Auchentoshan Three Wood
Single Malt — Lowlands, ScotlandTastedColor is leaning towards a dark amber and deep copper hue. The nose is so well integrated and balanced. You’re first hit with huge amounts of sweet pipe tobacco as if you were opening up a fresh bag. Once that blows off, it morphs and unveils blackberry, blood orange, brown sugar, dark cocoa, toasted walnut, and a refreshing minerality buried underneath. The palate stays cohesive throughout all stages. The initial palate hits with tobacco and then rather quickly swells into citrus, sweet berries and honey. The finish leaves you with sweet walnut notes into tomorrow. Sláinte to the Lowlands of Scotland!
Bone Snapper X-Ray Straight Rye Whiskey
Rye — Kentucky, USATastedSourced from MGP, and it’s refreshing to see Backbone Bourbon Co. be straight and honest as to where they get their juice from. The mash bill is 95% rye and 5% barley. This bottle is labeled as batch #1 and bottled at 110 proof. On the nose are clove, nutmeg, cinnamon bark and licorice along with notes of banana bread, citrus pine, roasted peanuts, and coal fire. The palate is vibrant and explosive with intense peppercorn, cinnamon bun, toasted caramel, and honeyed candied ginger. The texture is sharp but rich at the same time. Killer value here.
Redbreast 12 Year
Single Pot Still — IrelandTastedThe Oloroso Sherry casks dress this up for a late night breakfast. Notes of buttered French toast topped with sweet cream sauce, strawberry compote, and Honey Nut Cheerios jump out of the glass. Everything changes after you take the first sip, where peach and clover honey starts to develop on the initial palate. This makes for a super rounded out dram, all while putting the barrel notes on its back. Even though it sits at 40% abv, complexity exists. This is damn good. Its hard not to have the whole freaking bottle.
Kinsey Bourbon 4 Year
Bourbon — (bottled in) Pennsylvania, USATastedThis is showing to be a little on the shy side. Presents itself a lot like a traditional highland scotch whisky. 51% corn and 49% malt mash bill, and honestly, the barley really stands out. On the nose, orange fruit, corn meal, honeycomb cereal, vanilla cream, buttered English muffin, light brown sugar, ginger, herbal tea, furniture polish, and some interesting grass notes. Palate is actually dominated by barrel spice, given it’s a 4-year, and you’re left with a slight bitterness on the finish. Easy to understand and a nice change up to your Kentucky monsters. Highly likely to be sourced from MGP.
Buffalo Trace Bourbon
Bourbon — Kentucky, USATastedBig, sweet, and balanced. The nose shows notes of apple cider, orange cream, chocolate milk, snickers bar, Andes candy, and Red Man tobacco. The palate builds on sweet cinnamon and finishes with a healthy dose of barrel spice. This should be in everyone’s house. Fine example of a classic bourbon.
Highland Park 12 Year Viking Honour
Peated Single Malt — Islands, ScotlandTastedI could live in this nose for hours, but I had to drink it because everyone was looking at me funny. The bouquet summons dried pineapple, lychee nut, lemon pith, sweet grass, smoked honey comb, and matchbook. All those notes transfer to the palate seamlessly. The finish gives in to a sweet and smokey dichotomy that doesn’t quit changing. This stays light without being boring or one dimensional.
Four Roses Single Barrel Bourbon
Bourbon — Kentucky, USATastedDiving in, everything is really quiet. It almost feels as if this Bourbon is sleeping. But, the soft nose is encapsulated in caramel drizzled raspberries, dark chocolate, cinnamon toast crunch, burnt pie crust, roasted chestnuts, Balsam Fir, fresh cut roses, coffee beans, and old wood furniture. After taking the first sip, everything comes alive with a big punch. The mid palate is dense and concentrated and breaks free into loads of classic barrel burn and baking spice on the finish. You keep tasting and tasting all the nuances as air gives it more spark. A couple drops of water helps open it up faster and brings the palate together. This is the Bourbon Street Barrel Selection (Phillipsburg, NJ), and I have to admit, the owner picked wisely as Indiana Jones did in The Last Crusade. Warehouse LE; Barrel No. 23-1M
Booker's Bourbon Batch 2018-1 Kathleen's Batch
Bourbon — Kentucky, USATastedStraight up bomb. But, at the same time delicate and complex. The nose explodes with pecan and sweet potato pie, cherry pie filling, dark molasses, Vienna Fingers, potted flowers, rosemary and nutmeg. But given air, develops into maple syrup covered waffles, cornbread, and leather. The finish hangs on for dear life. It’s like a big bear hug from Kentucky.
Henry McKenna 10 Year Bottled in Bond Bourbon
Bourbon — Kentucky, USATastedOrange liquor cake, vanilla sandwich cookies, spiced tea, caramel creams, eucalyptus, and ground cinnamon pushes out on the nose. The palate finds the barrel notes that are missing from the initial nosing. As you let this hang out, sweet cedar and sharp spice start to develop. It’s the rye that really adds a complexity to the finish without overwhelming it. This can compete with bourbons at least twice it’s price...