Tullamore D.E.W. 12 Year Special Reserve
Blended — IrelandTastedA nice fruity likeable whiskey. First opened under a metal roofed pavilion in a flash rainstorm at twilight. Very small tasting pour to start with and glad of it, since the gnats seemed to love it exclusively and left other folks drinks (red wine) alone. Only managed two quick sips before my least favorite protein source started their swim session. Oh well, tomorrow is always another day. Have decided to take on the cigar experience after 34 years without anything tobacco. I can now say that any decent 92pt. Rocky Patel robusto goes very well with the D.E.W. The sweetness of the whiskey makes for a smooth combination with the milder cigars I have on hand. Sitting outside on the backyard glider aligned 90* to the wind makes for a very nice experience and keeps the clothing fresh. Apparently the neighbors (all friends) have taken notice and will be joining in soon. At 67 now and truly retired, I find it's the little pleasures that satisfy most. And in that vein I can say that sipping a blended 12 year old Irish with good mouthfeel, taste and mild burn at 80 proof is one of them. Life is not only good, it's getting better all the time (cue the Beatles).42.99 USD per Bottle
Booker's Bourbon Batch 2017-03 "Front Porch Batch"
Bourbon — Kentucky , USATastedKathleen's Batch is nearly gone so this has been opened. Forgot to add it to the Collection list . Like most Booker's, it is simply a cut above. Will come back in a bit with a proper review.
The Oamaruvian Cask Strength DoubleWood 16 Year
Single Grain — South Island, New ZealandTastedFirst tasted on my B-Day 1/31 in 2018 Have to agree with @LeeEvolved and @PBMichiganWolverine about this whisky and the water. I think the bite from this baby is comparable to what I get with any of the Bookers or other powerful Cask Strengths but the experience is altogether different from American Bourbon, pretty much from start to finish. Drinking neat is always my first instinct but this really does deserve to be opened to flavors otherwise masked by strong elements from the barreling. The wine casking flavors do shine through properly with ice chips or good clean water. I give it 4.25 for rarity and taste. Let me drink just a little more of it to take the bottle to half full and the rating will likely climb. Just sayin'. My bottle is 36/412 from bbl 405 in 4/17. 60.9 ABV
Nant Sherry Wood Single Cask Single Malt
Single Malt — Tasmania, AustraliaTastedTasted in late 2017: My next door neighbor was given a bottle of this when he and his wife were in Australia visiting family some years ago. When I retired and moved to Gettysburg and got involved with Whisky on a serious level, we would have tastings. I would bring things over like EC 18yr. and Midleton Very Rare and he would offer up his Nant Sherry Cask as a comparable precious offering. I can say unequivocably this whisky remains the most flavor filled dram I have yet to taste. It is an absolute shame what happened with that distillery offering and the barrel fraud that followed. I would really love to know exactly what was the initial whiskey that started the whole process, as the bottle my neighbor has is the genuine article. I will have to ask for any age/barrel statement info on his bottle and provide it here. I naturally went in search of similars from that part of the World after finding Nant would not ship to the US at that time. I found both the Oamaruvian Doublewood Cask Strength and the Dunedin Double Cask at the PLCB through Special order but neither of those has proved to be any match for the sheer deliciousness of this Nant. The Distillery has now reformed under new ownership and naturally new product. I believe they now ship Internationally and if the S/H weren't so ridiculously high, I might be tempted to see if any of the old magic is still to be found. As to the Whisky, it has the best fruit, floral, sweet, heat magical synthesis I have yet tasted.
Bib & Tucker Small Batch Bourbon
Bourbon — USATastedI admit that upon initial tasting, perhaps I'm rating this a tad too high. At $55 here in PA, this whiskey is not exactly punching above it's weight class. It is an underwhelming whiskey. Listed at 92 proof but does drink as smoothly as baby's milk and pretty near as sweet. Yet overall for the money, in terms of taste and hit, the asking price definitely is out of line. What this whiskey does do well is go down so easily, you don't even feel you are drinking whiskey. The nosing reveals little with definition but I'll go with Brock's description just for the Hell of it. I do really like the soft minty aftertaste, like the gum you've chewed too long but you just like what it does for your breath. This 6 yr has a decent finish but lacks any complexity. I guess liquors like this serve a purpose, in this case mainly being something that can both be sipped innocuously or desperately tossed down during viewing something like an impeachment hearing when there's nothing else on. As a comparison, for half the price in PA there is the Jim Beam Distiller's Cut which only has availability against it. Nose, taste and finish are far superior. The Bib & Tucker is like paying double for Beam but getting the Devil's Cut instead of the Distiller's. Not much of a recommendation but then not all whiskeys need one when utilized properly. Don't think I'll repeat but purchases on whims are often like that. $54.99 at the PLCB
Belle Meade Bourbon
Bourbon — Indiana (bottled in Tennessee), USATastedI think Amanda got it right. Nosing reveals typical sweet scents of vanilla, a bit of Maple, honey, light caramel and wood. Holding it on the tongue it is quite sweet with similar flavors revealed if you can hold it long enough, even the magic coconut. Upon swallow the spice is very nice, typically on the outer edges of the tongue and a slight burn to the throat. At 90.4 proof, this is a toss it down whiskey, if one were of a mind to do so, which I rarely ever do. Just seems a waste of good flavor. But people drink in different ways and for different reasons. I really like easy drinkin' Bourbons like this and will be searching for other Belle Meade whiskeys for sure. Next up the Sherry cask. $35.99 in close-by MD. $45 in PA.
