Glenfarclas 17 Year
Single Malt — Highlands, ScotlandTastedNose: Orange craisin scones with light icing. Things turn a bit darker with brown-sugared oatmeal with loads and loads of raisins and dates. I've never found a whiskey with such a prevalent scent of dried fruits and berries - specifically the "dried" aspect. There's that stale, almost mineral-like scent that shows up when dried berries sit for a while. More earthy notes show up as it sits, something like sweet, mulchy wood. Palate: Sweet and refreshing! Just like the nose, it's all oatmeal and cranberries. Up front it's slightly tart/bright cranberry, but as it sits it turns to that sweet/earthy note of dates and raisins. Man, I love that butterscotch that shows up now - I made these cranberry, butterscotch, cinnamon, oatmeal cookies a few years back and this is the exact same thing... I might need to make those again. Finish: That lasts and lasts... It doesn't change much from the craisin oatmeal breakfast, though a bit of orange shows up again after a while. That butterscotch hangs around for quite a while and then is joined by a sweet smokey note that is hard to pin down. Conclusion: Cranberries. Oatmeal. Butterscotch. I'm a huge fan of all three and I'm loving this. I'll definitely pick this up whenever I find it at a good price!
Weller Antique 107
Bourbon — Kentucky, USATastedNose: Rather earthy and oaky up front, followed by subdued herbal notes. Cinnamon and dark wildflower honey come next, but still with a heavy earthy scent. Buttery biscuits, chocolate, and molasses show up after a bit with some heavy vanilla cream to round it off. Reminds me a bit of a chocolate eclair. Palate: Loads of cinnamon! It's an explosion of baking spice, toothpicks, and corn dust. There's also a rather floral vanilla note followed by a surprising malt note. Just more and more spices as it sits! Burnt brown sugar and a slightly sweet smokiness come in at the end. Finish: Looooong... This lasts and lasts! The dominant notes are earth corn dust, vanilla, chocolate, and brown sugar. Conclusion: Phenomenal bourbon. Enough earth and spice to balance the sweetness (thank god, super sweet bourbons are not my favorite). This really is like a chocolate eclair with baking spices dusted over the top!
Colonel E.H. Taylor, Jr. Single Barrel Bourbon
Bourbon — Kentucky, USATastedNose: A huge amount of fruit up front - cherry, orange, peach, and something almost tropical. A little bit of spice and oak, but not a ton of the usual bourbon caramel or vanilla. After a bit of time in the glass, big notes of brown sugar and molasses to dominate everything else. Palate: Unlike the smell, the taste is all spice and caramel/corn sweetness. Lots of cinnamon, dark honey, leather, and a hint of vanilla. As it sits, more and more spice appear, though it never loses that corn caramel sugar. Finish: Medium length. Mostly corn dust, soft oak, vanilla, and leather. Conclusion: I think I actually like the nose the best. Super fruity at first, though that sadly disappears as it sits. Every flavor in here is big and bold, nothing really tries to hide. It's a great bourbon, I just wish the nose stayed fruity.
Peerless Kentucky Straight Rye
Rye — Kentucky, USATastedNose: Big fruity notes of cherry and peach subside into a vanilla/cinnamon cream. Reminds be of a cherry or peach cream cheese danish! Underneath that breakfast pastry base is a a sour oak and rye note that is hard to identify - kind of like wet wood. Palate: Sweet and oily on the tongue. Big bursts of cinnamon, clove, and vanilla cream. There is a surprising large wood influence for such a young whiskey. There's just the slightest hint of that classic rye herbal note that I usually find offputting, but it's dialed back enough for me to really enjoy this. Finish: Rather lengthy and sweet. The dominating notes are of vanilla and caramel. A little corn dust and leather creep in toward the end along with an unmistakable pecan flavor. Conclusion: I've found another rye I actually enjoy! I like the spicy breakfast pastry flavors it reminds of quite a bit. It's a bit pricy for the liquid inside, but I'd buy it if I found a deal.
Hancock's President's Reserve Single Barrel Bourbon
Bourbon — Kentucky, USATastedNose: Spicy and Sweet! Lots of spicy herbal notes - mint, rye spice, tobacco, white pepper. A little bit of alcohol bite, but not too harsh. Palate: surprisingly sweet at first. Definitely a bit of rye kick in there with all the same notes that the nose with a a dose of cinnamon as well. Finish: pretty long and slightly dry. Mostly dominated by cinnamon and sweet corn. Conclusion: It's a high rye bourbon. Yup.
Colonel E.H. Taylor, Jr. Straight Rye Bottled in Bond
Rye — Kentucky, USATastedNose: A surprisingly fruity nose opens up into a moderate amount of spicy rye, but none of that caraway that I dread in ryes. A bit of earthy tobacco and pine sits back a ways while light honey sweetens up the front. For a 100 proof, there's next to no ethanol burn. It's hard to pinpoint the fruity character - almost fruitcake-like I'd say. Something like a bitter, spicy chocolate back there as well. Palate: Sweet and thick on the tongue, without any real heat. Load of cinnamon, oak, and rye spice! Old leather and sweet honey come in after the first spice kick. Finish: Medium length and slightly dry. That leather, tobacco, earthy sweetness dominates with subtle herbs flickering one now and then. Water turns the nose into an explosion of tropical fruits, heavily oiled leather, barrel char, and deep pit fruits! The liquid thins out a bit and loses much of it's sweetness and gets actually rather dull. The Finish is a bit spicier, with sweet molasses note. Conclusion: I almost exclusively hate ryes. If I even get a hint of that characteristic caraway/dill note my stomach turns and I usually don't end up finish the glass. This however, is a great whiskey, none of that caraway nausea, just spicy, resinous fruit syrup. If I could find more ryes like this, it might change my mind about the category as a whole.
