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RikS started a discussion

So, whats the story behind this one then? A truly amazing world class dram at $30…?

gearpatrol.com/2019/03/…

...Or another Aldi situation of the BEST whisky in the WORLD! (In category blends, under 10 years old, sold in supermarkets, with blue etiquettes... shhh)

about one month ago

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Replies: page 1/2

@cricklewood
cricklewood replied

@RikS this is actually a really good whisky. This is one of those value bourbons brands that is apt to either disappear or rise on price in the next few years, kind of like Weller 107 or OGD114

30 days ago 1Who liked this?

@OdysseusUnbound

@RikS I like Fred Minnick, but I read the article he wrote for Forbes and my main gripe is this:

  • Fred asserts that the whiskies tasted at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition are tasted blind...BUT the tasters are told what type of whisky they’re tasting (Scotch-including regional designation-, Irish Single Pot Still, Straight Bourbon, etc.), the age (if stated on the label), the proof, and the Cask type. So really and truly, the only thing they don’t know is the brand name. And I mean, I don’t know about you but I’m not aware of that many Barrel Strength 7 year old bourbons bottled at 117 proof. So while the judges weren’t told they were tasting Old Ezra Barrel Strength 7 Year Old, it would probably be fairly obvious to expert tasters. Blind tastings indeed. Further proof of bias in the Forbes article is Fred’s assertion that he “always picks a bourbon” for best overall whiskey. Now maybe his preference really is for bourbon. It makes sense. But if he were to do a truly blind tasting, might the result be different? Who knows?

30 days ago 2Who liked this?

@Nock
Nock replied

I have tried a number of bottles of this stuff (all single barrel mind you) and for the life of me I can't understand this. It feels like the Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye debacle all over again. If this is your bourbon then more power to you. I will happily step aside.

The bourbon madness is only getting worse. You will struggle to find Blanton's, Eagle Rare, or Buffalo Trace in Virginia. And even if you manage to find it they have now imposed a "one bottle per customer per day" rule. Insanity. In the last 5 or 6 stores I have been in they clerk has announced to me (without any provocation) that they are out of Blanton's, Buffalo Trace, Eagle Rare, and Elmer T. Lee. My guess is that anyone who stares at the bourbon selection without immediately grabbing a bottle has asked them about one of those bottles. I just smile and nod. Why bother telling them that I have no interest in the mild side of bourbon?

28 days ago 3Who liked this?

@Victor
Victor replied

Henry T. McKenna 10 has a number of fans. I am not one of them. I've tried about five of these, of which I liked one of them a lot. The other four I actively disliked. That is a high percentage of dislike. The only Henry T. McKenna I have ever owned is a bottle given to me of the NAS 40% ABV mass batch stuff. It is just adequate no frills bourbon, but I still like it better than 80% of the Henry T McKenna 10 yo bottles from which I have sampled. I know that my taste, or at least my experience, in this matter, differs violently from quite a few bourbon drinkers.

As is often the case, I see this whiskey similarly to the way that @Nock does.

@Nock, that allocation of everything which Buffalo Trace produces has been going on for about 5 years now. How is it that the Virginia folk are expecting to find it in stores, absent some special distribution event or an act of God fluke?

28 days ago 1Who liked this?

RikS replied

@Victor that's OK. I fear my taste differs from most bourbon drinkers.... But I'm working on it, ever so slowly

28 days ago 1Who liked this?

@Victor
Victor replied

@RikS are you saying that you like Henry T. McKenna or that you do not like it? If you are liking one that tastes like that one in five I had, then I am with you in liking it! These are single barrels. They do differ one from another. If a panel judged one to be best bourbon or best whisk(e)y in the world the odds of your having a bottle which is the same as what they sampled are about 0.1 %.

Some of them are very good, no doubt, but I do not trust them, based upon my tasting experience with them.

28 days ago 1Who liked this?

RikS replied

@Victor no, I meant that I'm generally struggling a bit still with bourbon. The corn sweetness (if I can call it such) just doesn't seem to agree with me.

28 days ago 1Who liked this?

@Victor
Victor replied

@RikS that sweetness is from new oak maturation. Drink some unaged corn spirit, like, say Georgia Moon, and you will see that it is not sweet.

Not everybody likes new oak flavours. In bourbon new oak flavours are generally thought of by the big US distillers as contributing 50% of the flavour content, with 25% from the grain, and 25% from the yeast used.

Bourbon is variable in sweet component. The bourbons which have a strong balance from rye and/or wood spice to the sweetness usually work better. Conversely wheated bourbons usually highlight the sweet component. The idolatry of Van Winkle bourbons is an idolatry centered around a sweet flavour profile. Bourbon is like anything else: you don't really know it until you have experienced a few of the better examples of it.

There are a lot of great bourbons, but, as I am fond of saying, bourbon is not my favourite genre of whisky, nor even my second favourite. My top favourites are mostly US (and some Canadian) ryes and the best of the barley-malts. .

28 days ago 2Who liked this?

@Nozinan
Nozinan replied

My favourite whisky is GOOD whisky

I started out with single malts and so my collection is heavy on that score, but I really enjoy some of the good examples of bourbons and Canadians (and occasional US ryes).

