Johnnie Walker Double Black
Peated Blend — ScotlandReviewed September 6, 2017You remember that moment when you found out Santa Claus wasn't real... well thats kind of how I felt today after grabbing a bottle of this. I have loved this whiskey as long as I can remember. As I stated before on a previous post there weren't many options where I grew up and when it came down to scotch there is Dewars and JW and thats pretty much about it. The double black is sort of a luxury back home so whenever you could get your hands on it it was a cause for celebration. Today I was in the mood for a nice relaxing pool day with my lady so I went down to my local shop and opted for a bottle of this over a Laphroaig 10... I know what you guys are thinking. Insane comes to mind right away, but believe me I have my reasons but first let me get to my notes. As soon as I got home I opened the bottle I poured a bit on a sniffer and tried to pick this thing apart, keep in mind that in the past few months I had crossed over to "the dark side" having tried a decent amount of Islays, the likes of Ardbeg 10, Lag 16, Talisker 10, Oban 14 and Laphroaig Lore... so coming back to this was kind of bitter sweet. On the nose I got the same burnt rubber that I so much love along with a great amount of smokiness however it does lack some of the sweet saltiness most Islay have but it does not surprise me since it is not basically one. The first sip brings a lot of that smokey burnt rubber profile but somehow it those mellow out after the first few sips and becomes really one dimensional from there on. The smoke takes a back seat to a nice honey note with charred oak on the back end with a short and unremarkable finish. At this point on my scotch journey I will most definitely reach for an Islay over this 99.9 % of the time. So why reach for this today, well would you drink a smokey scotch when the local weather ranges from 94 degrees to 102 every damn day??? Well in order to make this tolerable,e the locals came up with this brilliant idea... you take coconut water and ice it then you pour the scotch over iced coconut water. I know this might get me kicked out buttttt ya`ll should try it someday.( I do not mix my single malts, I don't even add water by the way and this review was based of the product neat on a sniffer). Anyways that is how I learned how to drink scotch and its perfect for a day at the beach. Cheers!
Four Roses Single Barrel Bourbon
Bourbon — Kentucky, USAReviewed September 4, 2017I first tasted bourbon when I came to the US on a baseball scholarship at the age of 18. Growing up in a small town in Puerto Rico there was little whiskey variety for my dad and uncles to choose from. JW Black Label was the only whiskey I knew about before I came here for college. I first tried what I'm pretty sure was either Jim Bean or Jack Daniels. I had a Jack and Coke and I was hooked. It reminded of this drink that I loved as a kid (vanilla coca cola). Over the next 4 years (college) it became my staple drink. Eventually I started having it on the rocks and then neat. Ive had my fair share of bourbons and this is hands down my favorite of them all. Along with the usual vanilla, caramel & chocolate notes most bourbons have this one has an edge. There is baking spice on the palate, which I love. A nice cherry note can be found in the midst of all that. I do admit that this is borderline almost too sweet which is why i wouldn't consider this an every day whiskey. At 39.99 at my local liquor store this is a really affordable dram that will never disappoint. Great with a cigar aswell.
Highland Park 12 Year
Peated Single Malt — Islands, ScotlandReviewed August 30, 2017This is in fact a great quality single malt. Got my hands on this bad-boy in my local whiskey bar. Right away I was greeted with a nice smokiness, not over powering at all but very pleasing. If asked to compare it I would say it is more of a burning oak scent rather than peat. On the palate I got some dried fruit and the slightest hint of honey. This scotch has a particular trait that I really enjoy, and that is what I call (for lack of a better term) a maltiness profile to it. I first discovered this in JW black and to be honest it was what made me wonder into scotch since I had mostly been a Bourbon guy. This is the first highland I've had that has this characteristic. Closing off the palate with that same oak that you were greeted with at the start. The finish is of medium length yet VERY VERY pleasing. When looking for a full bodied option to Islay`s this makes a great choice. (I am somewhat surprised to notice that this is listed as bottled at 40 ABV. It has a great body for that level of ABV. I would have never guessed.)
Balvenie Doublewood 12 Year
Single Malt — Speyside, ScotlandReviewed August 26, 2017Im inclined to think I got a bad bottle (batch). I had great expectations for this single malt, especially after I paid 62.00 USD for it here in Orlando FL but I am greatly disappointed. I do get some sherry influence in the nose but not in a pleasant way, it reminds me of a cheap Walmart wine. There is not much on the palate either, you know when you open up a liter of soda and come back to it 2 weeks later after letting it sit on the fridge... well sort of like that. You get the feeling that your drinking scotch but thats about it. It has a really short finish if any at all along with alcohol burn shinning through. To be fair I am not a huge sherry cask fan but I do appreciate a nice sherried dram from time to time. Another point I wanted to bring up was that last night I tried to pair it with one of my finest cigars ( Rocky Patel Vintage 1990) hoping that it would somehow compensate for the lack of character but to my surprise it brought out a really unpleasant musty note that I had not noticed when just drinking this malt on its own. This review is based on the fact that I spent 60+ USD, by comparison I could've rounded out 25 extra bucks and went for a Lagavulin 16/ Talisker or even a Macallan Double Oak for the same price. If you are going to charge that amount there better be something special in the bottle. Will most definitely not buy again. 2.5 stars.
Glengoyne 21 Year
Single Malt — Highlands, ScotlandReviewed August 19, 2017I recently attended a tasting of this distillery where I tried their 10,12,15,18,21 and their cask strength expressions.There is some sweet spiciness to the nose, sort of like a cinnamon covered pastry. On the palate I got some floral/ dried fruit notes up front followed by spiciness and vanilla notes. It has a medium finish which brings out a lot of oak (cask) influence. It does have a Christmas character to it which would make this a great dessert dram. This is a fantastic scotch at a somewhat affordable price.
Ardbeg 10 Year
Peated Single Malt — Islay, ScotlandReviewed August 18, 2017This is by far the best scotch I have ever tasted. I have been a scotch fan for a long time but I had never had a taste of Islay. In the past I had enjoyed Johnnie Walker Double Black and someone pointed out I should try drinking scotch from Islay and although JW Double black will forever be dear to my heart, this is a totally different beast. This particular scotch has a sweetness to its smokiness (peat) and an oily mouthfeel. The finish is long and rich. It is definitely robust on your palate but when you get past the peat you get a really complex whisky. I am really looking forward to trying more expressions from this great scottish reagion.