Tastes

odysseusunbound

A whiskey lover from Ontario

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  1. Dalmore 12 Year

    Single Malt — Highlands, Scotland

    Tasted
    3.5
    3.5 out of 5 stars
    I’m revisiting Dalmore 12 for the first time in about 2 years. I think there’s been some improvement here. I still wish it was bottled at a slightly higher abv, but there are no “off” notes, no sulphur, and it’s a really good introduction to the sherried style of scotch whisky.
  2. Bushmills Black Bush

    Blended — Ireland

    Tasted
    3.75
    3.75 out of 5 stars
  3. J.P. Wiser's Alumni Whisky Series Lanny McDonald

    Canadian — Ontario, Canada

    Tasted
    2.5
    2.5 out of 5 stars
    This won’t be a long review. Let me say upfront that this whisky was a disappointment. I have tremendous respect for Dr Don Livermore and for Lanny McDonald, but this is a pretty weak offering. It got somewhat better with time, but even after 6 months it was pretty mediocre. Tasting Notes • Nose (undiluted): strong acetone/nailpolish remover/cheap vodka aromas, even after 6 months. After a very long rest in the glass, there’s some fresh-cut oak, a little caramel and vanilla, and not much else. • Palate (undiluted): thin mouthfeel. I guess you could call it smooooooth. There’s a bit more vanilla and caramel, pencil shavings, and a touch of barrel char. • Finish: short to medium length, somewhat drying, with a little toffee lingering. Adding water makes this go from mediocre to unpleasant. With water it smells and tastes like nailpolish remover (don’t ask how I know what that tastes like). The finish becomes unbearably bitter. The bottle says “Canadian whisky barrels and virgin oak barrels”, but I didn’t get many of the rich, sweet notes I’d expect from virgin oak. The bottle says “wheat forward”, but I didn’t get any notes I’d associate with wheated whisky. I got a lot of flavours and aromas I associate with not quite grain neutral spirits, but pretty darned close to it, uhm, I mean “high-proof, base whisky”. And while this “base whisky” might work if left long enough in good barrels, that doesn’t seem to be the case here. This is drinkable neat, but awful with water or ice. I have no idea how the reviewer for Distiller scores this an 87. His tasting notes read like a completely different whisky than the one I tasted. And I bought my bottle right at the Wiser’s/Hiram Walker distillery. Not recommended. Sorry Dr Livermore. 67/100 points.
  4. J.P. Wiser's Alumni Whisky Series Lanny McDonald

    Canadian — Ontario, Canada

    Tasted
    2.75
    2.75 out of 5 stars
  5. Big Peat Blended Malt

    Peated Blended Malt — Islay, Scotland

    Tasted
    4.0
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    Big Peat is a blended malt, sometimes called vatted malt, from Douglas Laing & co. The bottle features a bearded Scotsman (presumably named "Pete") wearing a cozy-looking sweater. It is unchil-filtered (yay!) and I don't think there's any mention of E150a, but this is so lightly coloured, almost clear, so I'd venture to guess it's bottled at natural colour. Which single malts are in this blend? According to the company's website: “With Caol Ila spirit bringing sweetness, Bowmore the perfect balance, Ardbeg the medicinal, earthy quality and Port Ellen, a degree of elegance, Big Peat represents all that is Islay in a bottle. Fred Laing tells us that of course, there are a couple of Blender's Secrets in Big Peat too – but even after a few drams, he won’t share that info – and so it remains our peaty little secret!” •Tasting notes• • Nose (undiluted): smoke, peat, with citrus fruits and sweet barley grain behind it. Graham crackers perhaps. Smells like a toned-down Ardbeg. With time in the glass, a faint bacon aroma develops. I like this. • Palate (undiluted): slightly oily texture yet still somewhat light-bodied. It's a bit briny, however there are lots of deep, dark flavours here; it's ashy on arrival, develops some pepperiness, and a touch of tobacco. • Finish: somewhat drying, black pepper, tarry, slightly antiseptic, with some very dark chocolate ( > 85%) and coffee flavours lingering. I did not, at any point, add water to this whisky. It did not need it and I didn't want to add any. My only criticism, and it is an admittedly minor one, is that it didn't have an overly wide spectrum of flavours. Most of the flavours are deep, dark, smoky and ashy. There seemed to be a bit of "high end" lightness lacking, especially on the palate and finish. Now this isn't a dealbreaker for me, as it tends to be the type of flavour profile I gravitate toward anyway, but I feel people should be aware of it. Big Peat's "flavour colour" or "pitch of flavour" is closer to Laphroaig Quarter Cask than it is to Lagavulin 8 Year Old, if that comparison makes sense. There's a stark contrast between the colour of this whisky and its flavour. Recommended. Rating: 88/100 points
  6. Yellow Spot 12 Year Single Pot Still

