Green Spot Single Pot Still
Single Pot Still — IrelandTastedNose: honey, vanilla, orange peel. Palate: creamy mouth-feel, orange, spicy. Short finish. Water gives the nose a nice creamsicle aroma, and brings forward the spicier notes in the palate. Overall: a new favorite Irish for me! Very balanced and tasty...almost like drinking an Old Fashioned.
I.W. Harper Straight Bourbon
Bourbon — Kentucky, USATastedNose: leather, pepper, orange. Palate: a bitter watery and muddled. Spicy citrus with a medium-length finish. Adding water sweetens the nose with floral notes and balances the palate out considerably. Overall: the flavors don’t flow together well. Would probably be fine as a mixer, but there are much better bourbons out there at this price point.
Heaven's Door Straight Rye Whiskey
Rye — Tennessee, USATastedNose: spice, lemon peel, vanilla. Palate: very spicy, cinnamon, a bit of oak; warming. Finish is long and spicy. Water: balances the nose and tames the palate. Overall: perfect for a lover of spicy ryes, with a variety of other interesting flavors.
1792 Small Batch Bourbon
Bourbon — Kentucky, USATastedNose: cinnamon, vanilla. Palate: spicy, a little citrus and tannins. Finish is long and spicy with toffee notes. Adding water significantly muted the nose, but sweetened the palate and improved balance. Overall: a good, slightly above average bourbon.
Blended — JapanTastedNose: vanilla, lemon. Palate: cinnamon, sugar, lemon. Finish is short and smooth. Water: smooths things out but doesn’t add much. Overall: fairly balanced with a fairly unique “sweet and sour” taste.
Monkey Shoulder Blended Malt
Blended Malt — Speyside, ScotlandTastedBatch: 27 Nose: strong ale, lemon rind, butterscotch. Palate: orange, malty, honey. Finish is medium length and tangy. Water is recommended. The nose becomes a sweet floral bouquet, and the palate is smoothed out a bit. Overall: I liked the taste of this one, but the nose on a neat pour was a bit off-putting. Additional note: the ABV listed here is 40%, but my bottle (USA) was at 43%.
Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye
Canadian — Manitoba, CanadaTastedNose: vanilla, butterscotch, cinnamon. Palate: a little spice, orange peel. Finish is medium length and spicy. A little water added boldness to the nose, and a nice spice to the palate. Overall: very tasty, and a good value.
Four Roses Single Barrel Bourbon
Bourbon — Kentucky, USATastedWarehouse: LE, Barrel: 2-4V. Nose: caramel, honey, and a bit of spice. Palate: lemon, pepper, malt, and honey, with a long spicy finish. The flavors clash a bit. Water didn’t change the overall profile on the nose or palate, but it did add some balance. Overall: not bad, but of course you never know what you’re going to get with single barrel offerings. I imagine that are better (and worse) picks out there.
Tullamore D.E.W. XO Caribbean Rum Finish
Blended — IrelandTastedNose: leather, nutmeg, vanilla. Palate: grapefruit, herbs. finish is fairly long and tangy. Adding water brings forward herbal notes in the nose. Overall: a very unique taste! Not really “rum like”, but very refreshing and sweet.
Pendleton 1910 12 Year Rye Whisky
Canadian — CanadaTastedNose: leather, vanilla. Palate: orange, woody, cinnamon, tannins. Finish is medium length and spicy. Adding water balances the nose with a twist of cinnamon, and sweetens the palate a bit. Overall: descent, but imperfect. Seems like it would make a good mixer (e.g. would pop well in an old fashioned, I think).