...where distraction is the main attraction.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

GlenAllachie 12 year old

I'm reviewing three of the new GlenAllachie single malts this week. Yesterday, there was the 10yo CS batch 1 review. Today, it's the 12 year old. There was one BIG issue with that 10 year old. Let's see if it reoccurs with the 12.

I won't expand upon yesterday's Billy Walker riff. I do wish him and his company well because the scotch industry can always use some good new products. They have brought along the quirky capitalization practice as they had with GlenDronach and BenRiach, highlighting the Glens and the Bens. The "The" they've added to Glenallachie seems silly and way-1990s. But really, what's up with the Harry Potter font?

Onto the whisky:


Distillery: Glenallachie
Ownership: The Glenallachie Consortium
Region: Speyside (Aberlour)
Age: minimum 10 years old
Maturation: Oloroso, Pedro Ximenez and virgin oak casks
Alcohol by Volume: 46%
Chillfiltered: No
Colorant added: No
(from a purchased sample)

NEAT
The nose's top layer is a mix of malt, vanilla and wasabi. Beneath that are hints of honey, clementines, jellybeans, burlap and nutritional yeast. It picks up a slight dirty hay note with time. While there are malt, herbs and peppercorns in the palate, the biggest note, by far, is marshmallow. Hints of frosted shredded wheat, limes and fresh ginger show up now and then. The marshmallow note fades out before the finish, pushing the frosted shredded wheat, limes and fresh ginger notes to the fore.

DILUTED TO ~43%abv, or < ½ tsp of water per 30mL whisky
Even with just this little bit of water, the nose has changed. It's all apples, lemons, Riesling and sharp cheddar. The palate is a jumble of wood and grain. Barley and raw spirit. Toasted oak and bitter green oak. Moments of tart limes and hay. The finish matches the palate.

WORDS WORDS WORDS
The virgin oak issue is much less pronounced in the 12yo when compared to the 10yo CS, until one adds water. To stay positive-ish in this paragraph, I'll focus on the neat edition. The marshmallow note is curious, but there's a lot of barley, herbs and lime present, and the sweetness never spills over the top. It's simple, but very drinkable.

Yet again, the sherry casks are nearly invisible, which really isn't a problem until a few drops of water are added. And is "simple, but very drinkable" worth $50-$60? Not only does Glendronach's and Benriach's 12 year olds beat this whisky, but it loses to the new Loch Lomond 12 year old (I tried 'em side-by-side) as well. Still, I'd take GlenAllachie 12 over its more expensive, but younger, cask strength sibling.

Availability - Many specialty whisky retailers
Pricing - Europe: €40-€55 (w/VAT); USA $50-$60
Rating - 81 (neat only)

Monday, April 22, 2019

GlenAllachie 10 year old Cask Strength, batch 1

I have mixed feelings about Billy Walker's whisky work.

On one hand he did a masterful job building his GlenDronach brand by bottling high quality whisky made by a different owner (Allied). His team also bottled a modern classic, GlenDronach 15 year old Revival, until the old whisky ran out. He also created my favorite range of alternative cask finished peated whiskies over at Benriach. As far as the whisky actually made under his command, the GlenDronach Hielan is pretty good.

On the other hand, once the Glendronach honey casks started running low, lower quality casks were re-racked (or finished) in fresh sherry casks and that was never disclosed to consumers. The cask strength Benriach whiskies distilled by his team, and his peated Glendronach are multiple levels below the quality of the whiskies distilled by previous owners.

Also note this timeframe:
2014 - Glendronach's re-racking and unreliable labelling became widely known thanks to great work by My Annoying Opinions and Ralfy.
2015 - Glendronach 15 year old Revival is removed from the range. Whiskies distilled by Billy Walker's team see their first release.
2016 - Glendronach and Benriach are sold to Brown-Forman.

This was a wise business move, selling high before risking any further damage to the brands. At the same, it would be understandable of current or former Glendronach and Benriach enthusiasts are less enthusiastic about this series of events.

A year after the big sale, a consortium that included Billy Walker purchased Glenallachie distillery (and a whole lotta stock) from Pernod Ricard. In 2018, Walker-era single malts, branded as The GlenAllachie, appeared on the market. I will be reviewing three of these standard range whiskies this week. Let's see what been done with Pernod's Glenallachie casks.


