Category Archives: Other Whisk(e)ys

Stolen Whiskey

Stolen Whiskey Aged 11 Years
46% ABV
$49.99
Website

What the Bottler Says
STOLEN American Whiskey begins with a mature 11-year-old whiskey. Ever insatiable, STOLEN tapped into industry experts by adding a layer of artistry rooted in extracting staves from ex-whiskey barrels and toasting them in a 360-degree rotation over an oak wood fire. Turning the staves at key points during the toast allowed STOLEN to capture richly nuanced flavors across the entire wood gradient, resulting in a smoky consistency for every barrel stave.

To impart these fire roasted notes into the whiskey, STOLEN employs a secondary, barrel-finishing process where “the juice” is continually analyzed for taste and nosed for aroma until it peaks in boldness resulting in an additional layer of finished flavor complexity that differentiates STOLEN Whiskey from other traditional American whiskies and bourbons. On the nose is a roasted coffee bouquet that enhances dark fruits and lingers through an exceptionally long finish. On the palate, natural flavors of toasted caramel, dark molasses and smoky chocolate mingle. STOLEN Whiskey’s initial buttery mouthfeel ultimately balances out a bold and lasting finish. For a list of recipes, check out our Cocktails.

What Gary Says
Nose: Oak, smoke, char, burnt sugar, alcohol, solvent, tobacco.
Palate: Smoke, oak, subtle sweet brown sugar.
Finish: Moderate in length, drying and peppery.
Comments: Important to note that this isn’t bourbon (so don’t expect that). It isn’t labeled as “straight whiskey” either, despite having an age statement beyond 2 yrs (which could mean a few things, but likely that there are additives). Nothing wrong with all that (Early Times is an example of non-straight whiskey), but it should be clear to align expectations. This isn’t in my wheelhouse. Smoke and oak, and not much else. The nose had a tinge of solvent or cleaner that I didn’t care for, which thankfully wasn’t on the palate. I expect less in terms of flavor and complexity from ‘just whiskey’, and this fell into that squarely – although I think the 11 yr age statement set me up to expect more than I got. Just too one dimensional for me (even at a heck of a lot less money).
Rating: Pass

High West Bourye Limited Sighting

High West Bourye Limited Sighting
A Blend of Straight Whiskeys

46% ABV
$80
Website

What the Blender Says
A unique and premium blend of rich bourbon and rye whiskeys, making for a premier sipping whiskey and one of High West’s all time favorites.

Bourye is best enjoyed around a campfire while looking at the Milky Way. Sip straight or with a little water. Not recommended with ice

Bourye is a combination of “Bou” for bourbon and “rye” for..well, rye whiskey. Because combining bourbon and rye is a bit unusual, we couldn’t help thinking of the jackalope. Honestly, we didn’t think anyone would like the name!

The jackalope, also called an antelabbit, is an antlered species of rabbit, a cross between a jack rabbit and an antelope. It is rumored that pockets of jackalope populations continue to persist in the American West, its native home. In the old West, when cowboys would gather by their campfires to sing at night, jackalopes would frequently be heard singing back, mimicking the voices of the cowboys. When chased, the jackalope will use its vocal abilities to elude capture. For instance, when chased by people it will call out phrases such as, “There he goes, over there,” in order to throw pursuers off its track. Legend suggests the best way to catch a jackalope is to lure it with whiskey, as they have a particular fondness for this drink. Once
intoxicated, the animal becomes slower and easier to hunt (believe it or not, all this mythology is true, we didn’t make any of this up). That’s why High West created Bourye®, our proprietary blend of mature Bourbon and Rye, both favorites of real cowboys and sure to attract even the most finicky of jackalopes. All whiskeys in this carefully crafted blend are a minimum of 10
years old and sourced from multiple distilleries. See highwest.com for technical details and sourcing, that’s not a secret. However, the proportions are! Bourye® is best enjoyed around a campfire while looking at the Milky Way. Important! Jackalopes will attack if cornered or provoked. To avoid injury, quickly fall to the ground, remain calm and still, while humming the Roy Rogers song, “Happy Trails to You” (we did make this up!).

