Tastes

PBMichiganWolverine

600+ bottles...my acquisition far exceeds my consumption. That’s an issue.

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  1. Midleton Dair Ghaelach Knockrath Forest

    Single Pot Still — Ireland

    Tasted
    5.0
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    I’ve not had many Irish whiskeys. At most, I can count on one hand how many I’ve had. But, I can imagine even if I’ve had many more, this would be the creme de la creme. Okay, so a bit of history. Hundreds of years ago, back when England controlled pretty much the entire world, the English army notoriously chopped forests across Ireland. I can imagine if Greta Thunberg was around then, she’d have something to say about it. They did this to namely to help build the English navy. And to trouble the Irish, who were rebelling at the time. The nerve to want freedom! Anyway—- A few forests were left—-Knockrath being one of them. Something tells me they didn’t leave these due to the kindness of their heart...maybe had something to do with the wood being probably not suitable for navy ships. Fast forward hundreds of years, and this forest is now owned privately by the Brabazon family. Six trees were felled for this whiskey, with the wood being transfered to Jerez, Spain for conditioning, while the Irish whiskey matured in virgin oak back in Ireland. The barrels then shipped from Jerez to Ireland, where the whiskey matured in this for 2 more years. This makes the range of whiskey here anywhere from 16-26yr old. I had the fortunate opportunity to try 4 of these samples: tree 2, 3, 5, 6. Thanks to a family member that bought back a few samples from Dublin. Tree 2, 3, 6 had very subtle differences, honestly couldn’t tell them apart. But tree 5 was different, not sure what was up with that one. Tree 2,3,6: tons of vanilla, tropical fruit basket galore. The fruit was heavy in pineapples and green tart apples. Just simple amazing. Tree 5: this one was different. Had a rancio effect, almost like really good cognac. Much more earthy and herbal. The fruit was there, but the earthy -rancio was forefront and bold. Out of the 4 I’ve tried, hands down my favorite was tree 5. Just layers of complexity over the others. All were amazing, but 5 gave a special something over the others. I’m keeping an eye out for this...if you have one Irish, make it this one.
  2. Yame Eight Goddesses

    Blended Malt — Kyushu, Japan

    Tasted
    2.0
    2.0 out of 5 stars
    Everytime I come to Denver on a business trip, I try to bring a sample pour with me, hoping to have it after ridiculously long days. I should’ve picked something well sherried or peated, considering how cold it is here , with snow on the mountains adding a scenic background. But I chose this, out of curiosity, a sample graciously provided by @jonwilkinson7309 I can’t find much about this one. Yes, it’s 10 yrs old and it’s Japanese...but is it really Japanese as in made in Japan, or is it sourced from elsewhere, shipped to Japan, and labeled Japanese? I’m guessing it’s not truly Japanese—-very few fall in that category ( Yamazaki, Hibiki, Yoichi, a few others). But either way....doesn’t matter if the liquid is good. So...on to it: It’s slightly aromatic, but not as much as I’d expect from a 10 yr Japanese (I’m thinking Hibiki 12 or Yoichi 10). Taste is light , with fresh bakery bread taste. Slightly floral. Would be great in cocktails or over ice in summer. Overall—-I’m not sure you’re really having a Japanese whiskey here, more like Scottish Lowlander aged 10 yrs in ex-bourbon. But —-what it has over the Japanese whiskeys is that it won’t break your bank. It’s actually affordable—-more in the territory of Hibiki Harmony. Between this and Harmony, it’s a toss up...both are about the same. Slight edge to Harmony on nose, but edge to Yama on having an age statement Thanks @jonwilkinson7309 for the pour! Was a welcomed drink after a 15 hour day
  3. Bache-Gabrielsen Sérénité Extra Grande Champagne Cognac

    Cognac — Grande Champagne, France

    Tasted
    4.5
    4.5 out of 5 stars
    Was in the mood for something different, so opened up this sample I had bought quite some time ago from TWE. I don’t know anything about cognac...nothing whatsoever besides that it’s made from grapes, and it has to be from the Cognac region to be a cognac ( way to go France...monopolize it). Over the course of an hour sipping this, one thing was clear: amazing, amazing aroma! It’s a full onslaught of jasmine and white grapes. The glass is a whole foot and half away from me, and its aromas are filling the air. Based on aroma alone, it’s a 6 out of a 5 star rating. The palette is a step down. The jasmine doesn’t carry through, but there’s now more a wood influence. You can tell this has some age to it. But still somehow manages to avoid being like biting into oak. I bought a 3cl sample for $10...worth every penny. Since this avoids the tariffs, I might consider buying a bottle.
    10.0 USD per Pour
  4. Longrow 11 Port Cask (Cadenhead’s)

    Peated Single Malt — Campbeltown, Scotland

    Tasted
    4.0
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    Oh I really like this one...it’s dirty pretty. Thanks to @Richard-ModernDrinking for the sample. It’s Friday night, which means I’m rummaging through my samples, wondering what to have for my weekly pour. This one falls out of my hand , lands hard on the floor, and the cap breaks. Who am I to argue with Dionysus when he has so judiciously pointed me in the right direction? I’m a huge Talisker and Springbank fanboy, so therefore, that fandom naturally extends to its siblings. Give this some air to breathe, a bit of water, and you’re greeted with an amazing nose. Nose is all cherry vanilla ice cream. Taste unfortunately is a step or two down from the aroma: almost gritty fruity. Lingering heat in the finish. If you’re a fan of Springbank, this is right up your alley. Thanks Richard for the pour!
  5. That Boutiquey Gin Ageing Gin

