Paddy Irish Whiskey
Blended — IrelandTastedNose: Citrus fruits, lemon mostly. Apples and vanilla. Grain. Slight ethanol. Hints of grassiness. Palate: Pie crusts along with hints of cinnamon. Syrupy flavor bringing rich sweetness. Some more vanilla here. Apples coming in towards the end. Finish: Medium-long. Very warm. Apple lingering. Overall Thoughts: I really like it. It’s hearty and strong. Packs a punch that would catch anyone off guard. Flavors are ok the simpler side but it’s certainly not lacking some mystery. Wouldn’t say it’s something I’d consider to be higher end but this is a grand end-of-the-party whiskey to be sure. I’ll savor it!
Shieldaig Speyside Single Malt 12 Year
Single Malt — Speyside, ScotlandTastedNose: Oranges and limes. Caramel. Cut grass. Sugary smell, like the inside of a sweet candy wrapper. Palate: Slightly peaty. Less sweet than the nose, actually somewhat bitter with some waves of sugar here and there. Some spice. Finish: Medium. Warm. Fruity and dry. Less citrusy and more rich berries. Overall Thoughts: Nothing special but nothing I’d refuse. It’s kinda complex and leaves the taster searching. Easily a middle-of-the-road whisky. I would say try this if you’re feeling up for a Speyside, other than that, it’s nothing I’d go out of my way to recommend.
Single Malt — Highland , ScotlandTastedNose: Oak coming strong and the bourbon is competing with it well. Apples and grapes. Very dry and not much happening. Palate: Sour apples. Sweet candies. Artificial fruity flavor like what you’d find in a snow cone. Oak hitting hard again. Finish: Very brief. Doesn’t stick around for tea, that’s for sure. Dry and sour. Very hard to describe. Overall Thoughts. Just don’t buy it. It’s another Total Wine generic but it’s just not good in any way. This is just bad whisky. After I’d had another Grangestone earlier on I thought I’d like this but I was very wrong.
Blended Malt — Islay, ScotlandTastedNose: Heavy smoke. Sea salt. Grassy and earthy. Some hidden fruitiness. Heavy and pleasant. Palate: A little hotter than expected, decent spice. Smoky. Some caramel coming through while the salt and hints of pepper round it out. Finish: Long and smooth, like a proper Islay. A little pepper. Heat lingering and grassiness sticking around longest. Overall Thoughts: The name checks out! Not bad but nothing I’d consider to be top shelf. Islay is always a lovely choice in my opinion but this is on the weaker side and it’s overall just kinda bland. It’s tasty enough to sip on but I don’t think I’ll be rushing to get a 750ml bottle any time soon. The nose ends up being the nicest part.
Shieldaig The Classic Blended
Blended — ScotlandTastedNose: Some fruit, apples and peaches to be specific. Malt. Very strong ethanol smell. Almost smells like Irish Poitín. Palate: Same fruits as the nose. Some spice. Oak. Hints of sweet jam. Not much to write. Pretty simple. Finish: Medium. Spice ending stronger and blending with some smokiness. Warm. Overall Thoughts: I know it’s a Total Wine house brand so it’s already a bad start. Not a great dram. Definitely meant for kitschy Scotch cocktails. The smell is the most interesting part and it’s not particularly pleasant. Was excited to find a cheap sample but definitely was not setting my expectations high. Meh.
Jameson Cold Brew
Flavored Whiskey — IrelandTastedNose: Chocolate. Coffee (shocker.) Oak and slight hints of smoke, more like a fireplace. Caramel. Palate: Black coffee. Some vanilla blending nicely. More oaky flavor as well. Not a whole lot going on here because the coffee flavor is so strong. Finish: Long. Like the first sip of coffee, pleasant with some bitterness on its way down. Overall Thoughts: I’ll start by saying I’m not a coffee drinker, leading me to not be too crazy about creations like this. It’s not really a bad drink but it’s certainly not geared for people like myself. It’s tasty and it’s nifty. The flavors are blended well and it’s not offensive or sickening. Is it a top shelf drink? No. Would it be fun to kick back with some friends and enjoy a glass or two? Absolutely. Not a summer drink, probably would be more enjoyable on an Autumn evening.
Grangestone 12 Year
Single Malt — Highlands, ScotlandTastedNose: Chocolate and raisins. Some peat notes blending beautifully. Slightly grassy. A little bit of vanilla sneaking in. Palate: Bold and firm off the bat. Some fruitiness as well as the chocolate. Vanilla stinger here. Some cereal flavor as well. Finish: Medium. Sweetness blending with some spice as well making the finish smooth as well as bold. A very full flavor. Overall Thoughts: I was impressed as well as pleasantly surprised! Very smooth and very flavorful. It’s not overpowering in any way. It starts off sweet on the nose and presents a full-bodied flavor that exceeds the expectations. I’d buy a small bottle just to keep in the cabinet for the occasional sip.
The Balvenie Doublewood 12 Year
Single Malt — Speyside, ScotlandTastedNose: Richly sweet. Chocolate and berries. Strong aroma of cherry. Slightly oaky. Palate: Chocolate cherries. Subtle honey blending with other berry flavor as well. Some malt and spice. Sherry cask not overpowering but definitely present. Smooth as hell. Finish: Medium-long. Honey and sherry flavor lingering longest. Sweetness of berries mixing nicely with a spicy finish. Overall Thoughts: This was a nice one. I’ll admit that I’m not very fond of Sherry finishes because I feel they usually try a bit too hard to impress and it ends up being overpowering. This one isn’t too much and it’s actually quite sweet while having a richness to it. It’s pleasant while complex. A large purchase is a long way off but I’ll definitely consider it when I have some extra Scotch money.
The Glenlivet 12 Year
Single Malt — Speyside, ScotlandTastedNose: Toffee and sea salt. Floral and citrusy. Delicately grassy, like beach grass. Some slight hints of peat. Palate: Toffee blending with vanilla. Lemon notes. Some honey as well. Almost tastes the way a hot whiskey does. Slightly malty as well. Finish: Medium-long. A little warm. Citrus lingering and keeping it lively. Overall Thoughts: Not bad at all! Definitely not one of the best but I can see why Glenlivet is wildly popular all over the world. It’s tasty and very easy to drink. However I wouldn’t say it’s a new favorite and I won’t be rushing out to buy a 750 ml bottle. This is something I’d recommend for someone looking to start trying Scotch. I’m more keen to try some of the older Glenlivet whiskies.
Johnnie Walker Red Label
Peated Blend — ScotlandTastedNose: Slightly smokey. Some honey. Orange peels. Malt. Almost smells like it was finished in a rum cask... Palate: Oak and smoke take a punch at your mouth. Kinda oily. Spices and honey blending and they aren’t very friendly. Some vanilla here and there. Finish: Medium. Smokey and strong. Vanilla lingering. Alcohol burn. Overall Thoughts: So...yikes. The reputation of this being the worst JW label stays strong despite how well they advertise it as a good blend. I’d mix this with a lot of soda and I’d have to be desperate for a drink to do so. At least the color is kind of nice...