Tastes

PBMichiganWolverine

When I pass of this good earth, I’ll be taking my Brora with me. Not so I can share with god, but so I can bribe the devil.

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  1. 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
  2. Longrow 11 Year Port Cask Authentic Collection (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!
  3. 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.
  4. 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...
  5. 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
  6. Barrell Bourbon Batch 019

    Bourbon — (bottled in) 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 !
  7. 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
  8. Barrell Rum Private Release Blend J553

    Aged Rum — Multiple Countries

    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!
  9. Lusty Claw Bourbon

    Bourbon — Kentucky, USA

    Tasted
    1.0
    1.0 out of 5 stars
    Back in college, there was this one woman, we’ll call her “C”. She always wore these religious cult like T-shirts, a bandana, and mismatched sneakers. She also always used to ask me to come over her place, generally late at night, to look at her knife collection. Like every week. ‘ hey, I just got this awesome switchblade to add to my collection. Want to come over tonight to take a look? I’m good after 11pm”. Or, “ hey, I just got this awesome sword, sharpened it real good too. Want to come over around midnight?” Problem was, I never knew that if I went in, if I’d ever come back out. Needless to say, I always politely refused. I didn’t have medical insurance back then...would’ve hated to bleed to death while waiting at the ER. That takes me to this beauty. Over the holidays, a friend bought this over, saying it’s been sitting way back in his cabinet, and he thought I’d like to have a taste with him. Problem is...the name and looks of it, I just didn’t know if I’d come out alive after a few sips. Never heard of this brand; bottle looked weird as if he got it from the shelf of an odd ends bin store; and the name...well, no self respecting distillery would use Lusty as the name. Unless it’s cheap rum targeting spring break co-eds as their primary consumer base. Then I can see Lusty as a great moniker. Anyway, I did have a few sips. It’s not drain worthy...but it’s bad. Young, heavy handed in the corn-saccharin taste, and a rough itchy finish. I can see it mixed well with high sugar cocktails, but neat is just plain wrong. I didn’t drink or go on spring break in college ( 25 credits.semester and dual major saw to that), but if I did, this might be my go-to condiment. My personal opinion: as grown adults, we should never invite people late at night to look at our knife collection, nor should we be drinking this neat.
  10. Virginia Distillery Co. Rum Cask Finished Virginia-Highland Whisky

    Blended Malt — Multiple Countries

    Tasted
    2.0
    2.0 out of 5 stars
    One day, when I retire, one of the bucket list items I have is to drive across this great beautiful nation of ours and visit every major distillery in each state. But, until that time comes, I’ll have to be content in trying samples from various ones as I find them. This one was sent to me by @jonwilkinson7309 ( thanks Jon!). Virginia isn’t up there in the distilling scene like Colorado, New York, or California, and they’re probably known more for their craft beer than whiskey. But I’m glad to see this one, although technically they’ve been sourcing from Scotland while they produce and age theirs I think. This particular one is a limited version, age unknown ( but I’m guessing young), with a 8-12 month rum cask finish. I’ve not had many rum cask finishes, but the ones I did have, I wasn’t a fan ( Balvenie and Glenfiddich come to mind). Personally, I found the rum casks overly sweet or not doing much to the base spirit. I’m finding the similar situation here : Nose is a bit sharp. You know it’s young and can benefit some time more in the barrel. Taste...not getting rum. More of a bread-y malty taste, some sharpness towards the end. Youth is so evident in this...thinking something else besides rum would’ve helped cover the age ( sherry? Red wine?) Interesting, but if you like rum finishes ( I don’t personally), try the Balvenie Caribbean cask instead. It comes with an age statement (14yr), and similar price point ($60).
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