Russell's Reserve 2003
Bourbon — Kentucky, USATasted January 17, 2021Nose- Vanilla; butterscotch; gentle baking spices; peanuts; confectioners sugar Palate- Initially a wave of candy sweetness; vanilla; butterscotch; fresh herbs; caramel Finish- medium, oily finish; peanuts; soft baking spices; caramel Very very very good. Very reminiscent of 80/90s WT product. If it was a touch higher in proof this would be a 5/5 whiskey for me.
Thomas H. Handy Sazerac Rye (Fall 2020)
Rye — Kentucky, USATasted January 16, 2021Nose- cinnamon; vanilla; brown sugar; cloves; rich caramel Palate- Creme brulee; cinnamon sugar; vanilla; caramel; baking spices Finish- Long, spicy finish; Caramel; baking spices; licorice
George T. Stagg Bourbon (Fall 2020)
Bourbon — Kentucky, USATasted December 13, 2020Nose- Dark cherries; coffee grounds; milk chocolate; dusty oak; cinnamon; caramel Palate- Wave of toasted almonds; confectioners sugar; dark roast coffee; spiced oak; cherries; rich vanilla Finish- Long, spicy finish; confectioners sugar; aged leather; dusty, old oak; baking spices Another year, another stunning George T. Stagg. Surprisingly, this one doesn’t dry my mouth out like most of the years past, which I like. This one has more of a spicy mouthfeel to it. I would describe this as rich, complex, and old (in the best way possible). I believe i’m in the minority here, but I prefer the 2019 edition more. Regardless, I would happily drink this at any bar, and would buy it for anything less than $250.
Old Forester 150th Anniversary Bourbon Batch 01
Bourbon — Kentucky, USATasted December 3, 2020Nose- Cherry cobbler; milk chocolate; rye bread; rich caramel; barrel char; apricots Palate- Wave of cherry syrup initially; rich caramel; graham crackers; maple syrup; touch of oak tannins; fig jam Finish- Long, thick finish; sweet cherry cordial; milk chocolate; cinnamon Very enjoyable. I could very easily see folks saying this one is too sweet, and it’s teetering on the line for me. From nose to finish you get a sweet cherry cordial note. It’s full of dark, thick notes throughout. Great for MSRP, but secondary doesn’t warrant the price.
Peated Single Malt — Islay, ScotlandTasted December 3, 2020Nose- Soft vanilla; whif of earthy peat smoke; orange rind; white chocolate; burnt wood Palate- White chocolate; peaches; earthy peat; ginger; lemons; cocoa powder; touch of bbq sauce Finish- Long, oily finish; peat smoke; creamy vanilla; black pepper Man this stuff is good. Just the right amount of heat. Beautiful nose, fantastic and oily on the palate, with a long, peat filled finish. Does this differ from the ardbeg 10 so much to say it’s worth $400 more? I say no. While this is a stunning whiskey, go for the 10, it’s stunning as well for around $50
George T. Stagg Bourbon (Fall 2019)
Bourbon — Kentucky, USATasted November 25, 2020Nose- Stewed dark fruits; dark, juicy cherries; cinnamon; heavy oak; confectioners sugar; vanilla; leather; tobacco; touch of lemon at the end Palate- Wave of aged, spicy oak; baking spices; dark berries; chocolate fudge; toasted marshmallows; rich caramel Finish- Long, oily finish; Just the right amount of spice; cherries; musty, aged oak; chocolate This is delicious, plain and simple. Many complain about the “low” abv, but forget that it’s still very much barrel proof GTS goodness. I believe this to be among the most drinkable and enjoyable GTS releases out there. Just tons and tons of tasting notes on the nose, palate and finish. This is complex, rich and full bodied, with a wonderful long finish. At MSRP, this is a steal. I would happily pay upwards of 250, maybe even 300 for this bottle. A stunner.
Single Malt — Campbeltown, ScotlandTasted October 27, 20202019 edition Nose- brown sugar; rhubarb; thyme; pine needles; touch of peat; dark chocolate; honey; Palate- funky rum notes initially; cocoa powder; pineapple juice; herbal sweetness; toasted oak; hint of earthy peat smoke; sherry sweetness Finish- medium, viscous finish; earthy peat; brown sugar/molasses; touch of tropical fruits Good, not great. The rum cask influence on this 25 year old springbank is a bit overpowering, to the point that it makes it a bit too simple and young tasting. The sherry comes through a bit, and the balance between the rum cask and sherry is quite nice, but i’m missing that cambeltown funk mixed with heavy peat that i’m accustomed to with springbank. Not my favorite release from them
Old Crow Chessmen
Bourbon — Kentucky, USATasted September 15, 20201969 Chessmen Nose- brown sugar; butter on toasted bread; dark caramel; plums; dusty oak; graham crackers; spiced honey Palate- Wave of well aged oak; vanilla sweetness; touch of whipped cream; brown sugar; lemon custard; dusty library books Finish- medium, rich finish; vanilla; aged oak; lemon shortbread This stuff is good. More light and nuanced than I was hoping for though. I can definitely taste the age (in the barrel). It’s also very obvious this is a pour not from this day and age, with lots of dusty oak and old library notes. The finish is teetering between short and medium, and it’s not the most complex thing in the world. With all the hype surrounding this pour, I can’t help but be disappointed. I also can’t help but compare it to some other legendary dusties. Wild Turkey CGF blows this out of the water, but I still like it more than OGD 114 or 86 from the 70s. All in all, I wouldn’t go for a bottle of this, especially at the price.
Four Roses 125th Anniversary Limited Edition Small Batch Bourbon (2013)
Bourbon — Kentucky, USATasted September 7, 2020Nose- Fresh raspberries; apples sprinkled with cinnamon; wood spice; floral sweetness; aged leather; rich vanilla; churros; caramel Palate- wave of honey sweetness; followed by floral spice; raspberries; vanilla; barrel char; sweet cream; burnt sugar Finish- Long, rich finish with a hint of spice; Vanilla bean; barrel char; nutmeg and cinnamon; dense caramel Four roses does it again. The nose is out of this world, the palate is fantastic, complex, and extremely balanced, and the finish is long, rich and flavorful. The nose reminds me of disneyland, with rich vanilla, sweet berries, and an unmistakable note of churros. One of the best bourbons out there, and even at secondary prices i’m eager to get my hands on one.
Lagavulin 21 Year (2012 Special Release)
Peated Single Malt — Islay, ScotlandTasted September 3, 2020Nose- Earthy peat smoke; guava paste; beef jerky; sea salt; milk chocolate; lemon oil; dried apples; sherry sweetness Palate- Wave of tropical fruits (think guava, mangoes, and a bit of pineapple); Subtle peat smoke; a touch of tar; rich vanilla; waxy oranges; sea salt; dark honey; sweet oak Finish- Long, spicy and rich finish; Vanilla bean; earthy peat; nutmeg and cinnamon Well that was amazing. A first fill-sherry cask Lagavulin that’s 21 years old? How could you go wrong? The answer is, you can’t. Through and through, this is fantastic, and I don’t have a single complaint. I could drink it all day long. It’s drinks much more like 46% than 52. The list goes on and on with all the wonderful flavors this whiskey has to offer. The nose is insanely good, the palate is insanely good, and the finish is rich, long, and just the right amount of spicy. $1000 is $1000 though, I feel lucky to have tried this.