Tastes

normanlao

Expanding my appreciation for Scottish Single Malts one bottle at a time!

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  1. Wyoming Whiskey Small Batch Bourbon

    Bourbon — Wyoming, USA

    Tasted
    5.0
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Wyoming…the Wild West… One of the grand signatures of American heritage, just thinking about the western frontier plains stirs up images of weatherbeaten cowboys, open ranges, crackling campfires, oiled leather saddles, dusty boots and plank-board shanty towns where the weary could stroll into a tavern after days of ranging and herding, sidle up to the brass rail and have the barkeep pour the kind of dram that would kickstart a night that went well into the next morning… I knew it was possible to distill such a complex and flavorful spirit from the talent behind Wyoming Whiskey, but the ability to infuse the raw and visceral essence of the American frontier, into the very spirit that I am tasting right now...that takes more than just talent…that takes true passion and artistry; a pure and deep love for what you do from sunup to sundown and even in the cricket hours to the minutes before the dawn. This is the feeling that coursed through me after taking my very first sip of their Single Barrel; a true love of making American Whisky. When you close your eyes and take a sip of this dram, and let its alchemy wash over senses, you can literally taste the care, the commitment and the pride that goes into every drop of this Bourbon Whiskey. What I am tasting: Wyoming Whiskey Barrel #841 Single Barrel Bourbon Whiskey at 44% ABV (88 Proof) Bottled on 9 /1/2015 and bottled EXCLUSIVELY for Bottled Wyoming Color: A deep, weatherbeaten copper; very typical of the color profile of the old west. Packaging: I truly appreciate the extra mile that went into investing into the “Wyoming” and “Whiskey” mold details in their proprietary bottle. Tasting Notes: Neat On The Nose: Robust aroma of a thick, jammy Orange Marmalade, Butterscotch, Caramel Creme, a hint of Vanilla and a touch of cinnamon and white pepper and a very slight whisper of a floral, rose petal. With Water: A few drops of water unlocks a deeper an richer warmth of the nosing. The floral essences become more vibrant as they intermingle deftly and delicately to complete the richness of the nosing experience. On the Tongue: From the tip of the tongue, there is an initial sweetness, but not cloyingly so. The orange takes a different profile as I discover more of a mandarin orange sweetness instead of a tropical citrus zest, there are also definite laters of vanilla, the caramel creme is still very prominent as is the spiciness of the White Oak. There is also a wonderfully delicate expression of rosewater towards the finish. With Water: What I absolutely love about this medium is that only a few drops of water elevates the textural profile so slightly; a new experience of velvety richness as the crisp spiciness of the White Oak influence begins to subside ever so slightly. FInish: A rich and robust, well rounded mouth feel and a succulence that comes from the complexity in the tasting profile. The finish lingers with a welcoming, silky and satin-smooth tapering into a crisp dryness complimented with a hint of peppery spice. From my tasting notes, it is fairly obvious how much I have enjoyed tasting this bourbon whiskey. Over the course of the last few months, I have learned to appreciate whisky from the Scotch Single Malt families of products; of which I love and enjoy immensely. However, thanks to Mark Gillespie and his podcast WhiskyCast - and the tasting notes and ratings that HE has given Wyoming Whiskey, I felt compelled to trust his judgement and try a bottle for myself. And I couldn’t be happier - partially because this is a great product - but even more so, because it is an American product and I am proud to support this American business. The greatest compliment that I can give this expression of Wyoming Whiskey is this: I will absolutely buy another bottle, perhaps several to give to friends, because this is a product that I absolutely love. When you set out on an epicurean journey and you find the right flavor…you know without a doubt, that you have found something truly special. In this whiskey - I found something truly special. I found the flavor of the American Pioneering “Spirit”. Sláinte
  2. Highland Park 18 Year

    Peated Single Malt — Islands, Scotland

    Tasted
    5.0
    5.0 out of 5 stars
  3. Westland Sherry Wood American Single Malt