What I reach for will depend on my mood and the circumstances.

As @Paddockjudge says, good whisky shared among friends can become legend.

28 days ago 3Who liked this?

@Nock
Nock replied

@Victor nice (and unsurprising as ever) to know that our tastes are aligned in this matter. I can't remember how many bottles of Henry T. McKenna 10yo BB I have tried, but not a one has ever prompted me to buy a bottle. I have sipped it at friends' homes and nodded politely. Bottled in Bond, nice; 10 years old, even better; 50% . . . acceptable. And a bottle of this for $34.99 plus tax is acceptable. However, I would much rather pick up Old Grand Dad 114 which is still on our VA shelves at $26.99, or go even bigger for Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve 120 Proof which is often on sale at $43.99. Both are far superior (in my opinion) than Henry T. McKenna.

I would say that things only really got crazy in Virginia this past fall. One year ago you could still go into a store in my area and easily find Blanton's, Eagle Rare 10yo, Buffalo Trace, and Henry T. McKenna. The only one that has been a problem is Elmer T. Lee.

But something this fall has caused the bottom to fall out for Bourbon hunters. And now madness has descended. People are buying with abandon. I want to imagine that people are sitting on a bunker of 30 bottles of Blanton's a feeling smug about it. More power to them.

Not to overly brag, but I am a high functioning whisk(e)y hunter. Part of the reason is that I have been doing it for many years now. So the blood lust doesn't run as hot in my veins. It is hard, but I can now allow choice bottles to slip through my fingers with little regret. My bunker is fine.

26 days ago 3Who liked this?

@paddockjudge
paddockjudge replied

@Nock, I admire your restraint when whisk(e)y hunting as well as your keen skills. I recall the bottle of Old Pulteney 17 YO you found with the "square-shaped" age emblem, that was cool.

Geographic isolation and a government run monopoly bent on constricting selection keeps me constantly on the prowl and somewhat of a nuisance for friends in markets with a better selection. I'm always itching for a trade/barter/buy. Recently I've been making a concerted effort to focus on a few favourites while trying to avoid casting a wide net.

26 days ago 3Who liked this?

@Nozinan
Nozinan replied

@paddockjudge I blame Connosr

Without this site I would have been happy to have 6 bottles and replace as needed. Those bottles would have been replaceable.

I would never have heard o BTAC, Laimrig, Amrut single casks, etc.... (well, maybe Amrut).

26 days ago 3Who liked this?

@Victor
Victor replied

@Nock yes your bunker is just fine. I've had a peek at it.

The @paddockjudge's bunker looks fine, too, from the pictures I've seen of it.

26 days ago 2Who liked this?

@Nozinan
Nozinan replied

@Victor My bunker doesn't look fine at all. But it should pick up a bit once the foundation is repaired and I can put all the stuff back in the two rooms we had to evacuate due to a "little flood".

It could have been worse. It was clean water, not Lambertus.

26 days ago 3Who liked this?

@Nock
Nock replied

@paddockjudge I was able to date that bottle of Old Pulteney 17yo to 2011. This was done mostly with pictures of various bottles over the years. It clearly is not the most recent bottle. You would think it is impossible for a bottle to hang out on a shelf for 7 or 8 years . . . but they do.

I don't claim my bottle dating of Old Pulteney is precise as my Ardbeg dating, but here is the laser code from the bottle I bought in 2018 while in Inverness, Scotland in March of 2018.

Old Pulteney 17yo 46% L17/301 R17/5392 IB 13:13

And here is the code from the bottle you watch saw me buy:

Old Pulteney 17yo 46% L11-137-1B-R11/5083-08:15

So if all my speculation is correct that would put this bottled on the 137th day of 2011.

What is also interesting is that the L11 bottle liquid is much lighter than the L17. It might indicate less sherry influence but who knows?

26 days ago 1Who liked this?

@paddockjudge
paddockjudge replied

@Nock, The Old Pulteney bottles in my possession marked "UNCHILL-FILTERED" on the back label do not indicate natural colour. I suspect they might be coloured. These include 21 YO L12 144, 21 YO L16 142, and 17 YO L16 218. This 17 Y0 appears to be a ever so slightly lighter in colour than the two 21 YO. A bottle of 12 Y0 L14 xxx is ever so slightly lighter than the 17 YO, of course there is no mention of either colour or filtering.

25 days ago 1Who liked this?

RikS replied

@paddockjudge I recall now that I see this post that this was something that perplexed me... what is unchill-filtered? Grammatically speaking, are we to understand that they are indeed filtered, but not at chill / low temperature (i.e. "unchill", which is a rather peculiar word) ? Or, is it a way of saying that they are not filtered (with the "chill filtration" being the one people are sensitive about)?

I presume that most whisky is filtered (but not all is cooled down for chill filtration)... except for a few bottles I've seen with somewhat psychedelic residue dancing around in the bottom...

25 days ago 3Who liked this?

@paddockjudge
paddockjudge replied

@RikS, all I can say with certainty to your filtration query is, yep.

