Tastes

Scott_E

Scotch appreciator exploring the whisky world to quench my spirit.

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  1. Johnnie Walker Black Label Triple Cask Edition

    Peated Blend — Scotland

    Tasted
    3.0
    3.0 out of 5 stars
    This recent early summer, my son traveled abroad and thinking of his old man purchased me this TRE version of Johnnie Walker. A full liter bottle (nice 250ml bonus). Cardhu malt and Cameronbridge grain whiskies are combined (amongst others I presume) and matured in American Bourbon casks, Scotch Whisky and finally Caribbean pot still rum casks. Black label was a staple of much of my early whisky days and I still appreciate a pour of JW. The rum is detectable immediately on the nose and comes across as slightly metallic (a similar quality experienced in Teeling Small Batch). Trace elements of vanilla, butterscotch, Granny Smith, plumbs and allspice. The grain notes envelopes the aforementioned aromas, similar to Testors model glue (Q: How would you know that Scott? A: I used to build model airplanes in my youth, not sniff it). Somewhat distracting but not destructive. A creamy, slightly viscous mouthfeel starts off simply sweet of caramel, dried pineapples and brown sugar and begins to turn to spice of black pepper and ginger snaps. The finish is slightly oaky and drying with hints of caramel and pineapples. The oak tannins remain for a fairly long length with a bitter, zesty quality. If you like Johnnie Walker, this is a straightforward, sweet and spicy pour. No peat or smoke. The rum cask provides a nice, slightly tropical twist to JW. It won’t blow your mind and you may take on another pour. If you are not a JW appreciator, the your money and time is better spent elsewhere. [84/100][$45][Tasted: 10/18/19]
    45.0 USD per Bottle
  2. Wild Turkey Longbranch

    Bourbon — Kentucky, USA

    Tasted
    3.5
    3.5 out of 5 stars
    A weekend getaway with dear friends upstate for some good company, whiskey, cigars, warming fires and much needed laughs. I picked up a bottle of Longbranch for us to share. I always bring something up to expand the horizons for my friends who normally drinks JD. The price was right and, never having sampled Longbranch thought would be worthy for the weekend. A sweet nose opening primarily of cream soda, vanilla walnuts. A nice soft counter of cinnamon, leather with a little earthiness of damp leaves on an autumn day. Not overblown. Soft, warm and inviting. A soft, lightweight draw delivers, again, cream soda, vanilla with a nutty base. White pepper, wood spice and leather counters the the sweetness and crescendos towards the finish. A semi long finish of wood spices, tobacco, leather, pecan crumb pie ride a semi long finish that works its way deep down, warming. From nose to finish rides the theme of sweetness and spice. An easy sipper (no ice needed) that is simple and enjoyable. Perfect for autumn evenings to share amongst friends for simple conversation. One that may be worthy for an everyday sipper. Reasonably priced and enjoyable. [86/100][$40][Tasted: 10/13/19]
    40.0 USD per Bottle
  3. High West A Midwinter Night's Dram Act 6

    Rye — USA

    Tasted
    3.25
    3.25 out of 5 stars
    Act 6/Scene 4 I have been out of commission for the past few weeks. Ready to do some samplin’. I been out purchasing A Midwinters Nights Dram since Act 2. I was instantly hooked. Act 3 was almost as as good as Act 2. Each year, though, has seen diminishing returns (though I haven’t yet tasted Act 5; still unopened). Act 6 finds High West working their home brewed, non-sourced rye into the fray. Each fall I get eager for the this rye seeking for the days of yore. The distinctive baking spice qualities are present: nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, allspice. There is a subtle fruity raspberry jam sweetness that hovers just above the spices. Vanilla, dill and pine needles surface after some time. It transported me to a pine forest on a crisp cool afternoon. Nice nose. What arrive on the palate is not what I’m is on the nose. Medium weight and velvety body delivers wood spice, black pepper and spearmint. Faint notes of cola come through as it works towards a finish. The cola carries forward along with a minty, resinous, drying pine wood. Some remnants of apple skins, black licorice and bitter dark chocolate carry the finish to a long lasting close. A healthy dose of water soften the spice and accentuates the sweetness, though the dram. As it compares to the early generations, Act 6 is a shadow of its former self. The balance is off and I sense that weaker casks were used during maturation or younger, rushed spirit was produced; almost as if the former recipe is trying to be rediscovered. A recently sampled Sagamore Rye Port Finish At half the cost provides a better, more balanced experience. Would I consider Act 7 at $125? Probably not, but still may be lored into wishful tasting seeking what once was. [86/100][$125][Tasted: 10/11/19]
    125.0 USD per Bottle
  4. Cutty Sark Prohibition Edition

