Other Brandy — New Jersey, USATastedHarsh and unrefined. Dull on the palate with a burning finish. Skip this woolly blended version.
Wyoming Whiskey Outryder 7 Year
Other Whiskey — Wyoming, USATastedThis is $80 now. Ugh.
Wyoming Whiskey Private Stock Bourbon Whiskey
Blended American Whiskey — Kirby, Wyoming, USATastedEach of these Private Stock Single Barrel - Cask Strength selections is going to slightly differ from the next. Mine, for instance is 111 proof and I’ve now sampled 3 individual selections that were between 108-111. I also was lucky that my bottle came from a great barrel. I’ve heard that some were downright terrible however, I don’t know the barrel number, production year or any other details of those. Much like WW’s Small Batch Bourbon, I get the caramel, vanilla, black tea and some herbaceous notes. The higher proof just extends the finish and brings in a nice spicy dose of cardamom or ginger that goes forever. A few drops of water really brings out that awesome barrel char profile that Wyoming Whiskey always seems to have. If you’re a fan of Wyoming Whiskey and this is available, I say give it a shot. A private select, single cask bottle of bourbon for $45-49? Unheard of. Go for it! Barrel #1929
Papa's Pilar Dark Rum
Dark Rum — Multiple CountriesTastedNot terrible but way overhyped and seems like there’s some added flavors going on. Aroma of a fresh baked pan of sticky buns. On the palate I get heavy root beer flavor with a little amped up sweetness and viscosity with hints of warming spices and caramelized pecans and a touch of fruitiness. Not bad but not worth the price. Bottle is a total PITA is pour from.
Gordon's London Dry Gin (40%)
London Dry Gin — CanadaTastedA truly solid value in the Gin market @ $10-13/750 ml. A well balanced gin flavor spectrum and is exceptionally smooth. Not too herbal, not too fruity. Just the correct balance. My only gripe would be that it’s a little watery for a superb dry martini. Would love to see a 90+ proof version. Cheers!
Unflavored Vodka — PolandTastedA fantastic polish potato vodka that is extremely wallet friendly. A tad rough in the finish but has that great potato vodka mouthfeel and superb neutrality. Slight bitterness on the finish as well but becomes nearly forgotten as you sip. A hidden gem at just $11-14/750ml. I really like it in this vodka martini recipe: 3 oz Luksusowa + 1/2 oz Lillet Blanc + 1 dash of Orange bitters. Stir on ice, strain and drink. Fantastic.
Cruzan Aged Light Rum
Silver Rum — US Virgin IslandsTastedOne of my favorite white rums for mixing. Nose is a little sharper with alcohol than other white rums but it is also enriched with toasted coconut, vanilla and toffee notes. The palate is a little sharp on the back end but starts with minute sweetness and quickly turns drier. Hints of those toasted coconut covered marshmallows and distant wood, vanilla and tropical fruit and essence. Bright and relatively neutral but that extra flavor and slight woolliness really makes outstanding cocktails. That is what a good white rum does. Adds a little bit of natural character to cocktails but isn’t offensive or overbearing. Otherwise, you might as well use vodka instead. $18-21/1.75L is an awesome price. A++ in Key Lime Daiquiris!
Smith & Cross Traditional Jamaica Rum
Navy Rum — JamaicaTastedPow! Aromas are sparkly and heavy with English toffee, funk, banana flambé and phenols abound. Definitely some old book bindings lurking too. On the palate, begins with light sweetness then fresh and assertive flavors of burnt sugar/toffee, caramel, vanilla and delayed arrival of wood, bandaid and warming spices. Truly not a hellhound at 57%. Very sip-able and warming with a long soothing finish. There is a slight bitterness but it doesn’t linger. A wisp of sweetness remains on the lips along with the cinnamon, nutmeg, clove and dusti-nuttiness (se, pecan or walnut) this finish extends and reminds me of the coming fall and winter holidays. Would be excellent to sip by the fire or with some smoked oyster hors d’oeuvres and a spicy and smooth German Weizenbock like the Schneider Weisse Tap 6 Unser Aventinus. Great for the whisky, or scotch drinker. A true solid value in the price range and great bar stocker for when you want a unique experience or tiki floater, Also mixes in well in classic tiki drinks like the Mai Tai because it’s a potent flavor bomb. I often mix in a 1/2 - 1 oz and start the night off with a bang.
Brugal Extra Dry Supremo
Silver Rum — Dominican RepublicTastedPretty solid choice for mixing cocktails. Very mild aromas, with slight hints a plain cream and distant Dutch processed cocoa: much like I get from a heavily distilled neutral spirit. Mild palm sugar-esque or butterscotch type sweetness on the palate but is mostly dry with a little creaminess. Makes great daiquiris and Mojitos where you want a nice dry rum.
J. Wray and Nephew White Overproof Rum
Silver Rum — JamaicaTastedSplendid and powerful phenolic, herbal and vegetable aromas. Funky and devine grassiness with wisps of whipped butter and floral funk. In the mouth it’s fresh, minty, vegetal with mild sweetness and funky plastic or resinous rubber. Not fantastic as expected but ok until this hell hound unleashes on your throat. Quite the potent flavor bomb and fantastic specialty rum to have in your arsenal. Plays well with cachaca as it has many similar characteristics. I like to substitute a half ounce in when I make caipirinhas or daiquiris. Also really balances out the sweetness and adds depth to an Açaí caipirinha. A solid value and usually on sale for around $19-$22.