Tastes

MaitoMike

Drinking to learn while learning to drink. Always in the mood for a dram!

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  1. The Singleton of Glendullan Select (Game of Thrones-House Tully)

    Single Malt — Speyside, Scotland

    Tasted April 9, 2021
    3.5
    3.5 out of 5 stars
    Game of Thrones? Awesome. House Tully and this bottle of Scotch? Not so much. I'm always a little skeptical when any product goes hard on marketing to generate a lot of hype and attention. So, when there's a non-age statement whisky bottled at 40% ABV, it helps me set the tone that I ought to keep my expectations low. Right off the nose it was a medley of summer fruits and sweetness that screamed Speyside. It was a pleasure identifying each unique note, but when it came to the flavour and taste, it fell flat and failed to deliver. On the palate it was a diminishing combination of sweetness, spice, a hint of peat and something savoury, but it also lacked any sort of depth. The finish was significantly short which begs me to wonder if this batch had been mistakenly watered down. It wasn't difficult to sip, but that's also because it lacked any complexity. Overall, like House Tully, I'd argue that this underwhelming Scotch has potential. It's not impressive nor praiseworthy, but aging it a few more years may have done it some good. There's nothing about this single malt I'd write home about, but if you're into the Game of Thrones and enjoy collecting things, then this one's for you. NOSE: Dried cherry, peach, apricot, malt, green tea, vanilla custard PALATE: Honey, nutmeg, cloves, hint of peat FINISH: Malted barley, light peat, cherries, dried cranberries, lychee, sea salt, earthiness Rating: 74/100 Grade: C Below average – drinkable, but better as a mixer / party booze.
  2. The Glenlivet 12 Year

    Single Malt — Speyside, Scotland

    Tasted April 7, 2021
    3.75
    3.75 out of 5 stars
    You know when you're hoping for the best outcome in something, but still proceed with low expectations? That was my approach with the Glenlivet 12 Year. On one end, you've a notable brand which has a reputable history in Scotland. Decades ago they even made it clear that they are THE Glenlivet - a stand out to other illicit distilleries back in the day that used Glenlivet branding. Yet this bottle of 12 Year Old comes bottled at a boring 40% which sets the tone for potential disappointment. Like many Speyside Scotches, the nose is very sweet, fruity and full of cereal grains. The sweetness of honey and fruits - apples and pears - carry themselves through to the palate and eventual finish which was very short-lived. I didn't identify any burn, but the tasting experience paled in comparison to other 12 Year Olds around the same price range. Glen Garioch, for example, has a very rich, full-bodied Scotch that's aged the same amount of time. Although this Glenlivet lacks depth, I think it makes a very decent sipper and a great beginners' dram for anyone getting into the world of whisky tasting. NOSE: Vanilla, apples, malt, barley, light oak PALATE: Honey, vanilla, apples, poached pear, slight spice FINISH: Vanilla, oak, malt Rating: 77/100 Grade: C+ Average - not good, not bad, just is.
    Burnaby
  3. 1792 Small Batch Bourbon

    Bourbon — Kentucky, USA

    Tasted April 5, 2021
    4.0
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    The 1792 Small Batch had several interesting notes on the nose that I was able to pick up on. Yes, you get the typical sweetened aromas of corn and caramel, but there was also a hint of fresh greens and medicinal herbs. My first nosing was that of cut grass and a blend of echinacea and chamomile - not unpleasant, but different. On the palate, the bourbon opens up a little more where one would experience the taste of woody notes and candied fruits with a hint of smoke. Although I was hoping for a longer finish, the drinking experience was warm, pleasant, and all-in-all quite enjoyable. This bourbon would make a decent post-dinner sipper over some rocks. NOSE: Corn, caramel, grass, echinacea, chamomile, oak PALATE: Oak, wood fibres, strawberries, candied cherries, simple syrup, light smoke FINISH: Corn, vanilla, sea salt Rating: 83/100 Grade: B Good – not a “must”, but a nice-to-have.
    Burnaby
  4. Buffalo Trace Bourbon

