Glenfiddich 14 Year Bourbon Barrel Reserve
Single Malt — Speyside, ScotlandTastedHave been wanting to try this for a while but wasn’t sure if it was worth the price. Decided to pull the trigger for my little vacation getaway knowing that I’d have people over who were bourbon fans. Nose: on initial whiff, very light and airy. Definitely smell the bourbon barrels it was sitting in, some oak, honey, butterscotch, and vanilla. I get faint cooked fruits, apple pie, flat cola. Palate: the oak comes through predominantly, dissipating into a nice sweet vanilla/ honey finish, there are lingering flavors of spice and white pepper. Leaves a bit of bitter aftertaste I’m assuming comes from the new oak. Mouthfeel: there isn’t too much here on the finish. Lots of spice upfront that doesn’t turn into much. It’s a bit dry but not too much happening elsewhere than on the tongue. It’s definitely a very interesting bourbon... I mean scotch. It almost starts out scotch and ends bourbon-y. Most people don’t know what to do with it because it doesn’t know what to do with itself, but I can appreciate it for its attempts to bridge the gap. I don’t hate it, but im not madly in love with it, but I’d definitely buy again to share with my bourbon drinker friends and not for personal consumption.
Henry McKenna 10 Year Bottled in Bond Bourbon
Bourbon — Kentucky, USATastedAnother bourbon to the list. Bourbon is still my least favorite of whiskeys in terms of flavor differences. To me, most bourbons are “you taste one, you taste them all.” But I know that’s just me. The biggest differences to me are proof and viscosity. Nose: cinnamon, nutmeg, and toasted oak are what get me first. This doesn’t have a sweet take as much as some other bourbons do. Hints of sweetness, and there’s this funky sourness that reminds me of ketchup. Yea, didn’t think that was a tasting note now did ya? Palate: I taste walnut and oak initially, and a bit of spice, a little leather and white pepper. Whatever sweetness this has comes from that musty funky smell. It’s not a ton at all. My 8mo old baby girl is into putting sandals in her mouth and this is what I imagine it tastes like. It’s alright, but not my cup of tea. The mouthfeel is what most shines on this bourbon. Though a bit watery it still feels full once the spice kicks in. I feel like all of my mouth is engaged. It’s got a medium finish not leaving much in the throat but a lot to think about in the spice coating the mouth.
Lagavulin 16 Year
Peated Single Malt — Islay, ScotlandTastedWhen I started my whiskey journey, this was the first bottle over 50$ that I purchased. I have since become a peat head and have enjoyed the hell out of anything that smells like decaying algae, laphroiag being my favorite islay distillery. I come back to review this after more experience under my belt and a total of 40 different bottles I’ve tried (I know, I’m still a baby)...but let’s go. Nose: the peat on here isn’t as dominant as I remember. Small whiffs give me the peat I remember. Some sea life like smells, shellfish. Cheesy, sweet dark over ripe plum, prune, smoked meats slathered in brown sugar. Musty peaches, light zest Palate: mild compared to the other peat bottlings I own. Ginger, and fish sauce, Cigar smoke, oak, vegetal, fish tank water. Slight vanilla, cocoa, dark chocolate, plasticy finish. Not quite the great bottle that I remember. While the 16yr bottling draws attention, there are younger islay peats that I’d prefer that give me a peat bomb yet still delivers on the sweet flavors. That’s a ride I like to go on. I do have it disclaimer that I had some laphroiag at cask strength right before this which may have messed with my flavor profile. Overall, good dram. Not one I’m pining after though.
Laphroaig 10 Year Cask Strength
Peated Single Malt — Islay, ScotlandTastedLooooved the 10 yr bottling. Was so afraid to try the so called palate killer. And tried it shortly after and found that I have such an affinity for peated whiskey. One sniff of this and I remember why. Nose: Gosh, compared to most the other whiskies I’ve had over the past few months, it’s that deep dark raisiny/ rubbery/ meaty smell that I love. Nothing like peated whiskey comes close to giving me this elated feeling to taking a sip... but let’s stick to the nose a bit longer. The nose begins with a combination of dark dried fruits, raisin, prunes, and smoked meats rubbed with something sweet like teriyaki. There’s crisp zesty citrus notes in the mid especially if you give the dram quick sniffs. You get that rubber bandaid medicinal smell towards the end and some funky must. Makes me thirsty! Palate: on first sip you’ll definitely get the smoky, medicinal, antiseptic rubbery taste first. Occasionally I’ll catch this tobacco smoke wisp. I can definitely taste the Oak that is sitting in the mids. This definitely has a bigger bite and kick to it then the regular 10. Lots of bitter/ pepper/. You don’t get quite the same sweet vanilla ending on the regular bottling. This is definitely a dark chocolate finish with spice. The brine and salt shows up once the liquid has run its course and settled in your stomach. Mouth feels dry and like I’ve been eating over salted popcorn after a while. Some people like whiskey for the taste. I enjoy it as well. But I more enjoy the journey of discovery and challenge. This is definitely the latter. If I wanted to sip on something I didn’t have to spend too much time thinking about, like casual conversation. I’d pick up a classic Irish whiskey or a bourbon cocktail. But if you’re looking for a new experience and a bit of danger/ something to write home to mom about. This is it right here.
