By @Wodha on 15th Jan 2010, show post
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I'm drinking the last of my bottle of Writers' Tears. It lasted exactly one week in my house. The bottle is 700ml, and I drank maybe 100ml of that. It was shared among guests (who are all in our "bubble") last weekend, and I'm completely fine with it. The whiskey was on sale and that's one of the reasons I purchased it. What I didn't expect was how much I enjoyed it. I'm almost certain I'll buy another bottle before the end of this year. Review is forthcoming.
2 months ago 3Who liked this?
I decided to open my Tamdhu 15. It wasn't cheap at the KGBO.........but I can say that so far I regret NOTHING. Immaculately clean nose; not a hint of sulphur. There's an abundance of dried dark fruits, with the tobacco and leather aromas that are so hard to come by but that I love so much. At first nosing/tasting, this reminds me a bit of Glenfarclas 15 but with a bit more bass/deep tones. It's not quite as nutty (walnuts) as 'farclas 15 but the leather and tobacco more than make up for it.
2 months ago 5Who liked this?
@OdysseusUnbound - I think I have Tamdhu 15 on my wish list and your helping confirm that choice, thanks. Sounds lovely.
Glad you got a good bottle of Writer's Tears too. My first was delicious but the second was a big let down.
I had to go into the office for a few hours this afternoon. On the way home, I stopped by Westland distillery to taste a flight of their recent special releases;
First up was Garryana Edition 5. Garryana is a species of oak that only grows in the Pacific Northwest. Westland has been using this oak to make casks and age whiskey for several years now. I have previously owned a single cask of Garryana before the Garryana line was widely released. It was amazing. I haven't had much, if any, of Edition 1 - 4, so was anxious to try this one. While it was good, it was nothing special and my second to least favorite of the four that I tasted. It sure wasn't worth the $185 dollars they wanted for a bottle. Westland used some peated barley along with Washington Select Pale Malt barley, but I honestly could not tell there was peat at all. Nose: Sweet wood followed by waffles, cereal and chocolate. Palate: Spicy and savory, cacao butter, charred maple wood, and clove. Cask types: 1st Fill Ex-Bourbon Quercus alba (64%), Virgin Quercus garryana (36%). Grain bill: Washington Select Pale Malt, Bairds Heavily Peated Malt. Maturation time: 45 Months. 50% ABV.
The next two are part of their cask exchange series with local breweries.
Lucky Envelope. For this release they chose to fill the beer casks with their standard 5-malt spirit that ran through their stills immediately after a peated spirit run. The Imperial Stout that Lucky Envelope aged in ex-Westland casks had a prior life as Malbec wine casks. This one was the most surprising to me of the four. It had an amazing depth and complexity to it, but it wasn't overly influenced by the stout or the malbec. Maturation Time: 69 Months. 51.3% ABV. Nose: Dates, Danish butter cookie and jasmine. Palate: Crepe, dark chocolate and dried apricot.
Silver City. This wasn't bad. It just didn't do anything for me. It was my least favorite. The casks previously held Scotch ale. Maturation Time: 53–61 Months. Nose: Creamsicle, wort and waffle cone. Palate: Ovaltine, baked apple and dry pine.
Saved the best for last. Distillery only single cask #2631. Maturation Time: 66 Months. 57.9% ABV. Washington Select Pale Malt aged in a 1st-fill Oloroso Hogshead. Nose: Frappé, Baked Apple and nutty. Palate: Chocolate covered roasted almonds, Maple Candy and Raisin Sauce. This was my favorite. It was also the cheapest of the 4 bottles, so I purchased one. I'm very pleased to add this one to my cabinet.
After I got home, I made Black Manhattan's for my wife and I as our pre-dinner cocktails.
2 months ago 6Who liked this?
Hot Toddy with Lemon & Ginger Tea and Compass Box Asyla...
2 months ago 8Who liked this?
@YakLord John Glaser's desert island whisky.
2 months ago 2Who liked this?
Continuing my Irish Whiskey Cocktail Cocktail Blitz with 'The Book of Kells', which is a whiskey-forward Vieux Carre made with Irish Whiskey instead of Bourbon or Rye.
@Victor I'm a bit saddened that it's been archived by Compass Box, but my bottle is still 7/8 full, so it'll be on my shelf for a while yet...
