If it’s not Scottish, IT’S CRAP! - Mike Myers Saturday Night Live

  1. GlenAllachie 10 Year Port Wood Finish

    Single Malt — Speyside, Scotland

    3.0 out of 5 stars
    I finally got my hands on the 3 newer, finishing cask whiskies from Glenallachie: Koval Rye 8yo, PX cask 12yo and this 10yo that was finished in Port Wood casks. I paid $54 for it before the international shipping problems and Trump’s tariffs. I’d say it’s a decent deal for what you get inside the bottle. It’s bottled at 48% ABV and I believe it’s natural color and non-chill filtered. It’s a slick, amber/orange and very oily looking in the Glencairn. There’s lots of tiny drops and very thin legs after a hearty spin- both evidence of most higher ABV offerings. That’s a plus. The nose started as mostly oak barrel and youthful spirit. Vanilla and some pepper, and not much port wine. It took some water to coax the raisins and grapes on the nose. The palate had a nice, warming sweetness with faint port and vanilla notes. The mouthfeel was slightly more harsh than I hoped for and you can tell the whisky is still rough around the edges. Water seemed to only dilute the few flavors I picked up- it helped the nose relax, but didn’t improve the palate and finish. Speaking of finish, it’s medium and warm with lingering wood notes and a slightly disappointing sugary flavor. Overall, I enjoyed this bottle more when I first opened it. As it sat, the flavors became more muted and distant. It seemed much more lively through the first 1/3 of the bottle. I really liked the Koval Rye version the most, with this bottle coming in last of the three. Price point is fine and it’s still a serviceable whisky, but I think the other 2 are better. 3-3.25 stars for this one. Cheers.
    54.0 USD per Bottle
  2. Big Peat 10 Year

    Peated Blended Malt — Islay, Scotland

    4.25 out of 5 stars
    This was a limited release bottle from Douglas Laing that came out in early 2019, if I recall correctly. It was released to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Big Peat line of blends. They usually stick to NAS bottlings and holiday releases, along with special bottles for various British entities, such as the Royal Air Force, etc. This particular release is actually slightly lower in ABV than most releases, even the 25-27yo special bottles are a higher ABV, I believe. This bottle cost me $55 at the time of release, but I think it can still be found for a little less from a few U.K. online shoppes. It’s a typical, pale yellow in color with thick, oily legs and tons of medium sized droplets in your Glencairn. The nose begins with sharp, mineral-y peat and cloves. Fresh oak, vanilla and a few tropical notes, like pineapple and banana, indicate that this particular blend’s components spent lots of their time in ex-bourbon casks before their happy marriage. Water brings about lots of maritime notes and more herbaceous qualities. All of which help the dram. Water is your friend here, even at 46%. The palate is salty smoke and peat, orchard fruits and bananas while being warming and luscious. There’s meaty BBQ at mid sip and it’s very smooth for a 10 year old whisky. Ardbeg peat levels with a Caol Ila smoothness, I’d say. Mouth coat is on the heavier side, but is really quite welcoming. The finish is long with a hit of sharp mineral notes. Apples and bananas linger to the very end, giving you a smoked, yet fruity finish. It works very well. Overall, I’m a huge fan of the Big Peat line of blends. I actually think I prefer these over Compass Box’s peated stuff and even a handful of Islay single malts (I won’t name which ones, out of respect, but there are a few I’d pass on for a bottle of Big Peat). The price is borderline high, just for a blend, but it’s still one I’d pay if I had easier access to this line of whisky. 4-4.25 stars all day long. Cheers, my friends.
    55.0 USD per Bottle
  3. Bushmills 16 Year Single Malt

