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

  1. Master of Malt 50 yr Speyside

    Single Malt — Speyside , Scotland

    Tasted March 16, 2021
    4.5 out of 5 stars
    I thought I would just write a little blurb about this whisky, as I was sent a pour of this from my old friend @pbmichiganwolverine about 3 years ago. I was holding onto this sample for the precise time, aka my 50th birthday. Well, my friends, yesterday was that day. I’m officially an old man now. Woohoo! Anyway, this was from an unnamed source and bottled under London’s Master of Malts whisky shoppe and Mr B purchased this on one of his many business trips and graciously sent me a pour once he decided to open this crazy bottle. It’s a single malt that’s rumored/practically verified to be from Glenfarclas. One taste, and you can almost confirm that. It was a deep, rich burgundy in the glass and wasn’t watery despite the fact it was only 40% ABV. I’m assuming little to no water was added to stretch the supply because 50 years in the cask surely leads to a lot of angel’s share. The nose was overpowering with wood, as you would expect, but after adding a drop of water opened up the Sherry notes and added cherry juice and lightly toasted walnuts. The palate was surprisingly hot for 40% and again the wood just flat out dominates the flavor profile. After a good 35 minute rest and those precious drops of water, I still got wood barrel and just a hint of hot sweetness. The water really aided the finish, turning it from a tongue scorcher with a side of wood splinters, to a bit more luscious feel. Overall, this is definitely too much time in wood for a simpler, one-trick pony like Glenfarclas. Their malts usually shine at higher ABVs for me so this one doesn’t perform on the stage like you’d hope, nor is it close to having good value for money, but you clearly have to take this for the main reason it was bottled- 50 years old. It’s a bucket list, age statement dram. I gave it a high score mostly for that fact- it’s all about the experience and thankfully I have a nice friend like Mr PBW who was willing to share it with me. Thanks again, sir. Cheers all!
  2. Mackmyra Moment Prestige

    Single Malt — Sweden, Sweden

    Tasted July 18, 2020
    2.5 out of 5 stars
    Thanks to @PBMichiganWolverine for the small pour. Lots of orchard fruit on the nose, bits of alcohol seep through if you inhale too deeply. The palate is strong and filled with youthful peppy spirit. There’s some pale fruitiness, but it’s overly harsh and dry. The finish isn’t deep, but it is lingering and dry. No wood notes force this one to be simple and mostly one-dimensional. Perhaps if there was some well-aged spirit blended in there could be some things to talk about, but as this is, it’s purely designed to mix with something else or to “shoot” if you’re looking for a quick buzz. Thanks, PB.
  3. Tamdhu 10 Year Limited Edition

    Single Malt — Speyside, Scotland

    Tasted July 11, 2020
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    Here’s another bottle that tempted me into opening it the other day: Tamdhu 10 LE. What’s this LE non-sense, you may ask? Well, Tamdhu released a couple of 10 year old bottlings a couple of years ago/last year aimed at grabbing more shelf space. One was a 40%-er and the other was 43%: aimed at the U.K. and worldwide (respectively). Fast forward to this Limited Edition (numbered to 1000), it’s a robust 46% and sourced from 100% first fill sherry casks. Take a fresh box of Sunbeam raisins and dump it on top of your favorite sherry-casked single malt and (BAM!) you’re very close to this delicious beast. It’s buttery smooth, with lots of dried vine fruits and light marshmallow. There’s a solid wood backbone that provides a cut off for the sweetness, unfortunately it brings the dram to a close quicker than I’d prefer, but it isn’t harsh and still allows the flavors to permeate every corner of your palate. Price after tariffs and international shipping killed the value rating ($165), but its still a very good sherry bomb. I’m not sure it bests the early Batch Strength offerings or the Dalbeallie Drams, but it’s nicer than the 10, 12 (and maybe 15) sitting on your local shelves. Buy with confidence. Cheers.
    165.0 USD per Bottle
  4. Laphroaig Cairdeas 2020 Port & Wine Casks

    Peated Single Malt — Islay, Scotland

    Tasted July 11, 2020
    3.5 out of 5 stars
    Anticipation got the best of me yesterday afternoon and I decided to open a bottle of the new, Feis Ile festival release from Laphroaig: Port & Wine Cask Cairdeas. Ever since I tried the 2013 Cairdeas Port I’ve had a hard on for anything Laphroaig Port Cask. The three variations of Brodir, the EU TRE Port Wood, and the amazing 2013 Cairdeas. I want them all. Needless to say, this one was high on my “try immediately” list. The problem is the port notes on this new release are very restrained and almost non-existent. There’s red wine dryness in spades and non-iodine, BBQ meatiness a plenty- just not much port sweetness and depth. The color is beautiful, the BBQ smoke and easy drinking aspect are all here and make a fine, almost “sessionable” experience....but I want my Port Laphroaig to be ported. I’m giving it an average score right out of the gate, but if the profile changes when I pop this cork after some hopeful oxidation in a couple of weeks I’ll gladly change it. Tariffs and import shipping charges put me in at $150usd per bottle and for about $20-30 more I can scour the auction sites for 2013 Cairdeas Port Wood bottles and be thoroughly satisfied. If you’re a Laphroaig fanboy like me, well you need a bottle in your life, but you can also wait for something a little better to come along if you have the patience. 3.5 stars (initially). Cheers.
    150.0 USD per Bottle
  5. GlenAllachie 10 Year Port Wood Finish

    Single Malt — Speyside, Scotland

    Tasted February 15, 2020
    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
  6. Big Peat 10 Year

    Peated Blended Malt — Islay, Scotland

    Tasted February 7, 2020
    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
  7. Bushmills 16 Year Single Malt

    Single Malt — Northern Ireland

    Tasted February 6, 2020
    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
  8. Glenfarclas 2004 Cask Strength Premium Edition

    Single Malt — Highlands, Scotland

    Tasted February 4, 2020
    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
  9. Murlarkey Heritage Whiskey

    American Single Malt — Virginia , USA

    Tasted September 23, 2019
    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
  10. Coopers' Craft Straight Bourbon Whiskey

    Bourbon — Kentucky, USA

    Tasted September 21, 2019
    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
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