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  1. Alberta Premium Cask Strength Rye Whisky

    Canadian — Alberta, Canada

    Tasted May 14, 2021
    3.25
    3.25 out of 5 stars
    66.0 % abv / 132 proof Open 3 months Nose - Black pepper, red hot cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla wafers, mixed nut dust, strong ethanol, and light oak. Palate - Big red hot cinnamon bomb, overload of rye spice, black pepper, light dill and floral notes, and butterscotch vanilla. Finish is long and hot, hot, hot. Rye spice, and red hots combined with strong ethanol dominate the finish. Curiosity got the best of me, a cask strength cheaper alternative to WhistlePig. This is good, but not complex enough to warrant the price. It is all spice and ethanol, lacking syrupy or citrusy notes in other high-end ryes. For <$70 there are a lot of great rye options I would recommend over this. As far as a comparison to WhistlePig, I've only had a 15Y single barrel store pick that was great but was priced as the 12Y bottle around $100. I can't really say WhistlePig is a value buy with the luck I had. If you like lots of pepper or red hots, then you may love this.
    69.95 USD per Bottle
  2. George Dickel Tennessee Single Barrel 15 Year

    Tennessee — Tennessee, USA

    Tasted May 13, 2021
    3.75
    3.75 out of 5 stars
    48.1% abv / 96.2 proof Open 2 months Nose - Rich oak, toasted marshmallow, toffee, maple syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg, light ethanol. Palate - Much sweeter than the nose, caramel, maple syrup, gingerbread with hint of vanilla frosting, and dense oak spice. Finish is medium-long, light sweetness first then followed by oak tannins, baking spices, and gingerbread. Ethanol is barely noticeable throughout the palate/finish. I was excited for this new offering, but I think it is a slight miss. The proof and age are very similar to the recent Bottled-in-Bonds, and ultimately the nose and palate are as well. I was expecting a bit more nuance with this one, but I bet in a blind tasting I would not find many differences between the various high-end George Dickel products. I personally would recommend buying the $40 Bottled-in-Bond or $50 Hand Selected Barrel over this. Instead, I wish Dickel would've released a lower age cask strength around this price point. I think it would fit well in the current market.
    59.95 USD per Bottle
  3. Baker's Single Barrel Bourbon 7 Year

    Bourbon — Kentucky, USA

    Tasted May 10, 2021
    3.75
    3.75 out of 5 stars
    Barrel No. 001609982 Warehouse CL-O Barreled 02-2012 Age 8 years 8 months Open 3 months Nose - Caramel, honey roasted peanuts, vanilla, oranges, charcoal, dry baking spices, medium oak and ethanol. Palate - Light caramel and vanilla, pecan pie, black pepper, baking spices, caramelized orange, and oak spice. Medium-short finish with dry oak tannins, rye, corn dust, toasted caramel, and medium ethanol. Initially I would've rated this higher, closer to a 4.25. There were few differences between this and the Booker's 2020-02 I bought last year. However, over time this mellowed out, losing some of the potent rich flavors I thought persisted in Booker's. This is still really solid bourbon and is significantly better than $40 Jim Beam Single Barrel 108 proof. Is Booker's worth $30 more? I don't think so. The primary issue with Baker's is not that Booker's is slightly better, it's that Knob Creek Single Barrel is $10 cheaper, older, and higher proof. So if that prominent peanut brittle profile in Jim Beam, Booker's, and Baker's isn't your favorite flavor, then I would unquestionably buy Knob Creek over this. Kudos to the redesign. The labeling is visible and informative, and I like the bottle/cork top they're using for this and Legent.
    59.95 USD per Bottle
  4. Templeton Rye Barrel Strength Straight Rye (2018 Edition)

