Tastes

Cornmuse

Consider your origins; you are not made to live as brutes, but to follow virtue and knowledge. Be epicurean. Be happy.

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  1. Black Velvet

    Canadian — Canada

    Tasted
    1.75
    1.75 out of 5 stars
    It's been at least 12 years since I last had this - and then it was mixed with coca cola. I've probably sipped on this bottle once, but I don't recall. The bottle in question was gifted by a family member, is full to the neck but has been opened and has been in my posession for at least 5 years. That said... Black Velvet is a Canadian whisky. In fact, its the number 2 selling Canadian whisky after Crown Royal. Its owned by Heaven Hill and produced in the Black Velvet Distillery in Lethbridge, Alberta. Tasted neat in a glencairn. I let the drink rest for about 5 minutes before evaluating. The pour is a brassy, light color. Not much viscosity to the swirl. The nose has immediate notes of grain alcohol, and something a bit sweeter with fruity notes. Overall the nose is indistinct and thin. On the pallete the thin nature continues. The whiskey is a bit watery, with no appreciable finish. It's not satisfying at all. There's a little drop of sweet, a bit of alcohol and then a flash of white pepper. Finally, there's a bit of a bitter aftertaste. I have no idea what I'll do with the rest of this bottle. This isn't something I'll drink neat again, it's definitely a non-descript mixer. Smooth? Sure, because there's nothing going on. Sweet? Maybe a little. Interesting? God no. (review update: after further consideration I realized I'd never drink this and won't serve it to friends, so down the drain it went) My scale is 1 to 5, with 2.5 being the peak of the bell curve. Most competent whiskies will end up between 2 and 3. For me, this one doesn't make the cut. I'm quite sure there are worse whiskies out there, and I hope I none of them end up in my cabinet. Hard pass.
    8.99 USD per Bottle
  2. Zackariah Harris Bourbon

    Bourbon — USA

    Tasted
    2.25
    2.25 out of 5 stars
    Until I saw this in my local liquor store, I'd never even heard of this brand. I found it at an ABC in a sale rack for $2 for a 100ml sample. Its 80 proof, straight bourbon aged "at least 36 months." You never know how things will turn out, so I figured I'd give it a shot. The whiskey is very light in color and comes in a plastic bottle. I tasted this neat in a glencairn. The nose immediately after the pour is pretty weak, but there's nothing offensive about it. Actually, I'm kind of surprised that there aren't any acetone or ethanol notes. I let the pour sit for about 10 minutes before evaluating. After the rest the nose on this is mild,but slightly paint-like with sweet notes that remind me of buttered popcorn at the movies. There's just not a lot there to like (or not like). Overall its pretty nondescript on the nose. This whiskey is pretty thin. There are minor tears after a swirl and very little sheeting. First sip, this is sweet and actually pretty nice. It's very mild. There is a soft pepper-like finish that lasts for a few seconds. I'm getting a bit of vanilla, sweet caramel and the slightest bit of spice. Clearly a low proof and I don't think this will work too well in a cocktail. I can see this in something like a "smoked" old fashioned with too much demerara - the kind of sweet, innocuous old-fashioned served by "whiskey bars" to the newly minted bourbon lovers who just know life would be completely different if they could only score a bottle of Pappy... But no way this stands up to vermouth. Or soda. Maybe coca cola if you just don't like the taste of whiskey. Its very watery and lacking in body. Anyway, it doesn't suck. At least not completely. I think I like it better than JB white label (which I don't care for at all), but its been a couple years since I last sampled that one. It's actually acceptable if price is a serious concern and your expectations are modest. I'll pick this neat over JD Old No. 7 neat every time... On my scale a 2.5 is peak of the bell curve. Clearly the majority of competently made mass market whiskey should land between 2 and 3 on this scale. Zackaraiah Harris is in that group, scoring a surprising 2.25 (an extra quarter point for being a great value). No, I'm not likely to buy another bottle. I've purchased Jim Beam Repeal Prohibition bourbon on sale for the same price and I thought that to be a better product. Zack is a pass, but I'm not a hater...
    9.99 USD per Bottle
  3. Tullamore D.E.W.

