Tobermory 10 Year
Single Malt — Islands, ScotlandTastedThis one, I would describe as flat. Kinda like the Redbreast 12 is consistent in its palate all the way through, no highs or lows, this guy is the same concept. Honey and fresh herb on the nose, think basil or cilantro in terms of the freshness, but not their specific flavors. On the palate, citrus jumps out right away, and mixed with the fresh greens, kinda reminds me of the freshness of an IPA. It’s different than other scotches I’ve tried from other regions. I like it, but the fresh herbs and citrus but is its only trick. The finish is quick. It intrigued me to find other good island scotches, like Jura or Talisker.
Port Askaig 8 Year
Peated Single Malt — Islay, ScotlandTastedOk, this dram highlights the difference, for me, between reading a theological treatise, and diving into the world of the Legend of Zelda. Both, for me, are recreational activities. But one, I do to engage my brain and grapple with heavy ideas, and the other, I do to escape into a fantasy world where sure, there are challenges, but for the most part, I’m relaxing. Irish whiskeys and non-Islay scotches are my happy place, my Hyrule. This scotch is G.K. Chesterton’s Orthodoxy. Meaty, in fact, I now understand what people mean when they say a whiskey reminds them of ham. I can taste ham in my dram. Definitely smoky, but smooth, and the campfire doesn’t linger super long. I’d call it a good “gateway Islay.” Enjoyable, but I still struggle with the genre.
Redbreast Lustau Edition
Single Pot Still — IrelandTastedGreat Irish. This guy takes the 12 year’s amplitude and kicks it up a notch. Less toffee, more dark fruit, like plum or cherry, more alcohol. But here’s the thing, I can’t tell that the alcohol is there as much as the 15 year, which is the exact same proof. And that’s a positive in my book. The linger is almost as long as the 12 year, and nose is more fruity. Combine that with the slightly amped up body and presence of the sherry butt and his guy grades out right alongside the 12. Afterthought: man I love how that dark fruit washes over my palate and just sits there.
Redbreast 15 Year
Single Pot Still — IrelandTastedI enjoy this boy too, but the 12 is better by a decent margin. Whereas the 12 is slow and steady wins the race, keeping the palate consistently full from sip to finish, this guy is like a bottle rocket; it hits you harder than the 12 with alcohol and sherry up front and then drops off. I’d need to sip it pretty consistently to keep up the savor. On the nose, it’s floral and metallic, like the tinge of well water. Copper sits with me on the quick finish.
Redbreast 12 Year
Single Pot Still — IrelandTastedOh, Redbreast. If I were a poet, I would write a sonnet about you. But I’m not, so here’s an average whiskey review. This Irish is more full than most, but not robust, by any means. Pleasantly sweet, but refreshingly not suuuper sugary sweet. I could actually drink this for an extended period of time. Heavy on the toffee, but I’m perfectly fine hanging out there. Sherry character is pronounced, and it avoids the sulfur follow-up characteristic of some other sherried whiskeys I’ve had. Can barely taste the alcohol, and smooth as all get out. The finish lingers. Fantastic Irish.
Barrell Bourbon Batch 014
Bourbon — USATastedCorn. Vanilla. Wood. Alcohol. It’s a bourbon.
Jefferson’s Ocean Aged at Sea Voyage 17
Bourbon — USATastedSecond taste edit: had it again and liked it more, bumping this bit up yet again to a 4.0. I’m a fan of this unique bourbon. Wood spice is pronounced. It’s not as much like licking a salted barrel as the Bunnahabhain, but it’s great and briny in a different way. This certainly has hints of salted caramel, but moreso, I get salted soft pretzel, which anyone who knows me knows is one of my favorite things. The nose gives me freshly baked pretzel. Light fruit flavor and the finish is pretty quick. Fearfully and wonderfully made, this whiskey.
Chestnut Farms Bourbon
Bourbon — Kentucky, USATastedThe nose and palate are very similar. Reminds me of gold medal ribbon from Baskin Robbins, that beautiful vanilla ice cream laced with caramel ribbons. It sticks around on my tongue, but the thing that lingers most is ethanol. Kinda thin otherwise. For $50, there are much better bourbons, but I enjoyed this boy.
Henry McKenna 10 Year Bottled in Bond Bourbon
Bourbon — Kentucky, USATastedOn the nose, I get wood, chocolate-covered cherry and Nilla wafers. The wood is oaky, but I also kinda get a twist of sandalwood. On the palate, wood and caramel, and immediately clingy mouthfeel. Cherry is strong on the finish, but mixed with the ethanol, reminds me of NyQuil. It tastes like it’s higher than 100 proof, and that’s not necessarily a good thing in this case. Reminds me of the 1792 full proof in how harsh it is. I added a couple mils of water and it smelled more floral. More enjoyable palate too, more butter and caramel came out. Overall, this is a solid bourbon that doesn’t quite live up to the hype.
Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve 9 Year
Bourbon — Kentucky, USATastedI definitely get a lot of ethanol on the nose of this high-proof juice. Hear me out on this: I also get a little strawberry Twizzler. On the palate, bourbon: light cinnamon, oak and vanilla. It’s just more full than most bourbons that have a similar flavor profile. The Belle Meade was more complex tonight, but this is a heck of a sipper.