    Rye — Indiana (Bottled in Iowa), USA

    Tasted May 6, 2021
    4.25
    4.25 out of 5 stars
    Open 2 months Nose - Dill, caramel, maple syrup, citrus oil in household cleaners, nutmeg, allspice, light eucalyptus and anise, medium oak and ethanol. Palate - Caramel, maple syrup, cinnamon toast, light dill, and lemon peel. Long, oily finish with strong baking spice and herbal notes, anise, dill, dry tannic oak, and medium ethanol. The shift in flavors from mid-palate to the finish is excellent. Am I a bad person for buying this? Maybe. But it was on clearance in Total Wine, $20 off retail because it had been sitting on the shelf for years. I took a chance, and conflictions abound because this is really good MGP rye. It hits that sweet spot of dill, baking spice, citrus, and syrup without leaning too heavily in one direction. The closest comparison on nose/palate is Rabbit Hole Boxergrail, which isn't MGP but is 95/5 mashbill. I think Old Scout Rye Cask Strength is the best MGP expression I've had, this is second place.
    41.99 USD per Bottle
  5. Wilderness Trail Bottled in Bond Small Batch Bourbon

    Bourbon — Kentucky, USA

    Tasted April 20, 2021
    3.75
    3.75 out of 5 stars
    Batch No. 16A05 Open 6 weeks Nose - Sweet, sickly corn mash, vanilla bean, cherry, butterscotch, light oak and ethanol. Palate - Sweet corn and cereal with a refreshing bite, almost like a corn-flavored cough drop, circus peanuts, butterscotch that has been drizzled over vanilla ice cream, and white peppercorn. Finish is long, corn mash menthol, light oak tannins, floral rye spice, a hint of cherry and red apple. This is an interesting and weird mix of flavors. Although a high rye bourbon, this is nothing like a Four Roses, MGP, or OGD. That low entry proof, sweet mash, and age must contribute to the odd breath mint quality of this whiskey. At this point it may sound terrible to you, but it actually works. Instead of overwhelming the palate with rye and youthful flavors, it cleanses the palate. Now I do think this is overpriced considering the rye cask strength was $10 more, however, Wilderness Trail is making good whiskey and I wish they were distributing in NC. Next up I'll have to try the wheated single barrel or a cask strength bourbon.
    52.99 USD per Bottle
  6. Larceny Barrel Proof Bourbon Batch C920

    Bourbon — Kentucky, USA

    Tasted April 9, 2021
    3.25
    3.25 out of 5 stars
    Open 2 weeks Nose - Brown sugar, honey roasted peanuts, cereal grain, corn dust, powdered cinnamon, caramelized orange, strong ethanol and oak. Palate - Tannic, caramel, molasses, orange jellies, peanut brittle, and cocoa. But then the hot, dry finish kicks in and it is long. Tannic oak, clove, powdered cinnamon, molasses, and super hot ethanol. I bought 250 mL of this off of a friend during a night of trades, not wanting to commit to 375 mL given my distaste for A120. This is a significant improvement over A120, but I just don't get it with Larceny. Every time I drink any version of it, it tastes far spicier and hotter than its proof. The finish is frankly unpleasant at times. The strangest thing to me is many blogs called this sweet and lower ethanol burn than expected. I always get the opposite. It must be my taste buds.
    54.95 USD per Bottle
  7. Smooth Ambler Old Scout Single Barrel Rye

    Rye — West Virginia, USA

    Tasted April 7, 2021
    4.5
    4.5 out of 5 stars
    Barrel No. 16747 Age 4 years 55.8%, 111.6 proof Open 2 weeks Nose - Strong lemon and citrus peel, Lemonheads, Pine Sol, eucalyptus, dill, saltwater taffy, toffee, strong ethanol. Palate - Surprisingly sweet up front, light caramel and butterscotch, toffee, lemon custard, powdered cinnamon and nutmeg, vanilla frosting. The finish is long, oily, and bright with lots of tannic oak and rye spices, black pepper, artificial citrus, butterscotch, and lighter than expected ethanol burn. For the money this is an incredible rye. I thought the Old Scout Single Barrel Cask Strength Bourbon I had recently was above average MGP for the money, but this blows it away at the same price point. Old Scout Single Barrel Cask Strength bottles are rare in NC, but I happened to see 10 on the shelf locally a few weeks ago and they sat there for days. I regret not picking up two. It is better than James E. Pepper 1776 Barrel Proof Rye, and as good as Templeton Rye Cask Strength for less money. It has a balance of citrus, baking spices, sugar, and eucalyptus/dill that those two don't. If you see this under $60 I would buy it immediately, it is a great and affordable representation of high rye whiskey.
    49.95 USD per Bottle
  8. Crown Royal Deluxe

