Oct 19, 2014

Wild Turkey Forgiven...

Wild Turkey Forgiven Batch #1 (45.5%): Everybody loves a good story behind a dram and Forgiven has a great one for sure. This particular story starts at the day when the distillery crew accidentally vatted a very rare, high proof rye with perfectly aged bourbon. They realized immediately what they did, let the management know what happened and started to pack their things feeling certain that they will be shown the door. But when Eddie Russell showed up and tasted the blend he thought that they had something special there. He decided to bottle the blend as a special expression right away and needless to say the staff was "forgiven". I don't care too much if the story is real or not. All I know it is a very very good one.. The vat contains 22% four year old rye whiskey and 78% six year old bourbon. As a matter of fact the product has been so successful the distillery decided to release a second batch this year. What I have in my sample bottle is the 1st release from last year though. Color: Polished copper pot, clear clover honey Nose: Salted caramel, cinnamon and nutmeg. A very approachable and inviting nose. It gets better and better after allowing the spirit air for a couple of minutes. Very dense German rye bread, zante currants and high quality maple syrup. Adding a few drops of water amplifies the rye character: Ground cloves and garam masala. Palate: Spicier than the nose suggested: coarse ground black pepper, fresh ginger and cayenne pepper. Dominantly rye notes. Charcoal and pumpkin spice mix. Adding water thins the texture a lot but made it incredibly smoother and dangerously easy to drink. The mouthfeel is now more like a satin cloth rather than a thick velvet... Finish: Long fade with peppery notes and cinnamon syrup. Overall: It is a great product. I have to admit that I didn't taste anything that I didn't like from Wild Turkey for a long long time. I think American distilleries should do more experiments like this. I am glad that High West started this trend. I know that the industry doesn't feel safe about releasing products that they cannot label as solid as a bourbon, rye whiskey or anything else which has been familiar to the consumers for a long period of time but I think it's the best time to take these kind of risks nowadays especially when people are buying whiskey like there's no tomorrow. It would be great to have a market like Scottish blended malts or blended whiskies. Kudos to Wild Turkey for being one of the first non-craft distilleries to take the risk.

Oct 18, 2014

Fall in Boston comes with The Whisky Extravaganza...

Get ready for an awesome evening brought by the wonderful team of The Scotch Malt Whisky Society of America... All tire-bouchon readers are invited to enjoy a connoisseur's evening featuring rare and exceptional and unique whiskies from around the world. No excuses folks... Cancel your plans for next Thursday, put your fancies on and come to The Taj Boston to join me and bunch of other whisky geeks for an unforgettable feast of grain, water and yeast. Our hosts promise an experience including unlimited tastings (hell yeah...), epicurean food (no exaggerations there, believe me), a selection of premium imported cigars (..!) for later enjoyment, souvenir snifter glass and much more. Get the opportunity to sample all the participating whiskies in a very welcoming, friendly and chic environment and to meet all the representatives and ambassadors from each participating distillery, blending house and independent bottler.

Did I draw your attention? Nice... Now the important part, listen carefully: tire-bouchon offers a 10% discount on tickets to The Whisky Extravaganza. Go to the link www.thewhiskyextravaganza.com or call the number 800.990.1991 and when you purchase your ticket use the promotional code "RETAILEXT14".

Be there on Thursday at 7:00pm at the registration. The event will end 9:30PM. Kilts are not required but they sure do make a statement. Please find me there to chat and/or to share a dram..! I guarantee it will be an evening to remember...


Oct 12, 2014

Big Peat...

Big Peat (46.0%): And the second sample from the Douglas Laing & Co. Ltd. blended malt range. Big Peat is blended using Islay malts only including some Ardbeg, Port Ellen, Caol Ila and Bowmore. and it has been wildly successful after its launch in 2009. Now the dram is a permanent expression in Douglas Laing line-up with an additional seasonal cask strength Christmas edition and occasional special releases. I always liked it but didn't have a chance to review it. Perfect timing to do so at a chilly but sunny fall afternoon. Color: As pale as a whisky gets. Almost colorless... Pale yellow like a very young Pinot Grigio. Nose: Beautiful young peated spirit: Wet beach sand and sweet maple walnut scone. The way your hands would smell like motor oil after spending a day on a small boat equipped with a small 9.9HP Johnson outboard engine. Noses like old young Ardbeg expressions like "Still Young". Do you remember those beauties? Ocean spray, vanilla and olive oil cookies. A few drops of water add green seaweed, fresh shucked oysters and sea water soaked hemp rope. Palate: Fresh cut grass, not yet dried moist peat bricks and green wood. Candied pecans and unripe concorde pears. Adding water makes it easier to drink if it is even remotely possible. Now I have some ripe red delicious apples, copper cookware and shortbread cookies. Finish: Long with faded bonfire, soot and black peppercorns. Overall: Perfectly balanced young blended malt which tastes like a single malt. I have always been a big fan of ex-bourbon cask matured young Islay whiskies and that's probably why I am raving about this whisky this much now, but again it is very hard for any whisky lover not to fall in love with it... Since its release I have to say it never disappointed and so far I know they released quite a lot of different batches. It is a young, vibrant, big but easygoing whisky with a well justified price tag around $60 depending where you live. Thanks again to Brad Jarvis for the official sample.