Tastes

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  1. Pappy Van Winkle Family Reserve 15 Year

    Bourbon — Kentucky, USA

    Tasted
    4.5
    4.5 out of 5 stars
    2018 Release Nose - Caramel, cherry vanilla coke, milk chocolate, hint of leather Taste - Caramel, cinnamon sugar toast, cherry vanilla coke syrup, hint of leather/oaky bitterness, cocoa nibs Finish - Lingering oak, leather, cocoa nibs, light cherry, vanilla caramel Score - 90/100 Final Thoughts - This is a good, very well balanced and put together bourbon for sure. Nothing too terribly off putting from start to finish. Nice cherry vanilla coke vibe from this which I really like, but wish was more present because it's a bit on the subtle side. I haven't had too many other vintages of Pappy 15 before, but this seemed to be a bit on the oaky/bitter/tannic side. I typically don't mind this as I'm a fan of Elijah Craig, but this was a tiny bit distracting from the subtle sweet cherry vanilla caramel of this one. This is an excellent bourbon for sure, but I'm not sure I'd pay more than what I did for it. Would I drink it if offered? - Yes Would I specifically order it? - Maybe Would I buy a bottle? - At MSRP yes NOTE - All reviews are done without factoring in price.
    160.0 USD per Bottle
  2. Old Elk Straight Wheat (Handpick)

    Wheat Whiskey — USA

    Tasted
    3.5
    3.5 out of 5 stars
    Old Elk 6 year - 58.3% ABV Total Wine WA Select Taste - (w/o water) Bit hot, tannic, leather, caramel, tiny bit of bitter oak, charred cinnamon (w/ water) Reduced initial heat, returns later, more bitter somehow?, caramel, vanilla, heat comes back at the end Finish - (w/o water) Lingering heat, oaky bitterness, lightly grassy, slightly burnt bread bitterness (w/ water) Less heat/tingle, caramel, lingering heat, oaky bitterness Score - 72/100 Final Thoughts - The nose on this was surprisingly subtle for the proof, but once it hit the tongue, the full proof came out as this felt hot. What's a bit strange is that there's this subtle bitterness that's there, that ends up being kind of distracting. There are the typical notes of vanilla, caramel, & cinnamon, but they aren't as front and center as I'd like. The oaky bitterness in this one takes over quite a bit & although it's drinkable neat, I think I'd much prefer this in an old fashioned or a manhattan to help mask the bitterness. The flavors & punch are there for sure, but not sure I like it enough to regularly sip it neat outside of cocktails. Would I drink it if offered? - Yes Would I specifically order it? - No Would I buy a bottle? - No NOTE - All reviews are done without factoring in price.
    89.58 USD per Bottle
  3. Tamdhu Batch Strength Batch 004

    Single Malt — Speyside, Scotland

    Tasted
    4.25
    4.25 out of 5 stars
    Nose - (w/o water) Strawberries, caramel, roasted nuts, berries & cream cream savers hard candies (w/ water) Much less sweet, less fruity, shortbread cookies, flamed orange zest Taste - (w/o water) Hot sweet fruity spice/heat, red berries, rich brown simple syrup, orange zest, raisins (w/ water) Still hot but not as much tingle, orange zest with pith bitterness, raisins, cocoa nib Finish - (w/o water) Orange zest, light bitter pith lingers, lingering heat/tingle, sharp berry/raisin sweet (w/ water) Lightly more bitter orange zest with pith, lingering heat, raisins, brown sugar Score - 85/100 Final Thoughts - This one seems to be greatly affected on the nose with the addition of water. It seems to have made it a bit less fruity, but it also brought out this nice shortbread cookie & orange zest vibe I quite liked. This was quite hot all around at the proof it had though. Intense red berries without and sadly this sort of suffered from this orange pith bitterness that didn't go away with water even. Nice hints of raisins throughout though as expected with a sherried Scotch, but the orange pith bitterness was a bit distracting. This was still tasty, but it was a bit hot & the bitterness that wouldn't go away was a bit distracting. Would I drink it if offered? - Yes Would I specifically order it? - Maybe Would I buy a bottle? - Not another of this batch NOTE - All reviews are done without factoring in price.
    101.0 USD per Bottle
  4. Larceny Barrel Proof Bourbon Batch A120

