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  1. Ohishi Single Sherry Cask

    Other Whiskey — Kumamoto, Japan

    Tasted May 4, 2021
    2.25
    2.25 out of 5 stars
    Before reading anything about this, I found the nose to be unpleasant, full of waxy milk with a slight bazooka joe gum quality plus something else I couldn't quite put my finger on. As soon as I read that this had a partial rice mashbill, I realized that it reminded me uncannily of coconut sake (specifically Momokawa) but still in an unpleasant way. Extremely soft rice notes on the palate with bursts of hard candy sweetness, plus with a distinct spice and oak char quality I associate with older brandy. There is definitely a sake like quality to this, which I view as a negative in whiskey. The waxiness in the nose also appears in the taste, which I don't love. It occurs to me that this reminds me a lot of a homemade rice wine / liquor that my parents used to make when I was growing up. I didn't like that stuff then, and - with those bad memories coming through - I don't like this now.
  2. Widow Jane Decadence 10 Year

    Bourbon — USA

    Tasted April 26, 2021
    4.0
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    I'm enjoying this more than I want to for something that I consider a gimmick. It's sweet, and it definitely tastes sweetened, but it's not overwhelming. If anything, the maple syrup comes out more in the mid palate and onward through the finish, especially after you swallow. There is bright fresh mint in the beginning which turns into what could easily be mistaken as corn sweetness, before it transitions into maple syrup. There's also a nice rye bite that sneaks up on you and lingers slightly into the end-palate before dissipating. While you chew it, you get more rye than you do maple. Finally, there's a faint smoked, salty, and savory quality, like breakfast meat dipped in - hidden, but it's there if you look for it. All in all, this is a very well-blended pour.
  3. Oola Discourse Three Shores Whiskey

    Other Whiskey — Washington, USA

    Tasted April 17, 2021
    4.5
    4.5 out of 5 stars
    I love it. I managed to get this for under retail, and I was still hesitant because I read some bad reviews online about this, but I am very happy that I bought it. There's a touch of a craft bourbon quality to this, but otherwise it has a very pleasant, whole, full, rounded character to it. It just has a way of feeling like it is filling your entire palate at once Chocolatey, with a deep dark fruit quality, and lots of rye spice in the finish.
    40.0 USD per Bottle
  4. Jefferson's Rye Cognac Cask Finish

    Rye — USA

    Tasted April 14, 2021
    4.75
    4.75 out of 5 stars
    I apologize for the length of this review. You know the first time you try A Midwinter's Night Dram and you say to yourself: "Wow. Now I understand." This aims to do the same thing for rye aged in cognac that MWND did for rye aged in port. I initially wanted to say that "it just failed to achieve the same great heights," but now I'm not so sure it falls short. It's less punchy; it's more subtle; and here I am spending far more time with this bottle than I ever intended for a mid-week review. So, yes, let me be clear, I find this to be a successful and intriguing pour, and I recommend it. Nose: So many analogies come to mind, but there are three basic components here jostling for control: smoke, citrus, and pine - and once in a fleeting while, a hint of tobacco. In the interest of full disclosure, I tasted this in a kitchen wherein I just cooked bacon, so, I'm sure that had something to do with the first thing that popped in my head... but, I kept coming back to this image of eating a citrus braised, peppery cuban style pork shoulder in a restaurant next to a cigar lounge. Alternatively, it reminded me of being in a Vietnamese restaurant being served a mixture of salt, sugar, and pepper in a small porcelain bowl with lime to accompany some roast dishes. If neither of those food analogies work for you, you might also be reminded of Pine-sol but not in bad way. In a word, the rye quality here is very bright. Don't let it sit in your glass too long though. After a while, you lose some of the citrusy, more unusual aromas and it begins to smell more and more like a normal rye. Flavor: This drinks like it was never aged in new charred oak but was just a rye mash aged in used barrels from the beginning. It immediately coats your tongue like light syrup but without the sweetness. This is the texture of cognac, and this same sensation came to mind, first and foremost, with every taste. Then, before I was ready, it transformed into rye. This is a dangerous pour. I kept coming back, sip after sip, because I wanted to understand that hint of cognac better, but it kept disappearing before I was done. I understand why other members of this group suddenly found themselves with a half-empty bottle after a very short time. All-in-all, the flavors here are muted, but in a good way. It drinks easily and leaves you reaching for more. There is a familair rye spice background that ties everything together, but it never over-asserts. In the finish, the cognac comes back, accompanied by black tea and the citrusy lime quality that I first noticed in the nose. A light, smokey, sweet tea quality remains as the finish slowly fades.
    70.0 USD per Bottle
  5. Jacob's Pardon Small Batch American Whiskey Recipe No. 1

