Noah's Mill Bourbon
Bourbon — Kentucky, USATastedMade a run to one of my favorite stores and picked up 2 bottles of Noah's Mill, an Eagle Rare and a Green Brier Belle Meade today. Do I have a problem? The correct answer is NO!!! LOL! 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. Unlike many bourbons, this is not too sweet at all. I really like whiskeys like this and 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 Glencairn, it insists upon limiting the amount in the sip and does not truly allow for simultaneous nosing ... a case of either/or, so to speak. With the Taylor'd one can actually swallow and nose together, as it is simply a bigger version of the chimney glass. Getting back to the Postman, errrr, Whiskey, have to say Rob Morton described this very well. On the tongue, there is a lot going on there. Individual tastes will differ of course. And I do get something in the long aftertaste, almost reminiscent of minty cough drops - but not in a bad way. The liquor is lightish amber and swirls nicely, leaving a telltale ribbon of thin arches which seem to turn into tiny drops instead of legs, as they 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 a larger swallow though immediately reminds me of the proof. Creamy smooth with nice complexity and a spicy bite at the same time ... altogether delicious! On sale at $54 in MD. The PA stores don't have it.
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. 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. 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. Two bottles of Green 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. 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. $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 similar that's peated. 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 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?
W.L. Weller Special Reserve
Bourbon — Kentucky, USATastedI'm not tasting what Distiller reviewer Rob Morton tasted. This wheated bourbon is a spicy hit all the way for me. It's not that you can't nose out the aromas --- I get honey, caramel, vanilla. But the taste is all spice to me, whether I toss it down or hold it on the tongue. 90 proof and burns every bit of it. But at this price who cares about such things. There is no trace of barrel wood with this one and the finish is remarkably long and simple. This is a wonderful sippin' or mixin' whiskey that punches above it's weight class. I snagged 2 of these off a special release email from the PA stores. Also had an Old Fitzgerald BIB 13 year (with a three bottle limit!) in the cart 2 minutes after getting the email but would 've had to do a separate transaction for that first because all of those bottles were gone when I checked out just 1 minute later with the Wellers included. Oh well, lesson learned!!! 2 minutes can be a lifetime when it comes to limited releases. $26.99 at the PLCB stores. Would have been $129.99 for the Old Fitzgerald if I'd only been quicker.
Suntory Whisky Toki
Blended — JapanTastedFirst taste of anything Japanese alcohol (except for some Sake back in the day). Nosing for me always brings difficulty. I do get a something that might be marshmallow, slight marzipan, etc. along with the green fruit of apples, pears and light citrus. On the tongue it is all lightly malted sweet candy with no discernible burn. Finish is medium but the sweetness remains. For the price this is such easy sipping. I'm sure the higher priced Yamazaki, Oishi offerings her in PA are worth the money. But for easy sippin' this is hard to beat. I'm a full two fingers into this 750ml and it is difficult to believe this is 86 proof. Feels more like 80 ... but it may have delayed hit due to it's light mouthfeel and thin weight, despite respectable legs in the Glencairn. I put this in the same class as the Knappogue Castle 12 year in terms of cost, overall value and taste but I prefer the Irish for a few dollars more. PA $40 but on sale at $36.
Elijah Craig Barrel Proof Batch B518
Bourbon — Kentucky, USATastedI see they now have an entry for the B518 so I'm 'duping' this from the generic Barrel Proof entry. Still one of the better bargains out there. Along with Eagle Rare, McKenna's 10 yr BIB, even the Small Batch EC, all are outstanding values which deliver well above their price. At the price, this is very good. It's what I would reach for when a "good stiff drink" is needed. But Bourbons like this I would generally not drink too much of at any one time. Maybe a finger or two...okay, two! I do the same with 3 various Booker's Batches, all very high ABV. The strength, the burn, the sweet without saccharine, in short, the wonderful bourbon-ness of these liquors allows me to enjoy them without needing too much and also allows me to nurse these suckers 'til the cows come home. Thanks to the many posters on this whiskey, especially @PBMichiganWolverine for stimulating my curiosity about it.
Glenfiddich 14 Year Bourbon Barrel Reserve
Single Malt — Speyside, ScotlandTastedFor the money this is a very fine whisky. Here in PA, the 12 year standard is $50 and this 14 year Bourbon Barrel Reserve is only $8 more...a complete no-brainer. I actually first tasted it, as I often do with non-exotic priced liquor, with a snack, either a sandwich or some cheese and bread/crackers. This delivers wonderfully sweet fruitiness on the nose and in the mouth. At sip, a warm bit of spicey on the inner cheek and tongue combines with a fruity sweetness. I get everything from peachy/mango to coconut with this one. The finish at swallow is medium and there is a lingering aftertaste of sweet long after. I'm thinking certain kinds of hard candy, the really good tinned English/French stuff. And yes, there is also apple fruit, well after swallow. A wonderful bargain by a storied brand, though the less complex Irish Knappogue Castle gives it solid value competition for $15 less in PA. $58 at the PLCB
Talisker 10 Year
Peated Single Malt — Islands, ScotlandTastedWonderful Whisky! This comes close to the brand's Distillers Edition. As usual, Stephanie has pretty much nailed the descriptions. And as with the difference I found between the Lagavulin D. E. and the 16 yr. Laga, this also has less finish than the Tali D.E. but offers a very nice peat reminder the mouth can appreciate between sips. Also, as with the 16 yr Lagavulin, I prefer to really hold this on the tongue a good while to maximize the experience. Just delicious and with a mild burn to satisfy heat lovers. This tastes more refined to me than say, the 10 yr Laphroaig, and without the powerful medicinal after tastes. For me, this is a great Scotch to sit and sip and pass away some time. In PA the price difference from the more complex D.E is only $10, so I will likely alternate purchases between them when seeking Talisker. $66 in PA at the PLCB.
High West American Prairie Bourbon
Bourbon — Indiana and Kentucky (bottled in Utah), USATastedJust tasted this from a neighbor's bottle. Very sweet, nice burn level all around the tongue and slight on the cheeks at 92 proof. Very smooth but not complex. At the price this is a nice sippin' whiskey. Just don't bring any high expectations as this is a simple kind of good taste for anyday drinking. $40 in PA