Distillery: Glenallachie
Ownership: The Glenallachie Consortium (seriously?)
Region: Speyside (Aberlour)
Age: minimum 10 years old
Maturation: Oloroso, Pedro Ximenez and virgin oak casks
Outturn: 12,000 bottles
Alcohol by Volume: 57.1%
Chillfiltered: No
Colorant added: No
(from a purchased sample)

NEAT
The nose is a virgin oak candyland, all taffy, vanilla, caramel and coconut. There's also grapefruit, eucalyptus, orange popsicles and gummy bears. The palate starts out hot and tangy. Beneath the heat is A LOT of sugar with bits of bitterness and barley. Plenty of vanilla, specifically vanilla marshmallows. It finishes sweet and hot. Vanilla and barley with hints of limes and bitterness.

DILUTED TO ~46%abv, or ½ tbl of water per 30mL whiskey
The nose becomes simpler and more focused. It's just vanilla, flowers and tropical fruit candy. The palate is still very sweet. There's also tart citrus, toasty oak and a hint of woody bitterness in the mix. The tart, peppery finish has more woody bitterness and vanilla than the palate.

WORDS WORDS WORDS
I could tell you that the nose was so-so and the palate never really worked, but I'd rather focus on the cask issues here. The PX casks are nowhere to be found and the Oloroso casks are smothered. There's just so much new or recharred American oak in the glass that I'm left wondering, "How crummy were the Pernod casks?" Mark Reynier & Co went with wine casks when they inherited questionable Bruichladdich stock. Walker & Co are going with new oak? I hope this is not seen as a permanent solution. Will the other two GlenAllachies fare better?

Availability - Many specialty whisky retailers
Pricing - Europe: €55-€70 (w/VAT); USA $60-$80
Rating - 76

Friday, April 19, 2019

The Rum Dummy drinks 2 Foursquare rums

Randy Brandy isn't the only funny writer on this site. The Rum Dummy has jokes!

Hey look, I am drinking two Foursquares, or should I say......Sixteen?

No wait, there's two. I'll start again.

Hey look, I am drinking two Foursquares, or should I say......Thirty-two?

But what if it's two times four to the second power. I'll start again.

Hey look, I am drinking two Foursquares, or should I say......Sixty-four?

Wait wait that doesn't work because it's Foursquares not Foursquared. I'll start again.

Hey look, I am drinking two Foursquares, or should I say......Eightsquares?

So?

Pretty good, huh?

Yeah, just wait until I review some Uitvlugt. Uitvlugt. Hilarious, right?


The first rum today is:

Foursquare 10 year old Criterion (bourbon & Madeira casks) blended rum 56%abv

Richard Seale of Foursquare distillery uses big words like "Criterion" and "Exceptional" on the bottle label, which are weird words to see on a rum label. But I also see "Blended" and "Rum", and I know what those words mean. People who sold these bottles said the rum was aged in bourbon casks for 3 years, then Madeira casks for seven years. They could be right, I don't know.

Nose - Bourbon, dusty old shoes, cocoa, caramel, cloves, pinot noir, honey mustard and vanilla. Putting water in the rum makes the rum smell spicier.
Palate - It's hot on my palate and also tannic. Also lemons, sweet oranges, cinnamon and little bit of almost-Jamaican funk. Putting water in the rum makes the rum taste mostly the same, maybe sweeter.
Finish - Long, hot, tangy, sweet, bitter oak and baking spices. Putting water in the rum cools down the finish, leaving it very tannic.

It smells very very good. Tastes mostly good. Lots and lots of woodiness though. I don't know how much this matters because no one's selling this rum anymore.

NOT WHISKY RATING: B-

Hey, I also know some funny limericks!

Oh, yeah, there's another rum here. Stick around for my funny limericks after the second rum.

The second rum is:

Foursquare 12 year old 2005 (bourbon casks) blended rum, 59%abv

This is kinda like a sequel to the 11 year old I reviewed last year. Just bourbon casks. The 12 year old rum's label says "full proof" just like 11 year old's and is the same exact ABV as the 11 year old. Is that magic? I'm so confused.

Nose - It smells medicinal. And there's caramel, vanilla, milk chocolate, plastic toys, citrus and root beer. Putting water in the rum doesn't change it much.
Palate - Softer than the nose. Smaller medicinal note. Toasted almonds, caramel sauce, bourbon and bourbony cherry note. Putting water in the rum makes it tannic and sweet.
Finish - Sugar, hotness, vanilla, caramel, a little bit of funk. Very long. Putting water in the rum makes it tannic and sweet.

This is like a bourbon from an ex-Islay cask. Sort of. Better wood notes than the Criterion. Better finish too. I like it better.

