Jun 19, 2016

George Dickel 12...

George Dickel 12 (45.0%): I have to admit that I am not the biggest fan of George Dickel... I don't enjoy high corn mash-bills that much. But after they announced their newest release last week with a pretty good story attached to it I thought that I should revisit... Yes, Diageo got lucky again..! They found 84 barrels in their warehouses which were apparently not shown in any kind of inventory list for years..! Again..! And this time the barrels were holding 17 year old George Dickel whisky. Of course the casks got married immediately, bottled in cute half size bottles and with a price tag of $75 attached to their necks... You know what..? I really don't even care if the story is right or not at this point. I just don't want to buy over-priced whisky anymore. Period... As simple as that... Instead I will pour now some of my good old 20 bucks a bottle white label Dickel which was waiting on my shelf for some time while I am sitting in front of my TV... It is distilled from classical Dickel recipe of 84% corn, 8% rye and 8% malted barley. Color: Medium-dark amber, mahogany. Nose: Very distinct corn nose... Warm polenta and corn on the cob... A little sour on the nose with pickled banana peppers and olive brine. It opens up after allowing it air for a minute or two: Caramel popcorn, vanilla and fudge. A few drops of water shifts the nose to a sweeter side. Honey bon bon candies and peanut brittles. Palate: Hot and oily on the palate. Still a lot of corn notes but now covered with brown spices and toasted oak. Popcorn, nutmeg and cloves. Corn tortillas, toasted staves and ground ginger. Greek loukoumades with cinnamon dusting. Adding water works great: Now way milder and creamier. It didn't thin out the mouthfeel particularly but added some coarse salt, peanut butter and cumin. Finish: Long with white pepper, cinnamon and salt. Overall: It is definitely a very solid whisky for its price... Handles water and a lot of ice very well which makes it a good whisky to enjoy in hotter months. Especially today while the temperatures are reaching three digits (in F) for the first time this summer in Southern California.


George Dickel Distillery, June 2014
George Dickel line-up at Go! Whisk(e)y Weekend'15 at Julio's Liquor

Jun 14, 2016

Domaine de Montreuil Reserve Calvados du Pays d'Auge...

Domaine de Montreuil Reserve Calvados du Pays d'Auge (42.0%): Yeah, I kinda feel still dispirited about talking whisky these days... I don't think that it will last too long and I will be back soon for sure with new reviews but I think my decision to stay away from over-priced whiskies will be a permanent move... In the meantime I am using this opportunity to taste and learn more about wine, fortified wines, liqueurs and other spirits. Summer is on the corner here in Southern California and I thought it would be nice to have a few malt-alternatives in my notebook... So, here is a very decently priced Calvados from Domaine de Montreuil. Domaine de Montreuil is owned by Giard family for more than twelve generations. They distill their Calvados from the apples they harvest from 30 hectares orchards they own and traditionally they collect the apples after they fall to the ground by themselves when they are ready. The cider fermented waits for one year for seasoning and then goes through double distillation before finding its way into the casks. At the end of the maturation the spirit is cut down to 42% using rain water only and bottled. The label refers to the liquid in the bottle as "reserve" which tells us that the spirit is at least three years old. Color: Golden yellow with a nice green hue... Nose: Granny Smith apples, apple seeds and dandelion leaves. Quite sour, acidic and bitter. Beeswax soap, candle wax and fresh rosemary. White wine vinegar, vanilla and orange slices. Yes... Juicy but not so sweet small oranges. Lots of them... Unsweetened white grape juice and unripened Anjou pears. I like how young, uneasy and vibrant the nose is. Palate: Feels hotter than 42% abv... Young alcohol burn on each side of the tongue. Granny Smith apple slices, Concorde pears and fresh fennel. So beautifully sour... I can almost taste the cider it got distilled from. Christmas cake spices, toasted pumpkin seeds, grilled green asparagus and charcoal. A couple of water drops sweetens it up: More vanilla and Red Delicious apples now. Seeds and stems. Finish: Long with white pepper and slightly fermented grape juice. Young alcohol... Overall: Well, definitely not a mellow and subtle spirit. If you were hoping for that kind of a Calvados you should be looking for very old ones anyway... It is young, a little untamed but so aromatic and tasty. This is exactly what you would be served in a cafe in France to accompany your cup of coffee while you are reading a magazine and enjoying your sunny afternoon at a sidewalk table. Such a good change of course for me... A perfect example why we shouldn't stick for one type of a brown spirit but explore more. Always be open to suggestions and don't refuse to taste anything you didn't taste before... Worst-case scenario; you will hate it and won't put it in your mouth again. But if you happen to like it you will be opening the doors of a brand new world waiting to be explored...


Jun 1, 2016

Feeling kinda despondent lately...

Well, way back in time the day I tasted Laphroaig 10yo started my long journey with whisky. For more than fifteen years I tasted, traveled, read, wrote and lived for and about whisky. Loved and enjoyed every second of it... But now I know there is a second bottle I will remember later in my life but in a slightly different matter: Booker's Rye. I will remember Booker's Rye years and years after as the whisky that woke me up from a beautiful dream and made me question everything about the industry. It was something growing and accumulating out there for a couple of years that I have to admit I chose deliberately to ignore. I guess I needed a blow like this, the last drop that spilled the cup so to say... A $300 bottle rye whiskey, fresh out of the bottling line... 

I am not planning to waste too much of your time now, especially since our dear friends Steve Ury from Sku's Recent Eats fame and the one and only Oliver Klimek from Dramming.com expressed most beautifully on their blogs the very same issue. But sadly I feel like I lost my appetite to promote whisky and whisky industry, at least for a period of time... I will stay low for a while, review occasionally what I have left in my whisky cabinet, continue to research value whiskies and look for drams I didn't try before but this time not with a blogger appetite. I will travel, read, continue to learn and taste of course but maybe keep it more private. I will focus on other spirits, wine and beer as well but most importantly will continue to enjoy myself. I occasionally will post reviews but I think I am not feeling amped enough anymore to make it a priority or not feeling the urge to keep the consistency for this blog. More later folks..!