Bowmore 12 Year
Peated Single Malt — Islay, ScotlandTastedOn the nose, this is undoubtedly an Islay whisky, with peat and brine presenting themselves, though not at the level of an Ardbeg or Laphroaig. It’s more subtle. When tasting it, a wonderful and complex sweetness that was present in the nose prevails and sort of takes center stage. There’s peat here, but all I can think about is the slightly tart and sweet taste of green apples, citrus, and black tea. The finish of this whiskey almost leaves me feeling like I just ate a pear. It’s so easy to drink. Maybe too easy. Haha!
Four Roses Small Batch Bourbon
Bourbon — Kentucky, USATastedIt’s weird, maybe, but I get some dill pickles on the nose. The rye spice presents itself after tasting and it finishes with honey and warmth. Green apple Laffy Taffy emerges after adding a bit of water. Maybe I’m drunk.
The Macallan 12 Year Sherry Oak Cask
Single Malt — Highlands, ScotlandTastedSweet sherry and honey on the nose, with an oily mouthfeel. Balanced, though, with barrel spice. A bit of unexpected smoke on the finish.
Cutty Sark Prohibition Edition
Peated Blend — ScotlandTastedIt doesn’t smell like Scotch. It’s got a sweet sherry smell to it. On the tongue, it’s less sweet and dry. Toffee, caramel, and spice.
Peated Single Malt — Islay, ScotlandTastedI would have a hard time distinguishing this from Laphroaig 10 if you just sat a dram down in front of me. That said, I do believe that Lore has all of the goodness of the 10 but with slightly more subdued smoke and with a touch more sweetness. It’s more rounded as well. Punches you in the face just a bit less. But, then again... I like to be slapped around every now and then.
Hudson New York Corn Whiskey
Corn — New York, USATastedThis is a weird one, with it being a 100% corn new-make white “whiskey.” On the nose... I was turned off at first. Smells sour and sweet. Without the wood barrel influences I am left with what I’d describe as cotton candy and hospital hand sanitizer. It also smells thick and syrupy. On the tongue... it tastes a bit better than it smells. It has a dull sweetness underneath a larger sweet tone. With nothing to mask it, there’s definitely an alcohol taste. And it’s thin with little finish. I added a little water and the alcohol burn actually seemed to go up a notch but didn’t unlock any new flavors for me. This is an interesting whiskey to try just on the basis of knowing how to identify the corn influences in bourbon and to experience what whiskey uninfluenced by a barrel tastes like. I think it’s also a confirmation that wood truly makes whiskey.
Lagavulin 16 Year
Peated Single Malt — Islay, ScotlandTastedThe nose is so beautiful. Makes me close my eyes in hopes that my brain will make more room for the olfactory senses. On the tongue, it’s sweeter than expected and, yeah, a bit meaty. There’s also a mintyness that makes me think of kebabs with mint yogurt sauce. Yeah, I said it.
Ardbeg 10 Year
Peated Single Malt — Islay, ScotlandTastedI have such a hard time picking my favorite between Ardbeg 10 and Laphroaig 10. Why bother. Both are the water of life and both warm me and wrap me in peat blankets. This one is more oily and briny and, to me, less iodine than Laphroaig. And somehow slightly smokier while being a touch less heavy. Mmm.
Mellow Corn Bottled in Bond Whiskey
Corn — Kentucky, USATastedHonestly, for the price this is good stuff. It’s got a bit of a burn, but not as much as I’d expect for it to be bottled in bond. It’s not very complex, but I get some buttered sweet bread and cherry coming through over the alcohol.
Johnnie Walker Black Label
Peated Blend — ScotlandTastedLeather and caramel. Light smoke on the finish, and sweet.