling.  The nose has sweet malt, digestive biscuits, vanilla, brown sugar and cooked fruits.  Fresh baked fruit crumble with custard.  The taste is sweet with burnt sugar, citrus peel and spices.  There is more spice and black pepper in the finish and some chewy oak notes.   With water I get more brown sugar and even some milk chocolate notes.  Complex and delicious I really enjoyed this and can be submitted as further evidence that Glenfiddich is very often and unfairly overlooked by many malt fans.

    Tuesday, 02 January 2018 10:30

    Jameson Caskmates Stout Edition

    I was very pleasantly surprised by this 40% ABV, travel retall expression.  It far exceeded my admittedly low expectations and became my Christmas 2017 "go-to" drink.  I refuse to say 'dram' in this case because it is of course Irish and not Scotch.   The nose is rich and oily, lemon furniture polish combined with sweet cocoa.  The taste is very smooth and creamy with cocoa and coffee.  I wrote down "tiramisu" in my notes which I think captures the creamy sweetness very well.   The finish has a lttle bite to balance the taste with some black pepper and bitter citrus peel.  With water some toffee notes that just further highllight the many dessert-like qualites of this one.   I really liked and so smooth and sweet I think it might be a good one to try on someone who insists they don't like whiskey.

    Tuesday, 02 January 2018 10:20

    Laphroaig PX Cask

    I have often commented on my fondness for smoke and sherry so I have been waiting a while to try this 48% ABV travel expression.  The nose is smokey and peaty, straight to the point.  No  cask finishing can disguise the fact this is Laphroaig.  The smoke somes through in the taste as well but with lots of sweet dried fruits like currents and sultanas and vanilla.  The Pedro Ximinez sherry delivers sweetness and balance.  The finish is long and peppery.  With water it gets even sweeter with caramel and the smoke is reduced and replaced by more of charcoal ash note, so I would stick with drinking neat for this one.   This is probably not something you would choose every day or recommend for every occasion but at the right time you will be glad that you had a bottle of this around as it is great dram.

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    Belgian Owl Cask Strength

    Let start with the fact this is from Belgium.  Surprised?  Don't be.  In fact it makes perfect sense as whisky is derived from distilled beer and Belgium knows a thing or three about beer.  Based on this whisky they also know a bit about whisky too.  This is the cask strength version that comes in a 20 cl bottle and an astonishing 76.1% ABV.  Recent chatter on a whisky bloggers Facebook page could not identify a stronger whisky!  It begs the question what ABV it went in the cask at?  For the whisky pedants out there (you know who you are) my bottle came from cask number 4276140 (although I seriously doubt they have over 4 million casks of this stuff) and was bottled after 60 months.  The nose once (or if) you can get past the alcohol is a vanillafest, sweet with some fresh sawdust notes.   The taste... wow.  With water (yes you need water and don't bother faffing around with pipettes or droppers) is quite oily with banana custard, marshmallow, pepper and some nuttiness.  The finish leaves your mouth feeling as if it has been hit by the whisky bus as the alcohol dries out.  Not massively complex perhaps but has developed some richness (albeit lurking behind the alcohol) for a 5 year old whisky.