Tastes

Grumpious

Life’s too short to drink bad whisk(e)y

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  1. Aberlour A'bunadh

    Single Malt — Highlands, Scotland

    Tasted April 4, 2021
    4.25
    4.25 out of 5 stars
    With it being Easter Sunday and still having some time until the turkey is ready, I figured it would be time to tuck in and review this CS Speycide. Specifically this is batch 68 and was bottled a little higher at 61.5% ABV. Before even bringing the glass to the nose the sherry is evident in the dark amber, almost red color. Once at the nose the Oloroso continues with stewed fruit and raisins. Behind that there are waxy almonds, not sweet enough to be marzipan but trying to get there. Bitter chocolate is way at the back and then an ethanol hit forces you to reset and try again. Palate is actually quite interesting in both flavour and texture. The sip starts off thinner then expected, with more dark raisins and prunes kicking off with some dark fruity funk. But the initial thinness quickly coats and then almost coagulates into a very oily and long lasting mouthfeel. Now that you are making that motion with your mouth that people without teeth seem to make by chewing on nothing, the malted barley shows up and stays for a while, supported by just the lightest bit of baking spice and pepper. Finish is medium long, with that sherry coming back for a 3rd appearance, with just the right amount of warmth. Come to think of it I’ve had 2 drams while writing this and forgot it was a 61.5.. mild enough to get you in trouble. Overall, a wonderful whisky. If someone asks for a quintessential example of what sherry can do to a pour, recommend this. Funky, rich, oily and delicious....time for one more before that oven timer goes off.
    113.0 CAD per Bottle
    Edmonton
  2. Russell’s Reserve Private Barrel #20-0939

    Bourbon — Kentucky, USA

    Tasted March 28, 2021
    3.75
    3.75 out of 5 stars
    Details around this specific barrel that was selected by Wine & Beyond: Distilled: 09-19-11 Dumped: 11-05-20 Bottled: 11-30-20 Warehouse: E Floor: 4 Having been a fan of many things WT and enjoying all the RR products I’ve had so far I had to snag a private barrel as we just don’t see as many of those up here. Nose is quite lively with all the bourbon vibes you know and love. Citrus and cream up front, then layers of toffee, brown sugar and corn down the middle. Way in the back you can just start to pick out some char and spice, but the ethanol is present enough to try and keep you from digging. Palate doesn’t deviate from the nose, but there is a shake up in the order. Baking spice hits on first sip, not aggressively but enough to get your attention. Then it’s all about the grain and the barrel with rich, oily burnt corn and wooden staves monopolizing everything. If you like sweetness in your bourbon this isn’t for you. Finish is long, with way more heat slowly building from the chest back up the throat then 110 proof ought to. More bitter tannin and a hint of char hang on for quite some time. Overall this a great bourbon. It’s dark, rich, oily and has enough charred wood to make Makers 46 pretty jealous. A no nonsense whiskey that I’m happy to have in cabinet.
    82.0 CAD per Bottle
    Edmonton
  3. Talisker Distillers Edition (2020 Release)

    Peated Single Malt — Islands, Scotland

    Tasted March 22, 2021
    3.5
    3.5 out of 5 stars
    Of the few Talisker expressions I’ve tried I have yet to be disappointed so looking forward to this 2020 DE. The wine barrels are showing their influence in color, with deep ambers making this NAS seem very old indeed. Nose is very prominent with salty brine and iodine first popping out looking for attention. If you close your eyes you would swear it was a dirty martini with extra olives. Over ripe stewed fruits fill the middle, but dig down under those and the peat and char smoke not only show up but wrap everything up quite cohesively as you pull away from the glass. Palate begins as the nose ended, with lightly burnt staves starting things off. Malted cereal is next which then shifts quickly into a sweetness I wasn’t expecting. Then just as fast as things started they are over. There isn’t enough oil or proof here to make it last long enough to explore. Finish is short, with some smoky vegetal flavours and hints of wood, but like the palate it’s over fast. This is a good whisky, but it’s not great because it’s over too soon. I got this as a single pour gift back in December so not sure what a bottle costs but it feels like it would be more of an affordable offering from Talisker.
    Edmonton
  4. Jack Daniel's Single Barrel Barrel Proof

