Balvenie Doublewood 12 Year
Single Malt — Speyside, ScotlandReviewed September 16, 2020As I expand my bourbon horizons to scotch, I thought I’d give this one a try. This one is happens to be 43% abv (some markets are 40% abv). The nose is soft and has some nice malt, lightly toasted almonds, light oak light orange/citrus, raisin, light caramel, a light floral note, and vanilla. The palate is sweet and silky with vanilla, raisin, malt, a light nuttiness, some floral notes and some pepper spices. The finish is medium with lingering sweet vanilla, malt and some light spice. A very pleasant and gentle whiskey. Absolutely nothing wrong with it. Even though this is the 43% version, I wrould love to try this at an even higher abv.65.0 USD per Bottle
Arran Lochranza Reserve
Single Malt — Islands, ScotlandReviewed September 16, 2020 (edited May 26, 2022)I have heard good things about Araan and happened to see this what I gather is their entry-level single malt. Though I think this has been dropped from the lineup and has recently changed to the Barrel Reserve Single Malt, but don’t quote me on that. The nose has a lot of pleasant light fruits like citrus and pear, a light floral note, malt, vanilla. The palate is sweet, juicy and creamy with more citrus (lemon), malt, vanilla, some salinity and a slight nuttiness. There is a slight spikiness, possibly from the youth, but it does not bother me at all. The finish is medium long, with an initial bite that quickly mellows into lingering citrus and vanilla. A very pleasant single malt. I would love to try one of the age stated older offerings to see how this one get with more time in the barrel.40.0 USD per Bottle
Laphroaig 10 Year
Single Malt — Islay, ScotlandReviewed September 15, 2020 (edited October 27, 2020)I’ve been on a Scotch kick lately (I largely taste Bourbons), and have been diving into the peatier side of things. So this one was a logical next step. I can’t wait! The nose is smokey smokey smokey, and I love it! I first get the charred edges of a piece of meat that has been slowly cooking over a fire for a while. There is some of that medicinal/iodine/bandaid note that I normally associate with heavily peated scotches, but that is secondary to the charred meet (bbq), there is a nice ginger spice and some burnt rubber. I can tell that there are some lighter notes like vanilla undermeath, but the smoke and peat are covering it up on the initial nosing. I assume those will clear up after I taste. The palate is sweet and creamy with a campfire that had a rubber boot thrown in. There is also some vanilla, malt and a slight saltiness. The finish is long and has lingering char and smoldering ash for days. There is also some sweet vanilla that starts to poke out as the smoke fades a little. Wow, this did not disappoint! I have only had a few Islay scotches and have heard that this one is a beast, and it truly is! But I was up for it and throughly enjoyed it. By reading back my description you wouldn’t think that someone would willingly drink this, but I guess I am a glutton for punishment. I really like it.60.0 USD per Bottle
Bardstown Bourbon Co. Goodwood Walnut Brown Ale Finish
Bourbon — Tennessee (bottled in Kentucky), USAReviewed September 7, 2020 (edited September 8, 2020)I had a sample of this to try and thought I’d give my review on it. I am a fan of what Bardstown Bourbon Company has been doing and their creative take on distilling, partnering and aging/finishing. Since Distiller has provided zero info on this limited time offering, here is some background info: This is 9yr old Tennessee Straight Bourbon (most likely Dickel) that has been finished in Walnut Brown Ale casks from the Goodwood Brewery for 18 months. It has been bottled at 103.2 proof. The nose is sweet and has a malty chocolate note that initially comes out, as well as rich dark caramel, buttered corn, dried apricot dusty wood and vanilla. The palate is sweet and slightly bitter with a medium body. There is a decent amount of wood, sweet vanilla, and cooked corn. The finish is longish with lingering buttered corn, vanilla icing oak/wood and some bitterness. A pretty unique spin on what I’m pretty positive is Dickel (which I enjoy btw). It drinks nicely. I’m pretty sure this was a one time deal, so it might be hard to come by. But if you see it, give it a whirl!
Dewar's White Label
Blended — ScotlandReviewed September 4, 2020 (edited April 10, 2022)I had this recently and thought I’d do a review on it. Keep in mind that I am largely a bourbon connoisseur. The nose is soft and has some pleasant apple juice, lemon, malt, vanilla, slight peat, and a light floral note. The palate is soft and creamy with apple juice, sweet vanilla, malt and slight peat. 40% abv is too light for my preference, but it’s really not bad at all. The finish is medium with lingering apple juice, vanilla and a slight bitterness. A truly approachable Blended Scotch, considering the price. It’s non-offensive flavors and lower proof make it easy to see why this is one of the most popular scotches on the US. I could see this as a gateway scotch that peaks enough interest for someone to dig deeper into the world of Scotch.
Russell's Reserve 10 Year Bourbon
Bourbon — Kentucky, USAReviewed September 3, 2020 (edited October 3, 2020)Ok, I had a bottle of this over a year ago and wasn’t the biggest fan of it. I am however a huge fan of the Russel’s Single Barrel (especially certain store picks) and Wild Turkey products in general. I had the Russel’s 10yr recently and thought I’d give it another tasting. The nose has a decent amount of vanilla sweetness, a nutty note, dusty corn, a little rye, and hint of oak and some light dried fruit notes. Overall it just smells watered down. The palate has more vanilla sweetness along with a noticeable bitter note, some dried fruit, light caramel and oak The finish is medium and has more bitterness along with vanilla and light oak. I guess my problem with this one is that it just tastes watered down. Like I had a pour of Russel’s Single Barrel with an ice cube and forgot about it, but still drank that mistake anyway. I appreciate the age on this, but at 90 proof, it’s just not doing it for me. When your base product is 101 proof and is so delicious, it’s hard to take it watered down, even if it has a little more age. The bitterness also affirms my belief that some whiskeys turn bitter if you add too much water.