2016 Batch (Old Label Format with “Limited Release” Printed in Red) :
• 9-year-old straight bourbon (mash bill: 75% corn, 21% rye, 4% barley malt) Source: MGP/LDI/Seagrams, Indiana
• 13-year-old straight rye whiskey (mash bill: 95% rye, 5% barley malt) Source: MGP/LDI/Seagrams, Indiana
• 17-year-old straight rye whiskey (mash bill: 95% rye, 5% barley malt) Source: MGP/LDI/Seagrams, Indiana

Barrel Type(s): Whiskeys aged in new, charred white American oak barrels
Nose: Vanilla Butter toffee, Spiced Marzipan, Roasted Nuts, Dried Pineapple
Taste: Sweet Honey Nougat, Rich Caramel, Dark Ginger Cake, Mulling Spices, Dried Stone Fruit.
Finish: Long & Rich, Roasted Pecan, Molasses, and Crème Brûlée

What Gary Says
Nose: Musty oak with brown sugar (wisp of bbq sauce?), dry leaves, hint of smoke, cloves and mulling spices.
Palate: Wow! Starts rich with a deep sweetness before an uptick of spice (but never sharp); incredibly well balanced between honey, clove, and cinnamon.
Finish: Long with a bit of pepper.
Comments: I’ve been a fan of High West’s Bourye since I first tried it (and in fact play “mad scientist” at home; experimenting with various combinations of bourbon and rye). This is really delicious. When I first tried this, my immediate thought was “Holy @#$% – where do I get one of these RIGHT NOW?!” The nose is lovely – the kind I could just smell for the better part of an evening – but the palate on this just blew me away. It isn’t intense/dense with flavor like a higher proof whiskey might be, but this may be one of the best balanced pours I’ve had. I think this is my Goldilocks whiskey (at least at the moment). Not too sweet, not too spicy, not too oaky – just right.
Rating: Must Try

What Richard Says
Nose: Deep rye forward bourbon-ish notes. This reminds me more of single barrel Four Roses than other MGP ryes or bourbons I’ve tried. Cinnamon, smoky, sweet tobacco, and something earthly like gardening mulch.
Palate: Big caramel and cinnamon flavors jumping forward.
Finish: This finishes strong with spicy cinnamon Red Hots and a big kick of wood.
Comments: Big, bold, delicious, and yet approachable. This whiskey is all the things that I find myself seeking more often in my drinks. Compared to the prior (2015) release that version was more muted on the nose and more wood forward in both palate and finish. This version is a masterclass in blending American whiskey. The balance is fantastic. David Perkins really shines with this release.
Rating: Must Try

Lot 40 – 2012

Lot No. 40 Copper Pot Still Canadian Whisky (2012 version)
43 % ABV
$40
Website

What the Distillery Says
Lot No. 40 is expertly distilled in small batches using only the finest locally sourced ingredients. By distilling in a single copper pot still, the result is a whisky that starts off earthy and woody tasting and then becomes full bodied and complex with a velvety vanilla oak finish.

What Gary Says
Nose: Sweet, malty, dried grass/hay, bright with subtle sweetness and dark druit, hint of toasted marshmallow and maple syrup (and could be my imagination, but beer?).
Palate: Sweet entry with a silky mouthfeel, soft, smooth, subtle grapefruit (without the acid bite) and a malty note.
Finish: Short and forgettable, drying, bit of citrus at the end.
Comments: The first taste of this, I did a blind side-by-side against the dusty 1990s version of Lot 40. I found them considerably different (even asked my wife, who isn’t a whiskey drinker, if she thought they smelled similar; she didn’t). Calling that out only because if you’ve had the older version and are expecting this to be a new release of the same thing – don’t. I’ve read other reviews that found them to be similar, so could just be me – but while there is a faint familial string between them; I wouldn’t confuse them for one another on a bad day. That aside, this is an interesting whisky. I’m not a beer drinker, but each time I tried this – that is what triggered in my brain: Beer (not that the whiskey itself tastes LIKE beer, but something on the nose and palate have faint ties to beer that I can’t quite explain). While I don’t like beer, it wasn’t a negative note – just odd (as I can’t recall getting that from another whiskey – at least any North American’s whiskey!) For the price, unless you’re really into funky ryes, I’d definitely look to try it before you buy it.
Rating: Stands Out