    Bourbon — Kentucky, USA

    Tasted
    4.25
    4.25 out of 5 stars
    Nose - (w/o water) Oaky vanilla, caramel, charred cinnamon, hint of cherry twizzler, toffee (w/ water) not much change Taste - (w/o water) Bit hot, numbing mouthfeel, buttery vanilla caramel, hint of sweet cherries, gentle cinnamon (w/ water) Greatly reduced heat, slightly more fruit, not as buttery mouthfeel Finish - (w/o water) Lingering hot cinnamon spice, buttery vanilla caramel (w/ water) Reduced spice, cinnamon caramel Score - 86/100 Final Thoughts - This was a good overall bourbon, bit hot as expected, but handled a bit of water quite well. Standard flavor profile, nothing too extreme one way or another. I think it'd be a bit hard to peg this as a wheated bourbon unless you added a bit of water, & that's where I get that nice softer mouthfeel. Otherwise, it was good, nothing off putting, standard "bourbon" profile but nothing complex or amazing about it. Would I drink it if offered? - Yes Would I specifically order it? - Maybe Would I buy a bottle? - Maybe NOTE - All reviews are done without factoring in price.
    52.0 USD per Bottle
  5. The Macallan Reflexion

    Single Malt — Highlands, Scotland

    Tasted
    5.0
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Nose - Dark dried stone fruits, treacle toffee, caramel, caramelized bananas, dark chocolate Taste - Intense dried dark stone fruits, hint of banana sweet, caramel, raisins, chocolate, orange/citrusy refreshing notes Finish - Lingering gentle sweet ginger heat, cocoa, raisins, toasted sugar Score - 96/100 Final Thoughts - I really hate to rate something like this so high, but it really does deserve it. This is a masterfully done sherried Scotch where it packs such a punch in flavor & balance that you wouldn't even guess that it's only 43%. The nose is intense & has that "old Scotch" vibe. A great balance between rich flavors & citrusy notes to make it not too cloyingly sweet. I have a feeling that if I had access to a bottle, this would be gone way too fast as it's just so delicious & easy to sip on. Flavors are complex & everything is just so well balanced. Would I drink it if offered? - Yes Would I specifically order it? - Yes Would I buy a bottle? - Maybe, if I had a lot of disposable income NOTE - All reviews are done without factoring in price.
  6. High West Rocky Mountain Rye 16

    Rye — Park City, Utah, USA

    Tasted
    4.25
    4.25 out of 5 stars
    Batch 20I11 - 52.3% ABV Taste - (w/o water) Sweet cinnamon heat, intense vanilla, caramel, dark toffee, nice mellow sweet rye bread with caraway seeds, nice rye "bite", dark cocoa nib sweet w/ a hint of dark chocolate bitter, light cherry (w/ water) Heat is all but gone, flavors are much more muted, more oaky, caramel remains, cocoa nib bitter Finish - (w/o water) Lingering cinnamon heat/tingle, like cinnamon/cherry red hots, dark cocoa nibs (w/ water) Lingering oaky caramel, milk chocolate hot cocoa Score - 87/100 Final Thoughts - This was a very pleasant older aged rye & I'm not entirely sure where High West sourced this particular batch from, but it kind of reminds me of WhistlePig Boss Hog III "The Independent" in a way. It doesn't have that dill/minty vibe I get from some ryes but instead it has this nice mellow, intense caramel sweetness & you don't really get much rye "bite" until it hits the palate. This one definitely tames down QUICK with water, so I'd say drink this neat or add a super tiny amount of water as it fades quick. Overall this was good, but sadly not great. I'm really glad I got to try this one, but if all the release were like this, maybe I wasn't missing out on much? I mean it's a tasty rye for sure, but it isn't exactly in that "holy crap this is good" like some WhistlePig single barrel selects have done to me. Would I drink it if offered? - Yes Would I specifically order it? - Maybe Would I buy a bottle? - Maybe NOTE - All reviews are done without factoring in price.
    147.0 USD per Bottle
  7. BUNNAHABHAIN 2008 MANZANILLA CASK MATURED

    Single Malt — ISLAY, Scotland

    Tasted
    4.75
    4.75 out of 5 stars
    Nose - (w/o water) Salted caramel, milk chocolate, raisins, golden raisins, honey roasted almonds & pecans, sweet pecans, pecan pie, dried apricots (w/ water) Salted caramel is reduced a bit, additional hints of Coke mixed with root beer/sarsaparilla Taste - (w/o water) Salted caramel, salted pretzels, milk chocolate, sweet pecans, raisins, candied orange peel, candied ginger spice/heat, almost like a salted pretzel with a rolo caramel candy topped with a roasted pecan half. (w/ water) Slightly less chocolate vibe, added notes of root beer along with everything else Finish - (w/o water) Lingering gentle warmth, dried fruits, light "dried fruit funk" similar to that of a dried papaya, lingering salted caramel vibe (w/ water) Fruit "funk" goes away, salted caramel remains, milk chocolate comes back Score - 94/100 Final Thoughts - This one was quite interesting in that I got such a strong salted caramel vibe from this one it was crazy. It was like a slightly fruity "turtles" candy on top of a pretzel, but in boozy liquid form. This wasn't overly sweet in anyway and was nicely balanced. The addition of a tiny bit of water really helps as it opens up a new dimension of Coke/root beer in the back ground & for me, it gets rid of this weird "dried fruit funk" I get with certain dried fruits. That being said, this is really good, but I think I'll have to be in the mood for a dram of this one as it is quite unique. Would I drink it if offered? - Yes Would I specifically order it? - Yes Would I buy a bottle? - Maybe if it was a bit cheaper NOTE - All reviews are done without factoring in price.
    200.0 USD per Bottle
  8. Mackmyra Vintersol

