Whisky Review #46 – Ledaig 10 (Old bottling)

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Intro – Ledaig 10 is a peated (smokey) whisky from the Tobermory distillery. I found this older bottling at a small liquor store that I frequently stop at on my way home to my parents house. Sometimes these smaller out of the way stores have really interesting stuff that has sat on the shelf for years. This older version is bottled at 43%. The current version which I have reviewed here was the first whisky I ever reviewed on my whisky blog. I really enjoy the current version so I thought it would be a great experience to try the older bottling. At some point I will do a side by side review. I paid $45 for this bottle – the current version is about the same in price in my area.


Nose – rubber, sauerkraut, pencil erasers, sweet vanilla undertones, definitely sauerkraut but the sweet kind, vegetal smoke – imagine throwing sweet sauerkraut on a grill. That unique Tobermory character is there. The newer version is much sweeter and this version is even more funky and odd. *more time in the glass causes more sweet vanilla to come to the front*

Taste – heavy smoke up front, rotten wood, pepper, sweet candy…a vanilla flavored chewy candy – then dry ashtrays – very dry…not a medicinal smoke like other whiskies…a lot of woody ashtray flavors. more smoked sauerkraut.

Finish – short/medium finish – surprisingly sweet smoke, ash trays and faint sauerkraut –  It doesn’t hang around – it would be a good starter to a night of drinking peated(smokey) whiskies because it doesn’t wreck your taste buds.

Favorite Part – The Nose.

Conclusion – The nose steals the show on this one. I could smell this whisky for an hour. It’s funky, odd and kind of wrong but I love it. The taste is very interesting and engaging however the finish does fall short. When I did taste this version next to the newer version I recall liking this one more. I think a higher ABV would help out…43% is a bit weak for me. It is still very good and I may grab another bottle if I can.

Rating – 83/100

  • Presentation – 3/5
  • Nose – 23/25
  • Taste – 30/35
  • Finish – 18/25
  • Value – 9/10
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Whisky Review #35 -Compass Box – Great King Street (Artist’s Blend)

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Intro Here it is…my first review of a blended scotch whisky. I have steered clear of blends in the past. I have to admit that I’d rather not spend money on something I am convinced I won’t like. I remember trying a miniature bottle of Johnny Walker Red and dumping it after one sip. I also remember my bottle of Islay Mist which contained rough grain whisky…it was okay but still a bit loud and hot. Not to mention you have no idea what whiskies are in the bottle. By all accounts, Great King Street is the opposite of your usual blended scotch whisky. Bottled at 43%, un-chill filtered and natural color – Great King Street goes against the norm. They even let you know exactly what you’re getting in the bottle – it’s all on their website. Check it out!

 

****Reviewed neat on 08/25/2016 from a sample from Pastor Thoma over at Angels’ Portion****

Nose light melon, sweet, white sugar, caramel, tropical fruits, sweet grass clippings, mellow ginger, white pepper. Very delicate, light and subtle on the nose. It reminds me of a rye whisky without the overwhelming rye and spiciness. With an undertone of tropical fruits. Enjoyable nose.

Taste spicy and sweet, tropical fruits with a blast of hot spiciness…white pepper towards the end. The spices mellow out with time in the glass. Not horrible but pretty uneventful for me. It hits those sweet notes from the nose but it comes across weaker on the taste. Disappointing after a very interesting nose.

Finish short finish, slight pepper..leaves nothing good or bad behind.

Favorite Part – The Nose.

Conclusion – This one was hard for me to review since I haven’t had a lot of other blends to compare it to. So basically I am comparing this to a single malt…which really isn’t fair. The nose is great but the taste is boring. The finish is also wanting. This is probably a good option for people looking for a blend to get into scotch whisky but I wouldn’t suggest it when you could get a single malt for a little more money. I commend Compass Box for their transparency and I hope to try more expressions from them in the future.

