Glenmorangie The Original 10 Year
Single Malt — Highlands, ScotlandReviewed October 2, 2020 (edited October 9, 2020)Another decent “do no harm” dram. Could easily be a daily for the average sipper.
Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban 12 Year
Single Malt — Highlands, ScotlandReviewed October 2, 2020 (edited October 9, 2020)Off memory from a side-by-side tasting with Lasanta 12yr in Vegas last year Light and fruity notes on the nose and palate that can best be described as indistinguishable from a crowd of fruity single malts. I thought it was a tie with the Lasanta in terms of head-2-head rating, albeit on different profiles. I’ll revisit my review notes at a future date upon cracking my bottle. Also planning to do a side-by-side with the QR 14yr old. Cheers!
Glenmorangie Lasanta Sherry Cask Finish 12 Year
Single Malt — Highlands, ScotlandReviewed October 2, 2020 (edited October 11, 2020)Off memory from a side-by-side tasting with Quinta Ruban 12yr in Vegas last year (remember those days when you can just hit up Vegas for a conference?). This had a nice but lighter sherry and fruit notes on the nose and palate. Very generic as a sherried scotch, which ultimately came across as a thin sherry layer riding on top of the base spirit. No complaints but if looking for depth and complexity, look elsewhere. I will keep, and slow-roll my current [unopened mixed trio bottles from Costco] for those occasions when I’m introducing friends and inquiring novices to sherried whisky but once it’s gone, it’s gonzo forever. No replenishing of stock. Overall, I thought this was a draw with the QR in terms of the head-2-head comparison, albeit of different profiles. Will likely revisit notes at a later date. Stay tuned...
Jura Diurachs' Own 16 Year
Single Malt — Islands, ScotlandReviewed September 18, 2020 (edited September 30, 2020)Side-by-side tasting review of a three sample pack - Jura 10 Origin, Jura Superstition and Jura 16Yr (Diurachs). Haven’t heard glowing reviews for this distillery but I got the three-pack sample for a measly $5 so I figured, why not. Here we go! Sample two of three Nose : Tropical fruit roll-ups, chewy toffee, roasted vanilla bean. Can barely pick up the sherry. Palate - Sherry rancio melding with vanilla, meshing with oak spice. Relatively balanced. A splash of filtered water and some time in the glass (about 25 minutes) brings out some sweeter sherry fruit notes. Not sure how but I also now get the tiniest hint of smoke. The agua really opens this up to richer, fuller fruity notes. Medium finish. Overall a decent dram. Side-by-side score = 1 of 3.
Peated Single Malt — Islands, ScotlandReviewed September 18, 2020 (edited September 30, 2020)Side-by-side tasting review of a three sample pack - Jura 10 Origin, Jura Superstition and Jura 16Yr (Diurachs). Haven’t heard glowing reviews for this distillery but I got the three-pack sample for a measly $5 so I figured, why not. Here we go! Sample three of three Nose: Smoked caramel, honey and a bit of wood vanilla Palate - Good dose of honeyed fruits and highland peat upfront. However the two don’t seem to be on same page. They seem to dancing to different beats...one is doing the cha-cha and the other is doing a waltz. Not as well balanced or integrated as the 16Yr. Finish is a long and smoky with hard candy sweetness trailing right behind Overall, the sum of parts is less than the whole. The sweetness of the honey notes almost overpowers the whole thing. The peat smoke, while not seamlessly integrated, somewhat keeps things interesting. Side-by-side score = 3 of 3.
Jura Origin 10 Year
Single Malt — Islands, ScotlandReviewed September 18, 2020 (edited September 30, 2020)Side-by-side tasting review of a three sample pack - Jura 10 Origin, Jura Superstition and Jura 16Yr (Diurachs). Haven’t heard glowing reviews for this distillery but I got the three-pack sample for a measly $5 so I figured, why not. Here we go! Sample one of three Nose - brash, youthful ethanol. My very whiskey-novice friend described the nose this way “it singed my nose”. I did get soft notes of citrus, caramel, and light vanilla. Palate - malted caramel. Rough alcohol edges. More citrus and vanilla. A lot of rough edges on this one A little water and time in the glass brings out more vanilla & caramel. Bourbon cask on full display. Finish is short. Overall, forgettable. Side-by-side score = 3 of 3.