What Richard Says
Nose: Malty with a heavy creamy vanilla sweetness. Wildflower honey.
Palate: More creamy vanilla sweetness pushing to the forefront with a bit of white pepper biting around the edges and a dusting of fresh grated nutmeg. The more I ruminate on this whiskey what comes to mind is a lovely ginger and peach preserve that I found at this local shop on the west side of Atlanta.
Finish: Moderate in length and woody. The pepper notes, black and white this time, linger with a milky creaminess that reminds of the finish of really cold organic skim milk.
Comments: Yummy. I don’t like this one quite as much as the original but it still has a tremendous amount to offer. It lacks some of the richness of the 90’s original but I think fans of many different whiskey styles will find something here that they like. Definitely get a hold of one of these if you get the chance!
Rating: Must Try

Lot 40

Lot No. 40 Single Copper Pot Still Canadian Whisky (1990s version)
43 % ABV
$30
Website

What the Distillery Says
Lot No. 40 is expertly distilled in small batches using only the finest locally sourced ingredients. By distilling in a single copper pot still, the result is a whisky that starts off earthy and woody tasting and then becomes full bodied and complex with a velvety vanilla oak finish.

What Gary Says
Nose: Tobacco leaves, subtle sherry & molasses sweetness with malty undertones, baking bread in a funky/musty kitchen, hints of dried herbs.
Palate: Herbal and vegetal notes, sweet rye bread, malty fruit cake, hints of a black tea with raisins and kiwi.
Finish: On the short side, slightly drying w/ some pepper spice hitting.
Comments: This is an odd whiskey, but in a good way. I liked it immediately because it was so different than anything I had tried before. If someone had given me this blind and asked what I thought it was, my guess would have been some type of funky single malt Scotch rather than a Canadian rye. There is a prominent maltiness throughout, but the rye isn’t lost – just different from American Rye whiskey (not as sharp and peppery). A very unique whiskey. Unfortunately the uniqueness makes it hard for me to recommend it, as I’m never sure what someone will think. But I’d recommend trying it if only to see what you think. If you’re not the adventurous type – maybe don’t bother, as this won’t fit neatly into another category.
Rating: Stands Out/Must Try

What Richard Says
Nose: Sweetly herbal, notes of aged tobacco, molasses, mint, and stewed stone fruits.
Palate: Creamy, rich, and viscous. Tons of dark fruit, pepper, mint, and orange liqueur.
Finish: Rye spicy with mint, anise, and cinnamon.
Comments: When you hear talk about the “great Canadian whisky” being hoarded north of the border this is the kind of thing they are talking about. This has tremendous richness and depth compared to the vast majority of Canadian whisky. Truly stunning in it’s original form but sadly the subsequent versions don’t hold a candle to the original.
Rating: Must Try

Ellington Reserve

Ellington Reserve Fine Canadian Whisky Aged 8 Years
40% ABV
$18
Website

What the Bottler Says
RICH . CARAMEL . OAK . LONG
Canada- Premium Canadian Whisky aged to perfection in charred oak barrels for eight years. This aging produces a smooth, mellow flavor for the discerning whisky connoisseur. Great sipped neat or on the rocks.

What Richard Says
Nose: Acetone and vanilla extract.
Palate: Reasonably sweet and one dimensional. Brown sugar cooked to a light caramel.
Finish: Hot, burning hot. It finishes rough.
Comments: I’m having a hard time confirming or disputing the origin of this spirit but it seems to be connected to Total Wine as one of their house spirits. And like most of the rest of TW’s house spirits this is a pretty sad imitation of a quality spirit. It’s pretty damn bad. If you need to experience this for yourself then bring plenty of cola.
Rating: Probably Pass