Tuesday, 17 February 2015

King Car Conductor Whisky

King Car Conductor Whisky

Official bottling
Single malt - North Taiwan
Orange, tinge of gold
46% ABV
Dram

Nose: Golden syrup, oats, pears, mango, cardamom, red grapes, hints of smoke.
Mouthfeel: Medium body, thickens slightly, static, slippery.
Tasting: Sweet salty. Toast, oats, golden syrup, red grapes, cardamom, cinnamon, mango, hints of chillies.
Finish: Long. Mango, cardamom, red grapes, chillies.

Comments:

A malt from Kavalan, bottled under the parent company's name for some reason. No, I don't know why. But it's pretty good whisky, toasty, cereally and sweet, with a hint of smoke, and just enough oriental spice to remind me that it's not scotch. Not sherry casked, but seems to have heaps of red grapey sherry notes. Mmmm.

Verdict:

I like this.


Friday, 13 February 2015

Tin Cup Whiskey

Tin Cup Whiskey

Official bottling
Single rye - Colorado
Amber
42% ABV
Dram

Nose: Raisins, grass, lemongrass, orange peel, apples, honey.
Mouthfeel: Light body, thickens slightly, static, warming.
Tasting: Sweet salty. Raisins, grass, apples, honey, dates, salt caramel.
Finish: Medium. Salt caramel, dates, orange peel, apples.

Comments:

I don't really think the kerfuffle over sourced bourbons is really that serious. OK, it's marketing fluff, and maybe false advertising, but in this age of information freedom it's pretty easy to figure out where a spirit was distilled. This one was distilled in MGP in Indiana, but diluted with Colorado water by Stranahan's. So not really Colorado, but good whisky is good whisky wherever it's made. And this one isn't too bad. Salty sweet with fruity overtones, simple, young and tasty.

Verdict:

I like this.


Booker's True Barrel Bourbon

Booker's True Barrel Bourbon

Official bottling
Single bourbon - Kentucky
Copper orange
64% ABV
Dram

Nose: Prunes, ginger, raisins, apples, toffee, hints of roses. With water, vanilla, cream crackers, chocolate.
Mouthfeel: Light body, astringent, thickens slightly, tingly.
Tasting: Sweet. Prunes, raisins, dried apple rings, toffee, orange peel, hints of chillies. With water, slightly bitter, vanilla, dark chocolate.
Finish: Medium. Cream crackers, raisins, ginger, orange peel.

Comments:

Oof! The angels didn't take much of this one, or perhaps they didn't get a chance. It's 6 to 8 years old, which means they either have poor records or it's a blend of a couple of barrels. It's fruity and slightly rancio, with a dry biscuity finish With water it opens up, becomes bitter, reminds me of a really good single estate dark chocolate, perhaps from Latin America. There's not much of this bourbon around, and I understand why.

Verdict:

I like this a lot.


Monday, 9 February 2015

John J. Bowman Single Barrel

John J. Bowman Single Barrel

Official bottling
Single bourbon - Virginia
Dark amber
50% ABV
Dram

Nose: Soy sauce, honey, golden syrup, red grapes, blackcurrants, chillies.
Mouthfeel: Medium body, expands, turns watery, slippery.
Tasting: Bitter sweet. Soy sauce, honey, blackcurrants, red grapes, apples, raisins, hints of brown paper.
Finish: Long. Chillies, blackcurrants, red grapes, apples.

Comments:

Sinful, dark and sweet. This is spicy and slightly salty on the nose, and on the tongue it turns fruity and fragrant. It has a really unctuous mouthfeel as well, which I can't really put into words. Smooth but not oily, mouthfilling but not mouthcoating? This is delicious bourbon. I expect great things of A. Smith Bowman distilleries, and I can't wait to try more of their output.

Verdict:

I like this a lot.


Evan Williams Single Barrel 10 yo 2003/2013

Evan Williams Single Barrel 10 yo 2003/2013

Official bottling
Single bourbon - Kentucky
Amber
43.3% ABV
Dram

Nose: White grapes, yoghurt, grilled pork, cola nut, vanilla custard, hints of pears.
Mouthfeel: Light body, airy, fizzy, expands.
Tasting: Sour. Limes, white grapes, vanilla custard, cola nut, pears, hints of lemon zest.
Finish: Long. Limes, lemon zest, white grapes, pears.

Comments:

Something nice and meaty on the nose, that disappears on the tongue. In fact once left to stand a little while, that meatiness disappears, to be replaced by fizzy cola, limes, pears and vanilla. Quite a sour whisky too, reminds me of a verjuice cocktail. Shame about the disappearing barbecue at the beginning.

Verdict:

I like this.


