Wyoming Whiskey Single Barrel Bourbon (44.0%): Well, to begin with I have to admit that Mark Gillespie of WhiskyCast fame is the sole reason why I ordered this bottle all the way from Wyoming... I actually remember him talking about Wyoming Whiskey way before but a few weeks earlier he really got my attention with his remarks about their new Barrel Strength release. The whiskey on my desk now is not that particular bottle he was raving about nor a rare one but a single barrel bottling nevertheless I ended up ordering online from Bottled Wyoming. The distillery is located in Kirby, Wyoming and the bottle I am about to taste is filled from barrel number 841 on September 1st, 2015. Color: Polished copper, orange blossom honey. Nose: Subtle and soft. Sour cherry jam, cinnamon dusting and baklava syrup prepared with lemon and honey. Rosemary and dried pine cones, lemon vanilla pound cake. Walking into a carpenter's shop: plane shavings, smell of burnt wood in the air, tung oil and butchers wax. Palate: Very similar to the nose but a little more herbal: Thick honey, Greek baklava, candied almonds and orange zest marmalade. Barrel aged gin, fennel seeds and corn bread. Old school cream soda, mead brandy and heavily toasted oak staves. Finish: Quite long with a fizzy feeling at both sides of the tongue: White pepper, ground clove and cinnamon. Overall: It is a complex, well matured and tasty bourbon. Smooth, sweet and I have to say it is way too easy to drink. One can clearly see the master distiller Steve Nally's three decades of Maker's Mark experience in this whiskey combined with limitless freedom he must be enjoying very much without worrying about the brand's heritage. Thanks to Mark for encouraging me to get this bottle, I surely will enjoy every drop of it.
Oct 2, 2015
Sep 19, 2015
Crown Royal review on tire-bouchon and if I am not mistaken it is the first Crown Royal bottle I ever purchased in my life. I drank it a lot before; in bars, whisky festivals, tastings, etc. but don't remember buying a bottle and bringing home before... Somehow the brand Crown Royal just wasn't appealing enough I guess (till now). Lately with the growing trend of Canadian Whisky worldwide and with the success of small distilleries like Forty Creek and Still Waters big whisky companies also felt the need of reaching out the so called "connoisseur" consumers with new and limited expressions like Canadian Club 100% rye, Pike Creek, Alberta Premium Dark Horse, etc. Of course Diageo didn't want to miss that particular trend and started to release new whiskies under their Crown Royal label, even a few single barrel expressions. So, Northern Harvest Rye hit the shelves as a part of this new wave... It has a mash bill of 90% rye and 10% of who the hell knows. Bottled at 90 proof and carries a price tag just under $30. Ok, let's take a look at it... Color: Light amber with nice thin legs all around the glass. Nose: Scented moisturizing lotion, rose water, fresh spearmint leaves. Limeade, dried apple rings and lemon buttercream cake frosting. Thin but incredibly perfumy. Oddly adding a few drops of water released more alcohol on the nose but didn't add anything special. Palate: Granny Smith apples, lime flan and toasted oak with crushed red pepper, dried cloves and nutmeg. Peppermint, German no yeast rye bread, orange twist and purple rose petals. Water adds some newly milled black pepper corn aromas. Finish: Incredibly warming and hot with paprika, black pepper and melted butter. Overall: Well, this is definitely not your everyday Crown Royal you mix with Sprite. It has actually the same backbone but definitely way more delicate and layered. Not thick in texture maybe but fruity, buttery and full with gentle spices. I personally didn't like it with water mostly because it covered all those stunning rose notes that I loved so much in the beginning and thinned out the texture completely. Well crafted, and most importantly amazingly good priced whisky. Kudos to master blender Andrew MacKay... I hope to see more limited and experimental releases from Crown Royal since they sure have a lot of different barrels aging in the warehouses of Gimli distillery.
Sep 9, 2015
Longrow Red 11yo Fresh Port Casks (51.8%): After Springbank Distillery announced that Longrow Red Pinot Noir will be the 4th edition of the Red series and is about to hit the shelves in a couple of months I thought that it's finally time to pop open the last year's release and make room for the new member of the family. The bottle sitting in front of me now is the 3rd edition and the whisky in it spent its entire life in fresh port casks. It was actually a special release for me. During the Springbank Whisky School in June 2014 I had the chance to taste this particular expression directly from one of the casks before it got blended and bottled. I have been already a fan of the Red series since its launch but I knew I will get at least a bottle of this particular edition as soon as it is released the moment I tasted it back then. Gosh, it was something... Cannot wait to sample it now after it got blended. Ok, let's get the party started... Color: Polished old copper, red gold. Nose: Wild mushrooms, damp soil under your boots during a hike in a shady forest after summer showers. Pomegranate molasses, sweet balsamic vinaigrette and damp tobacco leaves. Distant peat bog, decomposing apples and fireplace soot. Adding a few drops of water pulls peat tiny bit more forward: cigar ash, wet beach sand and salted mackerel. Palate: Creamy and incredibly mature for an eleven year old whisky. Very dry with sour raspberries, sour cherry juice and chipotle peppers. Sour Flemish red ale, strawberry jam, red currants and glossy eighties magazines. With water I have now some cracked black pepper, dry port and coriander seeds. Finish: Finish is the only time the whisky reminded me its high(ish) abv. Crushed red pepper and fresh cranberries. Let's add a few drops of water and go back. Even just a little water took all the sharp edges out. Smooth, sweet and sour and more fruity now. Overall: Beautiful whisky... Love the perfect marriage of peat and red fruit galore overall. Adding water made it definitely more approachable but also lost the tartness and thick syrupy texture which I loved a lot at the beginning. Love that multi layered sour character of red wine and port cask matured or finished whiskies. They are like red Flemish ales of the whisky world. Well there is nothing to do now except sipping my 3rd edition slowly while patiently waiting for the release of the 4th edition...
|Tasting with Robert "Pop" Scally|
photo by Frank Ryon-Dujardin © June, 2014