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.
Quarter Horse Kentucky Rye Whiskey
Rye — Kentucky, USATasted April 10, 2021This is much better than the Bourbon Outing but still remains an extremely subpar product on the market. For those that don't know, Quarter Horse products aren't aged for very long. Instead a machine called the TerrePure attempts to mimick the effects of aging within a few hours with catastrophic results to the end product giving them an odd, extremely artificial taste. The nose is sharply unpleasant. Smells strongly of rye, a weird sawdust smell also present in the Quarter Horse Bourbon (I'm inclined to think it's a result of the TerrePure process since both products had this bizarre smell), a spicy note I believe to be cardamon and a strong fake ethanol presence. I actually think this one may objectively smell worse than it's Bourbon counterpart just because the paint thinner smell from the fake ethanol is quite astringent here. On the tongue though this is world's above the Quarter Horse Bourbon. It has an extremely simple taste. Rye to start with hints of vanilla and oak. However I wouldn't say it's particularly pleasant. None of the flavors really mesh together. It's comparable to eating a fruit just before it's ripe--the flavors are there but it doesn't quite taste right. That makes sense this was only aged for a year so it's still quite young. Still you could almost forgive being offered a young rye whiskey were it not for the horrendous finish. It doesn't start out too bad with the cardamon coming at the end along with a somewhat sharp, spicy bite. Not bad. However any positivity this rye whiskey has built up is wholly negated by this awful, artificial ethanol-esque finish that makes the entire experience feel artificial. It's very hard to describe what the flavor is but it tastes like synthetic alcohol and has an almost medicinal property to it. Unfortunately for Quarter Horse Rye this bizarre synthetic finish lingers for well over a minute leaving a disastrous final impression. However, the Quarter Horse Bourbon's finish has the same artificial problem while being intolerably bitter and gross, so Quarter Horse Rye has the distinction of being better just by virtue of being tolerable if unpleasant. Ultimately it's very hard for me to recommend Quarter Horse Rye. If you want a cool bottle and a somewhat interesting conversation piece, pick up the Rye instead of the Bourbon. But if you want a quality experience stay far away from both.
White Wolf Vodka
Unflavored Vodka — Fairfield, USATasted April 9, 2021At $5 for a 750 mL this isn't a good, mediocre or even passable vodka. It's the bottom of the barrel and it has no pretense of being any good. The question then is, is it remotely drinkable or will just consuming this poison you? The bottle claims that it's "dry and smooth." This is surprisingly accurate. First off, this thing is the definition of dry. You feel the dryness hit you the moment it touches your tongue. But it also doesn't burn nearly as much as its pungent ethanol smell suggests. You can take a few swigs and while it won't be pleasant it also won't melt your throat. This is by far the smoothest rubbing alcohol I have ever had. Don't bother searching for underlying flavors or texture. There isn't any. This is just drinkable rubbing alcohol. Out of the bottom of the barrel vodkas though at least you can finish the bottle. Just barely though. Note: The base product is just .75 stars but due to its cheap price point and relative smoothness, I'm rating it higher. If you're in a pinch this is the uber-budger vodka you should go for. But also make better life decisions where White Wolf Vodka isn't the only drink you can afford.
Bourbon — Kentucky, USATasted April 9, 2021Quarter Horse is made using a technology called TerrePure which the distillers claim can recreate years of aging in a matter of hours using ultrasonic waves. No I am not making it up. That's how the technology is described. This Bourbon has been aged for a year and, as far as I can tell, then put on the TerrePure machine to give it additional flavor. Sounds like a cool technology and interesting gimmick but in practice, if the Quarter Horse is anything to go by, this will hardly be the future of bourbon making. Right off the bat it has one of the least inviting smells from a bourbon I have ever experienced. It smells of corn, rye, hay, sandalwood chips and a strange burst of ethanol. The sandalwood chip smell isn't pleasant though. More like a dusty accident than an intended odor. As for the ethanol, it reminds me of the various alcohols I got to experiment with in Organic Chemistry. Not quite the ethanol humans consume. Taste wise this is just really bizarre. It tastes like some other liquid that isn't bourbon doing it's best impression and falling quite short. Best comparison I have is how Stevia kind of replaces the taste of sugar. You can still tell it's not "real" sugar though. Or as if you left a glass of bourbon out on a hot day then came back to it and it tastes flat and lost most of its flavor. This isn't pleasant. There is some flavor of apple tart along with the sweet corn flavor of bourbon so it isn't all completely bad but these positives don't last for very long. They're extremely ephemeral quickly giving way to one of the worst finished I have ever experienced in my life. Medicinal, perversely bitter, acrid coupled unpleasantly with that fake ethanol taste I caught on the nose which overwhelms the finish quite unceremoniously--it tastes synthetic in the worst sense of the word. Worst of all the finish stays around for much, much longer than the actual flavor. I timed it and it stuck with me for 2 minutes. That's a real shame because I really wanted to like this product. I'm open to new technologies when it comes to production methods and it's a cool bottle. I'm not going to lie, I'm half tempted to buy the bottle both because it looks cool and it makes for an interesting conversation piece and point of comparison. But as something to drink, this is borderline undrinkable. I'm not even sure it can be used as a mixer, though maybe with some Coke the worst of the finish can be dealt with. I could finish my glass so it's not getting a rating below 1 which I reserve for stuff I can't finish and outright makes me want to gag. But this is pretty damn close.
Bourbon — Kentucky, USATasted April 7, 2021An amazing introductory bourbon. Nose is on point with it's ingredients. My initial guess was 60% corn, 40% rye which is pretty close to the actual ingredients. Look deeper and you see the traditional notes of vanilla and caramel. On the tongue not much changes. Sweet corn, a bit of a kick from rye, sweet vanilla and caramel linger in the background. The finish is light and has a surprisingly cherry finish. Sweet without overdoing it and a perfect mixer or guilt free daily sipper.
Evan Williams Black Label
Bourbon — Kentucky, USATasted April 7, 2021This is NOT a complicated bottle. Aroma is of corn, ethanol and the expected sweetness of bourbon. You can tell this is mostly made from corn and is over 40%. Taste wise you get what you smell. There is no complexity or surprises here. It tastes of generic bourbon with an overwhelming taste of corn, caramel (maybe more rightly stated caramel corn), overly sweet vanilla and molasses. You can catch a whiff of the oak at the end reminding you that this has been aged for four years. This is very, very sweet stuff. But unlike Jack Daniel's it just feels sugary rather than the weird artificial additives and odd sour note that reminds you that define Jack. Sure this is more generic and sickly sweet but at 43% it goes down so smoothly and the sweetness does wonders mixed. Recommend you drink it on the rocks to deal with the sugar but for the price this is my go to ultra-budget bottle.