    Peated Blend — Scotland

    Tasted
    3.5
    3.5 out of 5 stars
    A rock and roller August/September! Vacation, family tragedies, back to school, traveling, hurricanes, work and more work, engagements. All this has kept me away from tasting (definitely not drinking). Been trolling but haven’t been much of a contributor. Tonight I will contribute my Cutty Sark experience. A lower cost, blended scotch that is hard(er) to find. Had this opened for sometime and this seemed the perfect pour for me tonight. Salty, briny, maritime opening transports you right to a South Carolina salt marsh during a late afternoon. Blended with the brine is a subtle sweetness of candy corn, apples, pears and butterscotch. Ginger snaps, lemon zest lightly provide a spicy citrus note and compliments the brine and sweet. On arrival, a curiously odd mixture of cream soda and black pepper swirl about. Keep swirling and chewing as it brings forward peanut brittle, orange bitters and wood spice. A slightly weighted and creamy body delivers the sweet and spice. What remains on the palate is wood, spice and sugar (whipped honey butter). A warmed soul ultimately remains. This is a solid whisky that has a good balance of sweet, savory and spice. Easy to drink with simplex complexity with solid pricing. Perfect for those pours you want where you can just enjoy in any occasion; all packed at 50%. [85/100][Tasted: 9/20/19][$39]
    39.0 USD per Bottle
  5. Sagamore Spirit Rye Port Finish

    Rye — USA

    Tasted
    4.0
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    That time of year again. College starts on Monday, so I find myself in Maryland getting ready for another move in. Before I left with my son (yes, he’s the one going to college), I figured, when in Rome (or Maryland), I would grab this sample where this spirit has been created, and if time permitted, I would sample. Well, I found some time. The color is a rich amber with a slight strawberry hue. The nose is akin to A Midwinters Night Dram. Cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon baking spices mixed in with dill, vanilla cream, maraschino cherries, ripened plums. Dig some more, and milk chocolate and raisins (Raisinets) add more sweetness to the baking spices. First draw on the palate is anesthetizing, thick and creamy and most definitely, sweet. Those spices found on the nose are embodied on the palate. Vanilla, brown sugar provides the sugary sweetness encasing dill, cloves, nutmeg and white pepper. Buried in the potpourri of flavors, some stone fruits work their way through: plums, black cherries. A trace of pomegranate comes forward towards the finish. Fruits and oak tannins and spices with a smidge of vanilla cream ride the finish for a good length. The palate remains woody and drying that keep the mouth dry all evening. The addition of water dampens the spicy edge and that creamy body becomes thinner while retaining all the sweetness. Definitely better at full strength. A solid offering from Sagamore Spirits. Full of sugar and spice and everything nice. A fair amount of depth backed with at full cask strength. A fantastic alternative to AMWND at two-thirds the cost. Most of the Sagamore line that I have sampled were decent but nothing that would turn my head. This, however, is a head turner and worthy to seek, sample and purchase. Thanks @dubz480 for the generous sample. A nice little surprise. [89/100][Tasted: 8/24/19]
  6. The Deveron 12 Year

    Single Malt — Highlands, Scotland

    Tasted
    3.25
    3.25 out of 5 stars
    I have been off the grid for a bit. Vacation and family obligations have been a distraction; some pleasant and some woeful. This particular Saturday finds me hanging back sitting on a couch with the wife by my side. I brought this Deveron to our beach house vacation and just had some cursory tastings. Now, I figured, is the time to go in depth. A Highlander bottled at a modest 40%. “When billows break and haar ghosts in, then haste ye home or some bit warm, unwind with toasted grain and apples, seaborne spice; calm from the storm” quoth the bottle. A straw colored pour which reveals bright floral, fruity and sweet nose of dampened hay after a September rain. A subdued sweetness slowly and increasingly works its way in with vanilla custard, honeyed oatmeal. Add a mixture of apples and pears with a sprinkle of cinnamon and pecans. A smooth and velvety arrival within a medium light body. The sweetness is the show but it doesn’t dominate the spotlight. Caramel with confectioners sugar and honey. All that sweetness is tempered with a zing of fresh ginger or white pepper and cinnamon spiciness. Again, the orchard fruits are always present. As it starts to fade into the finish, a maritime brininess and a tinge of barrel char emerges. The palate is left with wood spices and tannins. The char sticks to the tongue, briefly. A bit small amount of bitterness comes through but quickly dissipates. The finish is sparse and what remains is a woody dryness. A solid offering that is inoffensive with a nice bouquet and a simple and sweet palate with a subtle spiciness. A summer sipper or a breakfast in a bottle. Enjoyable simplicity...with a nice beach glassed bottle. [$55][85/100][Tasted: 8/17/19]
    55.0 USD per Bottle
  7. Talisker 18 Year

    Peated Single Malt — Islands, Scotland

    Tasted
    5.0
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    No review tonight. I just wanted to sip one of my favorite scotches on the eve of some emotional days waiting ahead. Sipping in a calm just reflecting as my favorite mother in law, too soon, passed. Hectic few days so far. Up and down emotions; reminiscing some memories as we wait for our son to arrive. Just wanted something good and special as we remember a strong, loving, caring woman who will be missed. [8/11/19]
  8. Kilchoman Port Cask Matured (2018 Edition)