Noah's Mill Bourbon
Bourbon — Kentucky, USATastedMade a run to one of my favorite stores down the road in MD and picked up 2 bottles of Noah's Mill, an Eagle Rare and a Belle Meade today. Do I have a problem? The correct answer is NO!!! LOL! Both the Noah's and the Belle Meade are new to me. This highly reminds me of Booker's in the ethanol nosing and burn in the mouth. But the taste, at a still high 114 proof (well below every Booker's in my arsenal) is more smooth and creamy. A little water or a few ice chips help to tone down the spice burn. Unlike many bourbons, this is not too sweet at all but still sweet. Being a fan of whiskeys like this, I am sipping this bad boy in my latest and favorite tasting glass, a Taylor'd Milestones Reserve. The experience is very nice indeed. While I love the classic Glencairn, while properly limiting the amount in the sip, it does not allow for simultaneous nosing ... a case of either/or, so to speak. With the Taylor'd one can actually sip or swallow and nose together, as it is simply a bigger version of the bowl and chimney design. Getting back to the Postman, errrr, Whiskey, have to say Rob Morton described this very well. The nose detects some orange oil, peach and marshmallow. On the tongue, there is a lot going on. Individual tastes will differ of course. Cinnamon spice, but in the right measure, and Vanilla cream And I do get something in the aftertaste, almost reminiscent of minty cough drops or liquid evergreen- but not in a bad way. My taster does not sense any of the nosed fruitiness here. The liquor is lightish amber and swirls nicely, leaving a telltale ribbon of thin arches which seem to turn into a series of tiny drops as the legs descend. Despite the relatively high proof, I could sip this for a good long while as the bite becomes more under control with time. But let a larger swallow through though and it immediately reminds me of the proof. Creamy smooth, nice flavor complexity and a spicy bite at the same time ... altogether delicious! This is a go-to whenever whiskey at a very reasonable price. On sale at $54 in MD. The PA stores don't have it yet. Edit 1/29/'20: PA now carries it at $59.99 and it sells out very fast, just like anything Weller. Snagged 2 with a free home delivery sale. Yeah!!!!!
Woodford Reserve Double Oaked
Bourbon — Kentucky, USATastedAnother lovely Bourbon, perfect for simple sippin'. I generally don't use any Bourbon Whiskey over $25-30 for mixed drinks so this one stays neat or has a few clean ice chips. The ice releases a roundness to the taste and sweetens it as well. Initial nosing also improves, as the ice contributes more of a sensual mist to the experience, whereas neat had little mist for my pathetic noser. There is a dill and mint herbal taste to the liquor for me when drinking neat. Not a bad thing but water/chips are a good thing overall with this one IMHO. At $59 here in PA, I will be stocking this regularly.
Red Spot 15 Year Single Pot Still
Single Pot Still — IrelandTastedDamn fine stuff. Unique flavors, some candy-like and always smooth as a baby's bottom. I drink this very slowly and in tiny sips. A ridiculously small pour in the tasting glass, when finished, leaves me very satisfied, like after enjoying a fine meal. How can anything this good be made in a series of different barrels? A great example of fine whiskey making. I would describe this whiskey as rich, very smooth and polished ... and very Limited. Finally got it here in PA to go with the Green and Yellow. Don't know if it's worth twice the cost of a Green Spot though. For the money two bottles of Green would seem make a lot more sense to my mind. The Yellow at $30 less than this delivers much the same experience, but with fruited instead of the candied fruit flavor and without the uber-sophistication. As always, just a matter of how much you want to pay for that extra measure of refinement. You can't go wrong with any of the Mitchell Spots. This one though is an absolute treat. $130 in PA. Yellow is $100 Green is $65
Peated Single Malt — Islay, ScotlandTastedFInally bought this here in PA. Have tried a lot of not-Uigeadail Ardbeg and loved all of them for various reasons, especially Corryvreckan. This one takes the cake for spice compared to many a whisky/whiskey a whole lot higher in ABV. There seems to be no way to avoid burning the back of my throat and tongue no matter how I drink it. The peat is downright juicy, which for peat lovers is very nice. The sweet is just right and the smokey/meaty is not in the same vein as Corry, Laga D.E., Laga 16yr., or Laphroaig anything. This is less like ham or brisket for me and more like a Slim Jim or Jerky that's peat smoked. It's a different flavor there I really cannot truly describe so I should stop trying. The thing I love most about drinking great Scotches is the full in- your-face experience they usually render. Sure I'm not alone in this. Guess I'll never understand how burnt rubber, iodine, sea salt, seaweed, kippers, smoked ham and something sweet thrown in, work together to satisfy the thirst, the craving, the willingness to part with hard-earned money for this kind of taste. Human beings are a funny lot. $82.99 formerly $100 here in PA. Didn't have a sale sticker so maybe there's finally been a lasting price change at the PLCB stores. Can I get an Amen, somebody?