Johnnie Walker Red Label
Peated Blend — ScotlandTasted November 23, 2022Take Black Label, make it a little rougher around the edges, dial back the peat smoke a tad, and increase the barrel spice (cinnamon, etc), and you have Red Label. I can see why this was intended as a mixer as it would probably make a nice Scotch and soda.
Johnnie Walker Black Label
Peated Blend — ScotlandTasted November 23, 2022Nose: mild mossy peat and with water, maple syrup. Palate: soft vanilla sweets, some lurking fresh green fruit (apples?) waaaay in the background. A little thin. Finish: mild white pepper, mild (MILD) peat smoke, indistinct sweetness…like maybe maple or vanilla candy. While this is designed to be inoffensive and mild, it is expertly put together. The whiff of smoke a nice “toe in the water” for beginners, and the cereal sweetness is pleasant and not overpowering. Smooth as glass with nary a hint of ethanol bite. Would be really interesting at 46% rather than 40%, but it’s a home and restaurant bar staple for a reason…without wowing, it still appeals to everybody. A classic blended Scotch. Timeless.
Knob Creek Single Barrel Select Rye
Rye — Kentucky, USATasted November 8, 2022Warehouse: L Floor: 5 Rick: 025 Barrel date: 9-14-2016 Pick date: 10-26-21 115 proof This stuff is freaking amazing. -Nose: it evolves as it sits with a little water. It starts out with some mint, grass, cherry, and oak and after it sits for ten minutes turns completely into maple syrup. Mouthwatering. -Palate: something green and vegetal like fresh cut grass; lemon rind; cherry; dark sweets like dark brown sugar -Finish: menthol; oak; cherry cough syrup Complex. Good.
Sweetens Cove 13 Year Tennessee Bourbon
Bourbon — Tennessee , USATasted September 19, 2022Nose: dark dried fruits, brown sugar, and a little ethanol. Smells both mouthwatering and a little boozy. Palate: citrus, celery, vanilla, caramel, menthol, fresh red fruit Finish: menthol, citrus rind, cherries, white pepper, cough syrup A tasty and complex bourbon with nice sweetness. Pricey, however.
Glenmorangie Lasanta Sherry Cask Finish 12 Year
Single Malt — Highlands, ScotlandTasted July 19, 2022Nose: grapes, cheap perfume, and with a dash of water and a few minutes in the glass maple and caramel Palate: mildly sweet caramel, citrus, white pepper, some faint red fruit Finish: short. Melon, a bit more citrus. This is solid. It’s not fancy, or has a wow factor. But it’s tasty and inoffensive and should have appeal to a wide variety of palates. Would be interesting to see this as a 14 yr at 46% abv like their Quinta Ruban.
Jack Daniel's Bonded Tennessee Whiskey
Tennessee — Tennessee, USATasted July 12, 2022Neck pour- Nose: maple, charcoal, banana hard candy, a hint of acetone Palate: banana candy, a dash of astringent oak, sugar in the raw, vanilla pudding, some distant strawberry cream candy, a touch of acetone, citrus rind Finish: short and clean, a little vanilla, mild cooling menthol…no barrel spice detected This is sweet, very smooth for the proof, not bad for the price and better than standard Jack. However, after reading all the rave reviews I expected more. Having said that, this is a newly opened bottle and some just need a little air and time to show their true potential (Evan Williams bonded a great example. That got immensely better after sitting for a few months after the first pour). I’ll come back to this and reevaluate.
Glenlivet Caribbean Reserve
Single Malt — Speyside, ScotlandTasted June 23, 2022Tastes of sweet rum and bananas. Different but really easy to drink if a bit thin. Price is reasonable for the quality. Abv needs to be upped from 40%
Glenfiddich 14 Year Bourbon Barrel Reserve
Single Malt — Speyside, ScotlandTasted June 23, 2022Smooth vanilla ice cream. Well made if a bit of a one note wonder. A good scotch to start with for a bourbon drinker new to scotch whisky. Also nice to see Glenfiddich up the abv to 43%. If this was bottled at 46% it would probably be a bit richer and up the score to a 4.25 However, bottom line: well made and a tasty vanilla bomb.
Compass Box The Story of the Spaniard
Blended Malt — ScotlandTasted June 22, 2022This is good. But it tastes like you took Aberlour Abunadh and watered it down to 43% abv…which is basically what it is. Given this is only about $20+/- cheaper than Abunadh…get the Abunadh. It’s a better value in the end and you can dilute it (or not) to whatever you like. Update: after several months open and oxidized, I retried the bottle. Much better palate. All caramel and fruit. Great mouthfeel too. Viscous. Going to up score to a 4.0
Maker's Mark 101
Bourbon — Kentucky, USATasted May 24, 2022Nose: caramel, vanilla, butter, brown sugar, a little boozy alcohol, bread, sour red fruit. Hint of smoke. Nice. Smells like a confectionary. Palate: cherry, brown sugar, mild citrus, strawberry candy, caramel Finish: white pepper, citrus rind, strawberry menthol, boozy alcohol, sourdough bread Nice. A really decent pour for $39.99 (in Colorado)