Welcome to the Straightbourbon.com Forums.
Page 2 of 6 FirstFirst 1234 ... LastLast
Results 11 to 20 of 57
  1. #11
    Guru
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    2,529

    Re: Wednesday Tastings!

    Another round of whisk(e)y tastings and today it was international week with whisky from Japan, Australia, Wales and a bit unexpectedly from India. It's a tough job but somebody's got to do it...

    Wednesday tasting 26FEB14.JPG

    We began with a Nikka 21 Taketsuru. Very tasty yet delicate whisky with maybe a wisp of smoke and fruit but a nice long pleasant finish. That was followed by Yanazaki 18 and 12. The 18 was definitely the winner among the Japanese whisky with a bit more complexity and another long finish with more spice at the end. All were well balanced easy drinking whisky but only the 18 provided a wow moment in the group.

    We then moved on to Wales for a couple of Penderyn whisky tastings. The standard Madiera finished whiskey was good but finished with a little bit of bitterness that was off putting to some. The Sherrywood finish was far more complex with delightful fruit notes and a long pleasant finish that everyone preferred.

    Then was down under for several Australian whiskies. I was concerned about whether these would hold their own against the Japanese whiskey but they proved up the the task. The Smaith Angaston 12yo 2000 vintage was quite unique but well regarded by all. Plenty of fruit notes presumed to be from sherry hogsheads and full bodied with solid mouthfeel and finish. The Lark Port cask was more mixed but several, including myself liked the port finish and the nce finish it provided. The Sullivans Cove Double Cask had potential but seemed a bitthin at 80 proof (although all others were between about 86 and 92 proof, no high proof whisky here!). Finished with a gift pack of Hellyers Road unpeated, slightly peated and peated. The later two seemed very Islay like and most enjoyable.

    As we were tasting two new Amrut Indian whiskies arrived and we got to try Portnova port finished cask strength (120+ and very good! Needed a bit of water though) and Amrut 100, a peated whiskey and a bit of a gimmick aged 100 months and bottled at 100 British proof (114.2 proof to us. But still hot even with water). This seemed a bit hard to tame and a little unbalanced.

    And now it is time for a nap...
    That yella whiskey runnin' down my throat like honey dew vine water and I took another slash…

    Nullum Gratuitum Prandium
    Ne Illegitimi Carborundum

  2. #12
    Guru
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    2,529

    Re: Wednesday Tastings!

    Its Wednesday and that means it is time for another nap! But to help me get there it is time for another Wednesday tasting first.

    This week the distributor rep was bringing the Smooth Ambler line. They just recently changed distributors and so they would be providing the bulk of the whiskey. No complaints from me!

    I did contribute the K&L Faultline first batch to the fun as well as a few scotches to close out the afternoon.

    Wednesday 05MAR14 1.JPG

    The Smooth Ambler line consisted of the Vodka, the Yearling (aged 1yr, 7 m), 7yo Bourbon and Rye,10yo Old Scout and of course the Faultline. Then we finished with the gin and barrel aged gin. We also had a bottle of Cappalletti (kind of a sweet Campari) and Cardamaro which was a moderately herbal, minty amaro but we saved those for the last.

    The vodka was a touch sweet and inoffensive but it was after all vodka. The Yearling was a bit grainy on the nose which was to be expected but we all thought it quite pleasant to drink and see real potential down the road. Not sure which mashbill of wheat this was and whether it was from the small barrels or the larger barrels. My guess was the smaller barrels. It was batch 7 I believe.

    The 7yo MGPI bourbon and rye we had all had before and found to be perfectly pleasant to drink. But the 10yo was a real standout and definitely a buy for me. Very easy to dring at 99 proof as I recall with a very pleasant honeyed edges and great mouthfeel as well as a nice but not overly long finish.

    The Faultline proved to be the real surprise though. It seemed to take the best of both the reported 7 and 10 you bourbon and bring them out in great harmony. Not quite as honey sweet as the 10 with a nice spicey backbone but still very drinkable. In fairness the Old Scouts were all newly opened while the Faultline had been open for a week or so.

    On to the gin! Good juniper notes but not overbearing while mixing in some nice herbal flavors that were almost savory in nature. A couple felt it was good all by itself. I thought the barrel aged version brought it all together very nicely and preferred that one.

