Showing posts with label #waybehind. Show all posts
Showing posts with label #waybehind. Show all posts

Friday, December 25, 2015

20, 19, 18, 17 and 16: A Mixed Bag of #WhiskyAdvent

Well, I have to say that my drink-a-day plan went off the rails but whisky has an excellent shelf life. :-)

16-Dec: Balvenie 12-year-old Doublewood

A perennial favorite. One of my go-to single-malts. I really like this and it's got a great mix of wood notes (sherry, to be specific) and caramels and sweetness. A really well-balanced whisky. Love it!

17-Dec through 20-Dec:

  • Mackmyra Brukswhisky (The Swedish Whisky): I had really been looking forward to trying this but (and I don't say this very often) I honestly disliked this. Ouch. Tasted like turpentine. YMMV.

  • The Girvan (grain whisky distillery) Patent Still Proof Strength: Another miss. It's possible I had a mild cold but I just got nothing out of this whisky. Most grain whisky is light in flavor and intended to be the backbone of a blended Scotch -- not for its flavor but because it's an inexpensive way to get the alcohol and flavor is added by single-malt whisk(ies) in the blend.

  • The Lost Distilleries Blend (Batch 7): Again, I'll chalk this up to a mild cold, but I didn't really care for this whisky. The name sounds compelling and apparently if my nose and palate could have appreciated it, I would have enjoyed it:

  • Isle of Jura Elixir 12-year-old: This is not my favorite expression from Jura. That honor goes to Jura 10. This is not bad at all, but I'd describe it as "thin." It just doesn't have much in the way of structure.

Now I don't want to drink the rest of the whisky until I have a clear nose and mouth. I might be able to start them tonight. I really want to be able to enjoy them because the ones I haven't had yet are ones I really think I'll enjoy.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

10-Dec: Monkey Shoulder (Blended Malt Scotch)

Back to Scotland. This is a whisky that I already have (I think I mentioned I was a fan of Balvenie and other products from Wm. Grant & Sons). This whisky is a blended malt, one of the 5 currently defined types of Scotch whisky. Here they are:
  • Single-Malt
    • Malted barley whisky from a *single* distillery
  • Blended Malt
    • Malt whisky combined from multiple distilleries
  • Single-Grain
    • Grain whisky from a *single* distillery
  • Blended Grain
    • Grain whisky combined from multiple distilleries
  • Blended
    • Whisky combined from malt and grain, from multiple distilleries
The one common thread on all of the above categories is that they all have to be produced, aged and bottled in Scotland, and aged for at least 3 years in oak. There are more requirements (like on cask sizes...) and they aren't just a good idea, they're the law -- European Union Law, in fact.

This whisky has lots of malty notes, and I get berries on the nose. Given that this is a blended malt, the presence of malt notes is no surprise. It's very smooth and easy to drink. I have to say that I don't know of many blended malt Scotch whiskies (Johnnie Walker Green Label used to be one, before it was discontinued) but this is a really smooth whisky that's easy to drink, and easy to like.

09-Dec: Tullamore D.E.W. 12 year old (Special Reserve)

More #WhiskyAdvent action. This time, we visit Ireland. Some people assert that whisky originated in Ireland, others insist that it was invented by the Scots. I don't think we'll ever know, but we can all agree that Scotch whisky and Irish whiskey are both fine products (though they disagree on the spelling).

Let's get right down to this. The color is lovely: A nice creamy golden hue. The nose is very bright and floral, like citrus blossoms. The mouth feel is smooth and honestly I don't find it to be very interesting. There is no alcohol burn at all. That's because it's the legal minimum alcohol concentration to be called whisk(e)y. It's 40% ABV. So it looks good but in my opinion it's not very flavorful or complex.

There's a long way to go in December and variety, as "they" say, is the spice of life. I'm glad I tried this. (Note: I had really spicy Burmese food for dinner - it might have thrown off my taste buds.)


Trivia: The plural of whisky is whiskies. The plural of whiskey is whiskeys. Truth!

08-Dec: Balvenie Single Barrel Sherry Cask (15 year old)

It's ridiculously hard to catch up. I wish I hadn't fallen behind. :-( I will do 2 tonight. I will do 2 tonight.

The Balvenie is one of my favorite distilleries, family-owned by William Grant & Sons. I have had most of their range but not this one. It's close to what I'd expect from them...hazelnuts, dark fruit, caramel and lovely oak notes (vanilla, leather). I was so excited to try this that I totally didn't take a picture. Trust me, I drank it. :-)