Elijah Craig Barrel Proof Bourbon Batch B520
Bourbon — Kentucky, USATasted November 16, 2021Thank you to @ContemplativeFox for his generosity in sending me this sample. Appearance: Warm maple syrup in color, Moderate legs, oily. Nose: High proof but relaxed, butterscotch, vanilla, nutty, woodsy, smoky, sliced fresh apple. Mouthfeel: Thick, rich and full. Lovely. Flavor: Tart, yet sweet. Presence of heat and caramel, vanilla, toasted coconut, smoky oak, green apple, cinnamon and mint. It is tangy and sour as well. Finish: Very tart, very sour and too minty for me. It has a very nice long warm hug but I can not get past the sour and mint. I added ice which made the mint and sour even more intense. Conclusion: For me it is just too much tangy, too sour, and too minty of a finish to enjoy. I feel bad because I know this is a much loved and appreciated EC but for me I just can not enjoy it enough to warrant a purchase to try it again. Maybe it is my fault, maybe a bad tasting night but it is the only pour I had so I know it was not due to an overlap in flavors. It was terribly bitter in my mouth in the finish although I loved and appreciated all the other wonderful flavor notes. This one to me is so interesting as it does have major complexity and layers of some of my favorite flavors but the finish ruined it for me. Rated a 2.00 as I would drink again if offered to me or found at a good price at a bar - just to be sure I am right about this one - but would not buy it to find out.
Corsair Grainiac 9 Grain Bourbon
Bourbon — Tennessee , USATasted November 1, 2021It feels like I have been on a hiatus but I promise I have been enjoying whisky! Its been a busy past week or so around here but I have been enjoying a new whisky guild I joined locally as well as getting back into brewing beer at home. With that said I do have some catch up to do on both some bottles I have added to my collection as well as some tastings of the wonderful offerings sent to me from @ContemplativeFox ! This is one that I have looked forward to getting to..... Appearance: Dark copper and very oily with legs for days. Nose: Oh my here we go - what doesn't this nose offer? Grains for days, the name is fitting. And as @ContemplativeFox said in his reviews you can in fact smell them clearly. But wait, there is more, so much more and again as CF mentioned so many wonderful aromas to behold. I get a very heady aroma form the grains, milk, brown sugar, sugar cookies, peach, cherries, very light cinnamon, honey buns, apple, vanilla, butter cream - to name a few and in order of appearance on the nose. The longer you allow it to sit the more aromas show up to the party. Mouthfeel: Lightly Creamy, warming, medium fullness. Flavor: Things here are interesting. Yes there is a nice warming sensation, there is a light cinnamon, a lot of grains as in the nose but you really taste them, mostly I am getting barley the strongest although I do detect that buckwheat that CF mentioned. The oat flavor stands out well but more on the finish. There is also something almost refreshing on the backend, like a breeze through a wheat field. I am also getting a nice rush of cherries and peach, sort of like a mixed fruit cup. It is for sure a very unique and lovely bourbon. It is far less sweet than I expected from the nose, and far more green although there is a lovely sweetness to it. Its a grain sweet, a beer sweet, not so much your typical sugary bourbon sweet. This is a hard one to explain and maybe its the drink or maybe its that I am rusty in reviewing since its been a hot minute but its very enjoyable. Finish: Long lingering flavors especially in the back of the throat that seem to hang on well. Finishes green - not as in bad or too young - but as in grassy and fresh cut grass green. Adding one drop of water.... Sweetness really comes out in the nose with the one little drop of water. Wonder what it will taste like now .... actually yes, a tad bit sweeter. Not tons but its noticeable. I do think this would do well with a small cube, a very small cube..... I bit down on a cube from my Yeti so its now cold AF but the cube is not more than a piece of another small "cube"...So small its already dissolved into the remaining bourbon which was about 1 finger in a glencarin, Its very nice like this - I like it a bit colder even though it is barely cool its more flavorful on the sweet side which I admit I do love but it did not lose any of the other wonderful flavors including the amazing grains! Conclusion: This is a solid 4 - would buy if I could get my hands on it. And a sneak flavor on the way way back end is an interesting black licorice flavor that was utterly unexpected! I am not sure if it is due to that I have not taken a sip here in a few or if it was the cooling ice that brought it out but you see, for this reason and all the above reasons this is a winner! This bourbon is so very different.
