Aviation American Gin
Modern Gin — Oregon, USATastedThe smell is very bright and full of citrus, although right on the border of a cleaning chemical. As a primary whiskey drinker, the very low proof is the first thing I notice. As far as the actual taste goes, where I normally seek out gins with a high citrus content in the botanical group, this falls much lower on the citrus tasting notes. However, the remaining botanicals, which would lead you to believe that the finished product would be spicy, actually does not create this taste at all, but instead leaves a pocket of the spices in the middle, before the finish comes through as a clean, crisp, neutral grain flavor. A little bit of the same, smelled cleaner chemical comes back for just a whiff after the finish, but overall, this gin would make a great cocktail base, barring you're going for something with both a little less citrus and spice; would blend well with cocktails with multiple ingredients.
Knob Creek Small Batch Bourbon
Bourbon — Kentucky, USATastedWow, the smell is really great on this one. Although powerful scents are on the forefront, like wood, spice, and tobacco, the proof does not overpower this journey. The taste starts off much, much lighter than any 100 proof has ever been for me, but it does eventually finish with the same notes found in the initial smell. I find that I would feel better about this if the previous age statement was still attached, but for what is no longer actually a 9 year bourbon, this is still a pretty fantastic pour. Note: I've had all batches of Knob Creek, with this being the last. I began with a 2017 single barrel, which has my wife and I's fingerprints in the wax, is engraved with our wedding date, and also signed by the master distiller. This bottle is only drank each year on our anniversary. Having said that and demonstrated the significance of the Beam brand in my life, I would still highly recommend the Knob Creek line to anyone looking for top shelf and is brave enough to steer clear of the bandwagon picks of others.
Jameson Caskmates IPA Edition
Blended — IrelandTastedThis is surprisingly so much less flavorful than the stout edition, but that speaks volumes to those two types of beer. The smell is that of a more citrus-full Jameson, but not any lighter. The taste almost perfectly reflects this as well. Take the base flavor of Jameson, and make it more potent, as if the proof were increased, but also simply not as light or "well" tasting as the original stuff. If there is any beer taste here, it is that of an extremely low ABV and very light IPA, because almost nothing but a glimmer of domestic beer hops comes through. I suppose there is a faint bitterness on the finish, but not enough for me to vote it coming from a beer rather than from a whiskey taste profile. Rating this based on how the IPA taste comes through would make it much lower. Instead, I'd like to rate this based on an imaginary "Jameson: Enhanced Barrel" product, as this would be better known as.
Casamigos Añejo Tequila
Tequila Añejo — Highlands, Jalisco, MexicoTastedThe smell is very bright, and although I think citrus, the wood scent is stronger than the agave or other lighter sides. The alluded smoothness hits immediately upon tasting, with a bit of a candy sweetness tagging along as time moves along. Once you allow air in, however, the black pepper tastes swells and increases rapidly. The finish backs off of the spice a bit and allows a coating of the mouth with the agave and, very clearly, a damn smooth tequila.
Jameson Caskmates Stout Edition
Blended — IrelandTastedThe smell is a bit creamy, malty, strong, bitter, and possibly dark, but this could all be placebo. The initial taste is pretty mellow, but it seems to get more and more mellow, while also allowing the ABV to stand tall. Marshmallow is a very obvious ending to me, after a creamy milky cereal bowl taste combined with a tad of citrus starts the round off. This is an interesting experience to me; although it's been a while since I've had standard Jameson, I know this does not have a similar taste to the classic.
Appleton Estate 21 Year Rum
Aged Rum — JamaicaTastedThe sweet, caramelized sugar easily comes to nose in the glass, but it is backed by a large amount of oak wood. The first taste is reminiscent of the 12 year version of this rum, but the oak starts pounding away quite quickly on the way down. One might think spice is coming up to the finish, but a little extra time has you realizing that this is simply the very heavy oak flavor that's taking you over. Honestly, if you didn't tell me this was rum, I would be very confused and asking you what kind of bourbon you served me.Park Place Gastropub
Dalmore 12 Year
Single Malt — Highlands, ScotlandTastedExcellent color to be expected from a 12 year in bourbon barrels, but still great to stare upon nonetheless. It is such an immediate slap to the face with the sweet smell off this glass, but after you pull your nose away, you can tell that the oak is not forgotten or lost. The scent can enter raisin territory, but I feel that that could be due to the age. The entry is very light and smooth, and the raisin homage does return at the beginning, but, as expected, the long oak age rounds things out to a familiar bourbon burn finish.Park Place Gastropub
Basil Hayden's 10 Year Bourbon
Bourbon — Kentucky, USATastedInitial scent is citrus and a wee bit of chocolate coated in the familiar vanilla and oak. The first bit of flavor is familiar Basil Hayden's, with the rye making a tiny appearance, and then quickly the flavor continues to mellow out into delicious wood notes. If you keep your mouth closed, that higher age keeps that wood taste all the way through to the finish. If, however, you decide to breathe it all in, the bright rye hitches a ride with grain, citrus, and floral notes alongside the road of aged oak.Park Place Gastropub
Smooth Ambler Contradiction
Bourbon — USATastedIt seems that the rye is winning the battle for the nose, but is also seems to be a bit sugary, so perhaps this may be as balanced out as they say. For the taste, it seems to be a bit of a sandwich experience for me; rye enters the palate as grain spice, then is flattened and smoothed out by the wheat. This truly does blend together pretty well, but unfortunately, it also seems to cancel parts of each other out in the process. Thankfully for me, the finish almost comes out of nowhere with potent rye spice lingering around for a bit before calming back down.7.0 USD per ShotPark Place Gastropub