    Tennessee — Tennessee, USA

    Tasted March 14, 2021
    3.75
    3.75 out of 5 stars
    This tasting is coming from a Wine & Beyond store pick, specifically barrel #20-20111 which was bottled on Nov 2, 2020. The nose is warm and subtle, delivering brown sugar and molasses up front, and charred cherries and oak out back. These are some of the classics I was expecting. While the ethanol isn’t too prominent initially, if you sit with this long enough and keep exploring, it will jump out occasionally and bite you. The palate comes to play a bit harder then the nose with that uncut proof. First sip is an explosion of citrus, baking spices and heat, quickly carried to all the tastebuds thanks to a good amount of oil. Some maillard reaction sweetness comes next, reminding me of a charred barrel stave dipped in toffee. Then things settle down with soft leather and cereal notes, gently bringing you to the finish. That finish is medium in length, with a decent lingering warmth that leaves you with peppery oak tannins and some bitter orange rind. Overall a really good bourbon (Ok, Tennessee whiskey) that has a quiet nose, loud palate and somewhere in-between finish. Here in Alberta there aren’t too many good CS under 100 so if you see this for a good price snag it.
    92.0 CAD per Bottle
    Edmonton
  5. Kilchoman Sanaig 2016

    Peated Single Malt — Islay, Scotland

    Tasted March 1, 2021
    4.0
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    This has been on my list a while but always seemed a little too pricey to pull the trigger. Well I found it at a reasonable price today so thought it was now or never. The nose is thick and heavy with dark jammy fruit simmering in sea water. Dive in deeper and peat smoke and iodine instantly take you exactly where you want to be with an Islay. Malt forward grain brings up the rear. Letting it breathe too much does uncover the ethanol which is fine, but thins out the luxury that was there previously. I was expecting some sweetness at the front of palate but it really leans in with boggy, decaying peat right off the get go, then heads up to the surface with grassy vegetal notes. From there it evolves again showcasing the barley farm it came from with unctuous cereal flavour. Finish is medium, with the faintest hint of spice but more bitterness of cocoa and oak. Drinking this whisky makes me think of terroir, as I don’t feel like I left the actual field through the whole dram. It’s interesting but not complicated, and overall delicious. I don’t pick up on much sherry influence (other then nose) and will be interested to try next to Machir Bay.
    79.0 CAD per Bottle
    Edmonton
  6. Glenfarclas 105 Cask Strength

    Single Malt — Highlands, Scotland

    Tasted February 27, 2021
    3.75
    3.75 out of 5 stars
    To find a cask strength anything for 70 CAD is rare, and just like their affordable age statements, Glenfarclas does it again. The nose delivers a great perfume, assertive but soft with a quick waft of floral jumping out, and then banana and apple rising to the top next. Creamy vanilla butterscotch hangs around in the middle, and malty grain with just a touch of ethanol rounds out the experience. The palate is of course more aggressive with the 120 proof, with lots if flavour but not overly complicated. Honey and earthy malt are the main player here, and stick around far longer then you expect. While you wait to find more layers you realize your still in the malt room spooning it directly into your mouth. A light smoke leads into some baking spice but feel disproportionate to how full the front and mid palate were. Finish isn’t super long but does keep your attention. Some oaky tannins mixed with pepper and proof heat are welcome here. This is what the St Benards should have in the casks running around the alps. Overall a very flavourful whisky that is a good kick up from the 10/12/15 and super affordable.
    73.0 CAD per Bottle
    Edmonton
  7. Ardbeg Uigeadail

    Peated Single Malt — Islay, Scotland

    Tasted February 20, 2021
    4.25
    4.25 out of 5 stars
    Well that didn’t take long. After reviewing Corry for #100, the comments from some of you to try Oogie clearly had impact. It now joins the collection, so let’s see how it stacks up. First reaction to the pour is how dark this is, like...we are in Texas whiskey territory. The nose starts off with some soft jammy sweetness, then countering that with salty sea air. This creates great balance and leaves you free to keep exploring. The peat comes next, and while quite assertive, it backs off at just the right time to let you pick up some rich mocha notes and ends with a vanilla cream. What a decadent dessert Islay nose. Palate is equally rich and inviting, greeting you with a touch of sweetness and then giving more smoke and tar then the nose let on. There is a wonderfully long malted middle, chewy and satiating as you feel like your tasting all the actual barley. Then some spice kicks in, with a little baking and a little pepper and then some funk from the sherry. Each component really does compliment the other. The finish doesn’t linger too long in terms of flavour, but the additional proof does give some warmth for a bit. Some nice woody flavours as well but not dry or bitter, just present enough to get your attention. This is one easy sipper if you like Islays. I thought the Corry was mature compared to the 10, but this takes it to a new place. Mellow but complex, assertive but not aggressive, it’s an outstanding whisky.
    94.0 CAD per Bottle
    Edmonton
  8. Ardbeg Corryvreckan

