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  1. Cragganmore 12 Year

    Peated Single Malt — Speyside, Scotland

    Tasted
    4.0
    4.0 out of 5 stars
  2. Rebel Yell Single Barrel Bourbon 10 Year

    Bourbon — Kentucky, USA

    Tasted
    4.0
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    My review is for Barrel # 4744184. As others on this site have noted, there was a lot of hype surrounding this wheated bourbon, and I've heard more than one person suggest that this is a great alternative to Old Rip Van Winkle 10. Serving suggestion: add a tiny splash of water and let it sit for about ten minutes; doing this will open up the flavors. The nose offers vanilla and brown sugar, with a pleasing oak note in the background... you can tell immediately that this is a quality aged bourbon. I get similar flavors on the palate as well but a really satisfying leather note emerges on the finish that adds complexity to the experience. It's priced right and will be offered a few times a year. Believe the hype.
  3. Van Winkle Special Reserve Lot "B" 12 Year

    Bourbon — Kentucky, USA

    Tasted
    4.0
    4.0 out of 5 stars
  4. Johnnie Walker Select Casks Rye Cask Finish

    Blended — Scotland

    Tasted
    4.0
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    Johnnie Walker Select Casks: Rye Cask Finish is a limited release from Diageo that, unlike many of JWs recent expressions, has an age statement on it (10 Years). There's been a handful of hybrid releases lately (I'm thinking of Glenfiddich's bourbon-cask finished 14 year old) so I was interested to see how this stacked up. The first thing I noticed when I put my nose in the glass was the extremely dominate rye whiskey notes. I would be curious to know just how long this was finished in those rye casks because they definitely make their presence known. When you taste the scotch, the palate is yet again dominated by rye spices. There's also vanilla and caramel and, on the finish you get the expected Johnnie Walker sea-salt/maritime flavor. If I had to guess, I would say that the blend that they used had a lower proportion of Islay scotches - either that or the rye completely drowned out the peat notes here. The interplay with the spicy rye flavors and the aforementioned sea-salt note makes this a very intriguing hybrid expression. I liked it! I wonder what's next for Johnnie Walker's Select Casks range... a sherry or port cask finished expression, perhaps?
  5. Courvoisier XO Cognac

    Cognac — Cognac, France

    Tasted
    2.0
    2.0 out of 5 stars
  6. Buchanan's De Luxe 12 Year

    Blended — Scotland

    Tasted
    1.0
    1.0 out of 5 stars
    A local liquor store owner was nice enough to share a sample with me that was left over from a recent Buchanan's tasting. The initial delivery on this scotch is not too bad, with some sweet fruits, but the palate becomes hopelessly blurred with muddled smoke and cloying, grainy sweetness dominating the finish. It's light bodied and inexpensive, but there are much better blended scotch values out there (the NAS Grants, for instance, blows this out of the water). Diageo owns this blend and they do a much better job with a 12 yr old blended scotch with their iconic Johnnie Walker Black. Not recommended, although I thought the Buchanan's 18 that I also sampled wasn't bad.
  7. Glenfiddich 15 Year Solera Reserve

    Single Malt — Speyside, Scotland

    Tasted
    4.0
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    This is one of those scotches that aims to please... it's approachable enough for those with only a casual interest in whisky, and yet there's complexity and nuance on display for the aficionados as well. An interesting nose... sherry is the predominate note I get, but there's a generous helping of vanilla and some sweet chocolate as well. The palate does a pretty good job replicating the nose, but if you swirl it around in your mouth long enough you'll get hints of the pears that characterize the famous Glenfiddich 12. A mellow and slightly dry finish thankfully avoids making the sweetness of this scotch cloying. Would make a great gift.
  8. Grant's Family Reserve

    Blended — Scotland

    Tasted
    3.0
    3.0 out of 5 stars
    I spotted a handle of this blended scotch in a friend's kitchen and my interest was piqued... after all, I'm a huge fan of two of the component single malts in this blend - Balvenie and Glenfiddich. There's a minor (and amusing) controversy regarding this blend... Jim Murray awarded it a ludicrously high score in his contentious Whisky Bible, and I've read more than a couple of online blogs penned by Single Malt partisans who scoff and call this bottom-shelf swill. As always, the truth is somewhere in between. I sampled Grant's out of a tumbler (no glencairn glass at my friend's apartment, I'm afraid) and I was immediately surprised by the pleasing and aromatic nose that the scotch gives off. On the palate I also got some vanilla notes (perhaps from the Balvenie?) and also some pear and green apple (doubltess from the Glenfiddich). The component grain whiskies do their part to fill in and the finish is pretty decent and slightly sweet (never cloying), without the harsh burn that you often get from blends in this price range. As a point of comparison, this is slightly cheaper (and much better) than Johnnie Walker Red. Its light and unassuming Speyside style also makes it, in my mind, the most versatile of the bottom shelf scotches that I've sampled (Cutty Sark being a more summer drink, and Ballantine's a more winter dram). Grant's I think would be at home in either season.
  9. Octomore 06.1/167 Scottish Barley

    Peated Single Malt — Islay, Scotland

    Tasted
    5.0
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Although this is undoubtedly a "peat bomb," with a staggering 167 phenol parts per million, what's so surprising about this lovely dram is the complexity on hand. On the nose you get, sure, ash and smoke and peat, but there are also floral notes to be found and a pleasing honey and vanilla sweetness. I also detect a lick of sea salt as well. That dance between the warming smoke and the delicate sweetness is repeated on the palate before being overtaken by an impressive smokiness that never becomes overbearing. Despite the high ppms and the 57% ABV, this is a very easy drinking spirit. It's like someone tossed a honeycomb onto a peat fire. Delicious.
  10. Colonel E.H. Taylor, Jr. Small Batch Bottled in Bond Bourbon

    Bourbon — Kentucky, USA

    Tasted
    4.0
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    I like this much better than the E.H. Taylor Rye. It drinks very smoothly and has a good body. Notes of vanilla and sweet corn, with some pleasing spiciness on the margins. The finish lingers for a nice amount of time. Highly recommended.
Results 1-10 of 59 Tastes