    Single Malt — Ireland

    3.25 out of 5 stars
    Ah, Bushmills. Up until I recently devoured bottles of the Green and Yellow Spots, this was one of my favorite Irish whiskies- alongside a few West Cork releases. This 16yo Bushmills that advertises Port Wine finishing really had me thoroughly excited. I had a sample of the 21 year old Bushmills a couple of years ago and I believe I gave it a perfect score of 5 stars. It was a delicious, complex dram. I was hoping for similar results here... Well, let’s just say, that didn’t happen. This 16 year old release contains 2 whiskies: one aged in ex-bourbon casks and the other in ex-Spanish Oloroso sherry casks. They were blended together and then finished for an additional 6-9 months in ex-Port wine casks. It was then where I believe this whiskey went awry: it was blended down to 40% ABV. It’s weakness is where I place all the blame for the negative aspects I detected in this dram. It’s a beautiful, dark copper in the Glencairn (which I’m not sure if there was color added). There were large, watery drops that were chased down by undefined, heavy legs. There even seemed to be a thin layer of water overtop of the entire pour. The nose was initially soft wood and sweet raisins but was ultimately taken over by a nutty dominance that never released its hold. Giving it time and a concentrated nosing I was able to pick up faint notes of grape must and bitter chocolate. The palate stayed true to the nosing with raisins, grapes and cereal oatmeal with a slow-burning, wood characteristic that neither excited, nor hurt the overall flavor profile. It was just a constant, yet restrained smoke. The infusion of a drop of water only killed what was already a weak mouthfeel. An oily mouthcoat might have actually saved this dram for me, but alas, the watery feel washed everything quickly away. This also left the finish a bit wanting. It ended up very short and sickly sweet. Smoky wood and chocolate gave it a funky aftertaste that left me disinterested in trying to pick up more from this dram. This bottle really begs for a higher punch from the ABV- I think 44-46% would’ve given this one some heat and necessary character. Overall, the biggest plus I got from this bottle was the sale price- I picked it up out of the U.K. for a song: $59. I’ve seen prices here in the USA for $125+. There’s no way it’s worth that price, but $59 is an absolute steal and a price is actually pay again for a bottle of this caliber. Sadly, I doubt I’ll see it again at that level. It’s still a middle of the road dram, and if you’re a Bushmills fanboy then I’d say splurge for a bottle if you can find it under $100. Otherwise, pony up the extra and buy the 21 year old or divert that money to a bottle of wine finished Green Spot. That’s money better spent, IMHO. As is, this is a 3.25-3.5 star dram, tops. Cheers.
    59.0 USD per Bottle
  4. Glenfarclas 2004 Cask Strength Premium Edition

    Single Malt — Highlands, Scotland

    4.0 out of 5 stars
    PREFACE: Just ease back into, they said. The world needs your input on whisky, they said. You are the single, greatest whisky reviewer this site has ever seen, they...well, nobody said. It’s a whole, new decade so I might as well drink my way into it. I’m. Back. Bitches. Well, for those of you that have been counting the days- all 5 of you...ifs been the better part of four months since I’ve reviewed a whisky. So, let’s see if I remember how: Glenfarclas 2004 Premium Cask Strength. It was a special, German release that I found on a website in The Netherlands. Europe, you sneaky whisky bastard! How does that happen? This bottle is a robust 59.4% and cost me a respectable $55 before shipping (and Trump’s pesky tariffs). It’s a rich, yellow gold in the tasting glass, although it is significantly lighter than the standard 105 CS bottle that’s readily available worldwide. It’s oily and viscous with very tiny droplets and no legs- just like most cask strength bottles should be. The nose is buttery sherry and over-ripened raisins, light black pepper and sharp oak. If you give it time it’s easy to discern some apple peel, hearty butterscotch and hints of sugary, cherry limeade. Dashes of water only unleash malt and soggy wood, while easing the light wisps of astringent alcohol. The palate is typical Glenfarclas goodness: sherry, raisins, dry breakfast cereal and peppered oak. This stuff is basically 13yo malt and it probably spent all of its time in second or third-fill sherry casks. Those notes aren’t very complex, but they do lead the charge and deliver exactly what you expect from this distillery. Solid sherry that’s relatively smooth, even at cask strength. The finish is long and constantly warming with some lingering citrus and sherry. The wood notes aren’t as present as I expected, but in this case it releases the whisky from being a drier experience. Overall, it’s definitely not a premium release- even though the bottle implies it. It’s on par with the 105, and if I’m being honest, it isn’t as good of a deal for those of you that are always hunting for the best bang for your buck. I was able to score a 1L bottle of the 105 for under $40 awhile back and even though I don’t think I could find that again, it still kills this release on value for money. I’d still give this a solid 4 stars and I’m glad I have another bottle stored away for the day I decide to compare this one directly with the 105 or another CS bottle I may get my hands on in the future. Cheers, my friends. It’s good to be sippin’ again.
    55.0 USD per Bottle
  5. Murlarkey Heritage Whiskey

