Nov 25, 2013

Jewish Whisky Company Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey 15yo...

Jewish Whisky Company Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey 15yo (special Whisky Jewbilee bottling) (61.3%): I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to score a bottle of this very limited edition bourbon of Jewish Whisky Company a.k.a. Single Cask Nation. It is a single barrel Kentucky Straight Bourbon distilled by Heaven Hill Distilleries in September 1998 and bottled specially for Whisky Jewbilee in September 2013. The label doesn't give the info how many bottles the cask yielded but it is bottled at 122.6 proof. Nice label by the way, I really liked the guy with the silver kippah... Color: Beautiful dark amber with a distinctive deep ruby hue, like red mahogany. Nose: Getting lost in piles of National Geographic magazines from 70's found in a second hand bookstore. Butcher's bowling alley wax and Danish Oil finished vintage furniture. Soft baked molasses and clove cookies. Adding a few drops of water releases sweeter (and redder) aromas: brown sugar, brown rock candy, old leather doctors bag, dried cranberries and sour cherry juice. Palate: Surprisingly sour start! Pomegranate molasses, balsamic vinegar and high proof barrel aged Caribbean rum. To be honest I very much enjoyed this rum like quality. Water addition pulls it back to the bourbon side: Fruity... Red fruits I already got at the nose are all there but with more citrusy additions this time: Dried sour cherry, candied orange zest and crystallized ginger. More like a rye whiskey than a bourbon now. Spicy and bold.  Finish: Goes forever with tri-color peppercorns, dried strawberries and cherry almond chocolate. Overall: I have to say that they nailed it again... To be honest I was pretty skeptical about the price tag of this bottle just a little above $100 but I am so close to admit now that it was worth it. It is a beautiful bourbon with great complexity. With every drop of water and with every minute you allow it to breathe you peel another layer of goodness. This is a bourbon demanding your time and attention from you. It is almost impossible to socialize, watch a game or listen to music when you sip it. I wish I had a fireplace to sit in front of with this bottle and spend the entire night just listening to the juice in the glass... 

Nov 24, 2013

Templeton Rye...

Templeton Rye (40%): When Templeton first hit the market I remember liking it very much but then they lost me with their ridiculous ad campaign marketing their whiskey as "Al Capone's Whiskey of Choice". It is hard to believe that they thought it would be a good idea to use one of the most cold blooded killers of American history as a reference among all the other whiskey connoisseurs of 20th century. Really? Did really some people in their advertising agency think that we would buy this whiskey because some killer liked it back in time? Really? Anyway, as you can see I am still not over this issue but I promise I will be honest and fair about the juice in the bottle... Color: Light amber, lightly brewed black tea. Nose: Spruce needles you walk over on a hot summer day forest hike and resin gum on your hands. Quince paste with cloves, damp cardboard boxes you stumble over in the attic left there for years. Carpenter's shop with burnt rosewood and maple wood shavings. Palate: First hit is a slap in your face with an oak stave. Over baked, almost burnt gingersnap cookies and painfully bitter unnecessarily dark chocolate. It opens up shortly after with sweet raspberry marmalade and red gummy bear aromas. Yummy..! Black tea, eucalyptus leaves and wintergreen. Finish: The palate transforms slowly towards sweet floral honey notes and a little bit of white pepper dusting on top. Overall: It is one hell of a rye..! It's even better than I remember. The balance of sweet and spicy notes are as good as it gets. It is good in the glass as neat but would work also great in a classic Manhattan recipe. Highly recommended for rye whisky lovers even with its slightly high price tag for a no age statement whiskey. Sorry, I apologize returning back to the same topic but I am not going to be able to finish this review without making another comment about the company's awkward relation with the crime world: What the hell is that label supposed to tell us? What are these guys doing there? Is it supposed to be a gang from Prohibition era just before they hit the streets and start shooting people? I am very, very confused with this whole thing. I really don't get it...

Nov 23, 2013

After 20th Annual Single Malt & Scotch Whisky Extravaganza...


20th Annual Single Malt & Scotch Whisky Extravaganza happened last Thursday in Boston. To be honest last week was a lovely week for Boston. Temperatures dropped to low thirties, trees lost their last leaves leaving the city with a beautiful reddish brown blanket and the warmth of the approaching holiday season took over the city. People's eyes sparkle, they smile more and I already started to see them carrying gifts wrapped with red and green ribbons. 

That's why I like these kind of events in that time of the year. They bring people together for a good cause just before the holidays: whisky..! It's always a blast to spend time with friends, sampling amazing drams and geeking out about the whisky for hours.


It was a smaller scale event compared to other big whisky festivals but very concentrated and well organized. Thanks to Alan and Gabrielle Shayne for their limitless hospitality.

I did taste a lot of whiskies throughout the night but here is my top five bottles I tasted for the first time on Thursday:

Balblair 1989
The Scotch Malt Whisky Society Cask No. 127.32 10 years old
- The Classic Cask Bowmore 11 years old
Glenfiddich 19 years old "Age of Discovery" Bourbon Cask
Laphroaig Cairdeas 2013 Port Wood Edition


Nov 5, 2013

Look Who is back in town...


An important reminder..! The Scotch Malt Whisky Society of America's 20th Annual Single Malt & Scotch Whisky Extravaganza is coming back to Boston November 21st... 

The event starts at 7PM and goes till 9PM. Be at the registration table no later than 7PM and make sure taht you don't show up in denim or in athletic gear, business casual it is... Kilts are optional...

Tickets are $150.00. To purchase them visit SMWSA's website simply by clicking this link or call the number (800) 990 1991 and also let me know if you are planning to be in Boston for it.