New Riff Backsetter Peated Backset Bourbon
Bourbon — Kentucky, USATastedAlright, so when I first heard of this release, I was excited to have the addition of peat to an already great base whiskey. However, after bringing it home and reading more into it to find only the barley part of the backset was peated, I became even more curious to taste it, since again, standard New Riff is the tits. The peat can be detected on the nose, but only from a distance or at the very first second; after that, the BiB proof hits and brings the standard NR caramel and cinnamon spice, with perhaps a bit of saltwater that lingers around. Thank goodness I did not get anything resembling "steamed vegetables." Upon first taste, the body seems light, but the proof reminds you that it is not, as it goes down. As I taste for a second time, I get a bit of my favorite peat taste notes, a roaring tire fire. Although this does not last long, it seems to affect the bourbon by mellowing the oak notes a tad, while still leaving the rye spice and caramel from just the barrel char. It's as if this was aged in barrels with both a level 4 and level 1 char simultaneously. The finish is probably one of the quickest one I've ever experienced, with the exception of that tough cinnamon sticking around, which I found shocking. Overall, this is both not so much an impressive "new riff" and also unique to have around, all while still representing the standard NR bourbon flavor to the point where it could be drank in a line of others and not change things that noticeably. This was my first choice to taste before the rye, but as the bourbon option, it's something I will likely reach for less, but show off more.50.0 USD per Bottle
Woodinville Straight Bourbon
Bourbon — Washington, USATastedA bit of raw grain on the nose, but it's mostly sweet corn, caramel, and some general spice. It actually smells like it would be a higher proof than it is, but without any burn through the nose. The body is initially a bit disappointing, but that is likely from the lower proof. The barrel flavor is certainly coming through, but without a longer age time, I'm getting more young oak than the traditional longer aged tasting notes, and it makes me curious on what barrel char level was used. There are indeed some dark fruit notes closer to the finish, which definitely make this a unique blend. This reminds me of my all time favorite craft bourbon (which shall not be named), so it's getting a lot of automatic love from me. I was also very jealous to learn of the other delicious sounding products this distillery produces, since this was the only product I could find. Overall, I would enjoy coming back to this bourbon probably more often than not to try to break up the less different ones in my collection. Great work!35.0 USD per Bottle
Bulleit Bourbon Blenders’ Select No. 001
Bourbon — Kentucky , USATastedScent is very high on rye and oak, both young and aged, and smells like the proof is even higher than 100, which is always a nice bonus. As with most Bulleit products, the body is notoriously light, so the flavors don't come to the forefront immediately. I've had both the 10 year bourbon and the cask strength bourbon, and this product does a great job of blending those two concepts together, while adding a good amount of fresh rye to the mix. This has a much better taste of cask age compared to the 10 year bourbon, which is very bland and unimpressive. Meanwhile, the proof of this is almost perfect (could be a tad bit higher, I bet), and brings along the other flavors much easier than the regular cask strength bourbon, which didn't have a lot going on other than oak-based flavors from the cask. All in all, this is a good pick, for the price found, but only because it's a limited release. If I knew this was going to be around, I would probably steer elsewhere to save a bit of money.58.0 USD per Bottle
Familia Camarena Reposado Tequila
Tequila Reposado — Los Altos, Jalisco, MexicoTastedWow, a huge punch of smooth vanilla and sweetness on the nose. A small amount of agave can be found, but if you told me this was a flavored tequila, I would believe you just based on the smell. Salt is the first flavor I get on the tongue, then agave and a bit of wood together, then a much stronger hit of salt and agave for the finish. This definitely is on the lower side of barrel flavor for a reposado, but if you think of just the unaged product and what's there, you'll see the agave notes are above average for a good, sipping and not to mention a great, easy margarita tequila.20.0 USD per BottleArrow Wine & Spirits
Hotel Tango Reserve Bourbon, Ready-To-Drink
Bourbon — USATastedThe nose is that of a young bourbon, which is odd, because 6 years isn't necessarily that young. However, I think it's more of a fresh grain, with just a bit of fruit and a tiny bit of sour tang, on top of a small amount of charred barrel scent. The taste is very young grain, wheat prominent, with a citrus chocolate flavor, leaning more towards chocolate when air is introduced. Almost 100% no finish present, other than some barrel finish, but that's more taste than an actual spice in the mouth. Always love fellow military members (seems safe to assume this distillery is likely veteran heavy), and the packaging is shockingly familiar, but this one isn't all that for me. Looking forward to returning to the distillery, this time when it's open, to try all the other products.50.0 USD per BottleArrow Wine & Spirits
The Macallan Rare Cask
Single Malt — Highlands, ScotlandTastedNose of honey and sherry, and loads of barrel spices mixed with cinnamon. The sherry flavor was there, and there is some barrel flavor, but the fact that the proof is so low is disappointing. I don't even want to write more, because, although this is good, it's definitely overhyped and not $300 worth it.
Cedar Ridge Malted Rye
Rye — Iowa, USATastedThe smell is chocolately with a bit of cooked sugar. The initial taste is the expected heat and cinnamon of a rye whiskey, but a sweetness slowly creeps in, and the same chocolate and sugar on the nose help guide the finish into a decent hot, mouth-coating, lasting rye flavor.
Maker's Mark Cask Strength
Bourbon — Kentucky, USATastedA really lovely honey/pastry scent with a decent amount of ethanol. There's even a citrus note on the forefront and background, if you whiff from a distance. The barrel wood comes to the palate at the very beginning, and then transforms to fresh citrus and caramel, bouncing back and forth between sweet and slightly sour or bitter. The finish is very hot, almost similar to a rye, but this is clearly from the proof. Going back for more sips transforms the scent more and more into caramel, and sweetens the entire affair while still maintaining the strength of the proof behind it.
Jim Beam Single Barrel
Bourbon — USATastedThe nose is corn-full, but definitely has plenty of barrel depth with just the right amount of ethanol. The oak, with just a bit of smoke, is immediate on the palate, but once air is introduced, everything seems to fall apart. Using just standard Jim Beam as a reference, this has a stronger smokiness and the proof is obviously much higher, but seconds later the only thing that is left is pure ethanol with slight corn flavors. Having had the lower proof single barrel from Jim Beam (albeit a long time ago), this is surprisingly not an improvement, which is disappointing given the higher proof and being unfiltered.25.0 USD per Bottle
Very Old Barton 86 Proof
Bourbon — USATastedNose is light only at first glance, and then corn, and nothing but corn. The sweet smell gives way to just a bit of oak, but no char or smokiness abound. Low proof delivers the obvious downfall of no cask flavors upon tasting, which is a shame because I can tell this would be well enhanced at a higher proof. There are small bits and pieces of flavor profiles bouncing around, but all is overwhelmed by the corn. Sweetness does in fact blend into some smoky cask, but it's very subtle and gives way to the corn yet again for the finish, with a small oak sidecar. I can see now why this is popular; this is a clear winner for those who protest the wheated whiskeys and bourbons to the point of wanting the opposite end of the spectrum. Plus, it's dirt cheap, and that's what everyone seems to want. I can't really see the appeal to it, but more importantly, I'm finding it very hard to distinguish against other bottom shelf bourbons of the like, and that's why I have to rate it as such.