Mackmyra Grönt Te
Single Malt — SwedenTasted December 15, 2021Green tea? Got to love Mackmyra. They are never afraid to try something. In a range which is hit and miss, this is a hit if not a huge one. Swedish spirit, which could be smoother as it battles the flavour range on show. That's pretty much the only negative as the product has a smorgasbord (see what I did there?) of content. I got butter and cream. A floral note. Tea. Obviously but not in the same way it comes across in now-unaffordable Japanese bottles, it is very much an air rather than a presence. Again, balance issues. The finish is loamy. Odd but fun. There's a sweet note and a touch of astringancy. It is unexpected but pleasing. Reading back, I've struck a negative note which is not my intention. This is a pleasing, different and challenging pour which I enjoyed. I feel though it could have moved from good to very good with a smoother backbone.
King of Trees
Blended Malt — Highland, ScotlandTasted December 15, 2021Second go. First one went to booze heaven. Intrigued I was, satisfied I am. Not a world changer but a successful experiment at a reasonable price. I won't bore you with the long backstory of how the casks were made but I can confirm they made an appreciable difference to the end result, bring a forest fresh air leafy spruce note. So. Imbibing time. Caramel. Tart fruit, maybe cooking apples. Some tannins (from the casks I'd guess plus the bourbon casks and white oak). Nuts or perhaps more wood. A definite spice note. A touch of vanilla and cream lurked far in the background. To finish is a tad short but mouth cleansing. This is an interesting drop but I feel it won't be a universal like. Which makes it worth trying!
Craigellachie 13 Year
Single Malt — Speyside, ScotlandTasted May 25, 2021The vote is in. Springbank but different. You know the speyside flavours. This adds bonfire, almost a touch of peat even. Plus salt. You can taste the abv in a pleasant way. Plus citrus (which I am assured will reveal as pineapple as it airs). Excellent. A new variation within an established profile. Winner.
Kavalan Sherry Oak Single Malt
Single Malt — TaiwanTasted May 16, 2021This is a winner, really interesting and adds something original to a familiar flavour profile. A speyside but not. The sherry content is front and centre. Dried, jammy fruit. Nuts. Pepper. Marzipan and vanilla. The 46% abv is worn lightly, a very acceptable burn that carries the flavours and leads to persistence. She love you long time. The climate advantage is used to deliver a powerful but relatively subtle dram at speed. The flavours are strong and distinct. Not a shy drop, it comes at you fast and announces itself loudly. I love the eagerness of this whiskey. I enjoyed the in yer face of it. OK, it's not Farclas. This leans towards being a loud, distant relative that is a tiny bit gauche but loveable.
Tullibardine 225 Sauternes Finish
Single Malt — Highlands, ScotlandTasted February 22, 2021It would be easy to dismiss this as mediocre spirit disguised by a slightly heavy-handed application of sweet wine barrel flavour. All of that is true. Nonetheless it is not without charm as the result is better than it might have been. A nose of citrus and vanilla and syrup. In the mouth, those flavours remain, with the addition of spice. The alcohol is a little brutal however although not quite enough to spoil the party. A predictable desert wine flavour hangs about at the end but not for long. The rrp is around £40. I paid £30. At that price, it was an interesting experiment but not a drop I'll buy again.
Method and Madness Single Pot Still Finished in Chestnut Casks
Single Pot Still — IrelandTasted February 15, 2021A very typical, rather appealing, Irish. If you like whiskey, you'll likely enjoy this. I did although I think the price is a little punishing. The big plus is the very definite and appealing impact of the chestnut finish...it pushes a good drop higher. A definite tea note and a clean, forest kind of mouthfeel. Not dissimilar to some Japanese products. The wood brings spice and perhaps sweet fruit. Appealing. Doesn't shout. Original. Glad I tried it. Not sure though I need a second bottle, this goes down as a successful experiment.
Michter's US*1 Kentucky Straight Rye
Rye — Kentucky, USATasted February 15, 2021Combines all that's best about the brand... Extraordinary drinkability with good layers of flavour... With that sexy rye influence. There's a lot here and it is subtle to maintain that easy sipping style. I would ideally like a slightly higher abv and the attendant flavour lift but then again you can't but smile with a glass of this on the go. So OK. Sweet spice. A touch of ginger, pepper and citrus. Apple? Smooth. Very smooth. So smooth. Butterscotch. Balanced superbly well. Not a challenging slurp but easy to like.
Michter's US*1 American Whiskey
Other Whiskey — USATasted August 6, 2020I liked this. But. There's a big but. This not-bourbon is very gluggable, easy drinking and oh so mellow. The smell is caramel, brown sugar and vanilla. There's a slight bready aspect. The after taste is... Well, sweet. A very predictable and hollow taste profile. So. That big but. I found this a little too smooth and bordering on bland. I drank it with love and affection but the juice didn't respond. It just sat there and mocked me with easy drinking disdain. So. I had a good time but was left frustrated. Rye has clearly captured my heart and this painted hussy is no substitute as she does not tempt me to stray. I'm not unaware of the irony of complaining a dram is too easy to drink, but this is.
Journeyman Distillery Corsets, Whips & Whiskey
Wheat Whiskey — Michigan, USATasted July 12, 2020Hmmm. Mixed feelings. Flavour? Big love. Big success. Caramel. Toffee. Vanilla. Spice. Bread. Pepper. Wood. A gorgeous ensemble of distinct yet integrated tastes. Powerful. Intense. The bad. That alcohol. Wow. On the nose, the first reaction was of cleared sinuses. Then in the mouth, the burn numbed my taste buds and left a raw, stripped feeling at the back of my throat. Yet the flavours still rolled around my mouth. And this was with water. I'm afraid 58.5 is beyond my tolerance. I would love to retain what I enjoyed at a lower abv but as it is, I won't be buying a full bottle however I am glad to have sampled this. Approach with caution!
Tullibardine 500 Sherry Finish
Single Malt — Highlands, ScotlandTasted July 4, 2020Imagine if you will an impressionist painting made as a speyside-style drop. In the way portraits can be detailed and exact, impressionism gives you a different view. Or think of a speyside tribute act. Or speyside whisky painting by numbers! This is a good pour for the money. It isn't Glenfarclas (yes, I know Tullibardine isn't a speyside, it's a Highland, but in this case it might as well be), more a mostly successful attempt to produce that Christmas cake style, which loses detail but delivers on flavour. The tastes are somehow sharp and nuance is lost. You'll know the flavour profile. Brown sugar. Raisins. Slightly nutty. Basically rich sherry. Caramel. Vanilla. A good first foot into the taste and style. I enjoyed it despite limitations.