Hi Everybody! I’m checking in. I’ve been ‘between contracts’ since March and have had to cut back on the expensive hobbies, which includes my beloved Single-Malts. I must admit I’ve lost a few pounds! LOL.
I’m glad the group here is trucking along, full steam ahead and damn the torpedos, etc.
As a distraction I’ve taken up watercolor painting. My old father tells me, ‘Once you start painting you’ll never look at the world the same’ and he’s right. I walk around outside in all kinds of weather thinking, ‘Look at that cloud!’ or ‘The water is dark!’
I can’t wait to soon grab a fine bottle of Scotch and head over to the nearby swamp with a blank canvas and try to ‘capture the moment’ to hang on my wall.
Here’s yesterday’s effort:
2 months ago 15Who liked this?
I was planning on doing a head-to-head of Elijah Craig Small Batch and the older Elijah Craig 12 Year Old with the age statement on the front (thanks again to @Nozinan for helping me secure the EC12), and I may still do it, but it won't be with this current bottle of EC Small Batch. I've opened it and I'm sipping it now, but I'm not quite ready to open what may be my last bottle ever of EC 12. It's silly, I know. EC 12 was/is a really solid bourbon, but it's not a once-in-a-lifetime unicorn....and yet I'm still a bit too sentimental to let it go. My last EC Small Batch was disappointing, and I'm hoping this one will be better.
@Wodha Very nice!
2 months ago 4Who liked this?
@OdysseusUnbound I'm still sitting on my EC12...not sure when it'll come up in my bourbon rotation, though, as I drink less bourbon than I do anything else.
@Wodha - always great to see you here! Love the painting! Well done!
Last night (Saturday), my wife and I had Jerry Thomas Manhattan’s before dinner.
I had a small dram of Ardbeg An Oa after dinner.
Tonight, I planned to make the Black Irish Coffee Manhattan that @YakLord posted recently, but Amazon hadn’t delivered the coffee bitters yet, so my wife and I had Black Manhattan’s. While drinking that, Amazon delivered the coffee bitters, so, of course, I had to make one for my wife and I. Thank you @YakLord, these are awesome. Creamy, not too much coffee and not too sweet. Perfectly balanced with coffee notes coming through in the finish. Another great Manhattan to add to our repertoire.
@bwmccoy Excellent! So glad you enjoyed them!
@OdysseusUnbound I'm glad that EC12 went to a better home. I wish I had another...then you wouldn't have to worry that the one you have would be your last one ever...
@Wodha Good to hear from you; after all, it is your thread, we've just been looking after it for you. The water colour is lovely, I'd love to see some more. Well done.
@BlueNote Thank you for your kind assessment. Cheers!
Last night, Royal Brackla SMWS 55.53 (12 year - Aug. 2006) "The Old Curiosity Shop" - Refill ex-bourbon hogshead - 59.3% ABV. Nearing the end of the bottle, this has been a roller coaster of change. When I first opened the bottle last November, it was a great example of the difference a few drops of water can make. It was like two different whiskies without and with water. In late winter / early spring, adding water made little to no difference and the flavor wasn't as vibrant as it once was. It was ok, but nothing special. Last night, it was tasting really good again. I didn't add water to see if that made any difference, but I was pleasantly surprised by how good it was again. I guess it is living up to it's name as a curiosity.
Small pour of Wiser's 22 YO port cask finished cask strength Canadian Whisky. The port is initially overwhelming, but I'm finding it's a nicely layered whisky. I first tried it in a mini-glencairn, tonight in a Canadian Glencairn (not really suited for my small pour), and next time in a regular Glencairn or Highland whisky glass.
Tonight I’m sipping from two bottles of Legacy; one a Wiser’s from 2011 (L11 196) and the other a J. P. Wiser’s from 2016 (L16 175).
The L11 version has been open for at least 7 years and sits at 1/3 fill. This bottle originally went missing or possibly was borrowed by my now 25 year old son when he was in high school. It made its way from my shelf to a neighbouring family’s house, then to the home of another known associate and yet to another location. I recently drank whisky with a number of my son’s friends, sharing about six of my current favourites with the boys. While we played billiards (until 5 AM) the host thanked me for “sponsoring” many of their get-togethers. He presented me with a long-ago opened bottle of Wiser’s Legacy claiming it was originally mine and it should be returned to its rightful owner. I declined.