    Peated Single Malt — Islay, Scotland

    Tasted February 16, 2021
    4.25
    4.25 out of 5 stars
    For my 100th review on here I thought it should be something I know I will like and fitting of the milestone. Having loved 10, Blaaack and An Oa, let’s dive (pun intended) right into Corry. You can indeed pickup the bones of the 10 on the nose, but this brings darker, smoother layers. Brine wafts from the glass first, making every dirty martini you’ve have before it jealous. Earthy peat vegetal notes are next followed by unctuous smoky meats. Unlike the 10 where each component is screaming and vying for your attention, this dram is more mature and is just as complex but mellow. The palate also acts like it’s had some time to grow up, as well as hit the gym so it can throw you around. The additional proof makes this magical with sticky, tarry rope coating the mouth at first sip, then changing to damp, decaying vegetation. Thick, acrid smokey phenols round out the middle and once this finally settles down there is a hint of barley and oak to remind you that this a distilled and aged spirit. Finish is medium long with lasting peat, pepper and dry oak, with the 57% doing a fine job of keeping me warm in this cold Edmonton weather. I haven’t tried Uigeadail yet but this is my favourite expression so far. So familiar, but cranked up enough to make it interesting and a keeper in the cabinet.
    124.0 CAD per Bottle
    Edmonton
  9. Clynelish 14 Year

    Peated Single Malt — Highlands, Scotland

    Tasted February 8, 2021
    3.75
    3.75 out of 5 stars
    Before even getting into this dram the first thing I’m noticing is the legs, which I don’t usually pay attention to but from first swirl this looks like it might be good. The nose is firmly in highland territory, with bold scents of honey, malted grain, and just a hint of fruity sweetness in the background. While this is not coloring outside of any lines, the other adjective that comes to mind is creamy. The whole thing is so smooth and rounded; more so then some comparable pours. The palate is similar in that texture, soft and sweet up front with that bright honey, then the expected barely comes in and makes itself known for a good length of time. Then there is an earthy note that is probably supposed to be peat, but it’s so mild I can barely find it. Just when I think I’ve separated it from the malt, a splash of baking spice and oak take over and take me to the finish line. Finish is medium long, hanging out in the back of the throat with some warm ethanol, a touch of spice and then some smoke, almost as if it knew I was going to complain about this not being peaty/smoky enough. Overall this whisky smells & tastes like quality. It didn’t take me off any beaten paths, but it ticks every box for a solid, delicious pour of scotch.
    16.0 CAD per Pour
    Edmonton
  10. Tullibardine 500 Sherry Finish

    Single Malt — Highlands, Scotland

    Tasted February 7, 2021
    3.5
    3.5 out of 5 stars
    Over the last few weeks I was able to try the Sovereign, 225, & 228 expressions, and liked each one better then the last. Now with this 500 sherry finish let’s see if the trend continues. The sherry is the star on the nose, with dark fruits coming out first. Reminiscent of children’s cherry cough syrup, but not in a sweet way, just the concentrated way. After some time to breathe the malt comes in next, with hints of dark cocoa dancing in and out. It’s not boring, but it is a little flat footed. Palate doesn’t deliver anything new, but what’s there is good. Starts off slick and oily which is a plus, giving you time to enjoy the robust cereal and honey medley this offers. Baking spice is next up, really doing it’s best to bring a little effervescence to that rich umami that’s been there for both front and mid palate. After that there isn’t much else. Finish lingers about medium in length, with some warm oaky tannins that are just a bit on the bitter side. Overall this is a tasty dram, but the extra syrupy sherry influence isn’t super exciting. Perhaps I’m a bit spoiled now and just more inclined to looking for funky adventures.
    Edmonton
Results 1-10 of 107 Tastes