W.L. Weller C.Y.P.B. gets a ton of whisky collector hype, and it's great!

W.L. Weller C.Y.P.B. gets a ton of whisky collector hype, and it's great!

The people behind Buffalo Trace did research a few years ago, asking their fans on the type of whisky they’d like to see. A website asked several questions, including the preferred recipe of whisky (rye, bourbon, wheated bourbon), the age, the proof, etc. The results came in, and the Craft Your Perfect Bourbon was born. It’ll be an annual release. The first release, priced at $40, is already selling for hundreds of dollars in the after-market. Welcome to the bourbon craze. I’d hate to contribute to the hype, but Weller C.Y.P.B. is a terrific whisky. It’s probably the best in the Weller series.

Read More

Age statements and “Poor Man’s Pappy” with Whisky in the 6

Age statements and “Poor Man’s Pappy” with Whisky in the 6

Fellow Torontonian, Rob of Whisky in the 6, has a popular YouTube channel that features guests and whisky reviews. I came on the show. We talked about Poor Man’s Pappy (a mix of Weller’s 12 and 107), age statements on Scotch, and debated whether or not whisky changes in the bottle. Check it out! 

Read More

Old Weller Antique Original 107 - On The Boozy Side of Fun

Old Weller Antique Original 107 - On The Boozy Side of Fun

If you're a whisky enthusiast with a bourbon collection, you either have Old Weller Antique in your collection or you're waiting for the next shipment to your local liquor store. Weller bourbons have family ties with Pappy Van Winkle. Back "in the day," Weller was the bourbon sold by the family that was generally available, and Pappy was the rare stuff. Both products use the same recipe. Contrary to some beliefs, they do not taste the same.

Read More

Blanton's Gold Edition Review - Boozier Version of the Original

Blanton's Gold Edition Review - Boozier Version of the Original

Blanton's Original is a near-perfect daily sipper for me. It's just the right balance of sweet and boozy, with lots of complexity to keep me interested. A high-proof version of Blanton's Original needed to be made, and it comes in form of Blanton's Gold Edition bottled at 51.5% ABV (compared to 46.5% ABV of Blanton's Original).

Read More

Blanton's Original Single-Barrel Review

Blanton's Original Single-Barrel Review

When I first came across the bottle of Blanton's Original, I was in Las Vegas and early in my whisky writing career. The bartender took me through a long list of bourbons before ending the night with the last of his Blanton's. Many years later, I found myself at the lab of Buffalo Trace Distillery on a media tour with an wonderful insight to how each barrel of Blanton's is selected. 

Read More

Colonel E.H. Taylor Seasoned Wood Review - Raw Complex Oak Spice Doesn't Always Add Up

Colonel E.H. Taylor Seasoned Wood Review - Raw Complex Oak Spice Doesn't Always Add Up

Colonel E.H. Taylor is an excellent brand extension from Buffalo Trace Distillery. Named after the man who helped bring forward the Bottled-in-Bond Act, this brand is nicely done from both a historical perspective and in its execution of whisky making.

Read More

Buffalo Trace Straight Bourbon Review - Buffalo's Sure Make Great Bourbon

Buffalo Trace Straight Bourbon Review - Buffalo's Sure Make Great Bourbon

Buffalo Trace is stand-out in the category of available, higher-end, and affordable American bourbon. Perhaps Wild Turkey 101 has more character, and Maker’s Mark has an enjoyable smoothness through the middle, but Buffalo Trace is the ideal well-rounded bourbon. It’s light on rye, but there is spice, and it’s not too heavy on oak, but there’s sweetness from the start. If you don’t believe me, take the time to chew Buffalo Trace while tasting it. That’s right, do the Kentucky chew. Get all those flavours going. I can’t find a moment where this drink isn’t rewarding.

Read More

Wholesalers, Retailers, and The Aftermark - Who's profiting from skyrocketing whisky prices?

Wholesalers, Retailers, and The Aftermark - Who's profiting from skyrocketing whisky prices?

With murder, theft, and bribery highjacking the whisky news, this year’s headlines have read like they were ripped straight out of the latest Netflix crime drama. Just last week, there was a fatal stabbing over a box of bourbon. Earlier in this year trucks carrying Pappy Van Winkle were stalked as they left wholesalers with drivers being offered bribes for cases of whisky.