Elijah Craig Barrel Proof Bourbon
Bourbon — Kentucky, USATastedNose: Big citrus and cherry on the front end followed by an ethanol bite and a bit of sharp minty/herbal note. There's some sort of spicy, yet cooling herbs and a real amount of oak. Thick, dark molasses and caramel on the nose now, with an almost burnt sugar and oak twist at the end. Brown sugar syrup hides the herbs after it sits for a bit. Palate: Hot and mouthcoating. Wow, that is an explosion of hot, spicy, corn! There is no hiding that 61.1%abv, which I don't know if I particularly like here. Immediately after that heat, there's a fleeting (very fleeting) grapefruit and lime note that I'm really surprised by, like this bitter/sour/floral type of thing that is hard to describe. There so much cinnamon and spice packed in here that the cherry and vanilla are hidden a bit, but still there. Caramel and corn sweetness round out that hot start. Finish: Medium length and mouthwatering. That initial spice and heat burst doesn't last long. The next wave is the sweeter fruit and vanilla, but the subtle corn and caramel lasts for some time. Every once in a while that herbal/oaky note comes back for a visit. water doesn't really do great things for the nose on this, it pretty much turns into a citrus-scented cleaning solvent. On the tongue, however, it becomes this thick, velvety syrup that feels like you can actually chew on it! Much less heat and so much more oak and spice now, that almost too-sweet caramel turns into a really nice almost-burnt toffee that goes really well with all that barrel char. That little bit of water makes this last and last! It's kind of like repeatedly liking the inside of a charred barrel that's been coated in caramel. Wow, this is so much better with water. Conclusion: I'm really not blown away with this stuff straight from the bottle, in fact, I don't think I'd ever order a glass even for a great price. It's just too hot, and not in a good way either. I've had some great barrel proofs that are nice and warming with enough strong flavors to break through that ethanol. This, however, is just hot for the sake of being hot. After adding a pretty generous amount of water this becomes something I'd order everyday! Though the nose is not something to call home about, the smokey toffee that shines through is the perfect thing for a cold night!
J.J. Corry The Gael Irish Whiskey
Blended — IrelandTastedNose: Loads of bright red fruits and toasty malt notes! There's some candied orange peel, berry syrup, oak spice, and dry shortbread cookies with a bit of icing sugar. Floating above all the fruit is a bit of spice that's a bit hard to separate from the ethanol burn, but helps to balance the sweetness. Palate: Thick, sweet, and syrupy on the tongue. It's an explosion of tropical fruits like I've never tasted in a whiskey! Orange and lime citrus, something like sweet, sweet mango, and some light honey to bind it all together. There's a base of deeply toasted malt that is much fuller than many malt-forward whiskies. Finish: Short to medium length and slightly dry in the back. It's a tropical fruit bomb the whole way, like a stick of Juicy Fruit gum. Conclusion: I've never found so much tropical fruit in a whiskey before! The closest I can remember is probably Teeling's Small Batch. There's a gorgeous balance of sweet fruit sugars, sour tropical acidity, spice, and rounded malt - all of whoch are pretty powerful in there, so the balance is necessary. It's a bit pricey, but I love the liquid and the brand, so I'd buy a bottle if I somehow found one on the shelf in the US. I keep coming back to taste it, it's refreshing and draws me back again and again - I think I like it more every time! Again, it just gets better and better, now I definitely want to find a full bottle of this...
Dingle Single Malt Batch No. 3
Single Malt — IrelandTastedNose: Bit of an ethanol burn at first. After the hot start, its just a warm field of barley. There's a bit of an herbal punch back there with a bit of warm wildflower honey. Sweet, light butter and a slight orange citrus, more spice and a bit of toffee. Palate: Thick, sweet and deceivingly oily! The front of the tongue explodes with spicy herbal notes and oak spice while the back is a rolling wave of red fruit and floral honey. Sweet butter and deep malt envelope it all and persist into the finish. It's hard to keep track of everything going on because its wave after wave of changing flavors. There's something resembling a slightly smoked plum or grape in the middle that gives way to dry orange shortbread flavor. Finish: Long, warm, and slightly dry. The finish is definitely malt dominated, like a mouthful of sweet grain, vanilla honey, and a slight orange citrus. Conclusion: My heart sunk after taking a sniff of this - pretty one-dimensional and not all that much going on beneath the enthanol burn - but damn, a single sip of this takes you for a ride! It's this roiling, thick , sweet whiskey that continually changes between honey, spice, fruit, and loads of malt. You can taste the buttery grain for longer than it takes me to type this whole review. I'm glad I bought a whole bottle for myself along with this sample. Wouldn't hesitate to spend even a bit more on a bottle, though it'd definitely be an "occasion whiskey".89.0 USD per Bottle
Octomore Masterclass 08.2/167
Peated Single Malt — Islay, ScotlandTastedNose: That caramelized fruit syrup at the bottom of a fruitcake pan and then a leathery, deep, resinous smoke. There's just a bit of sharpness at the end, like a minty, burnt scent. Lots of toffee and dark caramel, and buttery smoke. There's also a hint of sweet raisins and figs in there, as well as light sultanas. Palate: Definitely spicy at first and surprisingly thin. Almost like a super spicy rye at first - it's an explosion of spice.Then there's every type of smokiness you could imagine - burnt sugar, bonfire, barbeque, rubber, and almost burnt toast. Definitely buttered toast and smokey malt. Definitely some smoked bacon, that sweet fatty smoke. Finish: Looking and dry. The smoke comes in everchanging waves brining in a smoked sweet almond note. There's a burnt sugar or molasses sweetness that hides under that smokey buttered toast. After a couple sips the oak shows up as a dense, waxy bitter wood note.