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  1. Knob Creek Small Batch Specially Bottled for Longhorn Steakhouse

    Bourbon — Kentucky , USA

    Tasted April 10, 2021
    4.0
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    KC 9YR (Longhorn Steakhouse Selection) featuring Rackhouse L NOSE: Oak. Peanut Shell. Brown Sugar. Clove. Cinnamon. Orange Peel. Empty glass is all Oak NEAT: Dry Oak. Peanut. Vanilla. Maple. Musty Hay. Warming Medium Length Finish with a lingering Musty Oak & Vanilla coating the palate. SPLASH: A little water and you get a little Pink Bubblegum on the Palate. VERDICT: Found this while traveling and can find nothing about it. I can find info on Single Barrel Longhorn selections, but this is the Standard 9YR Small Batch with a small sticker proclaiming “featuring Rackhouse L”. I’m anxious to get home and try this beside a regular bottling, as I believe it features a musty quality (which I love) that I don’t recall getting from regular KC9.
    40.0 USD per Bottle
  2. Ezra Brooks Kentucky Straight Bourbon 99 Proof

    Bourbon — Kentucky, USA

    Tasted April 9, 2021
    3.25
    3.25 out of 5 stars
    EZRA 99 NOSE: Simplistic. Dusty Oak, Peanut Butter Cup, Vanilla, and a Light Vegetal Note. NEAT: Medium Mouthfeel. Oak, Vanilla, and Peanut up Front. Cinnamon and Tannins on the Mid to Back Palate. Nice KY Hug on the Medium Length Finish, with Oak & Cinnamon coating the Palate. SPLASH: A Hint of Lemon shows up on the Nose. Vanilla & Peanut become the dominant Palate notes. Becomes a little more "Drying". VERDICT: Solid and Dependable. About what I expected. If this were a "value based bottle" ala the standard issue Ezra Brooks 90 proof, I could see this being a staple, but that $25 price tag (nearly double the standard issue 90 proof) puts it square in WT101 territory which is a much better whiskey. I don't see this being a repeat buy unless I find it on sale.
    25.0 USD per Bottle
  3. Smoke Wagon Straight Bourbon Whiskey

    Bourbon — Las Vegas, Nevada , USA

    Tasted April 2, 2021
    3.75
    3.75 out of 5 stars
    Smoke Wagon SBW APPEARANCE: Surprisingly darker in color than it should be for its age. The packaging with its crossed revolvers and Latin slogan, paired with the marketing found on their website, tells me I'm not among the target audience they're shooting for (see what I did there) but it's a decent enough looking bottle for the shelf. NOSE: Starts off with a lot of Florality. Followed by Soft Pink Bubblegum, Dry Dusty Oak, Vanilla, Brown Sugar, and Dry Corn. Very similar to 4 Roses. Not overly complex, but very nice. NEAT: Much like the nose, Simple but Solid. Pencil Shavings and Root Beer up front. Rye Spice and Oak on the backend. Short to Medium Length Finish with mild KY Hug. Bubble Gum and Rye Spice coat and layer on the palate. SPLASH: A few drops of water and the Nose gets Clove and Black Licorice. The Licorice transfers over to the Palate as well along with an extra helping of Oak. I'm really enjoying the layering tingly coating that continues to build as you drink it. VERDICT: Bought this one without any knowledge of what it was (other than figuring that it was MGP), but figured it was worth a shot for $35. Not a bad price for decently aged MGP. This is in the same price range (and flavor palate) as Bulleit, 4RSmB, Elijah Craig, etc and it holds it own. Not one I'll seek out, but I could see this being a repeat buy if the mood should strike.
    35.0 USD per Bottle
  4. George Dickel Tennessee Single Barrel 15 Year

