Gourrey de Chadeville Overproof
Cognac — FranceTastedNot quite as complex as one would hope, but does have nice, spicy, peppery aromas with a taste centered around apples. And it’s obviously pretty hot, being overproof - works better with a few drops of water. Not entirely sure this tasting made me see much value in the concept of overproof Cognac.
Paul Beau VSOP Grande Champagne Cognac
Cognac — Grande Champagne, FranceTastedSmells almost like a candied orange. Orange on the palate too, but also retains much of the grape flavor as well as subtler notes or vanilla and salt. Starts a bit hot and there’s a disappointingly short finish, but overall a very impressive producer Cognac.
Maison Surrenne Distillerie Galtaud Borderies
Cognac — Borderies, FranceTasted(Note: this is a review for the basic Maison Surrene VSOP.) Intriguing aromas of honey, heath bar, and sea salt give way to surprising tastes of peach, orange and flowers. A very pleasant Cognac that comes across as dangerously “sessionable.”
St. George Botanivore Gin
Modern Gin — California, USATastedAn extremely creamy, almost vodka-esque gin, although it of course has the traditional juniper notes. There is certainly a good balance here between earthy, herby, and fruity notes, but otherwise I didn’t detect much unique here. This would make a very solid base for cocktails but I was a bit underwhelmed when drinking it straight.
Laphroaig 10 Year
Peated Single Malt — Islay, ScotlandTastedYes, of course the peatiness is the main feature here, but I was actually impressed with the relative complexity of this - there’s a great honey taste and notes of sea salt and licorice as well.
George Dickel Bottled in Bond Tennessee Whisky 13 Year (Fall 2005)
Tennessee — Tennessee, USATastedWow, this is absolutely delicious. Amazing aromas right out of the bottle - the cinnamon hits you first, followed but subtler but still very present notes of orange, citrus, and nutmeg. On the palate, an initial hit of heat quickly gives to a burst of flavors so complex I can’t even name them all - but I definitely detected ash, leather, anise, and a hint of sherry on the finish. I can definitely see why this won Whiskey Advocate’s Whiskey of the Year - I’m not sure I’ve ever had an American whiskey this complex and multi-layered.
Balcones Baby Blue
Corn — Texas, USATastedA beguiling, almost tequila-esque aroma with very sweet notes. But the taste is simply too sweet, almost sickly so. Maybe this will grow on me but for now it’s more off-putting than appealing.
Highland Park 18 Year
Peated Single Malt — Islands, ScotlandTastedGreat balanced aromas of honey and grass/herbs. Similar flavors on the palate - very smooth initially and finishes long, if a little hot. Still, overall it’s very well-balanced and complex.
Speyburn Speyside Single Malt
Single Malt — Speyside, ScotlandTastedAn okay, not great Speyside that has a good balance between sweet and smoky notes but where nothing in particular stands out.
Highland Park 12 Year Viking Honour
Peated Single Malt — Islands, ScotlandTastedAromas of citrus, apples, honey and spices. Taste very much the same, but with a smoky peat taste that pretty quickly gives way to sweet flavors like caramel and toffee. A VERY smooth scotch, but the peat is a bit overpowered by the other flavors.