Garrison Brothers Single Barrel Bourbon
Bourbon — Texas, USAReviewed January 6, 2023 (edited April 6, 2023)Cracked a bottle I received as a memento on a trip to TX in 2014 for a 2022 advent calendar sample swap. It was not a hit. The most common complaint being that it was excessively vegetal. Leaving that half empty bottle for two months I returned to it hesitantly as my next bottle to kill and the flavors had really transformed. My enjoyment went way up over the last week as I got the candied complexity a lot of people endorse from Garrison Brothers and the grassy, celery notes faded into the background. Not sure what to take away from this experience: decant TX bourbons before drinking? Give the individual pours a long rest before drinking? Given the price point I probably won’t take a chance on this bottle again, however.100.0 USD per Bottle
Single Cask Nation, Virginia Distillery Co. Single Malt, Aged 5 Years, Cask #666
American Single Malt — Virginia, USAReviewed January 5, 2023 (edited April 6, 2023)Finally killed the bottle of my favorite whiskey release of 2022. I remember this being one I was ready to dislike: the color was all off (like cherry coke) and it was an unknown (to me) distillery, but I was instantly won over by the intense sherry finish and the underlying malt’s ability to make itself heard over the trail mix cacophony. Believing in SCNs ability to make great picks and being a booster for American single malts really paid off this time. I’m now a big VA distilling fan and love the Courage and Conviction single malt even if it doesn’t quite capture this lightning in a bottle moment yet.125.0 USD per Bottle
Starlight Carl T. Huber's Single Barrel Bourbon Finished in Maple Syrup Barrels
Bourbon — Indiana, USAReviewed December 26, 2022 (edited December 27, 2022)The Bourbon Enthusiast pick - barrel #22-2055-1, 105 Proof, aged 4 years: Opened three maple syrup barrel finished bourbons for Fall/Winter 2022 and this was my least favorite. My points of comparison were Taconic and Widow Jane. I just didn’t feel the bourbon held up as well as the other two and the maple really dominated. Fortunately, maple syrup is delicious and I finished the bottle. Some folks might want maple from front to back when they reach for a finished whiskey like this but I prefer the bourbon to come in strong at some point. Generally I still consider Starlight to be great at finishes but for my annual cold weather detour to maple syrup finish I’ll stick with one of the others.69.99 USD per Bottle
St. George California Single Malt Whiskey Fall 2021 Cask #5 (Lost Lantern)
American Single Malt — California , USAReviewed December 6, 2022 (edited February 24, 2023)Have to take some personal responsibility for this low review: I did go into this bottle expecting something more akin to St George’s annual single malt release, one of my all time favorite American single malts. Lost Lantern using the white label for this release should have primed me for a different flavor profile but that being said I still found this one way too wild. I’m not a big fan, yet, of the “distilled from beer” trend but some folks have gotten closer to a cohesive experience than this bottling. Charbay R5, as an example. The esther and hop-derived flavors in this are all over the place and the end product didn’t feel like it was offering any kind of intentional experience. I passed on the 2022 version although I’ll always wonder if they got closer to some kind of vision. If you do try it expect a large hop presence on the nose and citrus at war with a variety of other flavors like banana and creamy malt on the palate.
Omar Single Malt Whisky Sherry Cask
Single Malt — TaiwanReviewed October 21, 2022 (edited July 21, 2023)The very definition of a middling whiskey. I kind of wonder what it would have tasted like without the sherry finish since it’s entire personality is “sherry.” Thin and uncomplicated but not unpleasant. I finished the bottle, but I’m a big fan of sherried single malts. The heavy-handed finish and slightly higher proof giving the flavors that do exist a leg up keep this out of the “2s”. I don’t plan on buying blind from Nantou distillery again. I’ll stick with Kavalan for my Taiwanese whiskey.
Teeling Single Cask Carcavelos
Single Malt — IrelandReviewed October 21, 2022Finishing this bottle from a few years ago now that it seems American whiskey is getting interested in white port finishes from the likes of Starlight and High West. Surprised by the amount of bitter space on the front end, almost licorice-y but it resolves into a pleasant and sweet finish. For me, Teeling doesn’t miss.
Heaven Hill Bottled In Bond 7 Year
Bourbon — Kentucky, USAReviewed September 9, 2022Bought this bottle to be my bog-standard reference bourbon as I was tasting through a lot of interesting single barrel picks but that doesn’t do it justice. Surprisingly thick, oily texture and a real complexity in the mid-palate provide a great reminder as to why some of the big distillery in the bourbon world became household names. It’s rare that I try a young bourbon from a micro-distillery that can hold up to this.
Smokehead Islay Single Malt
Peated Single Malt — Islay, ScotlandReviewed September 9, 2022 (edited September 29, 2022)Not a drain pour by any means but you expect more than an inoffensive sweet scotch with a bit of peat from the marketing. Not assertive enough to be a go-to Islay, but perhaps another possibility for an introduction to the style. I have no evidence that any component is sherry cask finished but the sweet richness does give off that impression.
The Deveron 18 Year
Single Malt — HIghlands, ScotlandReviewed August 28, 2022Grilled pineapple all day, delicious but lacking in complexity. Very subtle peat makes it potentially a good entry to that style.
Starlight Carl T. Huber's Single Barrel Bourbon Finished in Port Barrels
Bourbon — Indiana , USAReviewed August 11, 2022 (edited October 7, 2022)I tasted the 106.8 Proof Barrel FB189-1 selected by R/Bourbon. This is the kind of aggressively finished bourbon I’m coming to expect from Starlight. I picked this up because I generally love port notes and this doesn’t disappoint. A little thinner than I expect at this proof and the bourbon is a bit overpowered but a delicious bottle overall. Not as sweet as you’d expect, supposedly due to the use of Tawny over Ruby port barrels.85.0 USD per Bottle