Loch Lomond 12 Year
Single Malt — Highlands , ScotlandReviewed September 6, 2020 (edited February 21, 2021)OK, I have a confession. I think my rating here is going the opposite direction of some of my other reviews, whereas I score drams lower when they don’t meet high expectations but this time, I went in with low expectations, and was pleasantly surprised by the nice balance and integration of the malt, cask and subtle smoke. One might wonder whether going in with a lower expectation set the bar such that it was easy to make a good impression. In all fairness, that’s possible. What’s good for the goose, is good for the gander? Let the vfm debate rage on. Let’s dive in to the actual experience shall we. The nose is balanced, oscillating between orchard fruits, caramel and vanilla goodness. The palate continues the balance of bourbon-like flavors. Comes across a bit creamy. A surprising appearance of VERY subtle peat-like smoke makes an ever so fleeting appearance mid-palate and finish. As mentioned, for a lesser-known 12Yr old highlander, I was expecting a so-so experience. Not helped by the fact that I picked up a liter-sized bottle from Heathrow dufry about 4 years ago (you all know my PoV about 1-liter dufry whiskeys...check Nikka from Barrel review). Don’t remember the exact amount I paid but it was less than £40. So as I’m tasting this, I’m thinking my mind (ummm, more like my tongue) is playing tricks on me and I’m not tasting what I’m tasting. I keep waiting for a gotcha moment like any minute now, it’ll all come crashing down but every time I go back for a pour or sip, it stands up to the test. It feels like I’m tasting 4 star dram but the specs suggest otherwise. This definitely punched above its weight class. Only knock is the shorter than normal finish and average complexity. Still, a dram I didn’t have a lot to complain about and will gladly go back to. I know I’ll get skewered for this but I gotta let my taste guide me here. This is an easy 3.5 - 3.75star, possibly 4star dram. If you disagree, come at me bro. Jk jk. Cheers friends!
Blended — JapanReviewed September 4, 2020 (edited September 7, 2020)Working Title: What’s My Lime? Honorable mention/runner up: Meet the Lemons! As you may have surmised from the title, this is a citrus lemon-lime show. First tried this at a bar and didn’t think much of it then. I mean, it tasted like whiskey. I just remember it being a very light, delicate and inoffensive tasting whiskey. I ended up picking up a bottle at Costco for $30 to continue building my Japanese whiskey taste library. Definitely a far cry and different vibe from Nikka From The Barrel (my first Japanese whiskey foray...check review). To the experience we go! Eye: Color is VERY light/pale yellow gold. Nose: Light ethanol and malt. Citrus zest...the lemon and lime kind. Not complex. Palate: Continues with the “light and delicate” theme. “Soft” mouthfeel. Citrus punch. Fluctuates between lemon and lime with a light drizzling of orange blossom honey. Some subtle wood spice and bitter orange rinds shows up mid-palate, and continues to cascade down the tongue through a short-medium finish. Overall, this is as close to an epitome of a light scotch whiskey as I can think of. Reminds me of Tomintoul 14yr -The Gentle Dram, from a texture and mouthfeel PoV. Would prolly make the list for good summer whiskies, it’s that light. If whiskey ever becomes a diet fad, this would be a main ingredient. I can see some “expert” talking head on tv describe this as low calorie/low fat dram. No major complaints. I see this as a non-cerebral, pastime dram. Something you sip on while grilling or doing monotonous chores, which don’t require much mental musings trying to pick out complex aromas.
Pikesville Straight Rye
Rye — Kentucky, USAReviewed August 29, 2020Quick Hit Review: Seattle Marriott hotel bar. Off memory - rich, full-bodied & flavorful rye. Not overwhelming spice but you can tell it’s there. Also makes a pretty good old-fashioned. Will revisit after I open my bottle.
Old Ezra 7 Year 101 Proof Bourbon
Bourbon — Kentucky, USAReviewed August 29, 2020 (edited February 13, 2021)Hands down one of the best vfm entry level bourbons out there! Rich caramel toffee & vanilla on the nose. Continues on the taste where milk chocolate and a bit of oak spice make an appearance on the palate and finish. This gets high marks for not giving up anything in taste and quality for such an affordable buy. Case helped by the fact that I picked up couple bottles on sale at Fine Wine & Good Spirits for ~$10 a bottle, while on a project in PA. If you’re looking for a rich, no fuss, yet satisfying and tasty bourbon, I highly recommend this! Solid 3.5stars. Cheers frendz! Btw, the regular 90 proof black label iteration is pretty decent as well.
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