Booker's Bourbon Batch 2019-02 "Shiny Barrel Batch"
Bourbon — Kentucky, USATasted October 28, 2021A big thank you to @ContemplativeFox for this sample dram. This is one I requested because it sounded good from other reviews. Appearance: Amber color with medium oiliness. Rings the glass but no real legs. Nose: Leather, peanut butter, alcohol burn in nose but not too strong as long as you don't stick your nose into the glass. Brown sugar, smoke, orange with clove like grandma used to make around holidays for decor and aroma. Mouthfeel: Medium fullness, tangy. Flavor: Peanut butter buddy cookies, brown sugar, vanilla, smoked meat, hot on tongue, spices from all over the place from cinnamon to clove to nutmeg and so on. Pumpkin pie seasoning flavors. Butterscotch, bakery goodies, HOLY CRAP this is good! This right here, this is my kind of bourbon! I think I found my true love. Its sweet but its spicy, and there is enough complexity to keep it interesting. Each sip evolves new flavors I love. Adding a cube: Makes the mouthfeel creamier for sure which I love. I think if there was anything lacking in this pour it was the mouthfeel. I have had creamier and I do prefer that feel, but with a small cube that comes out more. Flavors come forward with less sweet and more heat for me, which I do not love that much. I prefer the flavor before the cube. If I had to choose I would keep the original mouthfeel for the sweeter flavor and not use a cube at all. Conclusion: My ONLY complaint would be that its not creamy enough in the mouthfeel. Especially for the otherwise creamy flavors. Yet, it has a wonderful balance of sweet and spice with a myriad of my favorite flavor notes. This is a 5 as I must get it in my collection. Thank you again @ContemplativeFox for this beautiful sample!
Single Malt — Bangalore, IndiaTasted October 26, 2021Thank you @ContemplativeFox for sharing a dram with me! Appearance: Golden honey color. oily. Nose: Surprisingly not very alcoholic or peaty. Fairly clean smelling with some saltiness. Mouthfeel: Rather thin especially in comparison to Amrut Fusion. Flavor: I want to say figs, but I am not sure. This does not jump right at me as figgy but its close. Its something, maybe something I have never tasted before, but its distinct. I know that is so unhelpful. There is slight cinnamon but not hot or spicy per say. There is definitely some sherry and leather in here along with some various fruits such as cherry and plum. Then there are the wood notes that stand out. I am a bit perplexed at how to accurately describe this one but it does have complexity! I will have to revisit this. Conclusion: I personally prefer the heavier more creamy fusion but this is delicious as well. I can easily see how many would prefer this over fusion due to its myriad of flavors and to be honest I think it is my mindset today. We are looking at gloomy cold weather and I really enjoyed the deep sweet creamy flavors in fusion. I will rate this the same as Fusion however until I can do another small tasting. That means a 3.5 between good but not going to buy and SOLID Will add to wishlist / buy.
Amrut Fusion Indian Single Malt Whisky
Peated Single Malt — Bangalore, IndiaTasted October 26, 2021This is my first go at an Indian Whisky thanks to @ContemplativeFox for the dram. Appearance: Golden Wheat color and oily. Nose: Sweet, Caramel, Candy, Smokiness, Honey, Vanilla. Mouthfeel: Super thick and creamy! Flavor: The smokiness is present right up front but so is the creamy vanilla sweetness. It has a nice balance. There is a tartness within the sip that tingles the mouth a little but not overly so. Trailing into the third and forth small sip I start to get a slight sea spray flavor but it is the creaminess that keeps me wanting more. There is also some lovely spice in here mingling with the mesquite smokiness. Finish: Lingering and as the peat mellows you get some sweetness but this time it is not so much the caramel, vanilla, or cream but more of a milk chocolate that comes through. For my first time trying an Indian whisky I am very pleased and impressed. It gives you a lovely warm feeling and has a good balance of some of my favorite flavor notes. Conclusion: It could be a bit more complex I suppose so I am going to give it a 3.5 which is between glad to have had it but would not sell the family jewels for it and solid, buy list. I could see myself buying it at the right place and time though. Its good.
