holiday treats...

Caol Ila Distillers Edition 1996 (43.0%): I always felt a little cautious about the Diageo's Distiller's Editions. I thought that they have a tendency pushing it very hard to come up with new ideas and sometimes it can change and overpower the core spirit. This Caol Ila edition drew my attention very easily though. Mostly because it is finished in Moscatel casks which I thought that it is a pretty good match for Caol Ila and also because I was  looking for a treat for myself during holidays. So... Color: Pale gold, just a little darker than the regular Caol Ila. Good start. Nose: What a relief... It's mostly Caol Ila, Moscatel is not overpowering. Feels a little older than the 12 years old expression, still full of seaweed, iodine and brine. Palate: Very smooth and buttery. A little bit citrusy and I can taste some almond also maybe some pear. Again very close to regular expressions but more mature in a different way and very easy to drink. Very enjoyable. Finish: Not so long like I expected. Now I can taste the Moscatel influence very powerful. The finish starts with peat and iodine and leaves with sweet Moscatel, very pleasant. Yummy... Overall: It's much more enjoyable than I expected. I like maturation experiments without erasing the core of the whisky. This is definitely a Caol Ila...

Glenkinchie Distillers Edition 1991 (43.0%): A very cheap deal I couldn't resist. What could you expect me to do when I found it cheaper then the regular expression? It is an Amontillado cask finished expression, exciting... Color: Deep copper, very clear. Nose: Wow, a lot of stuff going on here, almost too much. First impression was like sniffing a cookie jar, mixed nuts and peach cobbler. It is literally a sherry bomb in your face. Palate: Very sweet, sherry is taking over. One of the chewiest whiskies I ever tasted. You need a sweet treat to go with it. It has a pretty thick texture which reminds me a good rich pecan pie or grandma's apple pie, keeps your mouth velvety for a long time. Cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves come towards the end. Finish: Oops... How come? It was so short after all the stuff going on on the nose and palate. It is ultra sweet and malty though. Overall: I had hard time with it first but actually it is a nice after dinner dram when you get used to how sweet it is. Definitely needed a little bit more abv. Any water addition makes it watery immediately. Don't even try to add any water.

Balcones Baby Blue: When my friend called me from Texas a month ago and told me that he found a whiskey distilled from blue corn only I didn't even allow him to finish his sentence and asked him to buy a bottle and bring it back immediately. It is distilled by Balcones Distillery in Texas and has a pretty nice bottle I have to admit. Color: Light amber actually pretty dark for a very young whiskey. It is probably matured in very small barrels. Nose: First I smelled immediately white dog and got worried but it gets much better in time. Let it breathe a little. It gets pretty sweet in time with vanilla and caramel notes. Palate: You can tell that it is a very very young whiskey. Anything you can think of corn is there: Corn bread, popcorn, corn meal, corn tortillas, warm corn muffin... Much more pleasant than I thought actually. Finish: Kind of medium long finish with very young alcohol notes. Less interesting than the palate but not bad at all. Overall: I enjoyed it more with a cube of ice. Definitely a unique and one of a kind whiskey. I am glad that I have a bottle. I wonder if they have any plans with different aging and maturation. I also want to taste their different whiskeys they mention on their website. It will be definitely a fun distillery to follow.


  1. I totally agree with your comments about "Distiller's Edition" bottlings being, at times, over the top and as a result compromising the flavor profile. I have noticed that some DE are actually not as impressive as the standard bottlings.

    Great reviews!



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