1. Connemara Original Peated Single Malt

    Peated Single Malt — Ireland

    Tasted February 26, 2021
    3.5 out of 5 stars
    This one has been on my radar for quite a while. Don't see it very often so grabbed it at specs for $45. Poured neat, nose is wintergreen, circus peanuts and just used wet umbrella. There is smoke but not the roaring wood fires of Islay. Its a puff of melted plastic along with some banana and dusty malt. Interesting for sure. Palate lets the smoke breathe a bit more. Its again no heavyweight but a nice complement to the sweet malty sugars and light spice. Barrel notes near end transition to cooling dry finish with the soft peat and honeyed smoky malt lingering. Overall its a restrained experience with the flavors nuanced and subtle. Its easy drinking, approachable and very enjoyable. This is one of the better Irish whiskies Ive had but does not in anyway compete with true smoky scotch nor does it try to. It is unique in the Irish realm and a nice tasty change of pace.......85/100
    45.0 USD per Bottle
  2. Glenfarclas 21 Year

    Single Malt — Highlands, Scotland

    Tasted February 16, 2021
    4.25 out of 5 stars
    I have become a GF fan with the 10 and 12 both impressing. Quite a jump up pricewise however for a 21 yr scotch this is great value(if its good). Ok its good ....real good. It is not in the realm of other aged sherry heavyweights such as Glendronich and Macallen. That said I have become such a fan of the GF profile Im wanting to give this a fair shot.. Poured neat nose is restrained, time and a drop help it relax. This is quite similar to the 12 in notes with the candy fruits, oaky malt sugars and wispy smoke. Adds a bit of banana peel and some old baseball card gum. Palate is soft and supple delivery of balanced barrel tannins with sweet malt and singed brown sugar sprinkled pie crust. Dried dark fruits and bit of spice round it out. Finish is long and drying malt, heavy oak and quick fade fruits with some aged leather for good measure. This is not a powerhouse with deep dense flavors it is however a well integrated refined satisfying scotch. I don't think I would buy again at $139 as I don't see the major leap from the rest of the line. Head to head yeah Im sure it smokes the 10 and 12 but have them a month apart and this is harder to justify. I have no regrets buying though as its absolutely delicious. Its just if I spend higher$$ on whiskey I want to get something out of it, the GD 18 delivers that experience in spades. Overall a wonderful scotch that just doesn't wow me for price point.......92/100.....I may eat my words as I go through this bottle and raise the score time will tell. If you just want to see a 21 on your shelf you cant go wrong with GF
    139.0 USD per Bottle
  3. Laphroaig 10 Year Cask Strength

    Peated Single Malt — Islay, Scotland

    Tasted February 10, 2021
    4.5 out of 5 stars
    Ive had 4 other Lap variants and loved them all as I have a preference for peated scotch. This stuff is potent, Ive got the 2020 version at 120.2 proof and its Lap 10 on steroids. Powerhouse flavor delivery which does benefit from a couple or few drops. The menthol, peat, iodine and seaweed are all there in spades throughout. It doesn't carry the same level of sweetness as quarter cask but adds ground cigars and burnt resins galore. The Lap olive notes I love are there too alongside charred driftwood and ash. This is dirty filthy good. Epic Islay finish and strong deep flavors its a winner no doubt. You can water this down to 10yr levels if you choose but why not enjoy the intensity. If you're not a smoke lover stay away this will crush you......94/100........buy a bottle and become a circus fire eater.... Bad note is price has climbed to $85 in my area but its worth it. I would still go Oogie or Corry over this as I lean towards Ardbeg but Lap devotees(BDanner) will be in heaven
    85.0 USD per Bottle
  4. Glengoyne 18 Year