Wild Turkey Rare Breed Barrel Proof Bourbon
Bourbon — Kentucky, USATasted October 22, 2021This is another gem sent my way from @ContemplativeFox a big thank you for your generosity. Appearance: Honey colored and oily. Nose: Soot, mint, green notes, brown sugar, cinnamon, vanilla frosting. Mouthfeel: Not as full as I would have suspected but mid level fullness. Very tingly sensation. Flavor: Warmpth fills the mouth with a warm sensation all the way down the throat. Almost brandy like in nature with both the warming and the flavor. This reminds me of sipping brandy on fox hunts back in my riding days. (We never killed real foxes so don't worry @ContemplativeFox) :) There is also a lovely brandy sweetness to this. Creamy vanilla, toasted marshmallow and the more this opens up sitting in the glass the sweeter and more lovely it becomes! Just a bit of the mint comes through in the flavor but it is enough to give it a nice kick. The cinnamon notes are still there as well and play on the back part of the tongue. So many lovely flavors dance around and keep coming up surprising me. Caramel comes out to play and even maybe some butterscotch but then you get hit on the backend with this amazing woodsy forrest flavor - herbaceous and piney, sweet and spicy, minty and floral. DAMN!!!!! Okay @ContemplativeFox you are dead on for my tastes. Finish: Big hug with lots of love. Overall: I love this. This is the kind of bourbon I can curl up with a book and sip, or drink by a campfire. It is refined and sophisticated yet playful and daring. I need to buy a bottle. Who would have thought I would be a Wild Turkey drinker? Looks like the price point is really good for such an amazing bourbon! Better than some high dollar bourbons I have had. Color me impressed! Edited: I got so giddy about this I forgot to rate it! Close to a 5 but giving it a 4.5 as I will definitely seek it out - but not quite a "dream dram" @ContemplativeFox also have to add I like this more than the Russells Reserve SIB Both are amazing but this I enjoy more.
Painted Stave Bottled In Bond Rye Whiskey
Rye — Delaware, USATasted October 22, 2021Sample #8 of 9 Backstory: I participated in a Distiller W.O.W. (whiskies of the world) Zoom call having received 10 drams of different whiskies, actually 9 as they snuck one rum in with the mix. See my review on Diplomatico Reserva. I am so glad to have been introduced to a rum that put my love of bourbon to the test! This tasting event was a gift for my finance for his 50th so I got each of us a sample box and we joined in the Zoom call together one evening. It was a blast and I am glad we had two boxes as by the time we got to the last few drams my tasting notes got a little suspect as I had a pretty good buzz going! Plus, even with clearing my palette, and sniffing on coffee beans I am sure that my tasting was not as great as it was on those first few drams. We were smart to just share in the first box and save the second back for tasting over a period of a week just to be sure our notes were correct. Review: Appearance: Light Amber, Thin. Nose: Red Hots, biscuit, oak, cherries, apricot. Mouthfeel: Medium Flavor: Big wheat flavor that is beer like. Grains, sweet corn. Heat coming from peppers, cloves, and cinnamon. Finish: Long with the wheat flavors lingering. Overall: Tastes like what brewing beer smells like. The cinnamon is a bit red hot candy like only with less of the sugar. I absolutely love the nose and lingering flavor of the spent grains being a beer brewer myself but overall it does not give me all the feels I seek out in a whisky. Still it is damn good. I think I would like having this around and would buy a bottle even if just for the feel it gives me and that glorious nose! Yet, I would not sell the family jewels for it - thus I must give it a solid 3 based on my rating scale.