Rocktown Young Bourbon

Rocktown Young Bourbon

Official bottling
Single bourbon - Arkansas
Amber
46% ABV
Dram

Nose: Bananas, honey, toast, rope, coconut, milk, hints of cream.
Mouthfeel: Medium body, thickens, astringent, viscous.
Tasting: Sweet sour . Honey, toast, pineapples, coconut, milk, hints of rubber bands.
Finish: Medium. Toast, rubber bands, pineapples, milk.

Comments:

Boy, they weren't kidding when they said this one was young. It's only been aged about 8 months apparently, which barely qualifies it to be whisky. But my guess is that the warmer climate made it age a bit faster, and take on some more colour. It's simple and fruity, with something sulphury and rubbery at the finish (rubber bands - yes, I chewed rubber bands when I was a child...). For all that it's not unpleasant. No, in fact it's quite pleasant indeed.

Verdict:

I like this.


Friday, 6 February 2015

SMWS 44.63 (Craigellachie 15 yo 1999/2015)

SMWS 44.63 (Craigellachie 15 yo 1999/2015)

2015, SMWS
Single grain - Speyside
White wine
55.4% ABV
Dram

Nose: Vanilla, apricots, prunes, orange peel, white pepper, hints of strawberry yoghurt. With water, more sour, green papaya, lemon zest.
Mouthfeel: Light body, static, slippery, slightly watery around the edges.
Tasting: Sweet sour. Peaches, apricots, prunes, pears, vanilla, white pepper. With water, vanilla, lemon zest, orange juice, more pears.
Finish: Medium. White pepper, pears, peaches, apricots.

Comments:

Fruity, peppery, and some very slight hints of rancio that remind me of good strawberry yoghurt. With water it opens up, becoming more tart, lots of lemon zest and even pickled papaya. I didn't feel that this was aged enough - fruit is all very well but it's a bit one dimensional. That doesn't really come out from the tasting notes, but it was harder work than usual. Still, good whisky.

Verdict:

I like this.

SMWS G3.8 (Caledonian 35 yo 1979/2015)

SMWS G3.8 (Caledonian 35 yo 1979/2015)

2015, SMWS
Single grain - Lowlands
Golden
53.9% ABV
Dram

Nose: Vanilla, figs, peaches, cookie dough, dates, honey, hints of burnt toast. With water, lemon zest, tomatoes.
Mouthfeel: Heavy body, chunky, viscous, oily.
Tasting: Sweet. Butter, toast, figs, peaches, vanilla, dates, brown paper, hints of celery. With water, lemon zest, roses, hints of tomatoes.
Finish: Medium. Burnt toast, peaches, honey, dates.

Comments:

Oooh, old Caledonian. Starts out very sweet, neat, with nice vanilla notes, redolent with honey and fruits. With water though, it becomes tarter, lemony, even a nice sour tomato hint. This is brilliant grain whisky, much less vanilla-laden than normal.

Verdict:

I like this a lot.


Wednesday, 4 February 2015

FEW Bourbon

FEW Bourbon

Official bottling
Single bourbon - Illinois
Amber rose
46.5% ABV
Dram

Nose: Strawberry yoghurt, golden syrup, butterscotch, bananas, orange juice, hints of watermelon.
Mouthfeel: Medium body, sticky, static, warming.
Tasting: Sweet. Strawberry yoghurt, watermelons, orange juice, golden syrup, butter, hints of white grapes.
Finish: Short. Butterscotch, white grapes, watermelons, brown paper.

Comments:

Sweet and milky, nice tangy hints of watermelon shot through the whisky. This is craft bourbon from Illinois, another testament to the good work being done by distillers throughout the USA. No age statement, tastes fairly young, but even in that short time it's aged very well. Yum.

Verdict:

I like this.


Pappy Van Winkle 15 yo Family Reserve

Pappy Van Winkle 15 yo Family Reserve

Official bottling
Single bourbon - Kentucky
Amber
53.5% ABV
Dram

Nose: Bananas, oats, popcorn, maple syrup, vanilla, hints of pears. With water, blackcurrants, raisins.
Mouthfeel: Medium body, thickens, mouth coating.
Tasting: Sweet. Oats, popcorn, ink, maple syrup, vanilla, pears, hints of magic marker. With water, sweeter, blackcurrants, strawberries.
Finish: Long. Chillies, popcorn, maple syrup, bananas, magic marker.

Comments:

This is expensive bourbon. The Pappy van Winkle brand seems to command a 100% markup in comparison to other bourbons, and people still order double shots. For me, I... well, I don't really see what the fuss is about. It's tasty stuff for sure, sweet and nutty, like Crunchy Nut cereal, with estery pears. But it's not overly complex and, while it's good bourbon, it's not fantastic.

Verdict:

I like this.

 

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