    American Single Malt — Virginia , USA

    3.75 out of 5 stars
    Murlarkey is a small, craft distillery just west of Washington, DC in the town of Bristow, VA. They distill spirits with an Irish theme and this is probably their best and most distributed whiskey: Heritage Old Country. It’s also wine cask finished, though it’s not clarified as to which specific type or duration. It’s bottled at 50% ABV and sells here in Virginia for around $45 (750ml). It’s a beautiful, shiny copper and mahogany in the tasting glass, while appearing very oily with big, watery droplets left behind after a spin. The nose begins sharply with a zippy, oak note before settling down quite nicely with an elegant bouquet of wine influence: grapes, raisins and light toffee. There’s a light dill and rye note hanging in the background with a bit of black pepper. The ABV power is completely masked. The palate is quite hot and spicy on the initial sip. Zesty citrus rinds and a striking note of dill shock the tongue before relenting to more sweet, wine cask notes. It’s quite rich with a medium mouth coat that reveals the slight rye pepper spices after mid sip. This whiskey bounces from a traditional rye to a corn-forward bourbon with heavy wine cask notes with ease. Where you would think this would be ultimately unbalanced, it actually finds a groove and dances around until you chase it away. The heat plays the only steady role, even into the finish. Speaking of which, it’s medium to long, with the rye and pepper taking the predominant roll, but that wine cask isn’t finished just yet, and lingers on. Ultimately, this is a fine Virginia whiskey. I believe I’d take this over the Virginia Distillery Co’s port finished and the Bowman’s port. It certainly beats both on the price point, as well- by $5-10. It’s relatively easy to find here in the state too, although I’m not sure what kind of distribution they have outside of Virginia. 3.75, maybe even 4, stars. Cheers.
    45.0 USD per Bottle
  6. Coopers' Craft Straight Bourbon Whiskey

    Bourbon — Kentucky, USA

    2.75 out of 5 stars
    So, I was in my local spirits store looking for a cheap bourbon for making my favorite whiskey cocktail: Bourbon & Coca Cola. I usually just settle for different Jim Beam varieties, but I thought I mix it up (as long as it was at the same price point or cheaper). It just so happens that this bottle was on sale this week for $16.99 (750ml). Let’s do a quick review for a neat pour and then a sentence or two about how well it tastes with a splash of Coke, and over ice. First, it’s bottled at 41.1% ABV and pours a rich sunset/mahogany. It’s very oily with fat, undefined legs and a train of tiny drops around the glass after a quick spin. The nose is spiced apples with cinnamon and a hint of caramel. Light rye notes also mingle with fresh sawdust and vanilla. The palate is mellow, at first, with orchard fruit and slightly more vanilla. The backside reveals harsh oak and rye spice. It has a light mouthfeel, which doesn’t bode well for mixing it, but it’s decent as a neat dram. The finish is weak vanilla, apples and oak casks. It’s relatively short and inoffensive. Mixed with Coca Cola, it’s dramatically different than my usual Beam & Coke: absence of bananas makes for a more citrusy cocktail and it does seem more lively than my typical go to. It’s a fine way to mix things up. As a score, neat, it’s 2.5 stars. As a cocktail, it’s slightly higher. If I can keep scoring this for $17 I’d gladly use it as a change of pace. Cheers.
    17.0 USD per Bottle
  7. Aberlour Triple Cask