    Bourbon — Kentucky, USA

    Tasted April 4, 2021
    4.0
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    After hearing a lot about this bourbon lover's staple, I finally had a chance to experience the famous Buffalo Trace. Sweet corn dominates the nose alongside caramel and brown sugar. Spices follow-up on the palate with a melody of fruity notes and syrup that remind me of candy I enjoyed as a child. The finish ends with a lingering blend of corn and summer fruits - enjoyable nonetheless. All-in-all, I quite like this bourbon! At 90 proof (45% ABV), it made for a very easy sipper. I had it neat, but on the rocks or in a cocktail would be delicious, too. NOSE: Corn, sweet corn, caramel, brown sugar PALATE: Cinnamon, nutmeg, confectioners' sugar, cough syrup, grape syrup, bubblegum FINISH: Corn, bubblegum, strawberries Rating: 82/100 Grade: B- Not-too-bad - no major flaws, worth tasting.
    Burnaby
  5. Bruichladdich Islay Barley 2011

    Single Malt — Islay, Scotland

    Tasted March 21, 2021
    4.25
    4.25 out of 5 stars
    I didn't know what to expect with the Islay Barley. At 50% ABV, I recommend giving it time to breathe before nosing otherwise you're in for a sharp surprise. That said, with the passage of time, the aromas kept changing on me by revealing flavours I never thought were even relatable to whisky. I had the age of this Scotch pegged between 5-7 years (I later learned it's 6) because the initial profiles on the nose were characteristic of a young whisky - think green apples and grapes (much like Arran's Robert Burns). However, the profile then evolved into a gentler, more muted sweetness in the form of custard and red bean. The palate was the biggest surprise. I was anticipating sweet, floral notes, but instead was hit with peppery spices and salt. The finish unboxed flavours of the ocean such as sea salt, kelp, brine, and slight peat - likely the environmental influence of the Islay barley. There is some sweetness in there, but you'll find it on the tail-end of the finish which, again, was very muted. For a young whisky, I'd argue that this Bruichladdich experiment was a success! The biggest surprise for me was how the flavour profile kept evolving which made my dram so much more challenging yet enjoyable. If you're lucky to find yourself a bottle somewhere on the shelf, I'd recommend you buy it! NOSE: Caramelized pears, slight peat, McIntosh apples, sultana, light oak, strawberries, malted barley, red bean paste, egg custard PALATE: Peppered spice, peat, sea salt, cinnamon, ginger root, mild honey FINISH: Brine, sea salt, seaweed, kelp, grass, malt, red bean paste, slight peat Rating: 86/100 Grade: B Good – not a “must”, but a nice-to-have.
    84.99 CAD per Bottle
    BC Liquor Stores
  6. Bruichladdich The Classic Laddie Scottish Barley

    Single Malt — Islay, Scotland

    Tasted March 14, 2021
    4.0
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    The Classic Laddie is a great bottle of whisky to enjoy with company if you have plenty of time to spare. The 50% ABV might be a little strong for the average whisky drinker, but if you let your dram air our for about 10 minutes, the alcoholic punch won't be as dominating. That said, the nose is beautiful. It begins with warm, buttery notes that evolve into pure sweetness (reminded me of the Bladnoch 10 Year). Although advertised as an unpeated Islay Scotch, I did detect some smoke on the palate/finish, but it doesn't last long as this whisky is predominantly sweet with a hint of baking spices. Despite being a NAS, I thoroughly enjoyed this naturally-coloured whisky and I honestly think it's a great introduction to Bruichladdich. Fun fact: The code on the base of the bottle can be entered on their website so you can see which unique cask recipe was used. NOSE: Butterscotch, sultana, almonds, tangerine, tapioca PALATE: Light smoke, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, brown sugar, demerara sugar FINISH: Light smoke, poached pears, caramel, honey, malt Rating: 84/100 Grade: B Good – not a “must”, but a nice-to-have.
    BC Liquor Stores
  7. Dewar's White Label