    Blended — Ireland

    Tasted
    2.5
    2.5 out of 5 stars
    My scale is a 2.5 = fully mainstream. A solid, if unremarkable, whiskey. That is an apt description of this. I've been drinking Tullamore for more years than I care to disclose. Sweet, innocuous, with flavors of honey & grain & alcohol. It's not going to change your world, but it might brighten your afternoon! Erin go Bragh
    19.99 USD per Bottle
  4. Famous Grouse

    Blended — Scotland

    Tasted
    2.0
    2.0 out of 5 stars
    I was looking for an affordable alternative to Monkey Shoulder as a mixer for my scotch & soda or occassional Rob Roy and I posted a query for a few suggestions on a couple of facebook whiskey sites I follow. Famous Grouse was offered as one suggestion. My reference is Dewar's White Label, which I like but not enough to put it in my cabinet in favor of MS despite the price difference. Ultimately I'd like to find something closer to $20 than $30, and I certainly haven't had all the blends out there in that price range. So this is the first of what I think will be an exploration of affordable scotch blends. I started by tasting this neat in a glencairn. Its pale, thin, and shows little in the way of legs on a swirl. The nose is sweet and only mildly scotch-like. Tasted neat this is sweet with forward notes of honey, some orchard fruits such as apples and pears lightly playing the background. Nearly no peat nor heat. Eh.... On a large cube this didn't get better. I"d much prefer my regular Johnny Walker Black or even a Dewar's White Label. Finally with soda, mixed 50/50, this is okay. Certainly not great. This tastes like a mediocre Irish whiskey! Sweet and approachable. Probably would be good in a sweeter mixed drink like a Blood & Sand, but I don't think it will work in a Rob Roy. Overall its a thoroughly forgettable dram that might serve as a good gateway into real scotch for a first timer looking for "smooth" and sweet. This isn't a bad dram. Just boring as hell. I think Dewar's is a "bell curve" whisky at 2.5 (minus a quarter point for being too expensive). This isn't as good as Dewar's, but it IS less expensive. Still....
    19.99 USD per Bottle
  5. Jim Beam Honey

    Other Liqueurs — Kentucky, USA

    Tasted
    2.5
    2.5 out of 5 stars
    An inherited bottle from a family member. Open and about 3/4 full. Probably been in their cabinet for a few years. I know it was stored in a dark cabinet, so its age should be irrelevant to the taste. I tasted it neat from a glencairn this time to get a sense of it, but I've enjoyed this as a quick-mixer with coke and with ginger ale in the past. The pour is a very light brassy yellow and it looks thin with little sheeting or legs. I have no idea what the proof is, I didn't look. On the nose - ethanol and a sweet "whiskey-like" note. Tasted its very sweet with prominent honey flavors that are quite one-dimensional. Kind of like a honey-flavored breakfast cereal or something of that ilk. There is, of course, no complexity at all. This tastes EXACTLY like you think it will. All of that taken into account, It's not bad. Definitely not meant to be drunk straight. Mixed with some kind of carbonated whatever it can be enjoyed. I definitely wouldn't buy a bottle, as I think anytime I'd want a honey flavor in a real cocktail I'd opt for using a honey syrup. But for what it is - a flavored liquer not meant to be taken seriously - its spot on target.
  6. Kirkland Signature Cognac XO

    Cognac — Cognac, France, France

    Tasted
    2.75
    2.75 out of 5 stars
    This is the Costco house brand. Served neat in a glencairn from a freshly opened bottle. I compared it sbs w/ Remy Martin 1738. If the Kirkland doesn't beat the RM then there's no reason to buy it. Shockingly the Remy pours a darker color. Almost a dark raw honey. The Kirkland has a more complex nose, though. Sweet marzipan and slight old leather notes but nothing more specific. Tasting this - at first I note this faint wisp of menthol. My mind flashes to Vicks Vapo-Rub. Seriously. It's not horrible, but its not expected either. Weird. Its not like its the only note, but its what I noticed first. It has a sweet wine note, grapes, barrel wood. The Vicks impression fades as the liquor oxidizes, but its still there after about 15 minutes. My first imprssion is that the RM 1738 is significantly better. Creamier, richer and with more depth of flavor. The Kirkland is, by comparison, thin and offers up traces of menthol, barrel wood and other "stuff". It does get better with some air. I'll revisit this after the bottle has a chance to "settle in". I think this is going to be a mixer as it really doesn't match my expectations. I was told (by someone who's opinion I won't trust again) that the Kirkland XO was a "great" cognac at a very competitive price and that it was "as good as" Hennessy XO. Uhm.... NO. It's not. Right now, I"m not impressed. For the money this is a no brainer - it will be a hard pass. The Kirkland doesn't suck, but its not (NOT) better than the Remy Martin 1738, and a damned far cry from the Hennessy. I guess you get what you pay for.
    51.99 USD per Bottle
  7. High West American Prairie Bourbon