    American Single Malt — Washington , USA

    Tasted
    5.0
    5.0 out of 5 stars
  4. The Macallan 18 Year Sherry Oak Cask

    Single Malt — Highlands, Scotland

    Tasted
    5.0
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Macallan 18 yr. 1996 VIntage (Sherry Oak Casks) 43% ABV I have to admit, the very notion of engaging and documenting a TRUE tasting of this dram has been (and still is in some respects) very intimidating to me. Why you may ask? Simply because the reputation of the Macallan 18 precedes itself; especially throughout the circles of master tasters and connoisseurs alike. For me, a novice taster, this is one of the first, true “Gold Standards” that I have chosen to taste and believe me when I say that every recommendation, award, glowing review, chant of praise and ratings stars that have been heaped upon this product are completely and utterly incontrovertibly earned and proven. To make a long introduction short…tasting this dram was simply…wondrous. On the Nose: Amidst the ever-present fingerprints of a Highland expression I discovered a traditional sweetness; layers of orange creme and vanilla, honey, a note of spiciness, a dash of nutmeg and cinnamon, a hint of lemon zest. A deeper and more conscious nosing also revealed whispers of dried red fruits and a blossom of floral bouquet. Tasting - Neat: Full and intense with a mouth puckering tartness from the Sherry Oak Casks, accompanied by the familiar spiciness from those 18 years of maturation in the sherry wood. Incredibly sweet on the tip of the tongue yet so finely balanced as not to linger as the spirit washed over the tongue. Further tastings revealed quite a greater and more robust palate with vibrant notes of vanilla, caramel, sweet golden raisins, ginger, and a hint of aged and aromatic leather. The subdued quality of the 43% ABV allows the dram to exercise its true flavor complexity with the roundness and balance of the finest traditions of the Macallan and Highland profile. Finish: Clean yet surprisingly long and fulfilling; a tapering complexity that the dryness of the sherry influence exercises upon the palate. Round and robust and superbly balanced so that no one single note is overpowering. A truly brilliant finish that creates a certain longing and inspires and entices a second pouring. In Conclusion: As a self-proclaimed champion and passionate enthusiast for most of the Islay distilleries - especially Ardbeg and Laphroaig, this Macallan 18 yr Sherry Oak whisky at 43% ABV has probably come the closest to making me re-evaluate what I expect from a Scotch Single Malt whisky. The execution is nearly flawless with what I feel is an almost perfect offering of aroma, color, taste and quality. There is an almost eerie smoothness to the spirt and, because it is so “un-aggressive” throughout the tasting, you can completely immerse your palate in the experience of the flavor profile complexity without the traditional “expectations” of whisky being unmercifully strong, or only for the truly stalwart and stoic palates. Now...I truly believe that there is no “perfect” whisky as certain profiles naturally gravitate towards certain palates and tasting audiences. However, this Macallan 18 is quite possibly one of the best whiskys I have tasted and has earned its place amongst my choice of “top shelf” drams. I was fortunate enough to conduct my tasting from a 3 cl sample that I purchased from Drinks By The Dram - because I full 750 mL bottle is quite expensive and this is not your “everyday dram”; the kind you traditionally enjoy after a difficult day of work or to share among friends. This is the kind of dram that you SAVOR, that you cherish because it is worth taking the time to slowly sip and “experience” instead of ingest. This is the kind of product that defines the true artistry and craftsmanship of whisky distilling and illustrates the sheer commitment to excellence for which the Macallan brand is perpetually known. Highly recommended!!! 95/100 Sláinte (good health)
  5. Laphroaig Quarter Cask

    Peated Single Malt — Islay, Scotland

    Tasted
    4.0
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    3 cl Neat: Medicinal and aromatic smoke, salty, iodine, caramel, lingering finish With 1 tsp Distilled Water: more sea salt and caramel notes, stronger dried red fruit notes
  6. Glenmorangie 18 Year

    Single Malt — Highlands, Scotland

    Tasted
    4.0
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    3 cl Neat: Orange Citrus creme, touch of peach and nutty, very understated finish With 1 tsp Distilled Water: increased vanilla, almond and toffee notes
  7. Lagavulin 16 Year

    Peated Single Malt — Islay, Scotland

    Tasted
    4.0
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    3 cl Neat: Aromatic smoke, spicy and hot, iodine and sea salt, caramel, very quick finish With 1 tsp Distilled Water: More floral, more iodine and an overall more medicinal smoke, less spicy
  8. The Balvenie Doublewood 12 Year

    Single Malt — Speyside, Scotland

    Tasted
    4.0
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    3 cl Neat: Vanilla, honey touch of green apple and pear, no smoke, tapering finish With 1 tsp Distilled Water: increased fruitiness and creaminess
  9. Caol Ila 12 Year

    Peated Single Malt — Islay, Scotland

    Tasted
    3.0
    3.0 out of 5 stars
    Caol Ila 12 Year Old: 43% ABV Color: A wonderful golden and soft buttery blonde On the Nose: Again…very typical of an Islay whisky where you are greeted with an initial understanding of peated smoke that comes from the phenolic coastal infusion of the peat bogs from that region. There is a similar medicinal and antiseptic quality that one usually tastes in a Laphroaig. There is also a very familiar oiliness layered in between notes of lime and citrus zest. Tasting: Neat - As the dram works from the front to the back of the tongue, I tasted a very nice sweetness at first, followed by the lovely and heavily heated flavors of a true Islay: smoked ham, fresh tobacco, a wisp of vanilla and a nice oily body of burnt butterscotch and a hint of coastal salt air. For me, this dram really came alive when introduced to a few drops of water. The mouth feel was so round and robust with the vanilla really coming through. The smoke really developed to where this came closer to the Ardbeg 10 where you can taste the coastal peat bog infusion that is the fingerprint of this Islay region. Finish - Very clean and lingering with a wonderful simplicity of faint spiciness and warmth. Overall - The Caol Ila 12 year old is an incredibly robust, well-rounded and traditionally flavored Islay. For me personally, I still think the Ardbeg Uidgeadail is still THE Islay Whisky but I really did enjoy this dram for at least as a comparison and as another delicious expression of Scotch Whisky. My Malt Score: 88/100
  10. Kilchoman Machir Bay 2014

    Peated Single Malt — Islay, Scotland

    Tasted
    4.0
    4.0 out of 5 stars
Results 1-10 of 13 Tastes