Herradura Reposado Tequila
Tequila Reposado — Tequila Valley, Jalisco, MexicoTasted December 3, 2020My last(first) tequila review was enough fun to make me want "More Please Suh", so here goes nothing. Nose: WOW... smokey, sweet, spicy, flavor packed nose, this really makes me regret not trying Herradura long ago.. scotch drinkers take note, exciting stuff smells like it lives here.. but will the taste live up to the promise? Starts slow and fades in to strong agave tinged burn the sweetness and smoke on the nose are apparent, it burns a little longer than I would like but nothing terrible, and the final notes are a bit of acrid baked sprout plant along with the roasted sugar quality that is wholly unlike bourbon sugars. Mild black pepper spices but nothing too rich. Likable enough, and while the body doesn't quite offer up the same level of character and excitement as the nose, it's really not that far off. It would be fair to say the "smoke" is more of a scotch like than some American mesquite style, not what I would expect but still pleasant. For a relatively low priced tequila this is certainly a bottle good enough to drink or mix, but I wouldn't want to throw a bunch of margarita lime in it and ruin the character, it stands up well enough to be enjoyable. Cheers!
Grand Mayan Tequila Silver
Tequila Blanco — Mexico , MexicoTasted November 29, 2020So its holiday season and interesting bottles make nice gifts. The Grand Mayan assortment certainly qualifies for the bottles as they are some of the nicest looking glazed and unglazed ceramics you will see in a liquor store. It's certainly priced as a near to high end tequila but is it really a top notcher? The sugars are a bit light on the nose, this isn't overly sweet tequila, however it does have a nice purity about it, nothing in the sour range, like a rested Don Julio, its clearly unaged and also very clean. What sugars are present come in with some slight mint and also some tropical fruit sugar aspects. There are some tart and also hot cinnmon flavors throughout the middle and ending, it finishes with some real character and doesn't just wash out like number of cheap white tequilas. Nor does it have any off putting chemical notes, definitely a bit of crafting going on to make this a better than average and interesting taste for a blanco tequila. While I prefer a rested or sometimes a well aged tequila I'm gonna say this is worthy of the price point, given it falls in the 70-90 range. The reposado bottle is a nice deep blue and gold noted glaze, either way these are nice enough to both drink and keep as art work.79.0 USD per Bottle
Hendrick's Midsummer Solstice
Modern Gin — ScotlandTasted November 19, 2020Was putting it off because it tends to be a little pricey but wow, If you like sweet berry notes this is top notch gin. The Distiller notes on the nose are pretty accurate but the real tell is in the taste and this delivers loads of sweet red and blue berry, a blue-raspberry pie is not out of order it's just that delicious. There is just hints of some citric tartness and light green herbs, thyme, ginger etc that follow the bold forward berries. Perhaps some will find it too sweet as it reaches almost a preserves level of sugars. What I like about Hendrix Midsummer Solistice is that it's the first berry noted flavor liquor I've not only been able to tolerate but to actually enjoy. I've tried plenty of blueberry vodkas and beers and all pretty much sucked, from fake and artificial flavoring to harsh contrasts. Hendrix MS has none of these fatal flaws, nothing artificial about it, just pure sweet gin. The tart and sweet notes mesh together nicely and come off with a true pastry like experience, as long as you are not looking for a really dry gin or you just don't like berries, you should be really happy with this. One of the things I noted about the standard Hendrix is the quality, you can just taste it and I'm becoming a believer that the Hendrix people really care about it. If you want something like an after dinner desert gin, look no further, this is it. I have to commend Hendrick's on doing what they set out to do and making a yummy sweet gin so good I don't want to put tonic in it, but of course you always could. Cheers!
Old Fitzgerald Bottled in Bond 14 Year (Fall 2020)
Bourbon — Kentucky, USATasted November 15, 2020Really sweet vanilin coming in on the nose, some toasted almond, seems just a bit dusty as of very old oak. Amazingly pure and free of any ethanol notes for a 100 proof. The early front really springs the toasted oat/almond in a bursting sensation, following come middle sweet notes with a flash of sweet corn bread then burnt butter toast. This menage a troi of notes hangs on for the duration, you can get up walk out for a smoke and you will still have it as a reminder when you come back in. The sugars are a bit sparse comprised mostly of vanilla and feint caramel. I would be remiss not to mention the almost Bartons level of old oak mustiness trailing at the finish that reminds us this is indeed a well aged oak barrel product. All of that and an incredible smooth ending and the burnt almond butter cracker that lasts forever. Hard to get but well worth it.