    Single Malt — Highlands, Scotland

    3.25 out of 5 stars
    Here’s a new-ish release from Speyside distillery, Aberlour. It’s an NAS bottling that contains whisky from three different types of maturation: American oak, European oak and sherry casks. So, what name did Aberlour settle on for this release? Triple Cask. Very clever, very very clever. This was initially intended to be a European release, but I believe it is now being offered worldwide. It’s bottled at 40% ABV and has added color and chill-filtration. I added this bottle to an international order about a month ago for $32 (70cl). It’s new penny copper in the glass with watery, fat legs and heavy drops and noses like any typical Speysider: sherry fruits, vanilla, green apple slices, caramel swirls and a faint, fresh oak. There’s no indication of heat and giving extra time or drops of water doesn’t open up a thing. Just pour it and get after it. The palate is practically a carbon copy of the nose, with a little more oak barrel presence. It’s slightly harsh at mid sip and turns even more bitter towards the back end. The sherry casks take over the mouth coat at the very end, much like they do on the standard 12, 16 and 18 year old bottles. The finish is medium length and bitter. Warm oak leads to a lingering, but faint sweetness. In the end, this is just another typical Aberlour. There’s nothing offensive about it, but the complexity either doesn’t exist or is masked by bitter oak and low ABV. Stick with the Casg Annamh or the A’Bunadh if you’re a fanboy of this distillery or just want more flavor and impact from your Aberlour. At $32, it’s a great deal if you see it sitting on shelves, but I’d rather spend another $20-30 for a whisky with more depth and/or power. 3 stars with a .25 star bump for the price point. Cheers.
    32.0 USD per Bottle
  8. Highland Park 10 Year Viking Scars

    Peated Single Malt — Islands, Scotland

    2.5 out of 5 stars
    This is a newer, European release exclusive, 10 year expression from Highland Park...and, yes, it has the Viking-theme designation: Viking Scars. (Rolling eyes emoji). This stuff is also so exclusive that they had to shrink the bottles to 35cl to make sure there’s plenty for the crazy high demand. I assume it was also diluted to 40% to help stretch it, as well. The only good part of all this is that I landed a bottle for $18. Appearance-wise, it’s rich gold and really oily, with lots of runny legs and medium-sized, watery drops in the Glencairn tasting glass. The nose seems much closer to an ex-bourbon matured HP than their typical Oloroso sherry stuff. Apples, pears and orange wedges greet you almost immediately. There’s very little smoke, which has become more of the norm with HP recently. Oak tannins and heather round things out and there’s absolutely zero heat or ABV presence, but that’s no surprise really. The palate focuses a bit more on the sherry cask notes: raisins and fresh-pressed grapes mingle with some orange marmalade. It has an oily and warm mouthfeel with hints of salty peat and smoke on the very backend. It’s very thin and sweeter than I expected, since I figured the youthful age would hinder this one and create a more abrasive and maybe give it a new make vibe. But, that’s not really the case. It’s sweet and borderline one dimensional. The finish is short, but vibrant and slightly harsh. Sherry and orchard fruit linger again, but cause it to lean a bit too dessert-like for my tastes. Overall, I don’t know the real reason for this release. Small bottles tend to indicate something more limited, yet highly prized- and this certainly wouldn’t be considered prized. The diluted nature and 10 year age statement feel like they’re just trying to keep up with the Joneses. Oh, so and so has a 10yo release? We need to get in on that. Adding the Viking nameplate is an embarrassing move here, too. Everything about this screams mediocrity, so that’s the fitting score I will give it. 2.5 stars. The price is right, I guess, but I’m not bumping this score just for that. Just move along...even you HP fanboys, there’s nothing to see here. Cheers
    18.0 USD per Bottle
  9. 1770 Glasgow Single Malt Release No. 1