NOT WHISKY RATING: B

Okay, so here's my first funny limerick.

There once was a girl from Enmore
Who dressed like--

THOSE RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS POST HAVE BEEN SACKED

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Loch Lomond Loch Lomond Loch Lomond (or Loch Lomond Inchmoan Croftengea)

Loch Lomond has released A LOT of grim whisky over the years. But then suddenly, their official bottlings are no longer mocked. And they're putting out single casks. Has the punk rocker gone full Green Day?

Count me intrigued. I've always enjoyed their rejection of the Scotch Whisky Association (or was it the other way around?) and their unorthodox distillation processes (which led to SWA issue), even though I haven't always enjoyed their whiskies.

Here are three official Loch Lomond whiskies bottled within the past year or so.


Loch Lomond 12 year old single malt, official bottling, 46%abv

I'm sure there were many in Scotland who were worried when a private equity group bought the Loch Lomond Distilling Company, but occasionally, occasionally, a PE firm can sort out a company's issues and gradually redirect the ship. I have more confidence in Loch Lomond's future than Bladnoch's at this point, FWIW. Anyway, I listed "single malt" up there because there's a Loch Lomond single grain on the market, and I will not be reviewing that today or ever. Thanks to MAO for this sample!

NOTES

NEAT
The nose is......shockingly clean and fruity. I'm thinkin' pears, apple, apricots and oranges. Then there's ginger powder, barley and black pepper. Gradually, vanilla and sticky candy notes develop with time. Barley, pears and marshmallows lead in the palate. Then black pepper, eau de vie, limes, guava and canned fruit cocktail juice. It grows more floral with time. The finish has the palate's fruits, but with a spicy zing. Hints of vanilla and flowers float in the background.

DILUTED TO ~43%abv, or ⅓ tsp of water per 30mL whisky
The nose becomes much simpler, basically barley, coconut cream and vanilla. Similarly the palate narrows. Peaches in tomatillo sauce, vanilla bean and a little bit of sugar. It finishes tart, peppery and mildly sweet.

So this is what Loch Lomond has been blending out or selling to blenders all these years?! Leave Loch Lomond neat and it will kick Glenfiddich 12's and Glenlivet 12's asses all around the block. Bottled at a good strength, Loch Lomond 12 has a successful balance of oak and spirt, not to mention all those fruits. I'm more stunned by this one than the 12yo G&M Ledaig. And the price.

Availability - Many whisky retailers in Europe and North America (including Ohio)
Pricing - USA $28-$38; Europe: €40-€55 (w/VAT)
Rating - 86 (neat only)



Inchmoan 12 year old single malt, official bottling, 46%abv

The most, um, intimately named of Loch Lomond's whiskies, Inchmoan is a mix of distillate from the distillery's pot still and trouble-making hybrid still. It's also heavily (40-50ppm) peated. The only other Inchmoan I've consumed was one of the five most gruesome whiskies ever. I still have sense memories of that one, so I'm approaching this one with caution.

NOTES

NEAT
The nose does have its weird side: wet dogs and plastics factory exhaust. Then there's the candy corner: cotton candy, marshmallows, rock candy and cherry lollipops. Also cinnamon and flowers. It doesn't come together at any point. The palate is less odd. It's ashy, earthy and tart. Vanilla, fresh ginger and a mild herbal bitterness. Toasted oak and toasted barley with honey. Vanilla, honey and tart fruit in the finish. Pepper and smoke in the aftertaste.

DILUTED TO ~43%abv, or ⅓ tsp of water per 30mL whisky
The nose is still kooky. Burnt hair, burnt plastic, rocks and cracked pepper. The palate has a heavily ashy, almost woody, peat smoke. Salt, pepper and sourness. The finish matches the palate.

Though the neat palate was drinkable, I couldn't finish the sample. While it certainly isn't boring, nor flat out disgusting like the other Inchmoan I had, Inchmoan 12 is a strange mess. It's as if someone closed his eyes and mixed a bunch of random fluids together. Perhaps this stems from the fact that they took a difficult spirit from two different stills and stuck it in recharred barrels. I do recognize there's a significant portion of the scotch community who think peaty = good, always. Perhaps this is for them. It's not for me.

Availability - Some whisky retailers in Europe
Pricing - Europe: €45-€75 (w/VAT)
Rating - 71



Croftengea 9 year old 2008, cask 272 for The Whisky Exchange, 54.8%abv

Croftengea's malt is also peated at 40-50ppm, but I believe it's all hybrid straight-neck still spirit. Yet I like Croftengea, a lot. It's Fun Weird, which is my favorite whisky genre. And yes, I did actually buy a bottle of the Croftengea I raved about last autumn. I was also looking forward to today's sample because its supplier, MAO (thank you!), already gave it a 💖.

