Rock Island Mezcal Cask Edition
Peated Blended Malt — Islands, ScotlandReviewed November 12, 2023 (edited December 3, 2023)Weekends are my time to cook. Twenty years now into my marriage, and without fail, it’s always Monday through Thursday the wife cooks; Friday is eat out; Saturday and Sunday is my turn. Whereas I feel the weekday is more sustenance and normal middle of the road, the weekends is where things get creative. Maybe it’s because there’s a certain luxury knowing if I fuck up, we can order out. The weekdays, on the other hand, there is no time to fuck up. So, today is my turn, and I have vegetable Wellington with red pepper sauce on the menu. Now, when I cook, I need to imbibe on something. I got this habit from an old roommate of mine ( we’ll call her S). S wasn’t so much a roommate, but rather a non-rent paying friend who was dating my best friend back in MBA business school. In return of her not paying rent, she always made dinner. Every night. From scratch. Yeah, who needs a damn school cafeteria when one has a built in chef. And she was freakin amazing in the kitchen. But I noticed that she always got much better the more she drank. After a finishing a 1/4 bottle of Jack every night while cooking, she’d then pass out, leaving me with an amazing meal to enjoy on my own. And all I had to do was buy her bottle of whiskey every few days. And that takes me to today. Every weekend, I feel, in honor of S ( who’s now happily married, a professional chef, albeit with a mild case of alcoholism ), I now have a dram while cooking. Tonight’s pour is this Rock Island Mezcal cask. Nose is smoky, Islay. No doubt. Probably a Caol Ila. I’m getting brine, salt, smoke, sea spray on the palette. But where’s the mezcal? I’m a huge fan of mezcal, and I was hoping for layers of differing smoke. This feels more like just Islay than Islay + mezcal. I feel a bit disappointed. It’s a good pour, but it’s just a normal young Islay. There are no mezcal qualities that I was able detect. On the other hand, my Wellington turned out fabulous. S would be proud.
North Port Brechen
Single Malt — highlands , ScotlandReviewed October 23, 2023Sometimes things are left better off dead. I pulled a random sample from my stash this weekend. A small 3cl sample of this ghosted distillery. A 1974 22 yr rarity that now fetches anywhere from £600-700. Mine was far cheaper, since it’s only a sample I purchased years ago. The nose is the best part. Apricots and honey. I can sniff this all day. I feel like I’m in late summer, enjoying some ripe stone fruits with a drizzle of honey. But the palette breaks down. Just too weak, with a bitter finish. Maybe it’s the lower end of the ABV spectrum, or maybe this is just North Port produced. Either way, i can see why it didn’t survive the glut back then. If this weren’t a ghost, I’d say a full bottle is worth the same as a 22 yr old Kirkland or similar ( about $100).15.0 USD per Pour
Chartreuse Green Liqueur
Herbal/Spice Liqueurs — FranceReviewed October 15, 2023 (edited November 11, 2023)I was always curious of this greenish elixir. And thanks to my buddy @Scott_E , i got to try it. I have no idea how to use it , but i simply just had it over ice. I’m not much of a cocktail person, but i’m guessing this is meant to be mixed. There’s two things I simply cant get past: 1) the strange day glo green color, which is naturally made but makes me think it’s radioactive, and 2) the fact that only 2 monks know of this recipe. Seems risky. Nornally I dont talk much of color , but wow…in this case , rhe color takes center stage. Eerily beautiful. Its a greenish day glo / car antifreeze color —-Im sure its meant to be in cocktails to give it a pretty hue. Taste—- herbal, grassy, slightly sweet. The fernet branca i had was pure bitterness. But this is grassier. I dont think this is meant to have by itself , but in mixers and cocktails—and thankfully @Scott_E gave me like half a bottle, so i can experiment. Thanks Scott for the pour!
Chairman's Reserve Spiced Rum
Spiced Rum — Saint LuciaReviewed October 1, 2023 (edited November 11, 2023)With the exception of caroni , foursquare and hampden , im just not a rum fan. I find it overly sweet or artificial. But i needed to but a spiced rum today to make some french apple cake. Bought this one for $25, just because it seems to be infused with natural spices rather than artificial ones. Taste is not bad…but not something i’d notmally buy. Sweet. Some vanilla and cloves. But seems to be made for cocktails and mixers, not drinking neat. But…the cake was incredible!
