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  1. Willett Family Estate Bottled Rye 4 Year

    Rye — Kentucky, USA

    Tasted
    4.5
    4.5 out of 5 stars
    So this showed up at my local Total Wine today so I decided to pull the trigger. I'm not an experienced rye drinker, but I really enjoy the Russell's Reserve Single Barrel Rye and was hoping this was as good. Spoiler alert - mission accomplished! The nose is actually a bit muddled and my least favorite part. Most people talk about pickle brine, and that's as good a guess as anything, but that's not quite it. It's a really unusual nose, and I had a ton of trouble identifying just what the heck was going on with it. For me, this is the weakest part of the drink for me, but it's still interesting. Once in the mouth, it takes on a more traditional caramel and spice flavor that is really quite nice. Not overly sweet, but a perfect balance of sweet and spice. The finish is where this just takes off into orbit. It's transcendent. So much caramel, baking spice, spearmint, in perfect balance, lasting forever. It's spectactular in my opinion, one of the best finishes I've experienced. I had high expectations for this drink, and they were met. I admit that my score may be higher because it continues to improve from nose to palate to finish, but man, it's good. I understand that this is supposed to improve with air - I'd love for that to be true. Even over the first hour I spent with this, the caramel (or is it brown sugar) got a little bit more prominent, and I noticed the tiniest bit of cherry and other fruit in the palate and finish. If you see this for a reasonable price (below $70), I think it's a must try. But full disclosure, I'm pretty new to rye and could be overly impressed.
    56.0 USD per Bottle
  2. Basil Hayden's Bourbon

    Bourbon — Kentucky, USA

    Tasted
    0.25
    0.25 out of 5 stars
    Watered down Old Grand-Dad Bonded at a $25 premium sold to people who don’t know any better. It’s “smooth” because a bunch of smooth Kentucky tap water has been dumped into it and it has nice presentation. If that floats your boat, have at it. Beam will thank you.
  3. Knob Creek 12 Year Small Batch Bourbon

    Bourbon — Kentucky, USA

    Tasted
    4.0
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    This is my first Knob Creek, so I don't carry the baggage of people who swear by barrel proof 15 year old store picks for less than this 12 year old that are no longer available. The Knob Creek 12 also finished #2 in the Whisky Advocate's top 20 and #1 for Breaking Bourbon, so I grabbed the last one at BevMo when I saw it (got $10 off too, so only $49!). For me, this is a perfect 100 proof that I honestly wouldn't want to be any stronger. It has a perfect amount of heavy vanilla, molasses and baking spices like a lighter Bookers, but it doesn't blast your taste buds or make it too short a drinking evening. The finish is the best part for me - a beautiful cherry note that is only present on the finish. It is my favorite part of this, but the whole thing is solid and well constructed. The last cherry note is like putting a fantastic ending on what was a up to that point just a really good movie. It sends you out on a high note and elevates the whole experience. I really like this, although at $60 it competes with Russell's Reserve SiB which is a tough matchup. But there will be a place for this on my cabinet. It's super solid but not a face melting 120 proof that I don't always want. It's like weekday Bookers that you can find anywhere (once the hype from the year end ratings dies down, anyway). What's not to like?
    60.0 USD per Bottle
  4. Russell's Reserve Single Barrel Rye

    Rye — Kentucky , USA

    Tasted
    4.5
    4.5 out of 5 stars
    This is my first ever rye - at least since I've been paying attention enough to rate something. It's different that anything I've had before. Assuming this rye is like others, I finally get why the bottle is green. There is so much pine and spearmint in this rye that it is incredible. And this is only a barely legal rye from what I understand. The nose is subdued, fresh and clean. It is almost exclusively spearmint and pine as previously noted. The palate is similar at first, but if you let it sit in your mouth, it just builds and builds. All of a sudden, in addition to the spearmint and pine, you start to get white sugar. Then spice. Then strong pepper. And it just goes on and on, tingly and wonderful. After it's all said and done I can get mint tea. This is unlike anything I've tasted before, but again I have hardly had any ryes. But I love this because it is so different than the scotches and bourbons I've tried, and it's even different from what I thought rye was - super spicy. I mean, there is spice, but the green notes and the gentle nature of this just take me by surprise. Maybe others with more experience with rye won't be as shocked as I am, but it really is unique to me - at least until I get my hands on a Pikesville which I hear is as good or better than this. Wonderful stuff, recommended.
    61.0 USD per Bottle
  5. Laphroaig Cairdeas 2020 Port & Wine Casks

    Peated Single Malt — Islay, Scotland

    Tasted
    4.0
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    This was somewhat difficult to lay hands on, but I really wanted to try it because I love the travel retail Port finished Brodir so much. So how does this matchup, and was it worth the wait? Because considering I'd have to fly to Europe to get a crack at it, I'm not getting my hands on a Brodir anytime soon. On the nose, this 2020 Cairdeas is pretty restrained. I get a little of Laphroaig's famous band aid peat, but it is a bit subdued and there are red fruit and wine notes lingering at the edges. Very nice, but not the sticky plum bomb that I remember from the Brodir. Oily on the palate, where the peat really comes forward and you taste the proof a bit. The same red fruit and wine notes continue to linger at the edges. The finish is peppery and peaty with little tannic sweetness from the wine. I like this quite a bit and I'm happy with the purchase, although to be honest it doesn't have as much port as I was hoping for. The Brodir had that powerful peat and sweet thing going on, and it was much richer. Even at 52%, this one feels restrained. That said, it is more elegant and it doesn't even need a drop of water at that relatively high ABV to be enjoyable. I think this one will grow on me as I start to appreciate what it is (elegant and balanced Laphroaig), and not what it isn't (a port bomb). 
    90.0 USD per Bottle
  6. Noah's Mill Bourbon