    Single Malt — Highlands, Scotland

    Tasted February 4, 2021
    4.25 out of 5 stars
    Got a sample from a friend who knows I love scotch. I liked the 12 year and the 10 was decent. Both had good flavor but lacked depth and were a little thin. The 18 is still a tad thin but corrects the depth issue. Poured neat the nose is mature and refined. The bubble gummy fruit punch has transformed into a nice orange oil rubbed executive desk complete with worn leather chair. The palate has old sherried fruits in a dank wine cellar. There is a dark roast/gym locker funk that only scotch lovers can appreciate. Finish is long aged leather and seasoned barrel oak with the dark fruit drifting away. There is a good malt presence throughout as well and the quality here is high. I am a firm believer that 18 is when scotch really starts to deliver full flavor saturation and complexity regardless of proof. This is not on the level of say the amazing Glendronich but can compete with the other famous Glens L & F 18 yr offerings. Down side is price as most bourbon guys are in constant sticker shock but I get it. This is just where you have to go price wise for longer aged scotch experience if you are a true malt lover........94/100
  5. Colonel E.H. Taylor, Jr. Straight Rye Bottled in Bond

    Rye — Kentucky, USA

    Tasted January 29, 2021
    4.25 out of 5 stars
    Got a generous sample from my whiskey connection colleague. Poured neat, this is a nice complex nose. Doublemint gum, cloves, caramel and black licorice tend to the sweet side while pumpernickel, celery and dill balance it out. Toasty barrel and fume free throughout. Mouthfeel is a little thin but soft. Palate is dripping with flavor. Caramel wrapped sweet peppercorns, baklava, and baking spice combine with grassy fields and charred barrel. Finish is long and refreshing with cooling wintergreen, polished oak and dry rye spice. This is fantastic rye that jumps out with high quality and depth. I like it more than WP 10yr and while a different profile its up there with Pikesville in my elite ratings. If I see this for retail I will buy it. I suggest you do the same....94/100
  6. Garrison Brothers Honeydew

    Bourbon — Hye, Texas, USA

    Tasted January 27, 2021
    3.75 out of 5 stars
    Well I was excited to find this finally at Specs 1 per customer. Its not a flavored bourbon but lets just say its heavily finished. I love honey and sweet bourbon so this should work for me .......it does. Poured neat nose is clover honey and raw dough with gold medal flour tossed all over. This flour note is identifiable in Cowboy as well. I think this is the sawdust some speak of but I get flour. After time there is also bamboo beads and sharpie. The honey will mature into a thicker beeswax if rested. Palate belies 80 proof with total flavor saturation. Rich thick raw honey notes dominate with an unexpected spicy kick. Light woods and more doughy bakery goods with the sprinkled flour persist in the periphery. Its a one trick pony but this equine plays violin. Finish is same honey dough lingering with nutmeg, leather and barrel oak that is non drying. If you like this profile its all star. I wont deny the pricing is way out of line at 70-80+ should actually be in the 40s imo maybe 50 but thats the price for craft small business distillery. Im ok with that as I live local to these guys but cant see how others will be on board(guess youll never find this anyway). At the end of the day I am personally enamored with Garrison Bros and will support them.........87/100.........great stuff imo just not worth the price of admission. Non sweet tooths need not apply
    70.0 USD per Bottle
  7. Stranahan's Blue Peak

    American Single Malt — Colorado, USA

    Tasted January 21, 2021
    3.5 out of 5 stars
    Found this guy for only 37.99 at specs so had to grab it. I have become a fan of American single malts (thanks to Balcones). Figured this would be good to compare. Poured neat, nose is spicy cantaloupe, scotch tape, pencil shavings and some toasted oak. Not a deep dark event but fresh and invitingly light. Mouthfeel is average without any oiliness. Palate is crisp with good depth. New make barley malts combine with more spiced melon and light barrel oak. You can work some more fruits in if you try. Its slightly astringent just a wee bit but not enough to kill the mood. There is some richness to the flavors but the youth is known for sure drinking hotter than the proof. Finish is nice long spicy oak tannin with the fruity malt hanging on trailing off to a dry tropical note. Its a very pleasant impression overall. There is baking spices simmering with the cantaloupe/melon vibe throughout. Im gonna run this against Lineage(think Balcones takes it) but no matter this is a quality single malt worth your time.......86/100....For under 40 bucks this is good value but much over 40 the Scots will smash their bagpipes on it imo
    38.0 USD per Bottle
  8. Glenfarclas 10 Year