NOTES

NEAT
The nose begins with a luminous creamy dessert note, like toffee pudding with toasted coconut and orange zest. Orange-cranberry scones. Peaches and flowers. A gentle but rich peat of a much older whisky. That same peat note shows up in the palate, along with pear and peach nectars, lime juice and cayenne pepper. Also some tart berries and a slight Campari-like bitterness.

DILUTED TO ~46%abv, or >1 tsp of water per 30mL whisky
Mangoes, oranges and toasted coconut in the nose. Hints of herbal peat and ocean in the background. Same peat and pepper in the palate, but now there are tart lemons, limes and grapefruit. The finish has the same tart fruit notes, as well as a light sweetness and bitterness.

Well, damn. Another great Croftengea. I'm not sure if I'm more surprised by its fruitiness or the peat style. It feels older than its 9 years. I was waffling about giving it the Big 90, but because it was one of the most delightful drinks I've had this year boosted the number to that magical spot. Sorry that it's out of stock, you should have read MAO's review last summer and bought four bottles then. I did the former but not the latter. I learn nothing, folks.

Availability - Loch Lomond sells out!
Pricing - ???
Rating - 90

Monday, April 15, 2019

Ledaig Ledaig Ledaig

Though Ledaig is one of my favorite single malts, I haven't reviewed many bottlings since the brand became hip. Its popularity blossomed right about the time, around five years ago, when a certain influential whisky blogger declared that Ledaig was the new old Ardbeg (which really makes about as much sense as when I declared Mike Trout to be the new young Willie Mays, seven years ago; it's enthusiasm-powered goofy shorthand by both of us).

If you're looking for reviews of Ledaig's lovely sherry casks, sorry, you may abandon ship here. I'm digging into three relatively current Ledaigs, all of which come from former bourbon casks. I tasted these three together in order of ABV, which was also in order of oldest to youngest.


Ledaig 12 year old Gordon & MacPhail, Discovery range, 43%abv

I had minimal expectations for this whisky, a first for Ledaig and I. Other than the Highland Park 8yo, low abv G&Ms are thin and bland on my palate. A boring Ledaig would be a waste of Tobermory's peated distillate and a darned shame. So here goes the oldest and lightest of the trio:

NOTES
Cardamom, cinnamon and chives season a bright vegetal peat in the nose. The peat gets feistier with time, bringing in a whiff of elephant manure and lemon peels. It reads much bigger than 43%abv. The palate is gently peppery and sweet, but has a peatier smoke (or smokier peat) than the nose. Lime juice, apricots, sweet bell peppers, fresh herbs and arugula. A smoky hot pepper sauce stays the longest in the finish, followed by notes of arugula and sweet oranges. Good length to it all.

Surprise! Thanks to low oak levels and no bludgeoning peat, this makes for a good whisky. The nose is great, and though the finish is simple I enjoyed it. If one could design a casual sippin' Ledaig, this would be it. Would it have been better bottled at the OB's 46.3% strength? Probably, though it would also likely be a different experience at that strength. If only G&M would bring this to The States and price it at $49.99 then perhaps I'd buy this for the autumn.

Availability - A few dozen European whisky retailers
Pricing - Europe: €50-€65 (w/VAT)
Rating - 84




Ledaig 10 year old, Official Bottling, 46.3%abv


This baby was the real motivation behind today's tasting. I reviewed it 6½ years ago (holy crap!) and was less enthused by it than most folks whose palates I respect. Since life and whisky batches (no matter the size) change despite all resistance, it is time to take in a larger sample of the official Ledaig 10.

NOTES
The nose is somehow even greener than the G&M 12yo, with bundles of fresh herbs. Yes, there's peat, but also a steady waft of ocean air, met with cheerful(!?) lemon peels and citronella, then hints of eucalyptus and toasted marshmallows. A peat richer and more complex than the 12's radiates across the palate, with salty ocean notes, charred meat and veg. Lemons and limes that start tart then turn sweet. Hints of herbal bitterness and vanilla pudding actually work together. Honey, limes, smoke, chili oil and dried herbs load up the enormous finish.