Rating – 69/100

  • Presentation -4/5
  • Nose – 23/25
  • Taste – 21/35
  • Finish – 15/25
  • Value – 6/10

 

Bourbon Review #3 – Old Grand Dad 100

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Intro – Old Grand Dad 100 – Bottled in Bond. 50%ABV which explains the 100 in the name. From Wikipedia – “To be labeled as Bottled-in-Bond or Bonded, the liquor must be the product of one distillation season (January to December) and one distiller at one distillery. It must have been aged in a federally bonded warehouse under U.S. government supervision for at least four years and bottled at 100 (U.S.) proof (50% alcohol by volume).”  I picked up this bottle because I read it was pretty good and it had a higher % of rye in the mash bill (63% Corn, 27% Rye, 10% Barley). I hoped this would give it a spicy note that would help balance the overly sweet notes I usually pick up in bourbon. I think I spent about $25 for my bottle.

****reviewed neat on 03/29/16****

Nose – sweet rye, sugar/caramel sweetness, corn and grass, spicy vanilla cake. Easy to nose after a few minutes in the glass.

Taste – nice creamy mouth feel ,spicy wood, cinnamon, typical bourbon flavor with spices

Finish – short finish, a bit hot on the alcohol (it is 50%) wood, slightly sweet which fades quickly into spiciness

Favorite Part – The Nose.

Conclusion – I have to be honest, I don’t really like bourbon. The sweetness in bourbon grosses me out. The spiciness of this bottle seems nice at first but then just becomes annoying. It’s trying too hard to cover up the corn based spirit sweetness with the rye spiciness. Maybe I am not buying the best bourbon but look at the picture above. I have had this bottle for over a year. I have no interest in drinking it. If you like bourbon….I guess this is a good bottle???? I have no idea. I remember liking Maker’s Mark more but maybe I was just in the right mood that day. Water would probably tone down the alcohol forwardness and mellow out the spiciness. I have to find someone to give this bottle to. Until then it shall sit in the back of my cabinet.

Rating – 48/100

  • Presentation – 4/5
  • Nose – 14/25
  • Taste – 12/35
  • Finish – 10/25
  • Value – 8/10

 

Bourbon Review #1 – Maker’s Mark

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Intro – I have very little experience with bourbon. Mostly because I think it’s gross. I have tried Bulleit Bourbon from a miniature. I also bought a bottle of Old Grand Dad Bourbon last summer after reading it had a higher % of rye in the mash bill. I find bourbon to have a super sweet nasty corn flavor with a horrible finish. That being said…I haven’t exactly tried the best bourbons or even put forth a honest effort. That is because I’d rather spend my money on another bottle of scotch whisky. I decided to grab this miniature of Maker’s Mark because Laphroaig gets their barrels from Maker’s Mark and that interests me. I wanted to see if I could notice any of the vanilla/bourbon flavors that I notice in Laphroaig. This miniature was $5. 45% ABV

****tasted neat on 03/10/16****

Nose – Vanilla, spice, rye, dill, plastic, vanilla spice cake. Slightly floral.  – there is some notes in there are remind me of Laphroaig – some of the sweet notes in the 10 year old. Pretty nice actually – not off putting at all.

Taste – very sweet up front with a classic bourbon taste, spicy in middle, quickly fades to wood spice – drying towards the back of the throat. little to no alcohol burn.

Finish – short or nonexistent…but it doesn’t have that nasty finish I remember Bulleit having.

Favorite Part – The Nose.

Conclusion – I am actually pleased with this. Maybe this Maker’s Mark caught me on the right night but I think it is pretty tasty. Not challenging but not harsh either. I do think I can smell and taste some of the notes the Maker’s Mark casks impart into Laphroaig…but I could be crazy. I’d recommend this as a good introduction to Bourbon. I wouldn’t buy a full bottle but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t. I guess it was worth the $5.

Rating – 62/100

  • Presentation – 3/5
  • Nose – 18/25
  • Taste – 23/35
  • Finish – 11/25
  • Value – 7/10