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Tasting Notes: Springbank Cask Strength 12 Year Old

Cheers from Addis Ababa,

I managed to purchase a Springbank Cask Strength 12 year old ($62 duty free) from the Le Clos liquor shop in DXB Terminal 3.  They have a great selection of wines, cognacs, whiskies, etc., though nothing that’s Global Retail only.  But you’ve rarely seen such a well-appointed shop inside of an airport.  You can find it toward the juncture between Terminal 1 and Terminal 3 (and if you happen to be flying in or out of T1, you can just walk to the end past C35, up the escalators, and onward into T3).

ABV: 55.1%

Color: crimson gold.

Barrel: combination of first fill and refill sherry hogsheads.

Nose: bit of dark fruit, bit of toasted cinnamon bun, bit of sun-dried tomato, hint of fuscia; warming and welcoming.

Palate: bold yet balanced; quite alcoholic.  A splash of water is excellent for this one. Caramel flavours.  Banana nut bread.  Bit of earthy peat.  Light campfire smoke on mid-palate.  

Body: Velvety character to compliment the high-proof texture.

Finish: medium and tingly; candied nuts.

I love Springbank 15 and I love high-proof, peated, sherry bombs.  This is a balance between the two, and, naturally, I love it as well.  Perhaps not for everyone, but at $70 this would be a fixture on my shelf were I readily able to find it.  A nice digestif scotch.

Other opinions: 

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whiskycast:

WHISKYCAST HD: THE RICHARD PATERSON INTERVIEW (PART 2)

In Part 1 of Mark Gillespie’s interview with Whyte & Mackay Master Blender Richard Paterson, the man known as “The Nose” discussed his recent collaboration with Chef Daniel Boulud and his frustration with the current uncertainty over Whyte & Mackay’s future. In Part 2, he answers questions submitted by WhiskyCast listeners on chill-filtering, his eventual successor, and why he throws good whisky out on the carpet…just to clean a glass properly. 

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whiskycast:

WHISKYCAST HD: THE RICHARD PATERSON INTERVIEW (PART 1)

Whyte & Mackay Master Blender Richard Paterson is known as “The Nose”, and travels the world on behalf of The Dalmore, Jura, and Whyte & Mackay’s other Scotch whiskies. 

In Part 1 of this interview at the Victoria Whisky Festival on January 17, 2014, he discusses his recent partnership with noted chef Daniel Boulud and the current uncertainty facing Whyte & Mackay following Diageo’s acquisition of a controlling stake in its parent company, India’s United Spirits. Diageo has proposed splitting up Whyte & Mackay to satisfy the concerns of UK competition regulator…keeping the Dalmore and Tamnavulin distilleries in Scotland while selling the rest of the company. The Office of Fair Trading is considering Diageo’s proposal. 

In Part 2 of the interview with Richard Paterson, he answers questions submitted by WhiskyCast listeners.

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whiskyshelf:

New Holland Beer Barrel Bourbon. Having picked up a growler or two of Dragon’s Milk on occasion, I was excited to give this bourbon a go. Scent is sweet and rich, with sugar and a hint of vanilla. Kind of nose that fills the nostrils and makes you anticipate the first sip. Taste is even tempered, has a bread-like sweetness and some heaviness to it. Can definitely taste the beer barrel maturation. Very good stuff — if you like easy to drink bourbons that have a bit of sugar, give this a try. American bourbon. 8/10.

New Holland makes great beers. This would be an interesting one to try. More info here.

whiskyshelf:

New Holland Beer Barrel Bourbon. Having picked up a growler or two of Dragon’s Milk on occasion, I was excited to give this bourbon a go. Scent is sweet and rich, with sugar and a hint of vanilla. Kind of nose that fills the nostrils and makes you anticipate the first sip. Taste is even tempered, has a bread-like sweetness and some heaviness to it. Can definitely taste the beer barrel maturation. Very good stuff — if you like easy to drink bourbons that have a bit of sugar, give this a try. American bourbon. 8/10.

New Holland makes great beers. This would be an interesting one to try. More info here.

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whiskycast:

WHISKYCAST HD: REVIVING PENNSYLVANIA’S RYE WHISKEY HERITAGE AT DAD’S HAT

Pennsylvania was once the center of American whiskey distilling. John Cooper and Herman Michalik are trying to revive the Keystone State’s rye whiskey heritage with their Dad’s Hat Pennsylvania Rye Whiskey, distilled in an old woolen mill near the banks of the Delaware River in Bristol, Pennsylvania.