Yeah, I like this a lot. In fact, this would knock something off "My 25 favorite single malts under $80" list. It's great, complex, delicious whisky at just 10 years old. In fact, with Ledaig, Springbank, Benromach, Ardmore and peated Benriach on the market, official Islays aren't faring so well in the OB peated whisky world anymore. Back to this whisky. Ledaig 10 year old is so much better than I'd remembered, and cheaper than the 12yo G&M.

Availability - Most whisky retailers
Pricing - Europe: €35-€55 (w/VAT), USA $50-$70
Rating - 88




Ledaig 7 year old 2010 van Wees The Ultimate, cask 700411, 59.7%abv


I had to have one full-powered humdinger in the group. And though I frequently criticize the indie bottlers who pile <8yo single casks upon European whisky retailers, I did like a 6yo Caol Ila last December, so I was willing to risk annihilating my senses for the possibility of a good baby Ledaig.

NOTES

NEAT
The nose begins with salty grilled shellfish, hot tar and scallions.  toasted barley note arises miraculously from the peat fog. It's also not nearly as hot as the ABV would lead one to expect. Hints of vanilla and melon rind mix with all the kiln notes. Manure and lemon peel show up after 20+ minutes of air. The peat is more green than smoky on the palate. Ocean water, limes, fresh herbs and cinnamon candy. It gets sweeter with time, almost minty actually. The warm, but not hot, finish is herbal and peppery, with just a little bit of sweetness and a lot of ocean water.

DILUTED TO ~46.3%abv, or 1¾ tsp of water per 30mL whisky
Massively farmy, the nose holds onto its ocean notes, but is otherwise much different than when neat. There's cocoa powder, rock candy, yeast and onions. Yep. The palate is loaded with green herbs and wood smoke, as well as very tart limes and salt. It finishes with peppery smoke, herbal bitterness and a little bit of brown sugar.

This is neither crap nor a palate wrecker. Success! It's more aggressive than the previous two, but that was to be expected. Youthful but not punishing. I like the quirky (Ledaig!) nose and find the palate very approachable. Still didn't van Wees give it another 3-5 years in the cask. The race isn't fully run, the cake ain't baking, the bread is par baked, the whisky has barely matured past new make. Not only that, but at 10-12 years old van Wees could've charged 50-100% more. I dunno. Good whisky, but what might have been...

Availability - A few European retailers
Pricing - Europe: €50-€65 (w/VAT)
Rating - 82

Friday, April 12, 2019

Randy Brandy drinks 3 Copper & Kings brandies

What a great Friday to be Randy Brandy in this glorious glorious country. Kravitz interrupted me while I was taking a perfectly good crap to tell me this post was due today. So I'm writing this from the toilet. I was also instructed to not make fun of Sku this time.

Look, everyone wants to be loved. Physically. And no one in the whiskey community, save Allison Asterisk of Brenne, has more lusty groupies than Sku. Though it's become a near toss-up since Allison got engaged. Kravitz tracks this stuff. And by "stuff" I mean Allison's Instagram.

Sku's writing style, before he was K&L'ed, was the key to his popularity. He never asked anyone to read much. He would unburden himself of a one sentence post and he got 4000 clicks. Kravitz writes Cloud Atlas and he gets 4 views including his 4-year-old daughter who accidentally clicked the bookmark when playing with her father's phone. Then she somehow found his Incognito Tab and she's been in therapy ever since.

The next day the 4-year-old got into an argument with her preschool teachers, insisting that a horse can ride a man. They thought she had it backwards. No, but someone definitely had it backwards. If you know what I mean. Look, I'd explain it to you but I'm supposed to be reviewing, uh, what I am reviewing? What is this, bourbon?

No, it's American brandy, allegedly. I did some research. And by research I mean I read some whiskey blogs, which was horrifying, how do you people do it?

Copper & Kings was created by the South African American (gotta watch the hyphens there) Heron family who create with drinks that they then sell to conglomerates. Gosh, I wonder what the fate of Copper & Kings is going to be. That's not a dig. That's some good American entrepreneurship. Howzit, Herons? I'm glad the Herons are making brandy, not bourbon. I hope their brandy doesn't taste like bourbon.

(sample from Florin, a man who shares)

Copper & Kings American Brandy, 45%abv

Nose - Apples and bourbon. Um. Sawdust, vanilla, corn syrup and white grape juice. Mint extract, cardamom. Much better now.
Palate - Not bourbon. More like a spicy sweet young cognac. Ginger, apples, horseradish, vanilla. Creamy. Gains taffy and peach candy notes after a while.
Finish - Sweet stuff. Vanilla, bubblegum, taffy.

