Rittenhouse Rye Bottled in Bond
Rye — Kentucky, USATasted September 29, 2021Nose: Lots of sweet notes. Honey, brown sugar, caramel apples, orange zest, butterscotch, fresh cherry. Background notes of baking spices (cinnamon and nutmeg) and oak. Taste: Sweet and oaky. Caramel, butterscotch, brown sugar, orange zest, cherry follows from the nose. Sweet notes slowly give way to earthy and savory notes (mushroom, dry hay, cereal). Oaky bitterness follows through to the finish. A tiny bit of numbing spice builds up from the mid-palate through to the finish but is not overpowering. I get the sense this tends to have more savory/earthy notes than other ryes. Nice enough to drink neat but also shines in cocktails due to its 50ABV and strong flavor profile. This one is easy to dismiss but offers a bit more on the palate than you would expect given the price point and widespread use in cocktails.23.0 USD per Bottle
Balvenie Doublewood 12 Year
Single Malt — Speyside, ScotlandTasted September 24, 20211oz taster. Nose: Bursts with bright fruity and grassy character which subside after a few minutes in the glass. Notes of lemon, grapes, and celery. Caramel and toffee notes follow with a background hints of wet wood and milk chocolate. Taste: Sweet and nutty. Texture is thin and smooth. Notes of burnt butterscotch and toffee with some slight oak character. Finish: Butterscotch and slight bitterness. Short. The nose is very inviting and unique. For me, the taste fell short as it felt very thin and much less complex. I think I will have to revisit this again at some point and drink this alone as maybe the other whiskies I had before drowned out this low ABV dram.
Springbank 10 Year
Peated Single Malt — Campbeltown, ScotlandTasted September 24, 20211oz taster. Nose: Intense. Immediately hits with butterscotch, caramel and toffee notes. Followed by wafts of rose water and other floral notes, tropical fruit notes, and a lingering background peat note. Taste: Fruity, smoky, and rich. Texture is pleasant and fulfilling. Balanced. Notes of green apple, peat, caramel, and citrus zest. The peat is always there, but never overpowers the rest of the flavors. A bit of spice and black licorice on the back end. Finish: More of the spice, peat, and caramel. Peat is not overpowering, but hangs on for quite a while. The nose is immediately inviting with waves of intense notes popping out. The taste is rich and balanced nicely. There are bold flavors but none of them seem to overpower the other. At the same time, nothing is too memorable about the taste and can sometimes feel a little bit generic. The finish is a tiny bit lacking and single note. Definitely an enjoyable dram and I hope to try this again or grab a bottle at some point after I try the rest of the distillery's offerings.
Maker's Mark 46
Bourbon — Kentucky, USATasted September 23, 2021Nose: Wet wood, floral, chocolate covered fruits, brown sugar. Classic bourbon notes of caramel and vanilla gradually appear after sitting in the glass for a few minutes. Taste: Sweet and oaky. Oak and fresh juicy dark fruits on the entry with a light hit of spice and pepper. Very round, balanced, but bold flavors. Occasionally I get notes of milk chocolate, hazelnut, bright tropical fruit. Texture is thin and smooth. Finish: Woody finish with slight bitterness. Short. Very enjoyable. This has a more interesting nose than most bourbons. The taste is a bit generic but feels a bit mellower and smoother than other bourbons without sacrificing the big bourbon flavor. Nothing amazing but does nothing wrong. I think for the price this is a good non-generic bottle to keep around for casual sipping with friends.30.0 USD per Bottle
Kurayoshi Sherry Cask 8 Year
Blended Malt — Multiple CountriesTasted September 22, 2021Nose: Fresh juicy fruits. Strong white grape note hides the typical sherry 'musk'. Notes of reisling, menthol, toffee, vanilla, pound cake. Taste: Mellow on flavor. Nothing really pops out in your face. Warm spice, butterscotch, vanilla, biscuits. Bright fruit and sherry influence appears with water added. Finish: Buttermilk biscuits, warming. Nose presents with a nicely balanced whisky with sherry influence. The taste was a bit lacking, especially in the bright fruit flavors found on the nose, but opened up with a bit of water. Nothing was off-putting but the whisky felt a bit lacking in a really "stand out" flavor.