The next day, very late in the day, I unpacked my Pelican case of goods and was surprised to see the 2011 released bottle of Legacy in the case. Our young host had slipped the bottle into the case while I was doing my best impression of Minnesota Fats.
Tonight I’m enjoying these two Legacys H2H. The older a bit thinner, not quite as chewy as the 2016, but maintaining its brightness. Definitely a resilient whisky and no worse for the wear... or should I say “where”?
2 months ago 7Who liked this?
Tonight, my wife and I attended a virtual GlenDronach tasting with the Seattle chapter of the Women Who Whiskey. In addition to tasting the 12, 15, 18 and 21 year old, we also had an Oloroso and a Pedro Ximenez sherry to compare to the whiskies since they are all aged in ex-sherry casks.
First up, Lustau Oloroso sherry. Dry profile. 20% ABV. Notes of white raisin, nutty and funky, umami mushrooms. The sweet nose gives way to a thin, very dry palate with a bitter finish. This was my favorite of the two sherries.
Next was Lustau Pedro Ximenez sherry. This sherry uses sun dried grapes. It is VERY sweet; Liquid raisins, raisin syrup. It was interesting how similar the noses were between the two sherries, but the palates could not be more different. This one was way too sweet for me.
Now to the Scotch. First up is the 12 year (Original). 43% ABV. I'm not a fan of the 12 year, but it tasted better tonight than my memory of the bottle that we owned a few months ago. The 12 year is a combination of both Oloroso and PX casks, but has more PX than Oloroso (we weren't given the ratio). Nose is sweet (honeycomb), vanilla and orange peel. Palate is creamy, fruity and spicy with a slightly oaky, dry, nutty finish.
15 year (Revival). 46% ABV. This is also a combination of both Oloroso and PX casks; again, no ratio, but it was said that it is more balanced between the two cask types. Nose has maraschino cherry, blackberry, dark chocolate, orange and walnuts. Palate is honey-glazed apricots, figs, manuka honey and dark chocolate.
18 year (Allardice). 46% ABV. This is exclusively Oloroso casks. Nose is tobacco, polished wood and slight smoke (no peat, assuming it is from the cask char). Palate is dark rum, dates and figs with a dry finish. I've always been a fan of the 18 year old and tonight did nothing to change that.
21 year (Parliament). 48% ABV. I'm not sure if I've had the 21 year before. Wow! This is gorgeous. It is big, bold, complex, chewy, meaty. Nose is mahogany, plum pudding and candied oranges. Palate is dark chocolate, cinnamon, nutmeg, figs and dates. As much as I love the 18, this is better and was my favorite of the night followed by the 18, then the 15 and then the 12. A fun, enjoyable tasting.
After dinner was still in the mood for sherry aged whisky, so I had a heavily peated Bunnahabhain SMWS 10.190 (6 year - Oct. 2013) "Make moine a devil!" from a second-fill ex-Oloroso Sherry butt - 61.1% ABV.
80's Black Label whilst listening to Buena Vista SC and Gipsy Kings. 40 years in a bottle ...
Seriously, when I twisted the cap I feared the worst but one sniff of the inside of it produced a grin I've not had from whisky since my Ardbeg 10 epiphany years back! The cleanest sherry, subtle grain, exquisite toffee, fudge and maple and a peaty nip that lingers on and on. Yes, the 40% shows but even so, this baby is ... words are currently failing me.
@bwmccoy Sounds like an amazing evening. I'm a big fan of Oloroso Sherry. I've only had 3 or 4 different brands, but I've liked them all (Hidalgo Faraon Oloroso is my favourite so far). Amontillado is really good too. Worth a bash if you've never tried it. Oloroso or Amontillado with a charcuterie board of sharp cheeses, briny olives, and cured meats is just heaven.
@OdysseusUnbound - Thanks for the heads up about the Hidalgo Faraon Oloroso as well as Amontillado sherry. I will keep my eye out for a chance to try both. I've had whisky finished in Amontillado casks, but have never had a chance to try it on its own.
