Tastes

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  1. Clyde May's Straight Bourbon

    Bourbon — Alabama, USA

    Tasted
    3.75
    3.75 out of 5 stars
    Sweet brown sugar all over. Baked apples and vanilla. A flash of cinnamon on the finish, with a lingering white pepper on the tongue, but gentle spice overall. Not fancy, but easy drinking and enjoyable overall.
  2. Clyde May's Straight Bourbon

    Bourbon — Alabama, USA

    Tasted
    3.75
    3.75 out of 5 stars
    Sweet brown sugar all over. Baked apples and vanilla. A flash of cinnamon on the finish, with a lingering white pepper on the tongue, but gentle spice overall. Not fancy, but easy drinking and enjoyable overall.
  3. Bowmore 12 Year

    Peated Single Malt — Islay, Scotland

    Tasted
    3.75
    3.75 out of 5 stars
    First nosing and taste required an adjustment and it has taken me a bit to start getting on board. An uncommon dram - peat, sherry, and heather require a balance to play nicely together. First sniffs are deadened and somehow restrained by the gentle peat. Bread notes, and rich but non-sugary late summer wildflower. Touch of honey-glazed ham. The palate yields orange rind, salted meat, chocolate, and a very gentle but pervasive smoke accompanies it all. Some briney sea breeze. Clearly more savory than sweet. A uncommonly complex experience at 40% abv, lacking mostly mouthfeel. Ash and a subtle astringency linger on the tongue. Not a home run by any stretch, but once you settle in to embrace the flavor profile, there is a lot to like here. Peat smoke builds throughout the pour - first few sips was barely noticeable, by the end of the glass the phenols are embedded in your tongue. Top feature is avoiding too much sweetness... they are closer to a meaty Springbank than many competitors.
  4. Thomas H. Handy Sazerac Rye (Fall 2018)

    Rye — Kentucky, USA

    Tasted
    4.5
    4.5 out of 5 stars
    Really enjoyed my neat pour of this one. Thick, dark, and really really viscous. A good balance of sweet and savory. Haven’t had either before and in name alone I couldn’t remember whether this BTAC one was the old but low proof or younger barrel proof. The way it drank I guessed 100% wrong. Very low ethanol, could not have told you this was the high proof stuff. Main clue was should have been how thick and viscous it was. Really nice cinnamon, oak, and hints of butterscotch. At first blush, this is a clear new favorite barely legal rye... sort of like pikesville if it were twice as thick. Didn’t double check if that’s accurate on the mashbill, but that’s what I’m tasting. Not as complex as some, but knows what it is and delivers 100% on that. Probably not worth hunting (what is really?) but enjoy if you can try some.
    22.0 USD per Pour
  5. Compass Box Hedonism

    Blended Grain — Scotland

    Tasted
    4.0
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    Batch MMXIX-A (2/2019). Pale straw in the glass. Relatively thin body with a touch of oil in the legs. Creamy vanilla nose with a gently spiced citrus. Cereal notes. Surprisingly, enough kick to keep you from nosing too deep. Clearly a grain whiskey through and through. On the tongue, vanilla cream dominates with caramel and a hint of oak giving the strong impression of toasted marshmallow. Persistently zesty around the mouth and edges of the tongue... another thing I tend to associate with grain whiskeys. Very well-balanced and quite nice - has all the key components from a sweet dram, but also very straightforward. Has all the categories of flavor and mouthfeel, but not layered. Verdict - very good offering, crowd-pleaser, and certainly well-made, but reminds more of an Irish style than what I hope for in a scotch. Will enjoy the bottle but likely not replace for $100+. Spice tree is more memorable and half the price.
    100.0 USD per Bottle
  6. New Riff Single Barrel Barrel Proof Bourbon

    Bourbon — Kentucky, USA

    Tasted
    3.5
    3.5 out of 5 stars
    Pretty neutral and flat nose, but a deeper nosing shows a bit of the 112.5 proof. Subtle notes of lime peel, surprisingly enough. Interesting to try side by side with the BiB. Notably dry, this barrel lacks almost all of the caramel sweetness the BiB showcases underneath its rye and proof spice. Ratchets up the iodine, hints of baking spice but very dry. Unexpectedly, not much extra sweetness even after adding a few drops. The finish lingers long with a gentle burn. Well crafted, but doesn’t deliver the classic bourbon flavors I’m after for the proof and cost. Continued tasting after lighting a super mild Connecticut cigar, and it actually teased out the sweetness a bit, muting the dry spice. Vanilla soaked pear on the nose and the taste becomes a clear creme brûlée. A good pair after all is said and done.
  7. New Riff Kentucky Straight Bourbon Bottled In Bond

    Bourbon — Kentucky, USA

    Tasted
    3.75
    3.75 out of 5 stars
    Enjoying my first experience with this one. Nothing harsh, good caramel notes and sweet vanilla balanced by the spot-on proof spice. Touch of iodine and char. Finish lingers pleasantly. A home run for a new-ish distillery. A bit of a tough sell at $40 and lacking some complexity, but I’d never turn it down. Totally balanced sweet and spice, and enough backbone to drink it however you like.
  8. Fighting Cock Kentucky Straight Bourbon

    Bourbon — Kentucky, USA

    Tasted
    3.5
    3.5 out of 5 stars
    I’m sure this offering disappoints fans of the previous age-stated version(s), but after a first taste I’m convinced you could do worse for your money. An affordable (< $20), semi-high proof (103), 4-6+ year (presumably - nobody takes a 6+ year product line and starts filling it with 2 year barrels) is a standout value on specs (these days) as long as the taste fulfills. Optics are that it’s been getting worse (going NAS), but people talk up offerings like Evan Williams BiB on the perception that it’s affordable and a step up from its black label cousin (let’s not forget that black label notably lost its 4-yr statement a while ago as well). As far as taste, this is strong cinnamon, oak, and vanilla to me. More baking spices (nutmeg, clove, mace) are there, but definitely secondary. The spice is long and lingers on the roof of the mouth. There is a trace of intensity (befitting a whiskey named fighting cock?) that probably drinks about 10 proof higher than its labeled, so admittedly a touch of ethanol that better bottlings don’t exhibit, but it isn’t harsh or detracting, just characterizes the spicy nature of the spirit. Also, the Heaven Hill peanuts are there for sure. They modify, but don’t detract from, the primary flavors. Not quite a quintessential bourbon profile, but those that like it spicy but affordable, drink neat and you shouldn’t be disappointed for the price. Certainly could do well with a cube. Actually it’s a nice counterpoint to cola (after neat, I had with Pepsi), but I think this might be the 100% perfect bourbon for spiking eggnog (without trying yet). All the right flavors and punchy enough to cut through rich dairy. Saving for winter for sure!
    17.0 USD per Bottle
  9. Wood Hat Spirits Bourbon Rubenesque

    Bourbon — Missouri , USA

    Tasted
    3.5
    3.5 out of 5 stars
    Pleasing and spicy. Unique wood profile is noticeable. Need to try again.
    39.0 USD per Bottle
  10. Wood Hat Double Wood pecan and oak

    Bourbon — Missouri , USA

    Tasted
    2.5
    2.5 out of 5 stars
    Interesting but probably won’t seek out again. The pecan definitely strikes a unique note... not unpleasant, just hard to reconcile.
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