Buckhorn Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Bourbon — USATasted April 16, 2021An incredibly generic bottom shelf bourbon, Buckhorn doesn't have anything special to offer. Smells of vanilla, caramel, oak, corn and just a hint of mint. There's an odd artificial sweet note too, somewhat similar to that of Jack Daniel's albeit less pungent. You can also smell the ethanol. It's not an unpleasant smell but it is surprisingly weak and not very exciting. On the tongue the corn dominates with the vanilla and oak flavors accompanied by a nice brown sugar flair. The mid palate is surprisingly herbal but lacking in depth. It has a medium-light spice at the end. If it packed a bit more of a punch I would be more satisfied. As far as budget bourbons go this isn't half bad and can be a good mindless daily sipper. If you're not a fan of Evan William's extreme sweetness this is not a bad budget bottle to turn to and it is much better than Jack.
Cazadores Spicy Margarita
Ready to Drink — Los Altos, Jalisco, MexicoTasted April 16, 2021I'm actually quite fond of the flavor though honestly it only resembles a margarita in passing. More adequately it tastes like a Michelada that happens to have Tequila. Admittedly they put in just a tad bit more agave syrup than I'd have preferred and at $14 for a four pack it's a bit pricey but I have always wanted a more potent drink with the spicy kick of a Michelada and this goes down so smoothly that I'd be remiss not to recommend it.
Avión Silver Tequila
Tequila Blanco — Los Altos, Jalisco, MexicoTasted April 14, 2021What an odd Blanco. There's quite a bit going on in the nose. There's vanilla, tropical, fruity scents, black pepper and bizarrely also an earthy aroma. Almost like wood or moss? It's not bad but not what I expect in a blanco. Others have said a citrusy smell but I'll be honest, I'm not sold. I went with lemongrass because there's an almost herbal like quality to that almost lemon-orange smell. Theres also an interesting minty aroma. So, sounds like a great bouquet of fruity and earthy smells? Sadly not quite. The alcohol really dominated most of the smell to the point all the other smells feel like after thoughts rather than in full display. I really wanted to like the smell but it's just too alcohol forward for me to really enjoy it. Despite the strong nose the actual taste is surprisingly flat and timid. You do get a very strong pineapple and lemongrass taste (or at least a citrusy-bittery taste) that fades away into black pepper and banana. After the initial burst of fruit you do get a fairly noticeable taste of alcohol. The entire experience is quick, fairly smooth but rather underwhelming. The product just feels very coarse. This would actually be a quite pleasant mixer but at its price I just can't justify it.
Jose Cuervo Especial Gold Tequila
Tequila Mixto Gold — Tequila Valley, Jalisco, MexicoTasted April 14, 2021Wow is this stuff absolutely disgusting or what? You're greeted by aromas of corroded agave, ethanol, chemical swill. You have to look hard to smell a bit of leather. The fumes just don't smell like something drinkable. It only gets *worse* when you put it in your mouth. It straight up tastes like a bunch of chemicals and refuse materials swirling in your tongue with only the faintest hint of agave. I literally gagged and recoiled upon trying it and on subsequent tastes came to dread putting it in my mouth. The finish is somewhat better. They clearly put artificial caramel flavoring in there and it does wonders to help you get through the insanely bitter finish. There's also a surprising note of white pepper that helps distract you from the wicked burn this thing leaves you with. I got a migraine after finishing my glass. Stay far, far away from this. It's actually undrinkable and tastes like poison.
Yamazaki 12 Year
Single Malt — Honshu, JapanTasted April 12, 2021An incredibly bready, almost like a honey toast smell immediately greets you but there's a surprisingly playful citrusy note. I can't pin point it. Not quite orange but also not mandarin. It's very nice. Be sure to look for it as it's quite prominent and it's not often I find it in a whiskey. Honey, vanilla, the sweet, odd sugary taste of sherry, a nice citrusy note dominate the palate. It's very sweet, almost reminiscent of a bourbon without that sugary overload that defines the category. The finish is of a peculiar woody character I'm not familiar. My guess is that it's the Japanese wood making it's presence known along with a fantastic cinnamon note that complements it quite well. The bready flavor rounds out the finish reminding you that despite the bourbon influence this is a wheat based endeavor. Divine. Don't miss out on this.