    Peated Single Malt — Islay, Scotland

    Tasted
    3.75
    3.75 out of 5 stars
    Kilchoman. I was first introduced to Kilchoman through their Machir Bay and was thoroughly impressed by this Islay newcomer. The Sanig and Loch Gorm are impressive in and of themselves. Port finished whiskies are can be tricky. Either too fruity or sparsely influenced. Done right, and the sweet and spicy balance can be rewarding. Throw in some Smokey peat and maritime brine and you may find nirvana. The color is shiny copper penny with a purplish hue. A light, sweet smoke greets you and draws you in. Cotton candy melted on hickory smoked bacon. The port cask influence comes through providing the fruits to the sweet smoke. Plumbs, strawberry jam, orange marmalade, apples and raisins. As you keep drawing aromas, more sweetness melds with the aromas. Vanilla, milk chocolate, toffee and salted caramels. The maritime quality always present which makes a sweet and savory nose. A small amount of baking spice provides a slight counter to the sweetness. Cinnamon, allspice, black pepper and nutmeg. Not distracting but synergetic. When you draw this onto the palate, a bit of confusion takes hold. The complex, full nose is juxtaposed by a palate that is thin and light. Initially, a spicy sensation of pins and needles is felt. Peppered oak smoked meat (pastrami?) with thin flavorings fruity flavorings. Grapes, vanilla, grilled stone fruits with dark chocolate shavings. The palate is nicely left with a sooty, charcoaled, ashy flavors, but not overtly so, with drying oak tannins. This finish fades slowly for what seems everlasting. One of the most complex and drawing noses that can be nosed all day. The thinness of the body and the comparatively sparse flavors is somewhat of a let down, in the sense that I expected and wanted more flavors, given the complex nose. The sweetness, smoke and spice are nicely balanced. All in all, a well crafted scotch that doesn’t quite reach nirvana. However, this may make a fine Smokey summer sipper. Thanks @LeeEvolved for sharing. Another good whisky by Kilchoman. [87/100][Tasted: 7/25/19]
  9. The Winter Queen (Adelphi)

    Blended Malt — Multiple Countries

    Tasted
    4.0
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    The the heat wave of 2019 is biting down on the Northeast, I figured the Winter Queen is a suitable dram for the sultry summer evening. Curtesy of @PBMichiganWolverine The color is an ambered-copper with a full and rich nose that welcomingly greets you. Layers of baking spices, sweetness, and fruits. All this conjures up images of Thanksgiving Day desserts lined up across the table. In no particular order in a stream on conscience: cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, black pepper, apples, chocolate covered cherries, candied pecans, maple syrup, walnuts, vanilla, honey, sherry, raisins, apricots, rye and musty books. The palate embodies the aromas in a dense full body. The counter-play between spice and sweetness is at work here. The volley swirls within the palate: rye, pepper, nutmeg, cinnamon serving toffee, vanilla, dates, dark chocolate. As volley fades to a finish, an oaky dryness begins to develop. The palate turns slightly woody and is left with flavors of black licorice, maple syrup, Concord grapes and cinnamon. A solid flavorful, complex whisky. As. @LeeEvolved mentions, akin to A Midwinters Night Dram with the rye notes toned down. The spice is not over dominant and the sweetness is not overly saccharine. I am grateful for the opportunity to have sampled this thanks to @PBMichiganWolverine It’s unfortunate that this is not an accessible whisky for all to enjoy. [90/100][Tasted: 7/19/19]
  10. Glenfiddich Fire & Cane

    Peated Single Malt — Speyside, Scotland

    Tasted
    2.75
    2.75 out of 5 stars
    Settling down this Friday. It’s been some time since I actually sat and sampled. Courtesy of @PBMichiganWolverine and my ample backlog of samples, deciding what taste is not a problem. Just the thing we call time. The color shows as lightly golden. Peat is very detectable and forward, but doesn’t dominate the dram. In the subtle peat, sweetness is all around: Vanilla pudding, honey, butterscotch, maple syrup. Of course there is a mix of orchard and tropical fruits. Peaches, pineapple, pears, dried apricots. There is a slight youthful quality detectable to the nose which I would guess to be 8 or 9 years. In a oily, medium weighted body, the youthfulness is also detectable on the palate which provides a edginess of cinnamon and pickled ginger. Amongst the prickly sensation, the sweeter side takes root. Butterscotch, vanilla, sucrose, within a cereal. As you chew, hold or swirl, the sweetness turns bitter leading towards the finish. That finish is lemon oil with charcoal or soot. The citric bitterness fades rather quickly ultimately leaving the palate dry, woody and sooty. All in all, an average with a nice bouquet but lacks a memorable or unique characteristics. The rum finish adds a sweetness that provides some dimension to the body. However, It’s not one I would actively seek out. Worth a try but maybe not worth a buy. [83/100][Tasted: 7/12/19]
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