I was asked by Kravs to add water to these next two because that is what is done. It's a good thing I always bring an eyedropper and beaker of spring water to the can with me.


(another sample from Florin, clearly a socialist)


Copper & Kings Cr&ftwerk Brandy finished in Oskar Blues Imperial IPA barrels, 55.5%abv

Nose w/o water - Grapefruit, anise, rubber, horseradish. Mint and hops. Pine sap.
Nose with water - Mint, pineapple, orange peel, pine sap, less grapefruit

Palate w/o water - Ginger, grapefruit, hops. Also known as IPA. But very sweet. Vanilla, pepper, and mint gum.
Palate with water - Sweet IPA and pine sap, apple cider, brown sugar.

Finish w/o water - Heat, lime juice and mint gum, vanilla. Bitter.
Finish with water - Much sweeter. Ginger and brown sugar.

(sample from Sku)
I don't understand art

Copper & Kings Butchertown Brandy, 62%abv

Nose w/o water - Grapes, blackberries, pears, potpourri, vanilla, cream soda. No burn.
Nose with water - Orange sherbet, cream soda, pine sap, more vanilla.

Palate w/o water - Here's the burn. Hot and sweet. Honey and pineapple juice. Tart cherries, ginger and cream soda.
Palate with water - Peppercorns, oranges, vanilla, tart lemons, very tannic.

Finish w/o water - Tart cherries and caramel, heat, oak spice and tannins, raisins.
Finish with water - Tart lemons, ginger, vanilla, mint leaves.

THOUGHTS AND FEELINGS
It's not bourbon. Good.

Do I need to write more?

Okay, I like the American Brandy the best. It's the most brandy of the three brandies. It's oaky, but I expected worse. It's straightforward. It has curves and edges. Wow, that was poetic and unnecessary and I repeat myself. I. Might. Buy. A. Bottle?

There's a lot of IPA in the Cr&ftwerk, which will appeal to IPA drinkers. It is difficult to find the brandy part. It does seem like a new thing, though. And I don't hate new things, unlike a certain blogger whose name is K*****z.

Butchertown is big. America Big. It tastes like oak and fire. It smelles good, but I wanted more of the American Brandy every time I drank Butchertown. Good name though.

Adding water did nothing useful. Shocker. I need to end this post now because my legs are numb and the seat has embedded itself into my ass. So I'm going to give these grades even less thought than usual.

RATINGS:
Copper & Kings American Brandy - B
Copper & Kings Cr&ftwerk IPA - C+/B-
Copper & Kings Butchertown Brandy - C+/B-

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Braeval 18 year old 1994 Exclusive Malts, cask 159162

Yesterday's two Inchgowers did not spar alone. They had a third partner, today's Braeval. Unlike the Inchgowers, I had tried this whisky before, and I'd liked it. That's why I thought it was going to be a super triple tasting. But it wasn't super. Those Inchgowers could not compete. Bring on the Braeval, baby.


Distillery: Braeval
Ownership: Pernod Ricard
Region: Speyside (Banffshire)
Bottler: Creative Whisky Company
Range: Exclusive Malts
Age: 18 years old (December 1994 - January 2013)
Maturation: "Oak cask", probably a bourbon barrel
Outturn: 228 bottles
Alcohol by Volume: 52.1%
Chillfiltered? No
Colorant added? No
(thanks to Brett for the sample!)

NEAT
The nose delivers a spot on mix of malt, peaches, lemons and honey. Hints of roses, clementines and low-rye dusty bourbon rest beneath. At first the palate has citrus and toasted oak spice, then a rush of malt, limes and cara cara oranges takes over. Then almonds and apricots with a gentle ripple of chili oil. The rich long finish holds onto those nuts and fresh citrus notes, as well as the nose's malt.

I don't want to add water to this but for the sake of science:

DILUTED TO ~46% abv, or ¾ tsp of water per 30mL whisky
Ah gorgeous. Whew. Peach skins, roses, lemon cookies and orange peel on the nose. The palate hasn't changed much. Maybe a little sweeter, maltier. The finish matches the palate closely too with just little more of a spicy zip.

WORDS WORDS WORDS
Flawless teenage bourbon cask whisky, with or without dilution. It's been a long time since I had something like this, and I hope dearly the next bottle I open from my stash is near this quality. I did have two opportunities to buy this in early 2013, and I turned them both down because spending $100 on a single bottle was CRAZY back then. Damn it.

See, a nice surprise this week! And a second 90-point whisky. Wut?

Availability - All gone
Pricing - It was around $100-$120 six years ago
Rating - 90