GlenAllachie 12 Year
Single Malt — Speyside, ScotlandReviewed September 7, 2021Opens with an intensely spicy, dark fruit and apple aroma. You can smell the malt beneath the spice and fruit. Apple and cinnamon hit the tongue first, and are replaced by a spicy red fruit which seems to be steeped in potpourri. The finish is medium length with wood and baking spices and a bitterness that isn’t unpleasant. A few drops of Water mellow out the wood and cinnamon spice and allow the bread-y malt and stewed dark fruits to shine. The original biting finish transforms to a pleasant mouth coating warmth. Definitely interested in more from this distillery - it’s an interesting base offering. Update: really mellows as the bottle opens up. Definitely no water required, the spiciness and bitterness have been squished. Upped to 4.0. I’m thinking about replacing the bottle.
Longmorn Carn Mor 11year
Single Malt — Speyside , ScotlandReviewed September 5, 2021Very clean, crisp malt. Cereal, mild vanilla and light fruits on the nose. Earthy, floral bouquet is really pleasant. Mild burn accompanies the malt into the tongue. Medium finish is clean and a sweetness lingers to provide a nice finish to the evening. This made me want to seek out some more Longmorn IBs. They’re a little pricey but the quality of this spirit and malt is evident.
George Dickel 9 Year Hand Selected Barrel
Tennessee — Tennessee, USAReviewed August 4, 2021This is a miss for me. I prefer the dickel BIB. There’s a plasticity that doesn’t mix well with the standard peanut and vanilla profile you get with most Tennessee whisky. Good price and drinkable but won’t likely buy again.
Glenlivet Founder's Reserve
Single Malt — Speyside, ScotlandReviewed July 26, 2021Someone bought this for me. It’s not awful.
Balvenie Single Barrel 21 Year
Single Malt — Speyside, ScotlandReviewed July 22, 2021Quite good, it’s a quintessential Balvenie as you’d expect from a 21yr decent proof single barrel supposedly meeting david Stewart’s short list. I’d recently had the Tun1509 batch 2 and I can definitely see how this 21 likely figured into that mix: the wood astringency, the buttery mouthfeel, and of course the honey. It has a little too much wood spice for this to be truly great. However, It’s clean and crisp, right from the start. I really wish this were in the high $100 low $200 range and it would be an automatic buy. At $300 I’m glad I shared a bottle but wouldn’t buy again.
Red Spot 15 Year Single Pot Still
Single Pot Still — IrelandReviewed July 12, 2021This is an excellent dram. Was lucky enough to have this alongside the yellow and blue spots. Has a sweet, vanilla and buttercream flavor. Nice bite but could benefit from even more proof. This is no blue spot but it’s close. My current preference is Blue Yellow Red Green but one could easily convince me to switch yellow and red, and when value is considered yellow ekes out the head to head W.
Glenlivet 18 Year Batch Reserve
Single Malt — Speyside, ScotlandReviewed July 9, 2021notes of brown sugar, caramel, and toffee with a mild baking spice knocking around in the background. This seems like a good potential transition to scotch for bourbon rocks drinkers. I might have liked it earlier in my journey but to me the flavors are too muted probably because this is so watered down. There’s probably a decent base spirit lurking beneath the water, artificial coloring and processing done on this to make it ‘smooth’. This was a gift and I likely wouldn’t have bought it but I have fond memories of the 18 from 10 years ago and this is a shadow of that IMO.
Glencadam The Re-Awakening 13 Year
Single Malt — Highlands, ScotlandReviewed June 30, 2021Enjoyed this. Classic highland with a coastal influence. Very honey forward but with a nice wood spice thanks to the 46% and 13 yrs in the wood. It was in the high $60 range near me which is a decent value but this left me slightly wanting in a way I usually am with highland malts. It’s a nice change of pace from the peat, smoke and sherry bombs that litter the landscape.
Blue Spot 7 Year Cask Strength Single Pot Still
Single Pot Still — IrelandReviewed June 25, 2021I think this is the best Irish whisky I’ve ever tasted, although to be fair I’ve only had about 20 or so. I actually had this before the red and yellow spots, which are also very good. But to me this addresses all the complaints that often keep me from really enjoying Irish whisky. It’s too thin: blue spot has a satisfying and almost luxurious mouthfeel. It’s one note - shortbread: Blue has a complexity you often associate with very old scotch, balancing the cask wood, finishes and base spirit perfectly. The finish is too short: I had my last sip of blue about 10 minutes ago and it’s still there, on the back and front of my tongue and on my cheeks. It’s a real shame this is so hard to find. I’ll take a red or yellow as a substitute but I’ll certainly be looking for this one as it’s in a class of its own. Update (7/2022): took me this long to find another bottle. As I have a full one and not just a share I’m going to really attempt to taste it this time. The nose is coy, very nice but tight and restrained, with banana, cereal and some hint of dark fruits. With a few drops of water though the tropical fruits start to sing. Take your time nosing this one, before and after drinking it. The palate explodes with flavors, with nice layers. First comes the spice, then the woody tropical notes, culminating with a buttery Chardonnay and some tingling cloves and baking spices. The spices continue into the finish which is long and luxurious. I’m going to add some more water and see what happens. Great, great stuff.
Balvenie The Edge of Burnhead Wood 19 Year
Single Malt — Speyside, ScotlandReviewed June 13, 2021I enjoyed drinking this, but it fell far short of my expectations. Which were set by my previous tastes of aged Balvenie but also the $300+ price point on this. It’s a bit hot on arrival, although the burn fades as the trademark honey and crisp apple kick in this time with some nice jasmine and floral notes. It fades a bit too quickly for my taste, and has a mild bitterness before completely leaving the palate. It’s not as luxurious of a mouthfeel than what I’m used to. I’m not sure how much this would need to be for me to buy it again…perhaps half MSRP. I might hesitate before pulling the trigger on the next pricey old Balvenie I see.