Colonel E.H. Taylor, Jr. Straight Rye Bottled in Bond
Rye — Kentucky, USATastedThe EHT lineup is one that is almost impossible to find in my area. Perhaps it is Michigan's screwed up allocation system or the many flippers that seem to be around, but even the base small batch is elusive. Managed to get this one through a regular shop before Christmas, but still had to pay up a bit. I do enjoy the standard dram so hopefully this one is a nice. Nose is definitely rye with a nice fresh baked banana nut bread base. First sip is mellow rye. Upfront are honey and a little brown sugar with a light rye base. After that initial sweetness the rye spice pours in with a simmering cinnamon burn that never gets overwhelming, but brings a nice long gang finish. Overall this is a really nice dram. However, the price of entry is just too high. At $70 I'd feel better, but given the fact you can't find it there I'd rather grab a Barrell Rye at the $100 mark. Loses half a point for cost on this one, but still a really nice pour.100.0 USD per Bottle
Sagamore Spirit Rye Barrel Select (Cork & Keg)
Rye — USATastedTasting an A&B store pic tonight. This one looks great on the shelf with great color in a nice bottle. Hoping the juice inside lives up, but the reviews have been a little mixed so here goes. Nose on this one is almost sweet bourbon at first, but then the rye notes come in just as you are about to give up on them. Mostly brown sugar here with a just a hint of baked bread. First sip brings some lovely toasted caramel on the front end. Then a soft burn starts to come on in the middle, but it is more cinnamon than traditional rye pepperness. The dram closes to more traditional fresh baked bread notes and a soft finish. Not going to lie here, this one surprised me a bit. I know barrel picks can vary so you have to keep that in mind, but I am really impressed with this bottle. I will need to try some others from the line, but this is an excellent bridge for bourbon drinkers that haven't been able to find a rye they can drink. Definitely recommend this bottle at the price.50.0 USD per Bottle
The Macallan Double Cask 12 Year
Single Malt — Highland, ScotlandTastedThis one was a small sample so take that into account with this review. Nose is light with this one. Small amount of peat and almond. First sip is quite nice. A little bite, honey, and almonds. This is a really pleasant dram. Overall this one is a little puzzling to me. There is nothing about this that I can live without or that I think is amazing. At the same time there is not a single thing I don't like about this dram. I can say that trying this makes me want to try some of the higher rated Macallan products. This one isn't on my search list, but it intrigues me enough to want to look deeper into the range.
G4 Extra Añejo Tequila
Tequila Extra Añejo — Los Altos, Jalisco, MexicoTastedThose that have read other reviews know that tequila is not my jam. This one was recommended by a local shop keeper though and since my wife loves tequila we will give this a go. Nose is actually sweet here. I am not getting any of the usual tequila agave smoke. The color on this is really light for an extra. First sip is light sugar water. A little burn on the edges adds some interest, but overall I am a bit disappointed. There just isn't much going on here. This is stupid smooth and for a tequila. I can see someone just sipping on this until clothes start coming off, but it just doesn't bring enough to the party for me. Unlike most tequilas this is very drinkable, just not my fit overall.85.0 USD per Bottle
Glenfiddich 18 Year
Single Malt — Speyside, ScotlandTastedThird bottle from a Christmas 3 pack. This is the oldest so hopefully the best is last. Nose is really soft with very little jumping out. Slight touch of peat and a little honey. First sip is soft honey and almond. More cherry and light chocolate as well. Slight peat on the front end. The big change here seems to be a longer and warmer finish. Overall this one definitely is the winner for me. Flavor profiles between 15 and 18 are close, but the 18 has a much more robust finish to my palate. Not sure I'd pay up for a bottle at this age, but I can ses why it has better overall reviews.
Glenfiddich 15 Year Solera Reserve
Single Malt — Speyside, ScotlandTastedPart of a 3 pack sampler. The 15 is the middle aged entry. The 12 year was a nice pour, but didn't knock my socks off. Nose on this is very light smoke, but there is definitely fruitiness shining through. First sip is a little bit of peat, but also brings some cherry and chocolate. The finish is mild and warm. Overall I want to love this. There is just a litte too much peat for me, but it is significantly better than the 12 year. Would not turn down a pour of this one.
Glenfiddich 12 Year
Single Malt — Speyside, ScotlandTastedPicked this up as a three pack sampler. This is the base offering. Nose is a bit smokey here with some candy almonds. First sip is nice almond and marzipan. Not sure where the smoke went, but not really a peaty dram. Finish is warm and soft. Overall this is a nice dram. I don't think this one would swing someone to single malt, but it is a good pour.
Old Fitzgerald Bottled in Bond 9 Year (Spring 2020)
Bourbon — Kentucky, USATastedSo can we start by talking about this bottle? I mean can you honestly say you don't want to try the juice inside this gem? It looks like what you would expect to be sitting on some baller's bar top in the 60's! Ok enough about the bottle, let's try what's inside. Nose is all vanilla and toffee. This one I think I could just nose the glass for awhile and enjoy the evening without a sip. Who are we kidding here, of course I am going to drink it! First sip is initially soft on the palate with more of that vanilla, but a nice brown sugar and cinnamon burn warms you up quickly before settling into a long caramel finish. At $150 this is pricey, but damn it is fantastic. Vanilla and caramel rolling throughout. I rarely give really high ratings to pricey drams because they don't live to the hype. This will be an exception and I would pay $150 any day for another bottle.150.0 USD per Bottle
Barrell Craft Spirits Bourbon 15 Year (2020 Release)
Bourbon — (bottled in) Kentucky, USATastedBarrell has quickly climbed up my favorite brand list. It seems everything they put on the shelf lately is fantastic. This one takes the higher price point of their bottles up a bit to the $200 mark and it still is one of the most flipped bottles according to recent articles. In any case I am one for sippin not flippin so let's dive in. Nose is all vanilla and caramel. No ethanol or funky notes on this one. First sip is full of flavor. Caramel, brown sugar, maybe a hint of peanut brittle. This leads to some peppery heat on the edges that builds to a mild burn before trailing off to a light creme brulee finish. Let me start by saying $200 is a bit much for any bottle so I expect some magic. This one is really an excellent dram. It is one of the best 15 year bottles I have had across the board and might be darn close to a 5 if not so pricey. In any case one to grab if you can find it and pull the trigger.200.0 USD per Bottle
Backbone Bourbon Uncut Single Barrel
Bourbon — USATastedAfter being surprised by the quality of their 4 year Rye I was excited to try the Bourbon Barrel pick from my local shop. Hopefully it is just as surprising, although this time my expectations are definitely higher. Nose is really sweet here. I would say caramel, but it's almost cola like to me. A little ethanol due to the young age, but not overpowering. First sip is caramel forward for sure. At 60% i expected this to be really hot, but it is surprisingly not. There is gentle cinnamon burn that starts mid sip, but never reaches the peak any barrel proof offerings do. The finish is quite warming as opposed to burning and fades of to a soft butter toffee close. Overall this isn't quite as surprising as the Rye. Lots of traditional bourbon flavors here done really well for a 5 year. They may not be the prettiest bottles in the world, but the juice inside is pretty damn good. Definitely recommend giving this brand a try if you see it on the shelf.70.0 USD per Bottle