Oban 14 Year
Peated Single Malt — Highlands, ScotlandTastedAbout a 1/4 of the bottle down. I never try to write a review on the first quarter. I’ve always just found that the bottling is mostly the same from 1/4 down to end then from first open to the 1/4. Nose: on the initial nosing, I get a musty note that I’m not quite sure how to identify. Some kind of mossy green note. Stewed apples and citrus, honey. Slight brine on the end. Taste: citrus, orange, honeyed, toasted coconu beginning. Salty briney mid flavor. Wood spice, bitters, sharp finish. I really enjoy how this begins but not the way it finishes. I almost wish the beginning, mid and end were flip flopped. It’s got this really nice subtle sweetness to begin, then it quickly goes away leaving you with this bitterness that I don’t enjoy too much. Reminds me of bittermelon vegetables my mom used to cook in foods. The sauce and juices it was cooked in always tasted great but the bitterness of the vegetable leaves you wanting to flush it out quickly.
Nikka Whisky From the Barrel
Blended — JapanTastedNose: This smells so damn good. Vanilla, floral, oak, cherry, green apple...so much to discover. Honey. Orange. Palate: tasting a ton of new oak and spice on the initial taste, woody, wisps of smoke. lots of sweet fruity flavors mixed with honey as well. Ends on a briny, salty flavor. Might be the end of the wood notes. Mouthfeel: This feels so damn full, oily and spicy. Long lasting. I feel this sucker all the way down in my stomach. Must be the 51.4%. Worth the money and more. Not many whiskies capture my attention like this, but I enjoy this one a ton.
Four Roses Single Barrel Bourbon
Bourbon — Kentucky, USATastedMy buddy brought this over tonight to share. Thanks Aaron! Deep deep flavors and smells here Nose: It smells thick! Weird description, I know. You’re greeted at the door by the alcohol/ethanol burn. But right after you get this deep buttery maple syrupy toffee honey. Smells like grape jam as well. There’s this metallic/ minty/ sharp end to the nose. It’s like ordering a triple chocolate cake with chocolate frosting topped with chocolate syrup. You already feel the richness before you take a first bite. Taste: All the smells I mentioned above slap your tongue. Lots of deep brown sugar flavors. that fruity jam definitely comes through as well. Feels like a whiskey concentrate. If you let it sit, you can taste the oak barrel it sat in, flavors of leather, mint, and coffee. Spice lingers at the end and coats your mouth. I really enjoyed this bottle. Bourbons have not been my fave but I’d definitely pick up a bottle of this.
Laphroaig Quarter Cask
Peated Single Malt — Islay, ScotlandTastedNear the bottom of the bottle I decided to do another write up of this with added water. About 6 💧 water. Initial rating was a 3.75 Nose: interestingly enough the ethanol is what greets you first. I didn’t get that on my first write up. It’s got this funk up front as well, think soy sauce. Some citrus zest in some quick sniffs. The peat is faint and is masked by the funk. Palate: the wood oak is what comes out stronger in my opinion. Whatever sweet vanilla flavors I tasted in my earlier tasting seems to have disappeared. You get a lot of spice and ashy flavors. There’s also a salty finish to the dram. It tastes like barbecue that was over salted and burned. Mouthfeel: it’s heat and bitter and heat some more. It doesn’t feel as oily with water, but gives it this thick chewy quality to it. Consistency of cough syrup. It’s also dry going down, I feel like I’m getting sick/ sore throat drinking it. Overall I did not like that experience at all. I won’t be adding water to this again. It’s good as is because you get a tinge of sweetness. The water kills that and leaves you feeling like you placed a burnt charcoal with bbq drippings in your mouth.
Green Spot Single Pot Still
Single Pot Still — IrelandTastedInteresting. I was not expecting that... Almost feels like they have placed some artificial flavoring to achieve the flavors I’m tasting. Nose Green Apple, it’s tarty and fruity smelling up front, pears. Vanilla creeps in right after. Short oak on a deep whiff. Taste Apple juice, white fruit... it’s like a subtle highland single malt. white pepper, minty finish. I don’t get the butteryness most Irish whiskys give. Reminds me of the green apple caramel lollipops I used to eat as a kid, tangy and sweet. This dram is dangerous because it tastes like juice. Not in a bad way. Mouthfeel A very very short dram. Watery coming in, there’s a bit of spice and heat that wants to develop but falls shy of anything actually being there. Very feint heat present like a lit match blown out. Overall I like it, but will probably not spend the money to buy the bottle again. This is a dram to me when you see it at the bar and there is nothing else you’d want, a fall back drink to order. I like it enough to drink it, but want to spend my money on something a little more nuanced . This is like the fruity Minute Maid juice you’d find in your fridge that your kids drink. Almost too sweet.
Glenmorangie The Original 10 Year
Single Malt — Highlands, ScotlandTastedNose: The initial whiff you get is like sweet baked good. Like butter pound cake. The more time you spend with it, you start to get cooked fruit notes. Banana fritters is what comes to mind with some citrus zest to round off the nose. Taste: a really short sip gives me some pine nuts, with some oak spice. A really short burst of smoke that it quite faint. There is also something minty about it, almost like the edge off of a kombucha drink. There’s a round sweetness to it, dark bitter chocolate. Mouthfeel: it’s got this creamy mildly oily feel to it. If you keep sipping it, you get a peppery spice that shows up, but if you sit and sip it occasionally, there isn’t too much there that stands out. There isn’t a ton of heat that lingers. It’s a solid dram that doesn’t give me the fruity raisiny flavors that I’m used to in a non islay single malt.. it’s definitely worth checking out and trying. Not sure that I’d buy the bottle again, unless I was looking for something cheap to up on. I’d rather sip on this as a cheap bottle than a cheap bottle of bourbon.