Wild Turkey Longbranch
Bourbon — Kentucky, USATasted November 8, 2019Wild Turkey has only two mashbills: their bourbon and rye whiskey. Their bourbon recipe is 75% corn, 13% rye, and 12% malted barley. Any Wild Turkey Bourbons that you purchase will have this recipe when it is distilled, regardless whether it is their Wild Turkey 101, Russell's Reserve, Rare Breed, Kentucky Spirit, or Longbranch expression. Wild Turkey collaborated with Matthew McConaughey in developing Longbranch and he apparently was closely involved in the process and not just a famous face acting as a spokesperson for the brand. McConaughey being from Texas and Wild Turkey being in Kentucky, it was important for them to make sure both places were represented in Longbranch. To achieve that, Longbranch bourbon is filtered the first time through American White Oak charcoal to represent Kentucky and second time through Mesquite charcoal, representing Texas. It is also the only label to have someone's signature other than Eddie Russell's. Nose is sweet with cornbread, brown sugar, and vanilla. On the palate there is caramel, green apple, black peeper, charred wood and a bit sour patch candy at the finish. It is definitely a Wild Turkey bourbon but with a bit of its own unique character.35.0 USD per Bottle
Fremont Mischief Whiskey
Other Whiskey — Washington, USATasted November 8, 2019Sometimes it's nice to taste something different and unexpectedly unpretentious. Despite the use of kitschy phrases like "bespoke barrels" and "rare earth" on the label, the Straight Rye Whiskey from Fremont Mischief Distillery is brash, bold, and quite good. This whiskey shows up to the dance with a bit of a flash (people starting looking it up and down), then it makes a scene, a few flashy dances, maybe drop kicks someone in the face (jaws drop), then twirls around before slowly exiting as everyone is staring in disbelief. Yes, it will not appeal to everyone and people may dislike it's antics, but it definitely puts on a show and doesn't hide the fact that it is unapologetically rye. Rye bread on the nose, raw dough, a bit of vanilla, and buttered popcorn. On the palate you get kicked in the face with yeast, spice, black pepper, and charred oak. The finish is fairly thin but with pleasant heat and black pepper and some biscuit goodness.
Single Malt — Highlands, ScotlandTasted November 8, 2019For those who may not be aware, Glenmorangie is owned by Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy, which also owns Ardbeg distillery. Over the past decade, both Glenmorangie and Ardbeg have been releasing "special" or limited edition expressions. The 10th Private Edition release from Glenmorangie is titled "Allta," which roughly translates to "wild" from Scots Gaelic. The big focus is the yeast used. According to the press releases, the master distiller Dr. Lumsden isolated a proprietary strain of yeast found on barley in the fields right outside the distillery, hence the name Allta. This resulted in quite different whisky from the core 10 Year expression. Nose is slightly sweet and citrusy with notes of freshly baked bread. On the palate you get more citrus, vanilla, and almost raw pizza dough flavors followed by biscuit and pepper finish. For those who prefer bourbon to Scotch, this is an interesting expression as many of the flavor profiles reminded me of some bourbons such, as Four Roses Small Batch. At $100, it's interesting but quite pricey entry point for something different from one of the most approachable Single Malt Scotch distillers.100.0 USD per Bottle
Woodford Reserve Double Oaked
Bourbon — Kentucky, USATasted November 8, 2019The bottle used for this review was a BevMo! Single Barrel pick of Woodford Reserve Double Oaked. This is one of my favorites. The nose is deceitfully subdued with vanilla, cocoa, and leather as some of the strongest components. Once you take a sip, it is like fireworks of flavors: dark chocolate, charred oak, brown sugar, leather, and tobacco followed by a pleasant heat and nice long finish. Yes sir, this bottle will definitely be on a repeat!
Bluff Springs Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Bourbon — Kentucky , USATasted November 8, 2019Always curious when new whiskey label appears at the local Total Wine. To my surprise, I was told by the employee that Heaven Hill is actually behind the label which was approved on 12/14/18 by the TTB. According to Total Wine the mashbill is 70% corn, 20% rye, and 10% malted barley. If that is true then it would mean a completely different mashbill from all the other Heaven Hill whiskeys. This is really puzzling because that means Heaven Hill distilled using new recipe, aged it at least four years, and is now putting it on the shelves without any fanfare or marketing. It is a decent bourbon, the nose is similar to Jim Beam which makes sense because of a very similar mashbill (75% corn, 13% rye, and 12% malted barley). Caramel, vanilla, and honey on the nose with more of the same on the palate with charred oak added. Finishes quickly with very little spice and a hint of sweetness. Pleasant and inoffensive but nothing that will wow anyone. Solidly respectable bourbon.25.0 USD per Bottle
Single Malt — Highlands , ScotlandTasted November 8, 2019Dualchas expression from Tomatin is a no age statement (NAS) bottling that is probably the most budget friendly out of any Single Malt Scotches, starting at $24 from Total Wine. The nose on this whisky is incredible with apricots, golden raisins, and candied ginger and orange peel. The palate and the finish is a bit of a let down as the nose promises more than what this bottle delivers. Some vanilla and a bit honey sweetness followed by citrus notes before quickly burning out with notes of charred oak and black pepper. More substance is hoped for but it is hard to complain when it is only $24. While I may only pick this up again to use in cocktails, it sold me on giving their other expressions a whirl.