    Bourbon — Indiana and Kentucky (bottled in Utah), USA

    Tasted
    3.0
    3.0 out of 5 stars
    Tasted neat in a plastic cup - alfresco at seaside. The view of sunset over the gulf is definitely making everything taste a little bit better. Ethanol & vanilla on the nose. A bit woody. Sweet and inoffensive on the pallete. Not sure I'd buy a bottle, but at this moment I intend to drink what's left in this one...
  8. Old Grand-Dad 114 Bourbon

    Bourbon — Kentucky, USA

    Tasted
    4.0
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    Definitely not my first taste of this old war horse, but my first reviewed here. The pour was from a freshly opened bottle, neat into a glencairn. I'm sitting here waiting for it to air out a bit and the scents coming up from the glass are just crazy. This isn't a lightweight, and you'll know it right away! A swirl shows robust sheeting with thin, slow legs. Clearly there's a good measure of viscosity here. The color is a beautiful amber. After a few minutes in the glass I'm ready to stop looking and stick my nose right where it belongs... It is almost surprising that there's no strong notes of ethanol here. Certainly there is alcohol on the nose, but its not nearly as astringent and strong as the 57% ABV would lead one to believe. I get a vanilla monster, big sweet notes, and giant wafts of ginger, cinnamon, paprika, allspice, and even faint notes of cherries and buttered popcorn. This is a far more complex nose than should be expected from a sub $40 bottle. On the palette this is sweet with cinnamon red hots, vanilla, and a solid touch of carmelized sugar. The flavor opens with a candy's kiss, and immediately progresses to a full charge of flavor with a long, slow, warming finish. The mouthfeel is creamy, rich and thick. It coats the tongue and lips. Did I mention the finish. It goes on and on. Now this... this is a bourbon! Oh my! Everything you've ever heard about OGD114 is true. It's big. It's strong. It's spicy. It's bold. It's sweet. It's a great value. It's unimaginably tasty for a whiskey with no age statement, no secondary market, and no taters taking crotch shots in the car to share the celebration that comes from spending $80 on a $35 bottle that's artificially hard to find. There is nothing trendy or cool about OGD114. This is a an old-school bourbon lovers bourbon.
    32.99 USD per Bottle
  9. Basil Hayden's Dark Rye

    Other Whiskey — Multiple Countries

    Tasted
    2.0
    2.0 out of 5 stars
    Enjoyed neat from a rocks glass at a restaurant. This is going to be a short review. This is sweet (ish), fruity (ish), cloying, and mostly inoffensive. It is not, however, a rye. There's nothing rye-like to speak of. There's very little to the (short) finish. No spices. No crazy fruitcake notes. No pepper. No complexity. No spark. What is there? Whatever it was bored the bejesus out of me. Pour an indifferent port into a indifferent rye and you'll end up with something like this. I don't like it and I'm certainly not spending money to buy a bottle after this tasting. I can think of half a dozen other whiskies I'd rather have, and all priced under $20 per bottle. This is a rye for people who don't like rye... or whiskey. Hard pass
    38.99 USD per Bottle
  10. Dewar's White Label

    Blended — Scotland

    Tasted
    2.25
    2.25 out of 5 stars
    I started drinking Dewar's White Label sometime around 1984, so this is a pretty familiar scotch to me. For a long, long time it was my daily drinker. As my available funds became a bit more flexible, my tastes changed and I progressed to single malts, bourbons and, my favorite, rye. But when I'm up against the wall and White Label is all that's to hand, I have no problems with it. This taste was courtesy of American Airlines at 32,000 feet. Served on ice. At least it was a real glass. Dewar's is okay. It tastes like grain alcohol with a few drops of a smokey something or other in there. It's like a real scotch whisky only without all the complexity, aroma and taste. Scotch from a fast food restaurant would taste like this. My favorite way to enjoy Dewar's White Label is 50/50 with soda. White Label has a bit of an antiseptic note that I'm not particularly happy with. It's less noticeable when served on the rocks, and it goes without saying that this particular whisky isn't intended to be drunk neat. This might not sound like a reverberating endorsement, but the truth is there are worse things one could find in one's glass. Like the other white label - Jim Beam - this is just a working class dram. It's not a world beater and it doesn't offend my taste buds. It's the 8th best selling scotch in the world at 2.8+ million cases (according to The Spirits Business web site), and that has to count for something. In my world an average nothing-special bottle that's available everywhere nets a 2.5 rating. right in the middle of the bell curve. Dewar's White Label is running with the pack, although I docked it a quarter point based on price. It seems like its just a bit more expensive than it ought to be. You won't find White Label in my liquor cabinet, but I'm happy to have it on a flight....
    26.99 USD per Bottle
Results 1-10 of 93 Tastes