    Single Pot Still — Ireland

    Tasted
    4.0
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    • Nose (undiluted): almost subdued at first. With time, there’s honey, peaches, lemons, apples, and a floral note almost like fresh spearmint leaves • Palate (undiluted): rich and full-bodied, sweet citrus fruit, oranges, bananas, a bit nutty (almonds?) with nutmeg and cinnamon developing • Finish: medium length, fades gently, buttery, croissants, shortbread, vanilla and just a bit of spice lingering, with a touch of flaxseed oil and bitter orange zest at the very end. With water there are creamy coconut and banana aromas popping out. The texture remains rich and different tropical fruits burst forward: mangoes and pineapple. I think I prefer this one with a touch of water added. That does not happen very often. This whiskey is not “hot” when taken neat, but the flavour profile really does “open up” with just a few scant drops of water. The bitterness at the end is also diminished with water. This is very friendly whiskey. Anyone who thinks they don’t like sipping whiskey should try this. Fruity, friendly, moreish, and seductive. Rating: 88/100 points
  7. Ardbeg Corryvreckan

    Peated Single Malt — Islay, Scotland

    Tasted
    4.5
    4.5 out of 5 stars
    • Nose (undiluted): big, earthy Ardbeg peat and smoke, a fruity aroma of dark cherries, a touch of vanilla, and some oak • Palate (undiluted): very rich and oily, lots of cherries, thick smoke, a touch of brown sugar, oranges • Finish: long and lingering, cinnamon, cloves, cigar smoke, toasted oak, dark chocolate, dark cherries, and some black pepper Excellent whisky! 93/100 points
  8. J.P. Wiser's Alumni Whisky Series Lanny McDonald

    Canadian — Ontario, Canada

    Tasted
    3.0
    3.0 out of 5 stars
  9. The Dead Rabbit Irish Whiskey

    Blended — Ireland

    Tasted
    3.5
    3.5 out of 5 stars
    Here's what I know about The Dead Rabbit : • a mix of Malt and Grain in the ratio of 30% Malt and 70% Grain. • The Malt Component: is 100% Malted Barley and put through Pot Stills • The Grain Component: is a mix of Barley and Maize (corn) through Continuous Distillation Column Stills • Fermentation times are typically between 58-66 hours. • Maturated for 5 years in ex-Bourbon Casks and then finished in 1/2 Size Virgin American Oak. The 1/2 size Virgin American Oak casks are what many companies commonly refer to as Quarter Casks. They're generally about 100-125 litres, half the size of typical bourbon casks (about 200 litres), and a quarter of the size of typical sherry butts (about 475-500 litres). Tasting Notes • Nose (undiluted): very oak forward, plenty of sweet malty notes, and lots of vanilla and toffee punching through, spices like cinnamon and cardamom, perhaps a touch of green apple in the background • Palate (undiluted): gentle arrival, then getting very bourbon-esque and a bit punchy (in a good way), loads of toasted oak, cinnamon, and vanilla • Finish: medium length, honey, oak, vanilla, a bit of buttery croissant flavour near the end, which is pleasantly drying. With water and a bit of time, the nose becomes apple pie! Lots of baked honeycrisp apples, cinnamon and some rich, dark toffee. The palate loses some punch with water, and the finish is a bit less oaky. So adding water is going to be a personal choice; the nose is better with water, but the palate and finish are better neat. Of course, it may be time and not water that changed the nose. I had a 50 ml sample, and I tried it twice, 25 ml at a time, about 2 weeks apart. This is an unapologetic, oak-forward whiskey. I can see The Dead Rabbit polarizing whiskey drinkers. If you're looking for a sherry-bomb this isn't the whiskey you're looking for. But if you're looking for a whiskey that tastes...like whiskey, this may be for you. I enjoy this type of flavour profile. The Dead Rabbit is oak-driven without making you feel like you're gnawing on a table. The pleasant, drying finish is exactly what I want in this type of whiskey. The Dead Rabbit is great on its own, but I can also picture a bottle of this whiskey on my table at a Saint Patrick's day gathering, poured into rocks tumblers and sipped - responsibly, of course - alongside a pint of Guinness or Kilkenny. Recommended. (84/100 points)
  10. Signal Hill Canadian Whisky

    Canadian — Newfoundland, Canada

    Tasted
    3.0
    3.0 out of 5 stars
    Nose (undiluted): a touch solventy at first, then rich caramel and cream aromas, reminiscent of Werther's Original hard candies, toasted oak, cola, and a bit of rye spice in the background, although there’s actually no rye grain here. It’s 95% corn and 5% barley. Palate (undiluted): rich arrival, surprisingly mouth-coating for something bottled at 40% abv, floral honey, figs, orange zest, a touch of cinnamon. Finish: medium length, more honey, rye spice, flat cola, ending on a slightly bitter (but still pleasing) orange zest note. Adding water emphasizes the slight bitter note on the finish. But this is not an "off" vodka-esque note nor is it an acetone or spirity bitterness. It's akin to adding a dash of orange bitters to your whisky. I think this would make Signal Hill ideal in a Manhattan or even a whisky sour. The whisky is well-balanced and is perfect on its own as a digestif. 81/100
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