    Single Malt — Sweden

    Tasted
    4.0
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    Nose - Fresh lingonberry jam, apricot, light floral honey, carambola/starfruit Taste - Gentle fresh blackberries, light bitterness similar to the seeds inside blackberries, lingonberry, light sweet honey, black pepper, vanilla, black pepper & red wine poached pears Finish - Gentle black pepper spice, poached pear sweet, vanilla caramel, creamy/buttery fruit Score - 84/100 Final Thoughts - This was a good dram, but not outstanding. Nice fruity black pepper influence from the nose to the finish. Very pleasant poached pear notes with hints of fresh lingonberries & blackberries. Nice creamy/buttery notes on the palate through to the finish. Overall a very easy to sip on Swedish single malt. I wouldn't be able to pinpoint ex-port on this one at all as I'd think it'd be something more of a sweet rose or something as I don't get the typical dark fruit I get from some port finishes. Regardless, this is pleasant from start to finish, but isn't as good as other Mackmyra offerings I've tried in the past. Would I drink it if offered? - Yes Would I specifically order it? - Maybe Would I buy a bottle? - Probably Not Another NOTE - All reviews are done without factoring in price.
    76.0 USD per Bottle
  9. Bruichladdich Black Art 1994 8.1 Edition 26 Year

    Single Malt — Islay, Scotland

    Tasted
    4.75
    4.75 out of 5 stars
    Nose - Vanilla bean & riesling poached pears, caramel, saline, candied ginger, pomelo/orange zest, fruity grape skins, candy apple shell sweet Taste - Poached pears, gentle ginger heat/tingle, candied oranges, dried apples, muscat raisin sweet "funk", hint of salt, milk chocolate, light caramel Finish - Lingering salty sweet apple/pear, hint of sweet dessert wine "funk", gentle heat Score - 92/100 Final Thoughts - So the initial nose on this was is just amazing. After having had a few subpar whiskies the past few days, this brings me back to what a nicely balanced dram can have. You don't have to search this dram for the aromas to come out of the glass, there's quite a lot going on & frankly it's all quite pleasant. The nose is also an accurate representation of what happens once it hits the palate as well. A big burst of a perfectly balanced dram. Bright vibrant poached pear notes with a tiny hint of caramel & dried apple. Finish is moderate to long, but everything about it is pleasant. If I had to guess the makeup of this one, I'd say there's a higher percentage of ex-bourbon and there have to be at least a few sweeter wine finished and maybe even a calvados finished? This is a perfect proof to sip on and even though I didn't add any water, I don't think it needs it. Would I drink it if offered? - Yes Would I specifically order it? - Yes Would I buy a bottle? - Maybe another if I could find it cheaper. NOTE - All reviews are done without factoring in price.
    436.62 USD per Bottle
  10. Paul John Christmas Edition 2019

    Single Malt — Goa , India

    Tasted
    2.5
    2.5 out of 5 stars
    Nose - Fresh red apples, hint of dried cranberries, honey, faint cinnamon & clove spices Taste - Black peppercorn & charcoal filtered unsweetened apple juice, super light smoke presence, light metallic/charcoal, hint of dried red berries Finish - Light fruity apple, light charcoal/metallic lingers, super light red berry Score - 64/100 Final Thoughts - This started out with a somewhat promising nose, a bit light, but pleasant. It starts out nice once it hits the palate, but then nothing really changes and you're left with a very generic filtered apple juice sweet with this weird metallic/charcoal vibe. There MIGHT be a hint of peated whisky in this one, or maybe they just didn't rinse out their previous run of peated whisky or something. The finish is fairly short, which in this case is good, because the metallic/charcoal vibe is a bit weird. Would I drink it if offered? - No Would I specifically order it? - No Would I buy a bottle? - No NOTE - All reviews are done without factoring in price.
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