Read More

Pappy is Already Impossible to Get, and There's Even Less in 2015

Pappy is Already Impossible to Get, and There's Even Less in 2015

Buffalo Trace announced this year’s release of the Van Winkle lines of bourbon. Unfortunately, the yields are less then in previous years. Marketing director Kris Comstock noted “… several of the older Van Winkle barrels did not meet those standards.” The result is less 15 year-old Pappy, and “far less” of the 20 and 23 year-old releases. Kris suggested the allotment is half as much as last year.

Read More

Eagle Rare 10 - The Definition of Casual Sipping Bourbon

Eagle Rare 10 - The Definition of Casual Sipping Bourbon

Eagle Rare, is in many ways, is the perfect bourbon for casual bourbon drinkers. There’s enough dramatic shift between the oaky-vanilla start and the oak-based-spicy finish to say yes, this is well-aged bourbon. It’s easy to drink, but not boring. There’s enough complexity that you can sit back and enjoy it, but it’s not so luxuriously priced that you feel bad for drinking it absently.

Read More

Review & Thoughts on The Buffalo Trace Antique Collection (2015)

Review & Thoughts on The Buffalo Trace Antique Collection (2015)

Buffalo Trace Antique Collection (BTAC) whiskies are highly sought after, rarely found, and cherished by the quarter-ounce when poured. I was at Buffalo Trace Distillery to do a tasting of the 2015 collection prior to release. When I posted a photo of the collection on Twitter, I was challenged with “why bother?" What’s the point of reviewing BTAC when there's so little supply released that it's nearly impossible to get?

Read More

Panic Ontario, The Bourbon Shortage is Really Here

Panic Ontario, The Bourbon Shortage is Really Here

Bourbon buyers in Ontario have always had their secrets. When rare products appeared on shelves (Elmer T. Lee back in the day, W.L. Weller 12 today), Ontario whisky buyers snatched them up quickly. Good bourbon options in Ontario are, however, disappearing. We can’t even blame the LCBO on this one. The demand for bourbon in the United States is delisting many favourite bourbons from international sales.

Read More

Colonel E.H. Taylor Straight Rye - 95 - ★ ★ ★ ★

Colonel E.H. Taylor championed the Bottled-in-Bond act of 1897 that served to protect bourbon drinkers in an era where poisons, flavouring, and un-aged spirit were all common additives to whisky. The designation means the whisky has been aged at minimum of 4 years in a federally bonded warehouse, bottled at least 50% ABV, and made in the same distillery during the same year.

Read More

Old Rip Van Winkle 10 (2014) - Brash Youthful "Almost" Pappy

Old Rip Van Winkle 10 represents the raw youthful bloodline of the Van Winkle line. This would be a whisky that’s easy to write-off in one sip, but with that branding, few would. It takes time to build a relationship with Old Rip Van Winkle 10 and experience the uniquely charismatic and sharp flavours.

Read More

Van Winkle 12 Year Old (2014 Release) - Frustratingly Almost There, But Not

The Van Winkle 12 Year Old is an utterly frustrating drink. Firstly, let’s get one thing out of the way—unless you really want a “Pappy” related product, this isn’t the one to get. At the retail price ($55 US), this is a pretty good purchase (★★☆☆). At the $200 to $300 retail range you’re likely to find this (and far more), it’s not worth considering. This is an example where the prestige of the whisky hurts its Whisky Cabinet Rating despite a high taste score. The rating is, after-all, the “Is this worth buying!?” rating.

Read More

Colonel E.H. Taylor Barrel Proof - The Wonderfully Chaotic Bourbon

Barrel Proof, uncut, unfiltered. This is the sort of wonderfully chaotic whisky that grabs your attention and doesn’t let it go. It’s intensely loud from start to finish, and that’s no surprise—It’s over 64% ABV (ABV changes from release to release). When doing whisky tastings, the Colonel E.H. Taylor Barrel Proof is (using the baseball term) the “closer” whisky. At the end of the night, no matter what else that you’ve had, CEHT Barrel Proof will be the standout star (Unless, maybe, you’re drinking Stagg).

Read More