Red Door Gin
London Dry Gin — Highlands, ScotlandTasted November 11, 2020Hmmm another Highlands gin, well never mind the nose let's see what those clannish sots have in store for us. The roots and lowland herbs stand out, it's a bit of gut punch when you expect a berries and evergreen taste and find bark, sticks and dirt in it's place but that's exactly what you get with Red Door. Peggy apparently has a penchant for the peaty sector of the spectrum because this might actually be the first "Scotch drinkers gin" in the dry and earthy notes it brings. I'm guessing the folks at Benromach decided this was what haggis eaters and malt drinkers would approve of because this is no dainty, sweet Londoners gin. You have to wonder if malt didn't figure into the mash of this one as it almost shouts out it's Scotch heritage. So while this offering from behind the red door won't be for every gin drinker it might appeal to the rare scotch enthusiasts who want to venture off the beaten path for a bit. The Sea Buckthorn, Angelica Root, Rowan Berries and Pearl of Heather are all noticeable and that's saying something since I'm sure I've never tasted even half of those. I would say your mileage may vary GREATLY as to your enjoyment of Red Door gin, in no way is this a typical junniper dry gin, but it has a lot to say and offer about Highland gin. The red door you don't want painted black, maybe a new standard for Highlander gins.
Western Reserve Small Batch Blended Bourbon
Blended American Whiskey — USATasted November 8, 2020Surprisingly this isn't a bad try at bourbon for an "Ohio" distillery, the minimum 4 year age worked wonders with a smooth deliberate caramel sugar nose working with some spices almost yielding a Woodford like experience. Unfortunately the taste won't hold up to that standard but even so it doesn't come off as an immature and green product, more like one that just didn't get the extra year or two it needed to really stand out, (that being said, I've tried the 8 year and it really didn't seem to help). The chew and taste gives a tingling on the tongue and again mild spices with good bourbon sugar notes along with some dry nibs and tobacco hints, what comes in first and foremost however are the sweet bourbon notes. Nothing wrong with that, it follows through with the brown sugar notes intact tapering off very easy. I'm almost ready to bet this is sourced from our favorite outsourcer of bourbon, MGP. Perhaps this is a throwback attempt to the 86 proof wild turkey days, if so not a bad attempt. I like the bottle style as much as anything and would not mind dropping a few Hamilton's for one. The claim is 4 year blended with 14 year, (cont, sorry about that) if this one falls in the 20-30 range it should be a decent value bottle for most enthusiasts. As with most sourced products the real question is continuity of quality, the answer to that one remains to be seen. Cheers!
Modern Gin — bottled in Texas, USATasted October 1, 2020Nose - sweet mellon, acai, raspberry, dragonberry, rose, floral, A bit of medicinal red cherry starts this but gladly gives way to a tangier fruit middle including some small citrus and tart sweet plum-grape tannin. This may possibly be the most "wine like" gin on the market, but it's from Texas so why wouldn't it be different. The finish is something of a lime alkali base with some green mellon and citric tang. One of the most "unexpected" gins I've tried. The herbal aspect is subdued, juniper being non existent. It takes botanical in an entirely new direction. Certainly a far cry from the Euro versions of botanical gins, Green House gin goes where other gins dare not tread or maybe they just never thought of going. One thing I certainly appreciate is a great and grand LACK of anise, THANK YOU Green House for that small favor. I'm not sure what all this offers itself to in the gin drink variety, I just popped a bit of San Pelligrino's Oakwood tonic in to see what happens and it's a great, if unusual concoction. The honey dew mellon continues to stand out and the sugary sweet nose that might have turned ugly never really comes into play. Giving it a good mark, the fact it's both affordable and easily attainable(if you have a Total Wine handy) doesn't hurt at all. The Green House distillers had the audacity to go WAY off the beaten gin track and I for one am glad they did. Cheers!
Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban Port Cask Finish 14 Year
Single Malt — Highlands, ScotlandTasted September 29, 2020Ladys' and Gentlement, LETS GET READY TO RUMBLE, in one corner wearing the green trunks, we have the 10 year bourbon cask and 4 year Quinta port cask finish 14 year Glenmorangie. In the opposite corner, wearing the black trunks, we have 12 year, 10 in bourbon, 2 in Quinta port, Glenmorangie. Winner to be determined by Judge Beppe, (barring a knockout). Before the opening bell, I note the much deeper almost burnt amber red color of the 14 year. Apparently that extra 2 years imparts a grand deep cherry hue while the 12 year does show off a nice copperish gold glow, think Pam Anderson after a summer in the sun, gold. Yet the 14 year really lives up to it's Ruby tag in appearance, the 12, not so much. Nose 12y Straight forward or port forward if you prefer, the sweet red fruit riding just on top of the malt base. Really delicious if slightly acrid. 14y The sweet red is dialed back just a notch, as is the malt, just a bit more delicate and less acrid, it's almost a perfect balancing act between the two wine and scotch players. Win for the nose, by a nose, goes to the 14, but the rich almost wanton character of the 12 is nothing to overlook. This could easily be a split decision. Front 14 From the tongue tip to the back and sides the malt mineral acridity never really develops until the very end, only then does this feel like scotch, in between I get a warm meade like oiliness that just floats along a barley river. 12 Washing with some cold H20 to get the salt out of the eyes, the front port is forward but the malt vinegar is far more in your face and the fine balancing act is lost. The 12 year is a bit more of a brute than a predator and we don't know what might have happened in the 10 year cask but that could well be part of it. The 12 finishes with the big grape sugar giving way to a hot chocolate pepper and nib bitterness, the 14 is going to win here again as the bitter final tail is far less pronounced and the 14's honey smooth middle hangs on much longer. Winner: 14 year The 14 year wins but not with heavy slugging upper cuts, it's more like sugar ray, side stepping and dancing while jabbing to a slow footed 12 rocky who, even with all the heart in the world, can't keep up, missing with hay makers and clumsily punching air. The 12 year really never had a chance in this one though it made a good showing. Verdict, for me the 12 year is a nice scotch I can say yes to, but not really care if I ever get another, the 14 is next level in refinement and really makes me want to keep going. I think Glenmorangie deserves a good nod for making the choice in adding the 2 years as this makes a notable and decidedly well done difference. This seems to fall right in line with the decade plus aged 50 dollar scotch. Just remember you want the green label here! Cheers!
Other Whiskey — Multiple CountriesTasted September 27, 2020If you're a Metalica fan, and you want "to believe" then knock yourself out, no really, just grab a short handled sledge and aim for the temple, best bet. This "undisclosed" whiskey was most likely aimed for cherry, apple, peach or honey flavor before hitting the bottom shelf of the store. The brandy cask finish does dress it up a little bit from the standpoint of the nose, a little black cherry and plum hint you MIGHT be getting into something good. But then the taste betrays that this is sickly sweetened and really nothing about it seems balanced or refined. Yes LOUD grungey Metallica not good smooth mellow bourbon. If you want a black eye for Christmas, get this instead of Bookers. Trying to find something redeeming it has a bit of acrid starchyness along with the way too sweet brandy which seems more like a corn syrup in your mouth. I can come up with at least one good thing to say about it. IT'S NOT FIREBALL. Ok, if you're gonna listen to Metallica and you want to get blasted, you probably won't really notice what you're drinking and that's another good thing I can say about it. However this list is thin, why not just do yourself a favor and buy some Wild Turkey American Honey, you at least get some Wild Turkey with your way too sweet booze. Maybe try the Mahavishnu Orchestra next time, or just some Sympathy for the Devil, because you're gonna want some sympathy after you realize what you've done by getting this.
High West Rendezvous Rye
Rye — (bottled in) Utah, USATasted September 27, 2020A decent offering from High West. It's interesting so many have an opinion on this yet so few could be troubled to write a note about it. I'm sampling Batch 18B22 which I hope means NOT the year. The bottle is open well below the neck (shoulders I guess) so the bitter geebies, if any, have had time to air out. The nose is feint but offers pleasant sweet dill and sugar spice. Straight into the mouth we get a moderate offering of nice sweet spices quickly turning to some mild bitter nibs and coco, the corn blend I would say is just notable at the front and that's a good thing, otherwise we would have yet another 95/5 MGP product relabeled for the market. The profile does remain somewhat simplistic. This has just a bit of that nice richness found in the high corn ryes, and blend or the age produces a good smooth back side, the finish is burn free and clean. This really seems like one of the better ideas High West has come up with. If you want a somewhat straight rye experience with just a minor feel of the rich character ryes well you could do far worse. Prognosis. The proof and markup seem to be just at the point where I wouldn't mind keeping this in the bar though I certainly wouldnt kick out a favorite rye to make room for it. Better than some High West offerings though that's just not saying that much. Cheers!