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Oakley and The Macallan’s “The Flask”

What’s jarring about requiring a facebook login on a tumblr blog to win a flask co-produced by Macallan and Oakley?

a.  Everything

b.  The jumping of the shark

c. A $1200 flask that doesn’t come with whisky

d. all of the above

fucking amateurs.

-StrongLikeCask

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Vicker Brothers South Carolina Backwoods Recipe: Tasting Notes

Much like the Violent Femmes, I like American music.  And of course, I like American Whiskey.   When I was sent the sample for Vicker Brothers, I was intrigued.  It’s not whiskey, though part of its mash bill (if you want to call it that) is corn.  Though I am not a huge fan of “flavoring” whiskies or spirits, the whole premise behind the spirit intrigued me.  Vicker Brothers make a spirit out of “cane and corn.”  They then patented the process by which they age that spirit.  This aging involves some combination of temperature, filtration, barrel and chip aging for 2 years, and adding the aforementioned “honey mixture.” 

The company seems scrappy - like they’re putting out product against all odds.  And I like American music.  I like American whiskey.  And I like American scrappiness

Vicker Brothers South Carolina Backwoods Recipe

ABV: 45%

Legs: Large, slow, somewhat sloppy

Color: Translucent gold

Nose: icing, stone fruit, some antiseptic notes

Palate: Initially very light - there is a gentle honeyed sweetness that sits on the tongue before being taken over by the finish.  There is also some acetone flavor in there.

Finish: Long and spicy.  you do get the honeyed sweetness still, but in general there’s more spice.  It reminds me of rye.

Overall: This is a really interesting spirit.  I want to call it sweet, but it has too much spice on the end to do that.  It is extremely reminiscent of whiskey, but one that is both simple (the flavors are simple), and one that is complex (the timing of the different opposing sweet and spicy flavors is crazy).   I would recommend it - worth a try for sure.   It lives up to the “smooth” claim, and does bely its 2 years of aging.

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For a good time, make it Suntory time. 

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Weller 107.  Captivating, and fit the amount of birthday money I had left to spend.  I like venturing into the world of 40+%, and this really works, particularly iced a bit.  Compares favorably with WT101, which I like for another set of reasons.

Weller 107.  Captivating, and fit the amount of birthday money I had left to spend.  I like venturing into the world of 40+%, and this really works, particularly iced a bit.  Compares favorably with WT101, which I like for another set of reasons.

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At Ruth’s Chris for a company dinner.  They have an Oban 15!  Must be the shit. 


You would think that a chain steakhouse would both know their selection and be able to spell Nadurra.

At Ruth’s Chris for a company dinner. They have an Oban 15! Must be the shit.


You would think that a chain steakhouse would both know their selection and be able to spell Nadurra.

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Laphroaig 20 (SMWS 29.104): Tasting Notes and Review

Laphroaig 20 (SMWS 29.104), or Not for wee boys

Distilled October 1990, Price of $140

ABV: 58.2%

Cask: Refill sherry butt

Color: A gold that wouldn’t have made me guess it was refill sherry

Nose: Lemon and light dark fruits with grain.  A nice sherry with only a slight hint at a Laphroaig iodine

Taste: like the nose promises, this is sweet.  There’s definitely smoke that surrounds it, but it’s a nice sweet grain with a bit of sharpness to finish

Overall: This is a Laphroaig that hits more at the beginning than at the end.  I always love sherried Laphroaigs, but this honestly tastes more lik e a refill barrel with only a hint of a sherry.  You taste the grain and the Laphroaig here, uncomplicated from the sherry, but a lot more going on than the standard bottlings.  Nice job, SMWSA 

Official Tasting Note:

A big nose with lots going on. Carbolic soap, sticking plasters, treacle, hot smoked salmon, burnt heather and liquorice root added to the anticipation.  Then a youthful woody spiciness together with jerk chicken sauce (rosemary, thyme, cloves, honey). The palate was massive with concentrated flavours and bitter woodiness.  Water brought out prunes, raisins, lemon juice and old campfires.  A musky aroma accompanied some lighter floral notes.  A brief hint of struck matches to taste gave way to tannins, burnt heather, liquorice sticks and lots of sweetness.  It benefitted from some water to calm it down.  Of the three Kildalton distilleries, this is the one closest to Port Ellen.


Thanks to SMWSA for the samples

-StrongLikeCask

 

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First glass out of my Van Winkle 12 year old. One ice cube.

First glass out of my Van Winkle 12 year old. One ice cube.

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