Friday, December 4, 2015

04-Dec: Elijah Craig 12-year-old (Small-Batch Bourbon)

This is day 4 of the Whisky Advent Calendar adventure. #WhiskyAdvent

Out of the 4 days so far, we've had 2 malt whiskies (one Japanese, one Scottish), one blended whisky (Scottish) and now one American whiskey (note the spelling!). BTW, the first post in this series has been permanently lost. If you read it, those photons are a collector's item.

The Elijah Craig small-batch bourbon (age: 12) is my kind of Bourbon, in that it's not super sweet. I have to admit not knowing much about Bourbon, other than that it's made from corn and must be aged in new oak barrels (charred oak barrels). I've tasted a number of Bourbons and some are sweet but to me this isn't a good thing. I like spices and Elijah Craig delivers. (It turns out that - and this is probably a tall tale - but the Reverend Elijah Craig, of what is now Kentucky but which used to be part of Virginia, allegedly discovered that aging whiskey in charred oak barrels gave a nice effect.)

The nose of this whisky is wonderfully woody, as you'd expect for a 12-year-old Bourbon, with some sweetness underneath layers of peppery spices. I did read the tasting notes at Master of Malt and this clearly demonstrates that I don't know jack about Bourbon. I am just not used to the tastes and smells it presents. However, with that said, I did enjoy it and I think I'd like some more, please.


Thursday, December 3, 2015

03-Dec: Great King Street (from Compass Box)

This is day 3 of the Whisky Advent Calendar adventure. #WhiskyAdvent

Today is the first day of this adventure wherein I am visiting a place I've already been (so to speak).

Compass Box's Great King Street Artist's Blend is one of my favorite blended Scotch whiskies that I have ever had. And you'll perhaps be surprised to hear that you can probably get a full-sized bottle for less than $40 -- no kidding.

The nose of this whisky is light, sweet and tangy, with notes of green apple and some light citrus (I thought I got Meyer lemon). It's got a smooth mouth feel and finish, and the bottle strength is a modest 43% ABV. The folks at Master of Malt give notes that describe the whisky as buttery and that's a good description of the texture. The expected Scotch wood notes and malt notes are present, of course. This is an excellent Scotch whisky.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

02-Dec: Miyagikyo (NAS)

This is day 2 of the Whisky Advent Calendar adventure.

To me this is a step down from yesterday's spectacular dram. This Miyagikyo non-age-statement (NAS) whisky is somewhat herbal and has an uncommon nose which I can't easily describe. It is almost certainly aged in Japanese oak which would account for the floral aspects.

At first I thought the nose was redolent of paint thinner but that's very unkind. It's just very different from what I'm used to. That is excellent though...drinking a different whisky every day and not having the freedom to choose it means each day is a chance to broaden my horizons.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Wonderful Shopping Discovery on the Road in Florida

I was in Sarasota, FL today checking out the extreme Halloween humidity (whoa...scary!) and the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens. Due to being on vacation, and having a need to acquire unique gifts, I was looking for a liquor store...ideally something different.

Boy, did I ever find it. I sure found it to be awesome. The VOM FASS store in Sarasota (and presumably elsewhere) lets you taste everything they sell.

Their whisky is all exclusive single-cask expressions and I had a blast tasting it, including some stuff that practically only exists in legend.
  • My favorite was the 13-year-old Laphroaig that was aged in Port Ellen casks. Whoa - was that amazing! It was a softer, brinier Laphroaig that retained the smoky awesomeness expected of the Laphroaig spirit.
  • I also had a really interesting Blair Athol 12-year-old that was really interesting, primarily because you don't see this single-malt on the shelves of many liquor stores. It was actually really good but since I had just had the Laphroaig it was difficult to really parse the flavors and aromas.
As I said, though, the amazing thing about this shopping experience was the unusual hybrid between a liquor store and a bar. Literally everything in the store can be tasted before it is purchased. They carry Armagnac, Cognac, Vinegar, Olive Oil, and (as you can tell from the above) Scotch and other whiskies (or whiskeys...they do carry American and Irish whiskey as well as Scotch whisky). They also have Rum, Absinthe and more.

If you are near a VOM FASS store, definitely check it out.

Friday, July 10, 2015

A Whisky Alphabet - "A"

I thought I'd see if I could think of as many whisky-related words as I could, for each letter of the alphabet. Because I'm writing it, my alphabet will be biased toward Scotch -- but followers are encouraged to show my extreme ignorance by commenting and adding to my lists. I'm just doing this for fun and because I think it would be neat thing to crowd-source a whisky alphabet.

  • Arran
  • Aberfeldy
  • Aberlour
  • Abhainn Dearg
  • Alba (means "Scotland" in Scottish Gaelic)
  • Angel's Share (a movie about whisky, sort-of, set in Scotland)
  • Ardbeg
  • Ardmore
  • Auchentoshan
  • Auchroisk
  • Aultmore

Mostly that list was distillery names but feel free to add names of processes, by-products, tools, etc.