    Tennessee — Tennessee, USA

    Tasted March 30, 2021
    1.5
    1.5 out of 5 stars
    I'm going to start this review by saying how jealous I am seeing all of you who got your Dickel 15 from a good barrel. My review is for a bottle of the 84 proof, ordered from Blackwell's Liquor (My FOMO caused me to order a bottle in case it came and went in NC before I could grab it). If you've been a member of Distiller longer than 15 minutes, you no doubt have learned that I am an unabashed Cascade Hollow Fanboy. That's why it pains me to have to write the following review. If this current bottle should improve, I will definitely revisit it. APPEARANCE: Great Dark Mahogany coloring. The only identification found on the label is "Bottle 48". NOSE: Best part of this Whisky. By a Mile. Pencil Shavings, Juicy Fruit Gum, Gooey Brown Sugar, Peach, Lemon Pudding, Hints of Floral and Unlit Cigar. Complex. The more time you spend with it the more you are rewarded. I was totally stoked to taste this obvious Nectar of the Gods. NEAT: Odd Citrus. Lemony. That Neon Yellow Lemon Pudding in the little snack cups, Lemon Pledge, Dry Fruity Pebbles or Froot Loops Cereal, A lot of Tannic Bitter Oak on the Mid-palate, Cinnamon, and Unsweetened Cocoa Powder. More Drying Oak Tannins on the back end along with a tingly heat. Bitter Oak and more of the Odd Lemon note coat the Palate after a too hot for its 84 proof finish. SPLASH: Helps some by reducing the bitterness and heat while giving the Oak a more Musty Character, but I'm afraid this is beyond saving. That dominant Synthetic Lemon is still just too much. VERDICT: After some time open, I was hoping a second and third try would help. If anything, it was worse. Knowing that the Artificial Lemon was present made it impossible to ignore. Absolutely none of the Maple and Banana and Char that I love from Dickel. What a letdown after the absolutely wonderful Nose. The Barrel Select, 9 Year Single Barrel, and 11 & 13 Year BIB's are miles ahead of this (Hell, the No.8 and Superior No. 12 are much better). I have discovered that more time in wood gives Dickel heavy fruity notes, but I've never associated any of those notes with "Lemon Pledge" until now. I hope with all my heart that this is just an outlier barrel as Dickel has NEVER let me down before. I've heard that the higher proof offerings (there are several different proof points offered) are better, and I hope so. I was able to find the 96 proof offering at my local store. Luckily (or unluckily, we shall see) I picked up a bottle before trying this one. I will hope for a much better experience and report back after trying.
    60.0 USD per Bottle
  5. Maker's Mark Wood Finishing Series 2021 FAE-01

    Bourbon — Kentucky, USA

    Tasted March 28, 2021
    4.5
    4.5 out of 5 stars
    MM Limited Edition FAE-01 NOSE: Great nose with Lots of Charred Dry Wood, Light Nuttiness, Inside of a Humidor, Heavy Burnt Sugar. BBQ Sauce? Honeysuckle/Floral Notes in the background. A substantial Sting from the 110proof. Raisins and Dried Cherries on the Empty Glass. NEAT: Like the Nose, Dry Charred Oak dominates. Once your Palate gets accustomed to the Heavy Oak, you get notes of Pipe Tobacco, Molasses, Raisins, and Dried Cherries. There are a lot of Tannins here, but they manage to stay on the Sweet (and not bitter) side while still giving you a Mouth Drying Tingle. Great Mouthfeel, Thick & Coating. Long Finish with a great Layering Musty Oak/Dark Fruit Coating that sticks around long after the pour is finished. SPLASH: Takes some of the Heat from the Nose. Notes of Cocoa, Mint, and Moist Chewing Tobacco emerge. The Palate becomes less drying and takes on the illusion of Carbonation. The Oak becomes more Musty and Less Drying in nature. Now I'm getting Prune Juice (which I hate in real-life, but like as a note in my whiskey) which reminds me of childhood weeks spent with my favorite set of Grandparents. I probably won't try it, but I'm sure this would be great with a large cube of ice. VERDICT: I didn't think I'd find this one locally, so I wasn't even looking. I was perusing the Bourbon aisle at my local and didn't see anything that piqued my interest, so on the way out I did what I always do...(don't laugh) take a swing by the Maker's Mark to see if there's a Slam Dunk. Sitting innocently camouflaged by the regular 46 was a row of this. Grabbed two and I'm glad I did. I really like it. Unique Nose and Palate. Great, Thick Body. Long Oaky Finish. With a Splash, this is up there for best MM I've had. If you see it for its MSRP of $60, I'd say get two.
    60.0 USD per Bottle
  6. The Glenlivet Caribbean Reserve

