Review – Lagavulin 16 yo. Single Malt Whisky

The Lagavulin 16 yo. single malt is all heat, spice and everything nice. The first sensation on the nose is a distinctly peaty aroma. This earthy smell is followed by notes of spice like cumin, cinnamon and anise that tickle the nose amid notes of magnolia blossoms and some pine sap. My wife tells me…

Review – Glenmorangie “Extremely Rare” 18 yo. Scotch Whisky

  I have sipped this whisky over the course of a year, and dram after dram it provides ample floral notes of magnolia and rose water intermingled with hints of vanilla and caramel.  The flavor profile is sophisticated as one subtle flavor yields to another with each sip.  At first sip, the palate is bathed…

Johnnie Walker Green Label 15 yo., $50

Composed of a proprietary mixture of some of the finest single malts around (Talisker, Linkwood, Cragganmore, and Coal Ila) with no grain alcohol added (technically making it a blended malt), JW Green represents a divergence from the label’s typical blended whiskies.  JW Green is a beauty of a dram, suitable for a slot on the…

Maker’s Mark Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, $20

This is one of the rare small-batch Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskeys with proven mass-market appeal.  Unlike the other big players of bourbon, there is an artisan quality to this one that brings a bit of uniqueness to what is still a consistent product between casks. The aroma is of sherry wine, maple sugar, and vanilla.  What…

Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, $20

Behind the veil of grain and rye the whiskey smells of clover, allspice, vanilla, and maple syrup.  On the tongue it’s predominately a sweet drink, though the aromas from the nose are repeated.  It’s surprisingly smooth and silky and the flavors linger nicely, with the added benefit of mellowing into a golden raisin flavor profile.  Go…

Basil Hayden’s Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey,$40

The nose smells lightly of construction paper, grain, golden apple, and vanilla.  On my second pass I notice a whimsical even buttery floral component, perhaps Jasmine.  The taste of this whiskey is reminiscent of fresh mint and mandarin oranges coming together to elevate the traditional maple syrup notes of a fine Bourbon.  The texture is…

Jim Beam White, $10

  The bottle crows “the world’s finest bourbon.” Since this is only the second bourbon I’ve reviewed, the smart money would bet that I don’t have enough experience to dispute such a claim.  Dead wrong. Unfortunately my first Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey was Evan Williams Black, a staggeringly complex drink for the price.  Jim Beam…

Laphroaig 10 yo., $35

If you’re use to drinking the seductively sweet and spicy Highland malts, like I am, then a dram from Islay is anything but what you’re expecting.  This whisky is the quintessential Islay single malt Scotch. It’s big. It’s brash. It takes no prisoners.  I once read that this is a whisky you’d give to your…

Glenmorangie “Quinta Ruban,” 12 yo., $50

This whisky maker has been at the top of my favorites list since I tried the 10 year old malt, so I was expecting great things when my wife gave me a bottle of the 12 year old Quinta Ruban for Father’s Day.  I was not disappointed.  This dram is nothing short of phenomenal.  It…

Dimple Pinch 15 yo., $25

Spoken of fondly everywhere but America as “The Pinch,” this blend is a crowd pleaser. For the price it is certainly difficult to do better.  The nose immediately betrays a layered sweetness, composed of cocoa, butterscotch, sherry, dried peaches, and vanilla.  You can really taste the oak barrels in which the various whiskies aged, along…

Review – Glenlivet French Oak Reserve, 15 yo., $38

  This brand is one of the famed Scotch whisky varieties, but lately has not been living up to its reputation.  My experience with the 12 year old malt left me with a positive impression if a little bit wanting of complexity and the 15 year old malt is just more of the same.  On…

Review – Macallan 10 year old “Fine Oak” $35

Owing to the renown of the Macallan name, I was expecting a fantastic whisky. Unfortunately for this malt lover, I merely got a good whisky. The nose is somewhat floral, with notes of honey and caramel. The taste is more of the same, though a pleasant and quite subtle note of vanilla is also present….