    Blended — Scotland

    Tasted March 14, 2021
    3.5
    3.5 out of 5 stars
    If you're hoping to go cheap for a good quality bottle of blended Scotch, look again because it's true - you get what you pay for. I did a blind taste test with other Scotches and this White Label was an obvious negative stand-out due to its lack of character and depth. The nose hits you with a whiff of smoke and peat, and when you taste the dram, you get a mixed bag of sour and bitter notes with a hint of sweetness that diminishes rather quickly. I've seen reviews where this whisky is praised for its value and versatility; however, I'm finding it hard to see what the hype is all about. Perhaps one may enjoy this as a sipper, but it's a hard pass for me. NOSE: Orchard fruits, light peat, light smoke, medicinal herbs PALATE: Charred wood, brine, sour plum FINISH: Light peat, bitter melon, cherry Rating: 70/100 Grade: C- Not good – nearly undrinkable, wonder why the hell they made it.
    BC Liquor Stores
  8. Green Spot Single Pot Still

    Single Pot Still — Ireland

    Tasted March 13, 2021
    4.25
    4.25 out of 5 stars
    Heard a great deal about Green Spot and although I'm not too versed in Irish whiskey, this bottle made for a very smooth, enjoyable experience. The aromas on the nose indicated a young age statement despite an age not specifically stated on the bottle. I picked up on several sweet notes alongside grapes and raisins. The sweetness continues on the palate through to the finish with a hint of spice and that lingering buttery undertone. All-in-all, the Green Spot is a great sipper with a warm, satisfying flavour profile. I would recommend it! NOSE: Honey, sultana, caramel, butterscotch, raisins PALATE: Confectioners' sugar, caster sugar, baking spices FINISH: Butter, walnuts, butterscotch, malted barley, pear Rating: 85/100 Grade: B Good – not a “must”, but a nice-to-have.
    Burnaby
  9. Bladnoch 10 Year

    Single Malt — Lowlands, Scotland

    Tasted March 12, 2021
    4.5
    4.5 out of 5 stars
    This aromatic Scotch does a fantastic job at rekindling my memories of walking into a pastry shop - or even a movie theatre. Right off the nose, there's a profound scent of butter, butterscotch, baked custards, and pudding. These smells diminish slightly on the palate as spices are introduced, but the long finish rounds out into a delicious, fruity, and mellow profile (I was able to pick up on fresh Ambrosia apples and Jasmine tea). My praises go out to Bladnoch for producing this leggy, full-bodied Lowland Scotch. I was initially skeptical about the youngish 10 year age statement, but they knocked it out of the park! NOSE: Butter, caramel custard, butterscotch, vanilla pudding, buttered popcorn, barley, cinnamon apples PALATE: Honey, wood spice, smoke, apples, blueberries FINISH: Grass, melted butter, wheat germ, Ambrosia apples, Jasmine tea Rating: 90/100 Grade: A- Excellent - want to buy a case.
    109.99 CAD per Bottle
    BC Liquor Stores
  10. White Oak Akashi Blended Whisky

    Blended — Hyogo, Japan

    Tasted March 8, 2021
    3.75
    3.75 out of 5 stars
    The Akashi White Oak fell short on my expectations with Japanese whisky. Despite using a Norlan for nosing, it was difficult to identify each unique aroma. They do make an eventual appearance, but one really needs to be patient and work with it. The palate shows a lot of potential where you may get hints of sweetness and nuts, but is ultimately dominated by the taste of oak and spices. The finish starts sweet, but is only short-lived as it quickly evolves into a lightly peated and salty after taste. Overall, this would make a tolerable entry level product for anyone looking for a gateway into the world of Nikka and Hibiki. More time spent in a barrel would certainly elevate this whisky, and despite the low 40% ABV, there is a noticeable burn with each sip, so bear that in mind. NOSE: Mandarin oranges, salted caramel, malt, apple, confectioners' sugar PALATE: Caramel, almonds, spices, oak FINISH: Malt, subtle caramel, light peat, sea salt, nori Rating: 75/100 Grade: C Below average – drinkable, but better as a mixer / party booze.
    Burnaby
Results 1-10 of 22 Tastes