Ole Smoky Tennessee Moonshine
White — Tennessee, USATasted April 12, 2021Get past the initial fumes of strong ethanol and you'll find surprising butter and nutty smell to it along with corn, which is unsurprising given it's made up of 80% corn. I drink a lot so this didn't burn much at all though I imagine as a shot this would make it's presence known. They went out of their way though to make this a pleasant experience. On the tongue it reminds me of salted caramel candies. I forgot the brand but will update this review if I figure it out. Also reminds me of the Buttered Popcorn Jelly Belly. Other reviewers weren't lying when they said it's a butter-based taste though there is also some kind of nut. My best guess is walnut but I'm not up to date with my nuts. It's there though and pleasant. The finish is of ethanol though so just be prepared for that. This would honestly make for an interesting mixer when you want whiskey and butter to your cocktail. Peculiar!
Crown Royal Whisky & Cola
Ready to Drink — CanadaTasted April 12, 2021Really disappointing. Extremely flat the carbonation legitimately feels like you left it out for half a day. Given this is an extremely simple mix that's just unacceptable. The quality of the cola also isn't very good. I'd say RC Cola is about right (credit to MaliDrinks, a great YouTube booze reviewer, check her out). The whiskey itself is almost nowhere to be found. You can find it towards the end but I'm legitimately shocked to see it's supposed to be 7%. I'll give it that much. It goes down smooth and isn't as sickly sweet as I'd thought it would be. This is functional but very pricey for what you're getting. Only for Royal fanatics.
Unflavored Vodka — Northern California , USATasted April 11, 2021What a bargain! This is a cheap but highly unusual vodka. Made 50% from molasses, 25% of grapes and 25% of corn this already should pique anyone's interest. The nose is very pleasantly sweet. Definitely a bit of grapes as well as an odd funk that reminds me of white Rums. Is that the molasses showing through? Taste wise you get that nice molasses funk, some faint grape and a nice sweet flavor that I'm guessing comes from the corn as most corn vodkas I've had of a good quality have a certain sweet aftertaste. Minimal burn. This just goes down real smooth. Absolutely stunning and affordable. This is my new official go to vodka. Well done!
Grey Goose Essences Watermelon & Basil
Botanical Spirit — FranceTasted April 11, 2021Smell is of watermelon Jolly Ranchers. You can't really find the basil anywhere. Look hard enough and you get just a whiff of ethanol. Nonetheless it's quite a pleasant, carefree scent. The watermelon dominates the palate though the basil can be found in the mid palate and towards the end but it's very understated. It's also surprisingly bitter at the end. Not unpleasantly mind you but for the Jolly Rancher Watermelon flavor that commands most of your attention it did catch me off guard. Mixed with strawberry lemonade it added a great touch of watermelon and a herbal note underpinning everything. Will update my review later today to include how it tastes with soda water and aromatic tonic. This is obviously meant to be mixed and not sipped neat at room temperature. I'd say this is one of the best flavored Vodkas on the market as it doesn't taste overly sugar or artificial but pales in comparison to Ketel One's excellent infusions.
Cazadores Reposado Tequila
Tequila Reposado — Los Altos, Jalisco, MexicoTasted April 11, 2021On the nose it has that weird chemical smell of diffuser, mass-produced Tequilas though to its favor it doesn't dominate. Also present are earthy tones, a spice I couldn't quite pinpoint and an odd briny smell along with a faint leathery smell most reposados have. It's not particularly pleasant. Taste wise it's agave, vanilla, caramel, some mild oak and leather and a weird artificial taste. The finish is pleasant of black pepper and it lasts for a good minute. An acceptable if unremarkable sipper but really more fit as a mixer. As far as mixing Tequilas go the price is phenomenal. My go to budget Tequila for parties. It should be yours too.