Longrow red 12 fresh Pinot noir casks
Peated Single Malt — Campbeltown, ScotlandTastedMy share of this bottle is in a decanter that last held Hazelburn 12. Its color is to die for. The initial nosing reveals black cherry, blood orange, and grape must. Underlying these rich fruit flavors the aromas are reminiscent of an old forest. Peat explodes across the palate, adding to the aroma a medicinal quality. It’s rich and sweet, and very peaty. Sweet pepper jam and honey and raspberries also come to mind. The peat and the wine, rather than being melded together, play independent and strong roles. The pinot noir influence is ultimately the louder of the two. The boreal finish is astringent with wine tannins and barrel spice, giving way to the rich fruit notes from the nose and palate. This one is for enjoying on a chilly night in front of a bonfire. Maybe the only whisky out of Springbank Distillery that I haven’t loved – but I do like it very much.
Highland Park Dark Origins
Peated Single Malt — Orkney, ScotlandTastedThis NAS Highland Park dram is excellent. It boasts that it is the kin of the Highland Park 18, as it should. The nose is rich and promising, and the honeycomb note I associate with Highland Park is present here. On the palate this whisky is initially salty. A quenching minerality accompanies luxe notes of black plum and cardamom. The peat and sherry partner stunningly in Dark Origins. The waxy Highland Park trademark is limited to the nose this time, as the mouthfeel is actually somewhat oily. I enjoy a malty and spicy finish and a decadently oaken aftertaste. A truly excellent whisky.
Booker's Bourbon Batch 2016-03 "Toogie’s Invitation"
Bourbon — Kentucky, USATastedStar anise on the nose right away, with the smell of melted butter wafting upward out of the glass. Beyond these and more typical bourbon smells, this one smells pleasantly of a rotting, moss-covered log, making six years seem like sixty. More anise and licorice on the palate, along with toasted cashews and caramel corn. The finish is time-stopping inside, but leave it on your lips and this bourbon is so alcoholic that it evaporates within three seconds.
The Glenrothes 10 Year
Single Malt — Speyside, ScotlandTastedAn inviting, warm color in the glass, this young Glenrothes smells like butterscotch candies, heather honey, sweet barley, and honey crisp apples. The taste is on par with the nose, and in addition to more heather honey, a cherry twizzler note comes across. The malt comes across as oatmeal-like, and dried herbs like savory and marjoram accompany it. The finish is light, pleasant, and melt-in-your-mouth, and the aftertaste is sweet. This is a simple, though not simplistic, whisky, and having had a bottle of the more mature vintage releases, you can see what it’s aiming for. At $34 a bottle it makes for a better-than-usual everyday sipper.
Angel's Envy Rye Finished in Caribbean Rum Casks
Rye — USATastedMusty like an old books collection in a library. Butterscotch candies. Maple syrup. Woodspice. Deliciousness.
Los Amantes Reposado Mezcal
Mezcal Reposado — Oaxaca, MexicoTastedMiel ahumada, clavo, y minerales. 23/1/19 (cumple)
Virgin Bourbon 7 Year 101
Bourbon — Kentucky, USATastedButterscotch on the nose, all day long. The palate is sweet too, but perplexingly it has a tropical fruit feel, like papaya. It’s hot and not-at-all smooth, oaken astringency playing an outspoken role. The burn turns to vanilla extract as it coats the tongue. The finish is pretty versatile. Tonight I get shoe polish along with the oak and the tropical fruit. All I ever wanted in a bourbon. Thanks to Tom from Philly for the tip.
Springbank 12 Year Burgundy Wood
Peated Single Malt — Campbeltown, ScotlandTastedI tried this for the first time with @KoryH in April, sipped on it again in late May after J and I found out we were going to be parents, savored it at the beach in July, and have spent time with it on candlelit Saturday nights and on contemplative Sunday afternoons. Last night I finished off a generous pour after an excruciating week of witnessing the deepest evils humans are capable of. Much like life as I’ve experienced it lately, this 2016 limited release whisky from Springbank is a nemesis, complicated and multifaceted. The analogy breaks down in that this whisky is beautiful and delightful through and through. On the nose is salted papaya, the heavy aroma of late-summer gardenia, new leather, Manuka honey, black plums, and rhubarb. The longer it sits, the more the sweet wineyness mellows out, and the maritime signature wafts up as the dram continues to open up. The palate is thick and sweet in the front – pomegranate being added to the flavors from the nose. Mid-palate, brine and spice follow the deep fruitiness. Cardamom, tarragon, cayenne-dusted cashews, crushed pepper… At the back of the mouth these sensations are tied together by a deep maltiness and luxurious roundness. This whisky is tannic and heated, numbing the cheeks and gums. The finish is a wash of berries, seawater, nuts, and maltiness, and its burn fades on the tongue only after several minutes. This exquisite whisky invokes daydreams of a chilly day at a North Atlantic beach, saturated with red wine. I’m so glad to have experienced this well-balanced and beautifully crafted single malt. Its sweetness, though tantalizing, never outshines the Springbank richness. What a memorable bottle of whisky…
Port Charlotte Islay Barley
Peated Single Malt — Islay, ScotlandTastedIslay Barley pours a flax-colored liquid into my glass. The nose is surprising—cinnamon bread, iodine, dried orange peel, and the striking scent of fresh thyme (oily, savory, and floral sweet all at once). The palate follows well, and I get impressions of crisp gala apples, moist mellow pipe tobacco, orange–vanilla cream, and grilled fruit. A smoky and sweet tobacco-like finish with an impeccable alcohol burn lingers on the palate. The mouthfeel is simultaneously oily and cleansing. This is an afternoon dram, one that enlivens and refreshes the senses.
Kilchoman Machir Bay 2016
Peated Single Malt — ScotlandTastedSimilar to earlier vintages. Lovely medicinal peat, tarred rope, and sea salt. Cedarwood plays a forward role on the palate, and mellow vanilla and light fruit follow. The aromatic wood and peat character dominate, and the dram’s finish is spicy and heated. Tasted in the great company of @heymitch at Dressel’s.