Yellow Spot 12 Year Single Pot Still
Single Pot Still — IrelandTasted October 21, 2021Thank you @ContemplativeFox for this sample. Appearance: Light copper, oily ring with long legs. Nose: Salt, crisp, wine like, honeydew, floral, nutty, sweet, dare I say caramel?! Mouthfeel: Heavy, oily, sharp. Flavor: Beautiful. Tastes like a warm summer's day, actually no, a warm summer's early evening, as the sun sets and the air gets just a tiny bit cooler. Its creamy, decadent, just simply divine. Crushed fruit pulps, nuts, spun sugar, vanilla, sweet cream, caramel, like a carnival but far more refined. Perhaps better akin to Disneyland I suppose but I am not a huge fan of that place either sooo.. needless to say this has so many gorgeous flavors it makes me feel like a kid again. A kid who gets to drink whisky that is! As it sits a bit the influence of the sherry wine casks comes out like a circus performer, big and bold. I would go so far to say this is a fine dessert whisky. Finish: I do wish it lasted a little longer but for what it is, it is wonderful! While the sweet notes fade earliest I am left with a lingering grassy, and honeysuckle flavors. Also lingering on the top of the tongue is a semi sharp warming sensation. Overall: I love this! I have found myself very much enjoying Irish Whiskies but then again I am part Irish so go figure. This one is special though. Its one of my favorite whiskies of any kind I have tried. I hope I can find this locally. I also am now wanting to try Green Spot more than ever.
Russell's Reserve Single Barrel Bourbon
Bourbon — Kentucky, USATasted October 21, 2021This is a sample that was sent to me by @ContemplativeFox so a huge thank you goes out to him for this and the others he sent. I will be sampling, reviewing ad enjoying them over time. This is one that I requested specifically as I had seen other reviews that intrigued me. Appearance: Golden amber in color and leggy. Nose: Isopropyl alcohol, fruity with hints of cherry, gala apple, and plum. Cedar wood and leather. Sugary with a drop of water which was added later on. The water also makes the butter pop. Mouthfeel: Rich with a mild burn, spicy kick, full and medium creamy. With water the mouthfeel is more creamy which I know seems odd. Flavor: Cinnamon, butter, woodsy. The cinnamon gives a tingling kick to the sides of the tongue. Adding a drop of water made the flavor of butter more pronounced. Finish: Woodsy, tangy, mid level spice, long finish with a spicy candy sugar flavor like the shell of a red hot but very mild and not over powering. Experience: Solid but has a little more nose than flavor. Smooth even with the spicy kick. Evolves as it sits. Solid! Would be a great flask bourbon for camping. Rating is 3.5 between glad to have had it but would not buy edging into the wishlist/buy list. I feel if it had as much flavor as it does nose I would make it a solid 4.00
Old Forester 1920 Prohibition Style
Bourbon — Kentucky, USATasted October 21, 2021This is a sample that was sent to me by @ContemplativeFox so a huge thank you goes out to him for this and the others he sent. I will be sampling, reviewing ad enjoying them over time. So here we go.... Appearance: Amber to Red in color. Short legs. Nose: Ethanol, clove, orange, holiday spices, fog. gran masala, apple cider, cherry. When adding ice (later on) the nose included banana and milk chocolate. Mouthfeel: Medium but on the thin side. Flavor: Creme Brûlée, which switches to vanilla bean when ice was added. Cherry, banana pudding, cake, biscuity, strong alcohol, chocolate syrup. With ice it tasted of tiramisu with coffee but not overly sweet. Finish: Woodsy, sweet, black pepper, so good! I wanted to suck on the ice cube to get it all. Overall feeling on this one is that it is complex, tasty, and fun. Very much enjoyed this one. Rating 4.00 which is a solid whisky that I would definitely get more of.