    Wednesday 05MAR14 2.JPG

    After a bit of a break for some lovely prosciutto, salami, bread and crackers we moved on to a few scotches. First up was the 18 yo Mortlach CS from the Exclusive Malts series. This did not seem to have much of the traditional Mortlach sherry component which allowed the base distillate to realy shine. It was perhaps a touch hot but seemed to open up nicely with a touch of water. But most seemed to prefer the 22yo sherried Morlach it was compared to. No surprise there!

    Next were two Arran 16yo Single casks, one in Bourbon and one in Sherry. Here it was the bourbon cask that shined. The sherry cask seemed a bit closed and didn't open up with water much. It will need a revisit after awhile. But the Bourbon cask was lively on the nose with a nice bourbon-y aroma that carried through to the palate with a great mouthfeel, nice caramel and toffee notes and a long pleasant finish. A real delight!

    We finished with the Cappalletti, a Campari like liqueur, which was a bit sweeter, almost bubble gum-ish, but still had a decent bitter finish. For those who find Campari to be a little too aggressive it might be just right in an Americano.

    The Cardamaro was more herbal and a touch minty but quite pleasant on its own. In a moment of inspiration a splash of the OS 7yo rye at roughly 2:1 rye made a lovely cocktail. A little orange bitters might have been a nice addition but it was pretty good as is.

    And now it is time for that nap...
    That yella whiskey runnin' down my throat like honey dew vine water and I took another slash…

    Nullum Gratuitum Prandium
    Ne Illegitimi Carborundum

  3. #13
    Guru
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Marietta, GA
    Posts
    2,292

    Re: Wednesday Tastings!

    I need to get a job with Wednesday off - y'all are having just too much fun!
    Gary
    =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
    "Too much of anything is bad, but too much of good whiskey is barely enough." - Mark Twain
    "Because Whiskey Matters!" - David Perkins

  4. #14
    Guru
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    2,529

    Re: Wednesday Tastings!

    This week the Wenesday tasting was greatly influenced by the upcoming World Wide International St Patty's holiday, not to mention the upcoming GBS celebration of said holiday and the arrival of a new addition to the illustrious Redbreast line of whiskies.

    Sadly the Tullamore D.E.W. got inadvertently left behind by my whiskey mule and will have to wait for another time but the Redbreast 21 made it debut at this weeks tasting.

    Wednesday tasting 12MAR14.jpg

    While the star of the show was the Redbreast 21, weighing in at 92 proof, it was compared to some pretty strong competition this week. And in addition to the ones pictured above the RB 12CS and RB 15 also made an appearance.

    After getting a baseline from the RB12 we moved straight to the newcomer, Redbreast 21. This bottle was of course newly opened but immediately demonstrated a significantly different nose compared to the 12. An interesting almost tropical fruit nose was apparent from the beginning as well as a nice faintly musty wood smell (in a good way). The whiskey was light on the tip of the tongue but as it rolled across the tongue the fruit note built quickly (we finally decided it was mango!) along with a rich but not super heavy mouthfeel. The finish was long and pleasant with the mango flavor resting atop the rest of the flavors for quite a long time. Veery good and fairly different from the RB 12 (as well as the RB12CS and RB15, none of which had quite the same fruit flavor).

    Next up was the always superb Midleton Barry Crockett Legacy blend of single pot still whiskies. It is also at 92 proof and is a NAS but is reported to have whiskey up to as much as 25yo and may have some whiskey that spent time in new seasoned but apparently uncharred American oak (not entirely confirmed) as well as refill bourbon casks. A truly refined and elegant whiskey this shows none of the fruit notes that the RB21 has but certainly is an elegant whiskey with a heavier mouthfeel and a pleasant but not dominating presence of bourbon-y vanilla and oak. Some reviews describe fruit notes but I don't get them myself and certainly not to the degree we found in the RB21.

    We then moved to the Cooley distillery where the new Teeling Whiskey Company has sourced some 21 yo single malt that has been finished in Sauternes (John Teeling owned Cooley until Beam bought it and is now using barrels he kept control of for his newest whiskies until they can presumably make their own). This one, also at 92 proof (the new proof for "high end" Irish whisley?) was by far the most scotch like of the whiskey tried and distinctively different from the Redbreast/Midleton line. That said it was also excellent. There was also a very tasty almost port like rancio note and maybe even the barest hint of peat present. Most interesting.

    Next was the Bushmills 21 which is another single malt, again from a different distillery, which is described as a "triple wood" finish to include maturation in a combination of refill bourbon and sherry barrels that is then married for 2 years in Madiera casks. When first opened it seemed a little closed. Now unfortunately it remains much the same. Even resting in the glass for 5-10 minutes doesn't seem to help. At 80 proof it is already a bit thin and a touch of water diodn't really seem to help. Maybe it is a bad bottle or maybe it has just gotten a little too much time in the barrel. Not sure but it was again a bit of a disappointment. May have to try the 16yo triple wood (with port pipes instead of Madiera in the finish) to see if that fares better although it too is a bit of a lightweight at 80 proof.