    Single Malt — Speyside, Scotland

    Tasted March 3, 2021
    4.0
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    The Glenlivet Caribbean Reserve NOSE: The Rum influence is evident from the start. The normal Heather, Apple and Honey, are joined by Pineapple, Vanilla Bean, Molasses, Butterscotch Discs, and Seabreeze. With time, the Pineapple and Butterscotch become dominant. NEAT: The Rum influence is not as strong on the palate. It dominates the nose, but is more of a supporting player here. It is overall a tick sweeter, than G12, but the usual Apple, Pear, Honey, Smoke, and Leather are first up. There is some Youthful Prickly Heat to remind you that it's NAS. The Rum notes join the backend and finish, leaving a nice layering coating of Oily Molasses, Leather, Oak, and Pineapple. SPLASH: With a few drops of water, both nose and palate become Floral. Almost Perfumed and the Leather on the finish gets turned way up. VERDICT: The original 12yr and I got off to a rough start. I picked up a 50ml sample and wasn't fond of it at all. In fact, in the battle of the Glens, I had the 12 ranked behind Glenfiddich. Then, on a whim, I began ordering it while dining out and began to really appreciate it. In fact, it's earned a spot in my regular rotation. The Caribbean Reserve is equally good. Rum is probably the biggest hole in my Spirits resume as I just can't get into it. I tend to find it "chemically" tasting. Caribbean Reserve hints at that, but it's well balanced by the character of the Speyside Malt. Despite being NAS, this $40 Single Malt is definitely one I can see having a permanent spot in the collection.
    40.0 USD per Bottle
  7. Proper No. Twelve Irish Whiskey

    Blended — Ireland

    Tasted March 3, 2021
    3.75
    3.75 out of 5 stars
    Proper No. Twelve NOSE: Starts Floral, backed by Dusty Oak. It's joined by Oatmeal with Brown Sugar and Maple. Just a hint of Orchard Fruit. A little Sourness. Simple and Pleasant. NEAT: DEFINITELY Irish. Enters Slightly Sweet and Floral. Vanilla, Sugar Cookie, Malt Cereal, Leather, and Toasted Oak. Simple and Pleasant, like the nose. Not much of a Finish, but again...Irish and 80 Proof. That makes this very sippable. That Slight Sourness from the nose shows up on the aftertaste, but not as predominant as I've gotten from other similarly priced Irish (I'm looking at you Sexton). SPLASH: I highly recommend a few drops with this one, despite the low proof. A little water really helped counteract the Sourness I was getting, without muddling the rest of the palate. VERDICT: I went into this expecting to not like it and was pleasantly surprised. This is a dangerously "Smooth" easy sipper. Similarly priced to the Black Bush on the norm, but on sale this month for around the same as the White and Red. For that price? Definitely a winner by TKO over standard Bush and Jameson. At it's normal price? I'd go with the Black Bush, but it's close. Very nearly 4 Stars, but I'll round down.
    26.0 USD per Bottle
  8. Bulleit 10 Year Bourbon

    Bourbon — Kentucky, USA

    Tasted February 20, 2021
    4.0
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    Bulleit 10 NOSE/APPAERANCE: The best looking of the Bulleit labels. The Off-White with Black Lettering and the bold orange "10" really pops. Great Amber color with Clingy Fat Legs. Nose starts off with a light Floral Element. Followed by Butterscotch, Sticky Brown Sugar. With time it becomes Drier in nature. Think Spice Cabinet with notes of Clove, Cinnamon Stick, and Allspice. NEAT: My first pour of this was much sweeter in character. I used notes like Grape Jam and Vanilla Coke. Subsequent pours have had a Drier character that I liked MUCH better. Oak Heavy without being Tannic. Freshly Grated Cinnamon Stick, Clove, Allspice, and Dry Cocoa Powder. Medium Length Finish with with building KY Hug low in the chest. A nice Layering Coating of Musty Oak and Cinnamon coats the palate. SPLASH: A few drops of water Sweeten it just a bit (but nowhere near as sweet as the first pour). The Oaky Finish is even better as the Musty Funk becomes a little more prominent. A little Pink Bubblegum sugar comes in on the coating as well. VERDICT: This is on sale this month for $45. I eyed it for a couple weeks before deciding to give it a try. I really didn't like this one after the first pour and I'm glad I waited to review it. Subsequent pours meshed with my palate much better. I'm not sure if they are still using 4 Roses stocks, but I did get the florality that I associate with them. I also get the Musty Oak note I get from older Heaven Hill. I question the value on this one at its standard $50 plus, but don't feel that it was overpriced at $45. I can definitely see purchasing a second bottle of this when I see it on sale.
    45.0 USD per Bottle
  9. Talisker 10 Year