Barrell Bourbon Cask Finish Series: Amburana (Release 001)
Bourbon — USAReviewed September 30, 2023 (edited November 11, 2023)Amburana is the sexy new finishing this year. It’s a south american hardwood native to brazil , peru and Argentina. Like mizunara from Japan, this imparts a very unique flavor of nutmeg , cinnamon and cloves. My only experience with amburana was with a TRE Teeling one. That i felt was a marketing gimmick. This one is not. But…being a bit wary, i bought a sample only, through a tasting kit. Its a blend of KY and IN bourbons, between 5-10 yr of age. Respectable enough. So getting to the bottom line—- worth a bottle or stick with a sample? Nose is all dessert. Apple cinnamon strudel. Im hoping this wont be overly sweet. Taste…wow. Nutmeg, aplles. Cinnamon, ginger. All in a oastry dough. Like…pumpkin pie?!!! This is autumn in a glass. Do yourself a favor—-buy this —-price is affordable and its right in tune with the season. I just bought a bottle…its probably the best bourbon ive had in months
Port Askaig 12 Year Spring Edition (Bottled 2020)
Peated Single Malt — Islay, ScotlandReviewed September 11, 2023 (edited November 11, 2023)Opened up one of my samples last night …was in the mood for an Islay. This is a from “unknown” Islay distillery, bottled by The Whisky Exchange, Bourbon cask, I believe. I’m a firm believer that most of the picks by TWE generally fall in the “good” to “great” territory. They’re the only ones that somehow managed to pick a good New Zealander ( Thompson Saison cask ), and they have picked one of my top 3 ever (21;yr old single sherry cask Laphroaig). Nose is salty air and phenols. Some honey. Taste is salt ashes and peat. Sweetness well integrated, almost honey backbone. This is good. Most likely a Caol Ila. One of the better youngish Caol Ila I’ve had.
DAFTMILL 2009 SINGLE EX-OLOROSO BUTT NO.046 (UK EXCLUSIVE)
Single Malt — Highland, ScotlandReviewed September 3, 2023 (edited November 11, 2023)After reading @Slainte-Mhath ‘s reveiw on Daftmil, i wanted to search for my sample. Ir wasnt a bourbon cask, but ex- oloroso. Equally difficult to get, and a bottle is quite pricey. More than it needs to be. It’s good…but above $100-150 is nuts. Aroma of fruits and nuts. Like a cinnamon bun with almonds and sugar. Taste —- green apples, apricots, hazelnuts. Lowland character is held in forefront despite the oloroso cask maturity. That says a lot for the distilate…clearly high quality and robust to stand up to the oloroso cask maturity. Super well made. Not gonna deny that. But…this is well north of $300! In my humble opinion, it’s priced 2x more than it needs to be.
George Dickel 13 Year Bottled in Bond Tennessee Whisky (Fall 2008)
Tennessee Whiskey — Tennessee, USAReviewed September 2, 2023 (edited November 11, 2023)I had super low expectations for this one. Namely because I got it for $39 on clearance. A 13 yr BiB for $39 seems like a steal, when we think others charge multiples of it for the same age or slightly older. Cloves. Oranges. Yeah…the fruity Flintstones vitamins are there. I don’t mind those, in fact I kinda like them. But I can see that might be a issue for others. It’s got some heat at 50%. I had to add water, but that’s just me. I felt without water, the heat was overtaking everything else. With water, I really got those clove studded oranges I love. Ok so, let’s face it. This isn’t a life changing , deep contemplation Brora-esqe pour. But at $39, it wont break the bank either. This is a pour you can proudly take out with family and friends, as well as with bourbon snobs and bourbon newbies. It’s an all-rounder that is wallet friendly and with the right credentials on paper.39.0 USD per Bottle
Chichibu Peated 2022
Single Malt — JapanReviewed July 31, 2023 (edited September 2, 2023)This was one of the highlights for our quarterly virtual tasting with @pkingmartin @Bourbon_Obsessed_Lexington @ctbeck11 and @Richard-ModernDrinking . Chichibu is one of my favorite distilleries, but unfortunately they are quite pricey and hard to find. Their peated cask seems to be their lowest priced offering, and that too at $230-ish in UK or $400+ here in the US. So, when i do manage to get one, it’s a treat. Aromas are quite muted. I expected a gush of smoke and tar, i guess like an Islay. But the nose is mild. Fruity, a wisp of smoke. But on the palette, it dances with an array of flavors. Now I’m getting a truckload of orchard fruits—-peaches, apricots. And here comes the smoke. It’s not a Lagavulin or Ardbeg style of smoke , but milder. I’d say like a Talisker. Now i know why i love Chichibu. Its because it has that Talisker DNA…and Talisker is one of my favorites. ( hey @Jose-Massu-Espinel …you’re a fan of Talisker, you should try this ). Overall, highly recommended, just a pricey.
Glenmorangie Malaga Cask Finish 12 Year
Single Malt — Highlands, ScotlandReviewed July 15, 2023 (edited September 2, 2023)Glenmorangie was one of the first single malts I ever had. It’s generally an entry point to single malt introduction, along with Balvenie or Glenfiddich. I’ve not had a Glenmo in ages, and for some reason, was in the mood for a simple down to earth non-peated single malt. This pour is courtesy of @Bourbon_Obsessed_Lexington This is nice. There’s an oiliness and fullness that I wasn’t expecting. And considering Malaga is a sweet wine, this really isn’t all that sweet. Fruit and oak are jousting for the limelight, neither taking the stage, Glenmo honey is there, but well balanced by some blackberry, peaches, and apricot. All wrapped in a graham cracker crust. This is a nice simple sipper. I’d gladly have a bottle on hand, and offer it to folks that are accustomed generally to bourbon. Don’t expect to be challenged or looking for life altering sips, it’s just a nice summer sipper at a good value and age statement. Thanks @Bourbon_Obsessed_Lexington for the pour!