    For a bit of a change of pace we also tried the Greenore 18yo, a 90+ percent grain (corn) whiskey. Not as complex as the others, as has been the case with all the Greenore's (In fact I may have to try the 15 and 18 SBS as I seem to recall that I liked it better) but a moderately sweet and very easy to drink whiskey with a bit of a bourbon overtone given the refill bourbon cask aging.

    We did not include the Powers John's Lane or Yellow Spot here but I believe they would have been able to hold their own with any of these and of course the PJL is readily available and much more friendly on the poor old wallet!

    It would have now been nap time of course but last evening included dinner out to a local establishment where several cocktails were in order.

    Rather a long day!
    That yella whiskey runnin' down my throat like honey dew vine water and I took another slash…

    Nullum Gratuitum Prandium
    Ne Illegitimi Carborundum

  5. #15
    Guru
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    2,529

    Re: Wednesday Tastings!

    Another Wednesday, another selection of spirits. This week it featured Booker's with the 2013-6 (thanks to the kind assistance of a fellow SBer), 2013-7 and the 25th Anniversary bottles.

    Wednesday tastings 19MAR14.JPG

    But before we got to those we started with a couple of Armagnac's and a very old bottle of Cognac (not from age but rather originally purchased probably more than 20 years ago).

    The Armagnacs were the Chateau de Pellehaut 1996 Tenareze from K&L. This spirit was made from Folle Blanche grapes and bottled at 100.8 pf after aging for 17 years. This was a very nice brandy with a fair amount of spicey notes and a lot of whiskey character and barrel maturity that led to a fairly dry finish. A touch of water helped to further highlight the spicey notes and bring a touchy of fruit reminiscent of figs to the finish. It was paired against the Darroze 20yo Armagnac. Much more wood influence here despite only three additional years and less proof at 83pf. Some vanilla but a fair amount of oak that wanted to dominate a bit. Very much like an older bourbon but I didn't get as much fruit, spice or vanilla from this as the Pellehaut. Water just thinned it out without really improving it. The Pellehaut was the favorite here of all involved.

    We finished with a taste of Camus XO Cognac that was likely purchased in Hong Kong duty free in the late 80's or early 90's. It had been opened at some point, perhaps as far back as the purchase date and was only about half full. Looked to be a liter bottle that had no indication of original proof but was probably at or close to 80pf. Although the stopper seemed tight on tasting it seemed apparent that some of the alcohol had evaporated over time. Either that or it was remarkably "smooth" and honey sweet to the point of being almost too much. Don't know what it was supposed to taste like but I am guessing this is not it. A bit sad.

    But then we moved onto some bourbon to get things back on track!

    Jeff Ocean's.JPG

    First up was a comparison of Jeff Ocean I & II. They were also compared to a newly purchased bottle of Michter's 10yo Bourbon. First thing of note was that the Ocean II had dropped the word "Kentucky" from the label leading to immediate speculation that this was MGPI bourbon. Reportedly it was 7-8yo bourbon that then spent time on board a ship traveling the seven seas for an unknown number of months. This freshly opened bottle, while not bad, seemed singularly unremarkable. The Michter's 10 was a better bourbon that had a particular interesting herbal note and a good bit more depth and complexity than Ocean II. The Ocean I on the other hand was excellent and perhaps even better than I remember it, especially given it is low proof and presumably only four years of age. None of these bottles likely warranted their high prices but the Ocean I was the best of the three (and to me competed favorably with the Bookers as well). If the Ocean I were available with a bit more proof at $50 or so I would definitely consider buying it on a regular basis. The Ocean II would likely not be one I would buy again even at less than $50. And while the Michter's, whatever the heck the source is for this particular bottle, was very good it would not be something I would seek out again at $90+.