    Other Whiskey — USA

    Tasted April 10, 2021
    2.75
    2.75 out of 5 stars
    Bottom Line: Great nose, but leaves a lot to be desired, lacks complexity, hard to recommend at $80-$90. I suspect this same exact pour would be so much better concentrated at 110pf. The only person I would recommend this to is someone who really likes to buy lighter whiskeys that drink around the 90 proof range, whose primary measure of good whiskey is how exceptionally "smooth" it is, and/or who wants a fancy looking bottle to show off. The same kind of person who might consider spending $100 on secondary on a bottle that's only worth $60 (Blanton's) might be better served buying this one instead. Nose: Rich, sweet, full of molasses and Demerara sugar. Smells almost more like a low-ish proof (<90pf) Demerara heavy rum than bourbon or corn whiskey. The more it opens up, the more it smells like rum and less like whiskey (although I haven't had many light whiskeys, so maybe that's what they all smell like). There are faint hints of chrysanthemum tea in the background. Flavor: Jarring contrast from the nose. Doesn't drink like a rum. Initially silky (but no sweet cream notes that usually accompany that mouthfeel) with no heat or punch (no surprise considering the majority age of 15 years). Nonetheless, I was shocked by how light and not complex the taste profile is. Dry, mild rye spice and black tea in the mid palette that quickly makes way for, ever so faintly, some fading Demerara with a slight almost red wine like tannic structure in the finish. I let it sit in the glass for 10+ minutes to open up before trying again, and it drinks a bit more like rum now, but it has also thinned out and lost its rye spice/black tea profile. One more note of interest: It's a blend of two mash bills - 86% 15-year-old Indiana (MGP) light corn whiskey, with 99% corn and 1% malted barley, and 14% 8-year-old Tennessee sour mash whisky, 70% corn, 22% rye and 8% barley - not the usual Dickel mash bill. That means that the Tennessee portion of this blend is A) not Dickel, or B) not the usual Dickel and most likely not run through the Lincoln County Process. This is almost certainly the same stuff used in Heaven’s Door Tennessee Bourbon which uses the same mash bill at around the same ages (8 Years- 9 ½ years). I found this about Heaven's Door: "Spirits Investment Partnership (SIP) went to a major Tennessee distiller, and found an experimental mashbill that they had been working on. This distiller had made a new mashbill, didn’t run it through the Lincoln county process, and was thinking about releasing it, but instead they sold all of their barrels to SIP. The last of this batch was made back in 2012."
    85.0 USD per Bottle
  6. Weller 12 Year

    Bourbon — Kentucky, USA

    Tasted April 4, 2021
    3.25
    3.25 out of 5 stars
    12-Year Side-by-Side Showdown So, I posted this the other night, and only one person guessed my ranking. Here are my notes as promised. From first to last, I came out 1. EC12 (7.5/10) 2. 1792 12 year (6.5/10) 3. Three Chord Twelve Bar (6.5/10) 4. Weller 12 (6/10) EC12: Far and away my favorite pour of the bunch. Not necessarily the most complex, but probably the pour that best exemplified "this just works." Everything came together in a wonderful package that sipped well and was easily enjoyed. Sweet cream with a touch of fruitiness, notes of butterscotch, and an appreciable amount of grassy spice. What lingered in the finish was mostly dry peanut and, ever so slightly, raw sugar candy. Sadly, this is also the hardest pour to get more of. 1792: It was a real toss-up between this and the Three Chord. I needed another pour of each to make a decision. Oily, earthy, hints of tobacco, something almost bitter, noticeable amount of charred oak, dusty leather. In the finish, there was dry peanut powder (more like PB2 than real peanut) and a slightly sour note. There was a hint of something almost savory, like barbecue. Twelve chord: highest proof, most peanut, dry medicinal herbal notes, some caramel, vanilla, and brown sugar. Despite being the highest proof by a good bit, it didn't drink noticeably hotter than any of the others. Maybe the least complex/ most one note. I wish there was more depth and complexity. W12: The worst by a small-but-non-trivial margin. It was the smoothest of the bunch, in that it had the least bite and spice - which makes sense because it's also the lowest proof and there's no rye in the mash bill. However, in what I could taste, there were off-putting notes that were highlighted by the side-by-side format - cheap bubble gum being the worst. The whole thing felt like it was at conflict with itself: thinness in the mouthfeel (too low proof), too much char (from the age), clove, and an unpleasant bubble gum/strawberry banana (a common byproduct of wheat in the mash bill but more pronounced in the side-by-side format). There was also fake strawberry Nesquik in the finish that lingered and lingered. I had to go rinse with water and come back, and it was better thereafter: a touch of maple sugar.
    140.0 USD per Bottle
  7. Elijah Craig 12 Year