Bushmills 16 Year Single Malt
Single Malt — Northern IrelandTasted November 8, 2019Bushmills got it's grant to distill in 1608. While not a requirement, Irish Whiskey is often distilled three times, making it much smoother and easier to drink at the cost of loosing complexity in flavor some say. This 16 year aged expression combines spirits aged in three different types of wood as well: sherry, bourbon, and port barrels. The result is one of the best and most flavorful Irish Whiskey on the market. Lots of floral and orange blossoms notes on the nose followed by taste of orange, nuts, and honey. Slightly lingering on the finish with dark chocolate and black pepper.85.0 USD per Bottle
Michter's US*1 Toasted Barrel Finish Bourbon (2018 Release)
Bourbon — Kentucky, USATasted November 6, 2019Michter's label implies that it is a brand that has been around for some time, Pre-Revolutionary War even. The brand "traces" it's roots back to 1753 when a Swiss Mennonite farmer, John Shenk, first started distilling in Schaefferstown, PA. In 1800's the distillery was renamed Bomberger's and operated under that name until it was closed due to the Prohibition in 1919. After reopening, the distillery went through a few owners and in 1950's the name Michter's was officially born. Lou Forman, who was the owner at the time, created the brand name using the names of his two son’s: MICHael and peTER. Ultimately, the original distillery site shut down in 1990, it's equipment looted and some buildings completely demolished. After 7 years, the trademark on the brand lapsed and Chatham Imports quickly scooped it up. This is Michter's US*1 Toasted Barrel Finish expression from 2018. It's their US*1 Straight Bourbon sourced from other Kentucky distilleries and aged supposedly additional 26 days in toasted (not charred) barrels. On the nose there's familiar vanilla, brown sugar bourbon notes along with a bit of sour apple and oak. On the palate honey, cinnamon spice, oak, brown sugar. Finish fairly lengthy with brief black pepper spice and lingering honey sweetness. Very well done expression where flavors blend together perfectly without anyone of them overpowering the others.65.0 USD per Bottle
Bernheim Original Wheat Whiskey 7 Year
Wheat Whiskey — Kentucky, USATasted November 2, 2019Oh the rabbithole a person can go down when trying to trace history of a particular whiskey! What we have here is Bernheim Original Kentucky Straight Whiskey Aged 7 Years. On the nose there is brown sugar and vanilla sweetness with citrus and blackberry. On the palate you get the same flavors with cinnamon, oak, and candied orange peel as well as wheat toast. Medium finish with black pepper, burnt sugar, and more toasted bread. This is something different versus the usual bourbon and rye that is coming out of Kentucky and is much appreciated. The history behind the label is a bit tangled and takes some research to unravel. Bernheim Original was first released in 2005 with the 7 Year expression sometime after. The label is actually owned by Heaven Hill and is distilled at the Bernheim Distillery that Heaven Hill acquired in 1999 from Diageo along with it's DSP-KY-1 permit. This was the result of a fire in 1996 at Heaven Hill's original facility in Bardstown that almost completely destroyed their plant (DSP-KY-31) and about 90,000 barrels of aging bourbon. Jim Beam and Brown-Forman stepped up and helped Heaven Hill to use their capacity to continue to produce until 1999 when they acquired Bernheim Distillery in Louisville and now all production for Heaven Hill occurs there. Aging, bottling, and shipping is all done at the Bardstown location.
Maker's Mark 46
Bourbon — Kentucky, USATasted November 2, 2019Maker's Mark has one mashbill: 70% corn, 16% red winter wheat, and 14% barley. Maker's was founded by Bill and Margie Samuels and distilling the same recipe since 1953. Maker's 46 was first released in 2010 and the difference is that after aging is complete, 10 charred French Oak staves are inserted into the barrel and the bourbon continues to age for another 6 weeks. That's it. The "46" comes from the stave profile that was given to the stave sample during development with assistance from Independent Stave Company: "Stave Profile No. 46." On the nose you get the usual vanilla, honey, and cinnamon but a bit more amplified with added bit of caramel and chocolate notes. The palate has creamy texture thanks to the wheat, lots of sweetness and baking spices such as vanilla, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Finish lasts for a decent amount and is warm not with spice but with cinnamon brown sugar. I definitely prefer this over the standard Maker's Mark expression.