Johnnie Walker Blue Label
Peated Blend — ScotlandTastedI honestly don’t know how to rate this. Let me start by saying THANKS to David for the sample. Because I didn’t pay the $300 (or whatever!) for this bottle I can say this was very nice. However knowing the price is above $80 for this bottle I’ll take a Lagavulin, Caol Ila, Compass Box, Laphroaig and others in THAT price range over this. Nice peat. A little more subtle than my Islay favorites (even the Caol Ila) but that’s to be expected. Very smooth and no burn neat (granted I drink a decent amount of Cask Strength stuff so maybe you’ll disagree with that). Something I don’t always get with Islay single malts is the range of flavors. This has sweetness of vanilla and some red fruits and some other fruitiness. It has some nuttiness. The mid palate is where this shines and might be worth A higher price tag (not THAT high). I expected more on the finish. It’s medium at best and doesn’t coat my mouth as well as I would have wanted. Definitely doesn’t linger for long before I need another sip. Again, THRILLED to have tried this and, with no price concerns, this is almost as good as the compass box no name blend I’ve had before. That being said, the CB bottle is about half as much as this one and BETTER. This is worth a POUR but go get a BOTTLE of flaming heart or No Name
Willett Pot Still Reserve Bourbon
Bourbon — Kentucky, USATastedEnjoyed neat in a glencairn. I liked this more than I was expecting to. The WFE rye is excellent but this is pretty good. I get a lot of vanilla and a lot of sweetness. A good amount of barrel too/ Thanks Dave for the sample. I may have to buy one of those ridiculous looking bottles next time I see it.
Clément Créole Shrub
Other Sugarcane — Martinique, MartiniqueTastedActually pretty outstanding. I went to Martinique on a cruise in 2018 and did some distillery hopping. Many people were stereotypically Parisian and annoyed if you didn’t speak French (despite their tourism coming largely from North America) but they know how to make a good spirit. This is mouth coating and wonderful like an aged whiskey but sweet like juice. Can’t believe it’s 40%. It’s outstanding. I wish this bottle was in my bar but I’m happy to sip on it when I can
Flor De Caña Centenario 12 Rum
Aged Rum — NicaraguaTastedExpected a lot more from this. A lot of burn. The 18 is a lot better (or maybe I’m romanticizing it). I need to retaste the 18. ElDo 15 is special. Get that
Hibiki Japanese Harmony
Blended — JapanTastedIt says there’s some smoke/peat in there. I’m not finding any. Maybe in the exhale after holding it in my mouth a while. This is a little burny. I also had some Cask Strength Willett Rye, Talisker (45.8) and GOT Lagavulin 9 (46%) tonight that were WAY smoother and less burn than this. There is burn on the nose and palate. Try and find an age statement rather than going for this. I’ve had Hakushu and Yamazaki 12 and they are both better balanced and less burn. I hope Hibiki can eventually get back to age stated whiskies cuz they are stuff of legend now.
Grangestone Sherry Finish
Single Malt — Highlands, ScotlandTastedI prefer Islay normally so find this a little boring. I actually get a lot of orange? Is that usual in the fruity sherried whiskies? I’m trying to get past it but that’s most of what I’m getting. This is smooth and easy drinking but I’m normally drinking something like a Cask Strength Laphroaig (or even a normal one) so at 40% surely it’s going to be easier than that.
Old Forester Birthday Bourbon 2018
Bourbon — Kentucky, USATastedSomehow this bottle is still on the wall. Still my all time favorite (granted I have more scotch experience). Tons of vanilla. Super smooth with no burn. Tough on the wallet but it’s great25.0 USD per Pour
Old Forester Statesman
Bourbon — Kentucky, USATastedA little burn on the first sip but settled nicely. Lots of vanilla which seems to be my note of choice lately when I’m looking at bourbon instead of scotch. I didn’t know what to expect from it. Especially considering it FOLLOWED some Birthday Bourbon I’m surprised at how well this held up!
Old Elk Blended Straight Bourbon
Bourbon — (bottled in) Colorado, USATastedHarsh. Might make a good mixer ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ but the bottle is the coolest thing about this
George Dickel TABASCO Brand Barrel Finish
Flavored Whiskey — Tennessee, USATastedJust awful. Jesus. What were you thinking?