    Single Malt — Highlands, Scotland

    Tasted January 14, 2021
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    I had the 12 yr and liked it but was curious about this 10yr as its actually a couple dollars more than the 12 in my area. What I discovered is this trims off some of the sherry influence and gives great insight into the quality of the Glenfarclas new make. Poured neat, nose is clarified butter, rich malt, sweet roll dough, sherry dark fruits with soft barrel oak and just barely a hint of smoke. Some baking spice comes in with time. Its very satisfying and engaging. Mouthfeel is better than I remember on the 12 but its been some time in between. Palate is wonderfully balanced. Layers of thick malt blend seamlessly with stone fruit and spice. Non tannic oak and wispy char circle but do not interfere. There is a nice oily coating quality to the flavors which have good depth. Finish is long with malty oak, more spice and light fruit trailing off to what I would describe as a pleasant novocaine effect (some may say menthol but I think its more numbing in a good way). This right here showcases the new make over special finishes or long ageing. Its not complex but it is delicious. This stuff represents to me what scotch is compared with bourbon and makes me realize at the core level I prefer scotch. No world beater and of course no peat but a great representation of barley derived spirit........90/100....pure scotch goodness. Has a very good chance of creeping up to an A rating for me.... for whatever reason I really like this. I am definitely now going to purchase some of the older stock
    45.0 USD per Bottle
  9. Redbreast Lustau Edition

    Single Pot Still — Ireland

    Tasted January 12, 2021
    3.5 out of 5 stars
    Well my affection for the 12 year runs deep. I also love sherry finished scotch or bourbon for that matter(Belle Meade). I figured the combo of the luscious pot still and sherry fruit notes would be a great marriage....lets find out. Poured neat, nose brings subtle notes of malt, dusty book jacket, macadamia and buttery oak. Very similiar the the 12. If you are patient and dig a little deeper you can get some of the sherried fruits but they are not in your face. Typical excellent pot still mouthfeel is a highlight. Palate is creamy malt and avocado oil with some nutty flair and dusty oak just like the 12 but we now get tangy fruit trying to cram into the experience. Its not entirely cohesive imo. This continues on the finish with the tannic spin of the sherry modifying the rich buttery oak cleanness that Redbreast is known for. It doesnt ruin it per se just muddles the waters a bit. This sounds like a negative review but I really do like the whiskey. Its just the balance is a bit off for me. I prefer the natural purity of the 12 yr but this is one that many will love. In the end I cannot drop this much below an A rating but I prefer the standard 12 ........86/100.....Both are same price in my area
    60.0 USD per Bottle
  10. George Dickel Bottled in Bond Tennessee Whisky 11 Year (Fall 2008)

    Tennessee — Tennessee, USA

    Tasted January 10, 2021
    3.75 out of 5 stars
    Ive got the newer 11 yr offering. Comparing to 12......You would think the extra aging would be mellowing but I find it much more vibrant and immediate. Sure the 100 pf adds some but its not like its cask strength. Familiar flavors dominate. Its powerhouse old time vanilla pudding skins with maple charcoal resonating alongside. I don't get as much of the flintstones vibe here. Its present just bathed in super rich vanilla and char. The barrel notes are stronger with the age but nowhere near bitter or dry. This is an intense version of the family recipe. Its sweet and a great value at $33 for 11yr statement......87/100.....Its damn good...butttt........ I think though, for me Ill take good ole #12 if I want to quench the thirst for Dickel
    33.0 USD per Bottle
Results 11-20 of 235 Tastes