    Bourbon — Kentucky, USA

    Tasted April 4, 2021
    4.0
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    12-Year Side-by-Side Showdown So, I posted this the other night, and only one person guessed my ranking. Here are my notes as promised. From first to last, I came out 1. EC12 (7.5/10) 2. 1792 12 year (6.5/10) 3. Three Chord Twelve Bar (6.5/10) 4. Weller 12 (6/10) EC12: Far and away my favorite pour of the bunch. Not necessarily the most complex, but probably the pour that best exemplified "this just works." Everything came together in a wonderful package that sipped well and was easily enjoyed. Sweet cream with a touch of fruitiness, notes of butterscotch, and an appreciable amount of grassy spice. What lingered in the finish was mostly dry peanut and, ever so slightly, raw sugar candy. Sadly, this is also the hardest pour to get more of. 1792: It was a real toss-up between this and the Three Chord. I needed another pour of each to make a decision. Oily, earthy, hints of tobacco, something almost bitter, noticeable amount of charred oak, dusty leather. In the finish, there was dry peanut powder (more like PB2 than real peanut) and a slightly sour note. There was a hint of something almost savory, like barbecue. Twelve chord: highest proof, most peanut, dry medicinal herbal notes, some caramel, vanilla, and brown sugar. Despite being the highest proof by a good bit, it didn't drink noticeably hotter than any of the others. Maybe the least complex/ most one note. I wish there was more depth and complexity. W12: The worst by a small-but-non-trivial margin. It was the smoothest of the bunch, in that it had the least bite and spice - which makes sense because it's also the lowest proof and there's no rye in the mash bill. However, in what I could taste, there were off-putting notes that were highlighted by the side-by-side format - cheap bubble gum being the worst. The whole thing felt like it was at conflict with itself: thinness in the mouthfeel (too low proof), too much char (from the age), clove, and an unpleasant bubble gum/strawberry banana (a common byproduct of wheat in the mash bill but more pronounced in the side-by-side format). There was also fake strawberry Nesquik in the finish that lingered and lingered. I had to go rinse with water and come back, and it was better thereafter: a touch of maple sugar.
  8. 1792 Aged Twelve Years

    Bourbon — Kentucky, USA

    Tasted April 4, 2021
    3.5
    3.5 out of 5 stars
    12-Year Side-by-Side Showdown So, I posted this the other night, and only one person guessed my ranking. Here are my notes as promised. From first to last, I came out 1. EC12 (7.5/10) 2. 1792 12 year (6.5/10) 3. Three Chord Twelve Bar (6.5/10) 4. Weller 12 (6/10) EC12: Far and away my favorite pour of the bunch. Not necessarily the most complex, but probably the pour that best exemplified "this just works." Everything came together in a wonderful package that sipped well and was easily enjoyed. Sweet cream with a touch of fruitiness, notes of butterscotch, and an appreciable amount of grassy spice. What lingered in the finish was mostly dry peanut and, ever so slightly, raw sugar candy. Sadly, this is also the hardest pour to get more of. 1792: It was a real toss-up between this and the Three Chord. I needed another pour of each to make a decision. Oily, earthy, hints of tobacco, something almost bitter, noticeable amount of charred oak, dusty leather. In the finish, there was dry peanut powder (more like PB2 than real peanut) and a slightly sour note. There was a hint of something almost savory, like barbecue. Twelve chord: highest proof, most peanut, dry medicinal herbal notes, some caramel, vanilla, and brown sugar. Despite being the highest proof by a good bit, it didn't drink noticeably hotter than any of the others. Maybe the least complex/ most one note. I wish there was more depth and complexity. W12: The worst by a small-but-non-trivial margin. It was the smoothest of the bunch, in that it had the least bite and spice - which makes sense because it's also the lowest proof and there's no rye in the mash bill. However, in what I could taste, there were off-putting notes that were highlighted by the side-by-side format - cheap bubble gum being the worst. The whole thing felt like it was at conflict with itself: thinness in the mouthfeel (too low proof), too much char (from the age), clove, and an unpleasant bubble gum/strawberry banana (a common byproduct of wheat in the mash bill but more pronounced in the side-by-side format). There was also fake strawberry Nesquik in the finish that lingered and lingered. I had to go rinse with water and come back, and it was better thereafter: a touch of maple sugar.
    65.0 USD per Bottle
  9. Three Chord Twelve Bar Reserve Barrel Proof