    Single Malt — Lowlands , Scotland

    3.75 out of 5 stars
    Welcome to the Scottish Lowland’s (technically, since Glasgow is considered in the lowland region) newest distillery: Glasgow Distillery. It was founded in 2012 and they released this bottle, called 1770, in 2018. The single malt contained herein is a blend of mostly 4-5 year old juice. This is the first release from the distillery and it was made from whisky aged in ex-bourbon casks before a short, finishing treatment in virgin oak casks. It’s non-chill filtered, but has some added color, and was bottled at 46%. A total of 5,000 bottles were filled and distributed by the distillery through a pre-sale order. Demand was so high that they stopped the bottling at 5,000 and limited buyers to just one bottle per person. They have since upped production and made a second release with a 2019 Vintage declaration on the label and they are also in the process of releasing a peated version of the 1770 line. This is a deep gold in color with very thin legs, while appearing oily with fast-running legs. The nose is grassy and biscuity, with vanilla creams and butterscotch candies forming the sweet aspect. The ABV is well-hidden along with the barrel notes. I expected more wood presence with the virgin oak finishing, but it truly must’ve been quick and meant just to keep the sweetness in check. The palate is orchard fruit prominence: green apples, pears and pressed raisins. Butterscotch candy also adds some depth, even if it is mostly a rich and creamy aspect. By mid sip it begins to turn hot with a drier than expected mouth feel. Some fresh oak appears to finally add a backbone. It never truly reaches a luscious feeling, but it also isn’t overly harsh or abrasive. That’s a promising start to a new whisky from a brand new distillery. The finish is medium length with some wood and pepper spice finally asserting itself, while a very nice orange and blackberry jam flavor lingers into the final moments. It’s delicious and a very pleasant surprise. Overall, this is an exciting start to a brand-spanking new distillery. It won’t wow you with depth, but I gotta think that a 12-15 year old example that’s been matured in quality ex-bourbon casks will offer up some serious complexity down the road. I’m also curious as to how well this stuff will take to some rich, Oloroso sherry cask finishing. Lowland whisky usually pairs well with softer sherry and red wine casks, so I hope this is in the works for Glasgow. I could become another quality, Lowland whisky supplier. This pour, thanks to my buddy @PBMichiganWolverine, is an exciting start and a quality dram. Something tells me a lot of these bottles won’t get opened and enjoyed, however, as it’s the inaugural release and collectors have already hoarded a lot of these away. Sadly, I missed my chance to do this. 3.75 stars. Cheers, my friends.
  10. Mackmyra Svensk Rök

    Single Malt — Sweden

    2.0 out of 5 stars
    Svensk Rok translates to “Swedish smoke”, so Mackmyra distillery isn’t trying to be creative with the name of this single malt- at all. This is a peated whisky and they experimented by adding juniper to the end of the smoking process in an effort to add serious spice and florals to the already smoky malt. It’s natural color and non-chill filtered, while bottled at 46.1% ABV and a 500ml bottle cost me $28. Not a bad price, even though it’s a small bottle. It’s pale yellow and makes medium, oily legs and drops while still appearing watery overall. The nose starts out quite medicinal on the smoky aspect. There’s a light, Laphroaig-y band aid note that needs to dissipate before you can pick up other subtle nuances like vanilla, Juniper flower, honey and a very faint brine scent. The palate was surprisingly heavy on the charcoal and cigarettes. The peat stayed strictly mineral and dry. Any florals and sweetness were over washed by the cigarette note, which really made this one a tough for me as I despise that smell. The mouthfeel was rough and abrasive, as well, so the whisky must be quite young. The finish came across as wet cigarettes that linger on and on (which I did not let last very long- I had to chase it with water after 15-20 seconds). Medicinal notes and minerals left everything dry and I couldn’t wait to chase this with another sweet, sherried malt. Overall, this did not suit my palate one bit. I’ve tasted tobacco on many malts before- and while I wouldn’t describe that as an overly enjoyable flavor IMHO, I have learned to appreciate what it adds to most richer tasting whiskies. This cigarette note, however, is an entirely different matter. I just do not like it. Thankfully, this was a small bottle and after I poured a long term sample (that I’ll never knowingly drink lol) and a few more for possible trades- there wasn’t much left so I dispatched the rest of the bottle very quickly. I know I won’t replace this one, but I’d still like to try a few more things from Mackmyra- but I think I’ll stick to unpeated malts going forward. This one gets 1.5-2 stars from me. Cheers.
    28.0 USD per Bottle
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