Chill filtration removes "oils". I have bottles of "unchill-filtered" and not at all filtered single malts that have sediment in the bottom of the bottles. I suspect this is some form of ester or oil that has not been removed from the whisky. The shape is similar to a an extra-fine pencil lead while being rounded at each end. The length is perhaps a millimeter or three and they are white in coulour. I have unopened bottles of Macallan Cask Strength and Old Pulteney 21 Y0 with this sediment visible. I've tried to capture these from open bottles without success. They have managed to survive in a glass when poured from the heel of a bottle, but quickly disappear when touched. I've not experienced much in the way of cloudiness with whisky, other than a wee bit of a dram left to rest at the bottom of a glass overnight.

25 days ago 1Who liked this?

@Nozinan
Nozinan replied

@paddockjudge Yes, that crystalline sediment that disappears when you touch it. I saw this when I decanted my recent A'Bunadh batch 49.

25 days ago 2Who liked this?

@paddockjudge
paddockjudge replied

@Nozinan, great quote from @RikS, "somewhat psychedelic residue dancing around in the bottom."

25 days ago 2Who liked this?

@Nock
Nock replied

@paddockjudge Thanks for the bottle codes. Do those "L12" numbers correspond in any way to the time you purchased them? Because that would mean your 21yo is from 2012 which would be cool.

My bottle of 21yo has an L13 in the bottle code. I believe you tried it with anyone at the table at MAD's house. I believe we all agreed that my bottle was underwhelming. Is that your memory?

25 days ago 0

@paddockjudge
paddockjudge replied

@Nock, two bottles of 21 YO L12 were purchased in 2013 in New Brunswick or $130 CDN. I enjoyed the one I opened. I have the ability (on the right day) to enjoy a subtle whisky and pull from it many characteristics that most others cannot. Perhaps that is why I sometimes struggle with BIG and or oil field whiskies; I can be overwhelmed. Thinking back to the Maryland Sessions, I enjoyed that Pulteney, but it didn't rock my world. The purchase of my 12 YO L14 OP was made in 2014, after the date on the bottle..

25 days ago 0

RikS replied

A QUESTION TO THE EXPERTS -

Not rarely I enjoy a dram in the evening, and then leave / forget the glass by my desk - only to find the morning after that the nose (from the glass) is really strong and very clear and easy to 'pick apart' so to speak. Actually, much easier than nosing from the liquid. So -

  1. anyone else experience the same?
  2. do you think that the nose, however, retains all its complexity when 'dry'
  3. could this be a 'good way' to help novices develop their nose, or at least get a clearer impression of the typical, though maybe less complex, nose-variations...

21 days ago 2Who liked this?

@RianC
RianC replied

@RikS - I love leaving my glass to see how it smells once the liquid has all evaporated - bit of a pain to clean though smile

I think it tells you a lot about the texture of the whisky and the quality of the wood used. It can also leave a very concentrated experience of the nose which I really like. Cask strength peaty whiskys seem to work best or NCF sherried ones.

20 days ago 1Who liked this?

@RianC
RianC replied

@RianC - Reading that back I should stress that I in no way see myself as an expert on whisky . . . or anything else for that matter smile although there are definitely things I would love to be an expert at!

20 days ago 0

@Nozinan
Nozinan replied

@RikS I often find the empty glass smell very different from the whisky itself.

I remember covering an empty glass that had held Caol Ila CS and really enjoying the smell for a couple of days. Then my wife took it and washed it!

20 days ago 3Who liked this?

RikS replied

@Nozinan ...and then people have the audacity to say that whisky ethusiasts are an odd bunch!? I mean, who doesn't go around smelling an empty glass for a few days! laughing

20 days ago 2Who liked this?

@OdysseusUnbound

@RikS My wife is incredibly freaked out that I accept samples from "strangers". She thinks it even weirder that I accept or would prefer to drink something labeled "mystery sample".

20 days ago 7Who liked this?

@Hewie
Hewie replied

@RikS I agree with @Nozinan that in my experience, while the glass "the morning after" smells delightful, it is not representative of the actual smell of the whisky itself. @RianC hit it on the head saying it'sa good way to evaluate cask (wood) quality. I think that after all the volatile compounds have evaporated what remains is primarily the non volatile components such as those extracted from the wood and peat (if used). It id certainly something I do on a regular basis - and eventhe glass from a 'light', Bourbon cask aged whisky smells great.

20 days ago 3Who liked this?

@Nozinan
Nozinan replied

@OdysseusUnbound The first time I received a sample from a stranger (it was my first face to face with a Connosr member), I left a note next to the half-empty vial to explain where the sample came from and how to identify the person who gave it to me. It would have been a great help to the police. It didn't make me any happier that the whisky tasted "off". The second tasting from that sample was a bit better. That was Forty Creek John's Private cask #1, a sample given to me so I could taste what was in the bottle that I was trading away and had never tried. I have not tasted it since, and always wonder what it would be like now that my palate is more mature...

I don't feel bad about those precautions because the person I met recalled being warned about me because of some of my "strong" views on moderate use of alcohol and my handle, which is the brand name for a medication which while most commonly used now in palliative care, used to be primarily used as an antipsychotic...

20 days ago 3Who liked this?

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