    Bourbon — Kentucky/Tennessee, USA

    Tasted April 4, 2021
    3.5
    3.5 out of 5 stars
    I did a 12-Year Side-by-Side Showdown between Elijah Craig 12, 1792 Twelve Year, Three Chord Twelve Bar, and Weller 12 From first to last, I came out 1. EC12 (7.5/10) 2. 1792 12 year (6.5/10) 3. Three Chord Twelve Bar (6.5/10) 4. Weller 12 (6/10) EC12: Far and away my favorite pour of the bunch. Not necessarily the most complex, but probably the pour that best exemplified "this just works." Everything came together in a wonderful package that sipped well and was easily enjoyed. Sweet cream with a touch of fruitiness, notes of butterscotch, and an appreciable amount of grassy spice. What lingered in the finish was mostly dry peanut and, ever so slightly, raw sugar candy. Sadly, this is also the hardest pour to get more of. 1792: It was a real toss-up between this and the Three Chord. I needed another pour of each to make a decision. Oily, earthy, hints of tobacco, something almost bitter, noticeable amount of charred oak, dusty leather. In the finish, there was dry peanut powder (more like PB2 than real peanut) and a slightly sour note. There was a hint of something almost savory, like barbecue. Twelve chord: highest proof, most peanut, dry medicinal herbal notes, some caramel, vanilla, and brown sugar. Despite being the highest proof by a good bit, it didn't drink noticeably hotter than any of the others. Maybe the least complex/ most one note. I wish there was more depth and complexity. W12: The worst by a small-but-non-trivial margin. It was the smoothest of the bunch, in that it had the least bite and spice - which makes sense because it's also the lowest proof and there's no rye in the mash bill. However, in what I could taste, there were off-putting notes that were highlighted by the side-by-side format - cheap bubble gum being the worst. The whole thing felt like it was at conflict with itself: thinness in the mouthfeel (too low proof), too much char (from the age), clove, and an unpleasant bubble gum/strawberry banana (a common byproduct of wheat in the mash bill but more pronounced in the side-by-side format). There was also fake strawberry Nesquik in the finish that lingered and lingered. I had to go rinse with water and come back, and it was better thereafter: a touch of maple sugar.
    66.0 USD per Bottle
  10. New Riff Maltster Malted Wheat Bourbon

    Bourbon — Kentucky, USA

    Tasted March 19, 2021
    3.75
    3.75 out of 5 stars
    The nose reminds me of orange rind, or orange aromatic bitters. It also could be pear brandy with sweet lemon or orange zest. Some of the brandy definitely carries across into the flavor, with an almost too bitter, too citrusy quality to this. It drinks young, interesting, and nice in that it is definitely different and zesty. I wouldn't peg this as a wheated bourbon at all because the flavors are atypical, however I recently had something very similar from Kinsey - an unreleased wheated bourbon with very similar qualities that I liked. I want to add that I think wheat is still underutilized in that everyone was using wheat to try and make the next Weller.But if you use it the right way like this, or like Kinsey is doing, it can pick up an intense fruity character. For people who like brandy, there may really be something here with this mashbill. But I think it needs more age
    45.0 USD per Bottle
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