Bruichladdich The Classic Laddie Scottish Barley
Single Malt — Islay, ScotlandTasted September 21, 2021Nose: Seems to swing from earthy notes (yeast, malt) to brighter fresh fruit notes (pear, cherries, bright fresh peat or sea brininess, floral perfume) to darker fruit notes (dried candied fruit, hints of milk chocolate). Palate: Earthy (malt) quickly transitions into the bright fresh peat/sea brine note from the nose which dissipates to a slight numbing spice and finally returns to the malt character. Notes of malt, dried mushroom, dried plantain, cherries, honey. Finish: More of the malt character. Transitions into some fruity and bitter notes after a few minutes. Notes of malt, lemon zest, dark chocolate. Interesting to read that this whisky is not peated. I must have been fooled by the sea brine and bright fruit character which I interpreted as a fresh peat! Overall it's an enjoyable dram with some interesting character to it that took me on a bit of a ride. I think the finish is a bit too much on the bitter side though I'm coming around to the conclusion I just have overly sensitive bitter receptors.
Mars Iwai 45 Japanese Whisky
Blended — Nagano, JapanTasted September 16, 2021Nose: Earthy, sweet and fresh. Good balance. Notes of orange zest, toffee, hay, pear, caramel. The orange zest note is upfront and stronger than what I've experienced in most whiskies while the sweet notes of toffee and earthy notes of hay alternate in the background. Light hints of sulfur. The sulfur note seemed to disappear after the first tasting. Palate: Sweet, fresh and spicy. Orange zest, candied fruit, honey, white chocolate, steamed milk, herbal/medicinal, over-steeped green tea. Bitter green tea note is less present after the first tasting. The earthy notes from the nose were lost. Again, the fresh orange zest note was apparent and intermingled with sweet notes. I wasn't expecting the spicy notes Finish: Earthy and slightly bitter (green pepper?). Short and single note. This is a whiskey made for mixing so I had low expectations going in. The nose is decent though it lacks distinguishing notes. The taste is also decent with a distinguishing white chocolate/steamed milk note though I have to fish around for it. The spiciness was a bit surprising and similar to a bourbon's. For me, the finish was a bit lacking and forward on the bitterness. Would maybe be nice in a sweet cocktail.
Yellowstone Select Kentucky Straight Bourbon
Bourbon — Kentucky, USATasted September 14, 2021Nose: Caramel, toffee, candied apple. Wafts of bright herbal and grassy notes (green milk tea). Hints of coconut Palate: Hit of pepper spice. Caramel and toffee. Bright soapy note. Herbal/grassy note falls in at the end. Finish: Bitter and a bit of spice. Warming. This one is a bit confusing to me. On one pour, it presents more as a traditional bourbon with the characteristic caramel and spicy notes. On other pours, I get this strange grassy, soapy and fruity note. Overall, my impression is that this is an average bourbon with some hints of being something unique, but the unique notes are not quite robust and cohesive enough to push it there.
Garrison Brothers Single Barrel Bourbon
Bourbon — Texas, USATasted September 13, 2021Tried 1/2 oz at a bar. Nose: Brief rye notes followed by a unique and nutty sweetness (almonds). Has a distinct syrupy candy note almost like a gummy which is difficult to get away from. Palate: Follows the nose with a curious almond milk note. Very distinct syrupy, vitamin gummy notes including the dryness. Sweetness feels very rounded off by creamy vanilla with some wet oak coming in at the end. This has a very unique sweet note to it that makes it feel like a love or hate whiskey. Definitely try at a bar before buying a bottle.
Blended — Niigata, JapanTasted September 11, 2021Tasted a sampler. Nose: Sherry-forward. Bright, nutty, earthy, and slightly sweet. Plum wine, mushroom, lemon zest are upfront. Fresh green apple, caramel, and vanilla are subtle in the background. Palate: Notable sherry influence but not quite a sherry monster. Nutty, some brininess, light notes of white pepper on the entry. Caramel and citrus notes develop later. Later sips reverses the order with the citrus notes more upfront and the nuttiness following right behind. Finish continues on the sherry notes with some peat (smoky and briny) with light peppery spice. Not bad and has some interesting notes with the sherry and peat flavors intermingling. The sherry influence is oddly overpowering, though the sherry flavors don't quite reach the levels of other sherry monsters, which I feel is a shame given the other casks that have gone into this.