    Canadian — Manitoba, Canada

    Tasted March 25, 2021
    2.5
    2.5 out of 5 stars
    50 mL miniature for $2.60 Nose - Very light, caramel, baked apples, brown sugar, orange peel, no ethanol. Palate - Tastes like watered down bourbon, caramel, flaky bread, and raisins. The medium-short finish is the most surprising thing about this, since I expected no finish. The sugar lingers, with hints of dry tannins at the end. It's smooth and lacks any ethanol punch. I bought this mini bottle to compare with my Hand Selected Barrel review and it turns out, this is not as bad as I thought it would be. Crown Royal Black was one of the worst whiskeys I've ever tasted, so I was prepared to hate this. It's one-note, simple, light, and sweet, but harmless and easy to drink. I have no idea why anyone would pay $30 for this when you can get a low proof bourbon that drinks similarly for half the price, but I'm not part of the market that waters down 80 proof whiskey with ice to remove all flavor.
    29.95 USD per Bottle
  9. Crown Royal Hand Selected Barrel

    Canadian — Manitoba, Canada

    Tasted March 25, 2021
    3.75
    3.75 out of 5 stars
    Barrel pick by NC ABC Open 8 months Nose - Spicy honey, butterscotch, golden raisins, brandy, hints of chalk and brine, medium ethanol. Palate - Light honey and vanilla up front, strong mead with a hint of brandy, sweet grain, artificial cherry, honey-roasted peanuts. Medium finish that disappears quicker than expected, dry oak comes out, spicy and ethanolic with hints of honey. My experience with Crown Royal has been tepid at best, but a $50 "single barrel" at 103 proof was too intriguing to pass up. Considering how pricey and low proof Crown Royal products are, the pricing on this is befuddling but obviously welcome. This is surprisingly good, but I've had it for 8 months so it's not something I reach for consistently. It honestly reminds me of a Highland malt finished in mead and brandy casks. The closest comparison at the moment is either a 15% mead spiked with brandy, or the excellent John Walker & Sons Celebratory Blend. If that sounds appealing I say go for it, the value is pretty good with this one. An additional note, this is a fantastic bottle in presentation and build quality. I love the rugged screw cap, definitely a keeper to reuse. Why can't more companies use burly screw caps like this and Japanese whiskey bottles?
    49.95 USD per Bottle
  10. Highland Park Cask Strength Edition No. 1

    Peated Single Malt — Islands, Scotland

    Tasted March 24, 2021
    3.5
    3.5 out of 5 stars
    Open 5 months Nose - Very strong ethanol that accentuates the peat level, honeysuckle, cereal grain, toasted white bread, brine, and lemon bars. Palate - Honey, cereal, white pepper, buttered bread, medium peat. Long, hot finish with harsh alcohol and peat, then lingering bitter malt and honey notes. I was so excited for this, but it was rough initially. I've never had a Scotch whisky this harsh. The alcohol and peat overwhelm the senses. I didn't touch this for a week after I first opened it hoping oxygen would mellow it out. It did, but this is still not for everyone. If you're not used to cask strength bourbons, ryes, and Islays, I would not touch this. At $90, I can't say I recommend this bottle. It is good and certainly unique, but you can buy cask strength Ardbeg and Laphroaig for less, and those are significantly better in my opinion. For Highland Park fans, this is nothing like the delicate touch of peat you find in 12Y and 15Y offerings.
    89.95 USD per Bottle
Results 1-10 of 171 Tastes