Buffalo Trace Kosher Rye Recipe Straight Bourbon (2020 Release)
Bourbon — Kentucky, USAReviewed August 14, 2020 (edited April 9, 2021)This is the third of the three Kosher offerings that I am now able to try. The name of this one is slightly confusing because it says “Rye Recipe”, but it is not a rye whiskey. They do offer a rye whiskey under the “Kosher Straight Rye” label. The Rye Recipe is actually a rye bourbon, in contrast to the Wheat Recipe, which is a wheated bourbon. The Rye and Wheat Recipes are referring to the secondary grain in their respective bourbon mashbills. I just wanted to clear that up, as I was even confused at first. The nose is sweet with dried fruit, raspberry, baking spices, leather and a touch of rye. Very Buffalo Trace (distillery) profile. The palate is sweet and oily with dried fruit, a nice leather note, chocolate, baking spices and a little bit of oak. The finish is longish with lingering dried fruit and spices. Another very pleasant offering from the Kosher line. Reminiscent of other Buffalo Trace offerings, it stands out on its own. Each of the Kosher offerings have a more rich and full flavor compared to their obvious counterparts. I tried to figure out which rye bourbon mashbill this was (#1 or #2). I compared it against Buffalo Trace and Blanton’s to see if one was more similar to it. That didn’t really help, so then I increased the proof and went to EH Taylor Small Batch and Rock Hill Farms (both 100 proof). Things got a little tougher here because it shared a lot of similarities to both of them. But from the beginning I felt like this was a mashbill #1 bourbon, but every now and then Rock Hill Farms (mashbill #2) would poke out a similar note or two which confused me. I could see the Kosher Rye Recipe even being a blend of the two mashbills. But if I had to choose one, I would say it’s mashbill #1
Buffalo Trace Kosher Wheat Recipe Straight Bourbon (2020 Release)
Bourbon — Kentucky, USAReviewed August 13, 2020 (edited April 9, 2021)I received a set of samples for the three whiskeys in the Kosher line. This one is 7 years old and going to be the same mashbill, and very similar age and proof as Weller Special Reserve, so I’ll be comparing it to that as a reference. The nose has red apples, raisins, hint of raspberry, honey, leather, dusty oak, and a little bit of sweet corn. The palate is sweet, creamy and a little oily with red apple, baking spices, chocolate, light leather, caramel, and oak. The finish is long and has a quick pop of raspberry that goes into nice baking spices that linger along with red apple, slight bitterness and a subtle hint of leather. So far the Kosher line does not disappoint! (I’ve had this and the Straight Rye so far). Weller Special Reserve by comparison came across a little more flat with a slight alcohol spikiness all around and a much shorter finish, though it did have a thicker mouthfeel. Just for fun I also compared it to Weller 12 year old, and the Kosher still stood out as a more complex and enjoyable bourbon. Though, I will admit I’m one of the few who like Weller Special Reserve more than Weller 12 year (W12 is more bitter from the oak and has a very pronounced sort of chemical artificial green apple note I’m not a fan of). Basically if you like any of the lower proofed Weller products, go get this. I would say it’s closer to proofed down Weller Antique 107, profile wise. After trying it, I’m going to start referring to this as Kosher Weller.
Buffalo Trace Kosher Straight Rye (2020 Release)
Rye — Kentucky, USAReviewed August 13, 2020 (edited November 21, 2020)I received a set of three samples of the various Kosher offerings. I am really curious how this one compares to Sazerac Rye (baby Saz) since it is the same mashbill and similar proof. Let’s check it out. The nose has red apple, raisin, rye spice, leather, caramel, dusty oak, and vanilla icing. The palate is sweet and creamy with red apple, leather, rye spice, vanilla and a pleasant herbal note. The finish is longish with lingering rye, vanilla icing, dried fruit and a slight bitterness. This was very enjoyable. Comparing it to the baby Saz, the Kosher seemed to have a little more depth, rounder edges and a nicer leather note. The Baby Saz was brighter overall and the corn was more noticeable. Also, the Kosher looked slightly darker. I wonder if it is an older product?
Four Roses Private Selection Single Barrel Barrel Strength Bourbon
Bourbon — Kentucky, USAReviewed August 6, 2020 (edited August 28, 2020)This pick is from October 2019 from a local store called Center Point Liquors in Hendersonville, TN. It is noticeably darker than any other 4 Roses barrel proofs that I have. This one is recipe OBSF and is 9 years and 8 months old at 124 proof and rested in Tier 5 (this could explain the dark color and higher proof) for anyone that cares. The nose is strong at first, but turns sweet. There is some plumb, raisin, dusty wood shavings, rye spice, maple syrup, rich caramel, leather and nice oak. There is some ethanol burn if you’re not careful when nosing, which is consistent with most 4 Roses products for me (nose and palate). The palate is sweet and oily with rich caramel, plumb and dried fruit, a punch of rye spice, leather, oak and is slightly astringent on the backend. The palate is a little drying, but not too much. The finish is long with an initial ethanol burn into the nostrils, following by some, rye spice, a little plumb, really nice caramel and sweet vanilla with a little bit of barrel char at the end. Probably the best 4 Roses barrel proof pick I’ve had. Very tasty. This is the 2nd OBSF recipe I’ve had, and is far superior to the other on (Main Street Liquors). As good as it is, there is still that Four Roses ethanol thing that comes up quite a bit on their products, but not every sip and I can look past it. With the rise in price on these particular barrel picks recently, I’m going to probably be buying them less often.80.0 USD per Bottle