    Bookers.JPG

    With the preliminary rounds out of the way it was time for the main event! First up was a Booker's Roundtable 2013-6. Weighing in at 7y6m and 125.9 proof this one was surprisingly drinkable at proof and had tons of caramel on the nose and palate. Finish was long and satisfying. The presumed Roundtable II batch 2013-7 was an even 7yo with a proof of 128. It was actually tasted first and again had lots of nice caramel but had a bit more oak. A bit of water seemed to help this bottle where the 2013-6 didn't really need it as much. Everyone enjoyed it until they tried the 2013-6 which was felt by all to be the better of the two. We then capped off the evening with the 25th Anniversary bottling. At 10y3m and 130.8 pf it was everything that the 2013-6 was and more. Tons of caramel and vanilla, nicely integrated oaky characteristics and a pleasant touch of honey on top. Finish was again long with some nice red fruit influence. Very nice indeed. Is it worth the premium over the standard Booker's? Well I suppose it would depend on the particular bottle of Booker's you had. But I am happy I picked one up. Don't know if I will become a Booker's drinker in the future but the 25th Anniversary bottle was certainly an unexpected pleasant surprise! And the 2013-6 Roundtable batch was not too shabby either.

    And I didn't even need a nap! Well, not a long one...
    That yella whiskey runnin' down my throat like honey dew vine water and I took another slash…

    Nullum Gratuitum Prandium
    Ne Illegitimi Carborundum

  6. #16
    Connoisseur
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Commonwealth of Bourbon
    Posts
    939

    Re: Wednesday Tastings!

    Fantastic summarization (as I'm living vicariously through you guys)! Keep 'em coming!!

  7. #17
    Guru
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    2,529

    Re: Wednesday Tastings!

    Looks like the Wednesday tasting this week is going to have to be postponed due to some rather annoying work obligations. The current plan is to have a Friday tasting instead!

    May also have a brief report from the upcoming whiskey tasting sponsored by the Dekalb Bottle House on Thursday evening this week!

    If I remember to take some pictures.

    Or just remember anything at all...
    That yella whiskey runnin' down my throat like honey dew vine water and I took another slash…

    Nullum Gratuitum Prandium
    Ne Illegitimi Carborundum

  8. #18
    Virtuoso
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Northern CA
    Posts
    1,082

    Re: Wednesday Tastings!

    Thanks. Quite enjoying your tasting notes.

  9. #19
    Guru
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    2,529

    Re: Wednesday Tastings!

    Quote Originally Posted by tigerlam92 View Post
    Thanks. Quite enjoying your tasting notes.
    Thanks! Still hopeful we can do something this Friday but that is not yet confirmed.
    That yella whiskey runnin' down my throat like honey dew vine water and I took another slash…

    Nullum Gratuitum Prandium
    Ne Illegitimi Carborundum

  10. #20
    Guru
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    2,529

    Re: Wednesday Tastings!

    Quote Originally Posted by tanstaafl2 View Post
    Thanks! Still hopeful we can do something this Friday but that is not yet confirmed.
    Sadly the hoped for Friday tasting could not be worked out logistically. But there was the Thursday night whiskey tasting sponsored by the Dekalb Bottle House. I did run across a couple other SBers at the event. Nothing super fancy but lots of whiskey to try.

    I was somewhat impressed with the 13th Colony Southern Rye Whiskey despite my earlier difficulty in getting them to follow up with me about whether they had been sourcing bottles initially (I am still pretty sure they were). Now they claim to have their own make in the bottle which is a 96% rye mashbill that is apparently finished by putting honeycomb french oak staves in the barrel They do claim to be aging in full size American Oak barrels which seems to run counter to the website which says French Oak Barrels. But if they did that it couldn't be rye whiskey, right? They also say it is 4yo but I find that a bit hard to believe.

    I think this warrants a GBS investigative field trip to the distillery!

    They also make a bourbon and a corn whiskey which was there first product I believe. I didn't care much for the young bourbon and didn't get a chance to try the corn whiskey.

    There is also typically a bottle or two of "under the table" whiskey and the highlight was a Laddie Black Arts. It is a 23yo distilled in 1990 and of course everything else is supposed to be a bit of a mystery. Beautiful oily whiskey with sweet fruit notes on the front and middle of the palate with a finish that gets a bit more of a citrusy tartness and even a bit bitter in the end. Finish lingers and was right on that edge for me of being a little too much bitterness.

    Black Art 1.JPGBlack Art 2.JPG
    That yella whiskey runnin' down my throat like honey dew vine water and I took another slash…

    Nullum Gratuitum Prandium
    Ne Illegitimi Carborundum

 

 

Similar Threads

  1. Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout On Tap Wednesday
    By OscarV in forum Non-Whiskey Alcohol
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 08-26-2013, 17:49
  2. Anyone going to Wednesday's WhiskyLive in NYC?
    By mrviognier in forum General Bourbon Discussion
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 04-08-2012, 19:16

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Back to top