    London Dry Gin — England

    Tasted
    1.75
    1.75 out of 5 stars
    I figured I’ll play along and insert this wood stave given with the bottle into the gin and see how it progresses over time. Hypothesis: I think the gin will significantly improve over time with the quality Cedar stave inserted. Experiment: once a month, conduct a taste test by a having a few sips. Do it till the bottle finishes or I spit out the sips...whichever comes first. So: week 0, Feb 5 2020: pre-stave insertion: Typical gin flavor —London dry gin. Not bad, but meh.
  6. That Boutiquey Gin Ageing Gin

    London Dry Gin — England

    Tasted
    Not rating it yet—-but wanted to create an entry. I got this for free; sounds like an interesting experiment. They give you a wooden small stave, and you insert it into the gin bottle. Leave it as long as you want to experiment gin aging. Will come back in a few months to see how the experiment is going...
  7. Bimber The First Single Malt

    Single Malt — England

    Tasted
    4.5
    4.5 out of 5 stars
    Wow...for a 3 yr old newbie, these guys hit it out of the park. This is a new English distillery, and unlike their brethren up north of the Hadrian Wall, they are not owned by major corporations with legions of marketers and accountants. These guys, and I’ll throw Cotswold and Lakes in there as well, are smaller, without sexy backstories, or laurels to rest on. Which means they need to have the liquid speak for itself. Quality is front and center. Case and point: Bimber doesn’t mill their grain. They crush it, which preserves the husks. Harder...but more flavorful. The grain is from one farm only. Fermentation is long...7 days. I could go on...but you get the point. I’ve made it a recent point to go through my bucket load of samples before opening new bottles...and that brings me to this sample I bought from TWE. So, on to the tasting: Normally, I don’t comment on color. But considering this is no-coloring added, and only 3 years old, it has a remarkable mahogany color. Like a bourbon. The nose isn’t as much a sherry bomb as I would’ve imagined. It’s lighter. Apricot and peaches. Taste: this is where it shines. Thick and oily. Coffee, espresso, hazelnuts. The PX comes through with a sweetness. For those of you who scored one of the 1000 bottles at the retail $120...lucky you. Open it and share it. For those that didn’t get it, if you’re ordering from TWE, they still have 3cl samples. Trying something new this year—- So: this marks the end of one month. For January—I’ve had: Bimber First Barrell Batch 19 That Boutiquey Bourbon 24yr old Barrell private selection rum J553 Lusty Claw bourbon Virginia Distillery rum cask Lagavulin Offerman 11yr old Port Dundas 28 yr old JW Ghost and Rare Brora Benriach Albariza 20yr HW Midwinter 7 Best of the month: JW Rare / Ghost Brora Worst: Lusty Claw bourbon Best VFM: Lagavulin Offerman (at $60 here in NJ )
    10.0 USD per Pour
  8. Barrell Batch 19

    Blended American Whiskey — Tennessee and Kentucky, USA

    Tasted
    4.0
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    After last week’s damn good Barrell rum, I figured I’ll have a go at another Barrell product tonight—-this one also courtesy of @jonwilkinson7309. Barrell has really been hitting all strides. It has innovative products like Dovetail, higher end ones like their 25 yr old, and expansions into rum. All done really well. But their core bread and butter is still the bourbon blends. Apart from their 3 high end products, all of their lineup is priced around $90. That places it square in the middle of most upper end whiskeys. But I think what sets it apart is the consistent quality batch to batch. And for me personally, I don’t find these too hot, as opposed to Booker’s, which I need to always overload with ice. A blend of 9.5 and 14 yr olds, from KY and TN, it’s a more of a high rye bourbon with a classic high proof taste and a slight barrel char. The nose is the best part in this: candied nuts and marshmallow. Another hit from Barrell. If you’re a fan of classic old school bourbon, this has got to be on your list. Thanks Jon for the pour !
  9. A 24 yr bourbon. That is hard to come by...and maybe for a good reason. Bourbon isn’t raised in the same climate as scotch. The heat plays a huge role in imparting wood flavors into the distillate. So...yes, this is hard to come, rare and expensive...but it doesn’t necessarily mean great. It’s about 10 yrs too much in the barrel. I felt as if distillate lost its character, and the wood took over. Just too oaky. I honestly didn’t get much else besides a huge oak influence. Okay, so—if you want to experience a bourbon over two decades old, and can’t afford the Pappy 21 or 23, or even the Diageo lost barrel series, sure....this will fill that void in putting a check mark. Otherwise save yourself $300 ( or in my case $15 for the 3cl pour), and go buy a great bottle for half the price and age.
    15.0 USD per Pour
  10. Barrell Rum private cask J553

    Aged Rum — Jamaica, Guyana, Barbados , Jamaica

    Tasted
    4.0
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    I think I’ve had maybe 4-5 rums ever—-none of which I liked except for a Caroni. I found them overly sweet, an almost artificial sweetener taste. The Caroni, on the other hand, I absolutely loved. It was viscous, oily, and whisky-like complex. This comes in second. It’s very “unlike rum”...not sweet at all. Herbal , engine oil nose, followed by walnut skins, cocoa, and a bit of a spicy cinnamon after taste. Really well made...it’s not a Caroni level, but damn close (and much more affordable). Thanks to @jonwilkinson7309 for the sample!
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