    Peated Single Malt — Islands, Scotland

    Tasted January 27, 2021
    4.5
    4.5 out of 5 stars
    (#1) Fellow Distiller @WhiskeyLonghorn recently posted his top 5 Whiskeys of 2020 and I thought it was such a great idea that I'm stealing it. To qualify, a whiskey did not need to be new, just new to me in 2020...so there will be some tried and true staples mixed in with the new releases on my list. I was able to narrow my list of 14 possibilities to 7 fairly quickly, but going from 7 to 5 proved a little tougher. Honorable Mentions will make an appearance after Whiskey #1. I won't bore you with a full re-review of each, but will give an overall impression. Should you want to read the full review, you shouldn't have to scroll too deeply in my tastes to find them. So...without further ado, I present my Number 1 Whiskey of 2020... Boooooooring! Available 365 days a year nearly everywhere that sells whiskey, this may seem like a mundane choice for my 2020 Whiskey of the Year, but rest assured it competes with just about any Special Release that can be had for under $100. The Nose featured Sweet Burnt Caramalized BBQ Sauce and Tropical Fruits. The Palate was Smoke, Honey, Papaya & Mango. What sealed the deal for me on this one was the Finish. Looooong, with Jalapeño Pepper and a building effervescent quality. A charred Pineapple aftertaste that lasted for hours after my Glencairn was dry. In fact, my notes claimed that the finish on this one definitely moved it into consideration for my Favorite Whisky. Ever. File this one under "What the Hell Took You So Long". Glad 2020 was the year this one joined the collection. So there it is. My top 5 for 2020. I think it's a pretty solid list (and all were had for less than $75), but I would like to name a few honorable mentions that just barely missed the Top 5... *Dickel BIB (11YR): Almost the equal of the 13YR, but not quite. *Yamazaki 12: Age stated Japanese is rare and my most expensive bottle of 2020. *WhistlePig PiggyBack 6YR: Checked a lot of the herbaceous boxes that I love. *4 Roses Small Batch Select: A unique profile and readily available for around $60. Here's to Great Whiskey and Better Times in 2021!
    72.0 USD per Bottle
  10. Booker's Bourbon Batch 2016-03 "Toogie’s Invitation"

    Bourbon — Kentucky, USA

    Tasted January 10, 2021
    4.75
    4.75 out of 5 stars
    (#2) Fellow Distiller WhiskeyLonghorn recently posted his top 5 Whiskeys of 2020 and I thought it was such a great idea that I'm stealing it. To qualify, a whiskey did not need to be new, just new to me in 2020...so there will be some tried and true staples mixed in with the new releases on my list. I was able to narrow my list of 14 possibilities to 7 fairly quickly, but going from 7 to 5 proved a little tougher. Honorable Mentions will make an appearance after Whiskey #1. I won't bore you with a full re-review of each, but will give an overall impression. Should you want to read the full review, you shouldn't have to scroll too deeply in my tastes to find them. So...without further ado, I present my Number 2 Whiskey of 2020... Sorry, for the couple day delay. Back to my Top 5 with my Number 2 Whiskey of 2020. As stated in my review of KC12, I was surprised to have 2 (3 if you count MM101) Beam Bourbons included in my list. This was a bottle I purchased from Ace Spirits online for about $40 if memory serves, just before the price jump was announced. After opening it in March, I immediately Regretted purchasing just one. I described this one as "Rocket Fuel. Syrupy, Clingy, Delicious Rocket Fuel". More citrus than I typically get from Beam. With a splash of water it became one of those Old School McDonald's Caramel Sundaes with crushed peanuts. I'm not sure where this one ranks amongst the various Booker's releases, but it is one of the finest Bourbons I've ever had.
    40.0 USD per Bottle
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