Pike Creek 21 Year Old Finished in Speyside Single Malt Casks Review

Pike Creek 21 Year Old Finished in Speyside Single Malt Casks Review

Pike Creek is the ‘finishing’ brand for Corby Spirit & Wines, the company behind Lot No 40 and J.P. Wiser’s. Cask finishings is a process in which whisky is primarily aged in one type of barrel, and then finished (for anywhere between 3 months to many years) in another type of barrel. This second barrel is intended to impart more complex notes to the original whisky. It’s a process most common in Scotland, but it’s not limited to Scotland.

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Collingwood Double Barreled Review - A Departure from the Dreaded “Smooth” Whisky

Collingwood Double Barreled Review - A Departure from the Dreaded “Smooth” Whisky

It’s time for blunt talk: Today’s whisky enthusiast is (generally) not a fan of Collingwood whisky. This is a whisky for a casual whisky drinker—the whisky drinker who has a few pours a month. The sort of whisky drinker that doesn’t need to describe a whisky in any other adverb but ‘smooth.’ This is a big market, and Collingwood deservingly sells plenty of whisky!  

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Wild Turkey Straight Bourbon Review - That One Percent Makes a Difference

Wild Turkey Straight Bourbon Review - That One Percent Makes a Difference

Before vodka took over the spirits scene in the 60s, 70s, and 80s, Wild Turkey 81 didn’t exist. The only widely available Wild Turkey you could get was 101 proof (50.5% ABV). However, when the vodka era did take over, the market no longer wanted boozy whisky; they wanted tasteless spirits that went down easily. It was a dark time for whisky (and taste!). 

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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).

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Masterson's Straight Rye 10 Year Old Review - Best Canadian Whisky 2017 (And Best Rye Anywhere)

Masterson's Straight Rye 10 Year Old Review - Best Canadian Whisky 2017 (And Best Rye Anywhere)

I was one of ten judges scoring the Canadian Whisky Awards for 2017. Masterson's Straight Rye 10 Year Old (Batch PSA3-0035) scored as my the best Canadian whisky, and it also averaged as the best overall Canadian whisky from the judges narrowly beating Gooderham & Warts Four Grain and Lot No 40.

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Auchentoshan American Oak Review

Auchentoshan American Oak Review

Auchentoshan American Oak borrows on trends from the past and future. From the past, Auchentoshan boasts about being a triple-distilled. Folklore will tell you that only Irish whiskey and vodka are triple distilled (neither is true). Generally speaking, the third distillation is likely to remove heavier molecules from the spirit. Some of these heavier molecules are unpleasant, some would naturally oxidized down during barrel maturation, others are flavors that scotch drinkers might enjoy.

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The Glenlivet Founder's Reserved Review - Best on the rocks or with water

The Glenlivet Founder's Reserved Review - Best on the rocks or with water

Whenever I go to Glenlivet tastings, the Glenlivet Brand Ambassadors recommends a half-whisky and half-water mixture for the Founder's Reserve. Already, there's a problem. I rarely water down my whisky, and Glenlivet Founder's Reserve is bottled at the minimum of 40% ABV. 

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Mortlach Rare Old Reviewed - Braggartly whisky with good looks that comes with a price

Mortlach Rare Old Reviewed - Braggartly whisky with good looks that comes with a price

From removing the cork, to tipping the bottle, to the pour, Mortlach Rare Old is a fine experience. The bottle screams “expensive whisky.” That being said, the marketing is likely to enrage many. Bragging that your whisky is "rare” and “old" has the same stereotypes associated with driving an embellished large car. Maybe there are some insecurities there?

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Monkey Shoulder - A Bold Marketing Success, but What About The Whisky?

Monkey Shoulder - A Bold Marketing Success, but What About The Whisky?

I sometimes avoid defining “Single Malt Scotch” during whisky tastings because I get the inevitable questions that cause more confusion than clarity. Single malt scotch is a single distillery whisky made in Scotland of 100% malted barley. It's most often blend of hundreds of barrels, and so long as those barrels contain 100% malted barley whisky that was distilled in the same distillery, it's defined as single malt scotch.

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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.

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Elijah Craig 12 - Lost In a Competitive Field of Oaky Bourbons

This whisky, in many ways, exemplifies a well-aged oaky bourbon—it’s the sort of bourbon I’d love ten years ago. Today’s whisky world has changed, though. I’m often forgetting about Elijah Craig’s existence in my whisky cabinet, which largely contributed to the low whisky cabinet rating. Subtle bourbons can be wonderful; but subtle should still be interesting.

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