Last night, thanks to a friend, I was able to try a really unique (in a good way) whiskey. My friend was recently at the Woodinville Whiskey distillery (a little NW of Seattle). I've been there several times before, but not recently. When I've been there in the past, they were pretty two dimensional in that they only had a Bourbon and a Rye. Both were very good, especially the Rye, but no reason to frequently visit (or so I thought) because they didn't have anything new or different. Obviously that has changed since my last visit.
Anyway, my friend gave me a sample of their 10 year anniversary bottling that is called Triple Barrel Blended Whiskey. It is their standard Double Barreled blended whiskey finished for an additional 3 months in an ex-Ardbeg cask. The double barrel starts with the same mash bill as their standard bourbon. It is Pot distilled and is bottled at 45.5% ABV. The first barrel is new oak that has been open air dried for 2 years, then toasted and lightly charred. It is then transferred into an ex-bourbon barrel for 3 years before finishing the last 3 months in the ex-Ardbeg cask. The nose and initial palate are typical sweet bourbon notes, but the Ardbeg influence really comes through in the finish. Interestingly, it is more BBQ smoke than peat. The Ardbeg influence balances out the sweetness of the bourbon. I really like how this turned out. While I didn't get any smoke or peat on the nose with the bourbon in the glass, after the empty glass sat on the coffee table for a few minutes, the whole room started smelling like peat smoke. It was a really cool experience.
After that, I finished with a dram of Kaiyo Whisky Japanese Mizunara Oak - 43% ABV.
Had a little Nikka FTB after the second JW and it tasted like anaemic banana juice in comparison. The richness of the JW was astounding.
Now having a Redbreast 12 CS. That's more like it but it still seems less full and more one dimensional (and more bananary, which I wouldn't normally get from those two). Similar clean vino notes though.
I feel I could put a big dent in the JW but it's a school night so ... Roll on the weekend!
I’m having some of my Heaven Hill Green Label 6 Year 90 proof. First impressions are quite good. If this really does sell for $15/bottle in the US, I’d probably have it in my cabinet on a regular basis. I may have to do a head to head with Elijah Craig Small Batch
@RianC, the current era version of JW Black is also quite rich. A very good whisky at any price, yet always affordable...batch variation does occur, that's what makes the good batches all the more enjoyable.
Thanks for sharing
@RianC I'm glad your vintage JW Black experience paid off, once again trying an old bottle of this is high on my list.
as @paddockjudge has said there are batch variations, in the last year & a half I've had quite a few different batches of JW Black with my brother and I've noticed a few had more pronounced smoke than usual and were really pleasant. This is so mass produced that it would be hard to track down exact batches again sadly but there's been a few that have tempted me.
@paddockjudge I believe it was Christopher Hitchens who said that JW Black Label was his favourite scotch, because he could find it in any bar he happened to enter.
Tonight I attend a Bruichladdich virtual tasting with the Seattle Whiskey Collective.
First up was the Port Charlotte 2010 OLC: 01. The Port Charlotte is aged for 8.5 years in mostly ex-bourbon casks before being finished in Oloroso casks for the last 18 months. 55.1% ABV. 40 ppm. Nose is earthy, toffee and honey. The palate has an oily mouthfeel with figs, orange, nutty, tobacco and pepper with a dry finish. This is really good!
Next up is Octomore 10 year. 208 ppm. Aged in ex-bourbon and virgin oak. 54.3% ABV. Nose is tropical fruit (citrus, pineapple and mango), vanilla and oak. The tropical fruit continues on the palate with additions of peach, apricot and coconut. This is unlike any Octomore that I have ever tasted. If I read these notes without tasting it, I would probably think I wouldn't like it, but it works really well.
Next was Octomore 11.1. 139.6 ppm. 100% American oak. 59.4% ABV. Nose is lemon, salt, toffee, astringent, honey and malt. Palate is lemon lime. Citrus, but not tropical. The palate starts off sweet, but is almost immediately replace with a spicy heat with a bonfire finish.
Finished with Octomore 11.3 194 ppm. 100% Islay, single farm barley from the Octomore farm. The nose is salty and briny. This is the most like other Octomore's that I have previously tasted and was the best of the night for me followed by OLC, ten year and 11.1. They were all really good, but the 11.1 was lacking something in my opinion.
Later, while playing on-line poker with my brother-in-law and friends, killed off my bottle of Ardbeg An Oa. 46.6% ABV.
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