    Bourbon — Kentucky, USA

    Tasted
    4.25
    4.25 out of 5 stars
    This has really grown on me. I was gifted an open bottle which tends to depress your appreciation of a nice bottle. If you didn't invest our own money and research into a bottle you have less investment. But as I've sampled this bottle over the past few weeks, I've really started to enjoy it a lot. Even at full strength it is palatable, although I like a drop or two in this to bring it down a tad. So much baking spice! Lots of cinnamon. Dark fruits are in the background. Maybe a touch of apple. The flavor is rich and laquered. The finish is light baking spice and fruit - just delicious. I really enjoy this, and will likely buy another when it is done given that I see if for about $59 out here and there is no run on these bottles. It honestly reminds me of a lower-priced, less aggressive Bookers that you can easily purchase. A good drink and a good value.
    59.0 USD per Bottle
  7. Talisker 18 Year

    Peated Single Malt — Islands, Scotland

    Tasted
    4.0
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    All the same notes as Talisker 10, except that the peat and brine is less pronounced, a clear orange note emerges, and the "chili catch" on the end has been polished to a shine. This is well executed - but why don't I like it more? The fact is that this doesn't quite blow me away (and it was quite expensive and hard to obtain). I've enjoyed other 18 year olds more, for example the divisive Bowmore 18 which was so much more assertive and flavorful. I might even go so far as to admit (somewhat shamefully based on the hate that it receives) that I enjoyed the Johnnie Walker 18 more, as it was better integrated, with richer flavors like dates, even at a pitiful 40% ABV. By comparison to some of these other 18s, this Talisker is a bit thin, even at a higher alcohol content, with brittle high notes of salt and citrus instead of richer flavors. And I guess I'm just enjoying richer flavors more right now.
    140.0 USD per Bottle
  8. Old Pulteney 12 Year

    Single Malt — Highlands, Scotland

    Tasted
    3.0
    3.0 out of 5 stars
    The nose on this is pretty nice - I get almost a tropical fruit note mixed with cereal and maybe a touch of honey. The palate is a little less enticing for me - the notes definitely carry over, and the first few sips are pretty good. But then I notice that it just gets brinier and brinier and turns into a salt bomb. By the end of a small pour I'm done and don't want another. I can't think of another dram that wears me out faster than this one. Maybe the Talisker House Greyjoy which I also disliked due to what I perceived to be an unacceptably high amount of salt. All that said, it's actually pretty good, but as I noted it wears thin on my palate really fast. So if I go for this it's always a small starter pour as I work through the bottle. I'm sure others have said it before, but this is like Talisker with the peat ramped down and the brine ramped up - which is not the direction I want to go.
    45.0 USD per Bottle
  9. Bib & Tucker Small Batch Bourbon

    Bourbon — USA

    Tasted
    3.25
    3.25 out of 5 stars
    I received an already opened bottle of this from someone and finally got around to a review as I'm close to killing this off. The bottle is pretty neat, all embossed and old school looking, and it comes with an actual cork - just cork, like a bottle of rum in a pirate movie. So what is this like other than the beautiful bottle? The nose is ethanol, brown sugar and spice. A bit youthful but the relatively low ABV helps keep that young spirit in check and it is pretty decent overall. Similar notes on the palate but it gives way on the finish to dark fruit and more ethanol and spice on the finish. There is something off in the finish - it has an artificial taste to it, like Splenda? The finish is throwing me off, but overall it's okay. Nothing special though. It appears this is nearly $50 though. I wouldn't recommend spending anything close to that on this.
  10. Elijah Craig Barrel Proof Bourbon Batch B520

    Bourbon — Kentucky, USA

    Tasted
    4.5
    4.5 out of 5 stars
    I've heard a lot about how good these Elijah Craig barrel proofs are. I happened to see one in a random store I was passing by and grabbed one even though I have never tried any Elijah Craig, even the small batch. I've actually waited several weeks to review this, because it's so overpowering compared to everything else I've tried that it took me some time and a few samples to be able to figure out what was going on. Nose is strong maple syrup and brown sugar. The palate is oily and viscous, and overwhelming without water. I need a little water to make this one palatable, but wow. With just a splash, that palate becomes a warming, tingly wave of flavor, with spice, baking crust, dark fruits and cherry. And the finish - some of the strongest cherry notes I've tasted and it goes on forever. There are other flavors in here as well of course, it's just that the flavors are so strong it floods my palate. Definitely caramel and vanilla in there as well. It's quite an experience, and a really top tier bourbon. For me, it's a special occasion bottle because it's so powerful - you won't be absent-mindedly sipping on this. But I'd rate something a little less intense ahead of this one at this point just because of that intensity - you're not always in the mood for it. But when you are - this one delivers.
    60.0 USD per Bottle
Results 1-10 of 77 Tastes