Category Archives: Other Whisk(e)ys

Buffalo Trace White Dog Rye Mash

Buffalo Trace White Dog Rye Mash
62.5% ABV
$15 (375 mL)

What the Distillery Says
Dating back to George Washington and the birth of a nation is a proud history of crafting whiskey. Some of the first whiskey distilled in America was Straight Rye. Keeping with the traditions of America’s founding fathers, Buffalo Trace Distillery offers this raw, clear, un-aged and high-proof distillate right off the still. The taste has a hint of spicy rye. This whiskey is known as White Dog. It was later discovered this spirit was perfect for aging and gave way to what we today know as Straight Rye Whiskey. Enjoy this White Dog the way early Americans did more than 200 years ago.
TASTING NOTES: Seriously spicy, with some corn sweetness and lingering earthiness.

What Gary Says
Nose: Alcohol, corn along with sourdough, rye bread, and barley malt; some water tamps down the alcohol and really thickens the nose, bringing anise with buttered popcorn.
Palate: Warm, sharp anise bite with a hint of corn and pepper; water brings the sweetness above the burn and makes the anise more prominent, along with another baking spice (maybe clove) while tamping down the pepper.
Finish: Peppery and short.
Comments: While I can’t say this is something I’d pour very often, this was better than I expected – and if I was buying white dog to keep on hand, I thought this had the best “bank for the buck” of the three I tried. Only a couple of bucks more than Heaven Hill’s Trybox New Make Rye, but I enjoyed this quite a bit more than that. I have pretty low expectations with white dog, and honestly am not a fan – but this had more character than I expected. If you do like white dog and haven’t tried it, I would recommend giving it a go.
Rating: Stands Out

Ezra Brooks Rye

Ezra Brooks Straight Rye Whiskey
45% ABV

What the Bottler Says:
Nose: Hints of chocolate, leather, vanilla and spicy grains.
Palate: Slightly sweet and oaky tones, with a warm and spicy finish.

What Gary Says
Nose: Young rye spice (mint, dill, thyme), hint of citrus zest and a bit of alcohol.
Palate: Thin, soft rye spice, subtly sweet, sour patch candy.
Finish: Short and a tad dry.
Comments: I’m a fan of Ezra Brooks 7-yr, 101 proof bourbon – so when I saw a straight rye offering, I jumped at it. Even with a 24 month age statement, I’ve enjoyed young rye (much more so than young bourbon). This doesn’t remind me of most young rye, which tends to be aggressive. This is very soft to me for a rye. The nose is squarely in the young-rye category, but the palate was too soft/subtle for me. If I was looking for a rye at a similar price-point, I’d spring for the extra few bucks and go with Rittenhouse Bottled-In-Bond. While this is 90 proof, it drinks to me like an 80 proof, which is disappointing.
Rating: Probably Pass

What Richard Says
Nose: Super light on the nose. It’s almost like rye white dog. Just a bit of mint with lemon/lime zest.
Palate: Surprisingly sweet with loads of caramel and vanilla dancing around the mint and black pepper.
Finish: The finish is a bit harsh. Lots of pepper and alcohol burn.
Comments: Meh. Not good, not bad. Very average. There isn’t anything that makes me want to reach of this over something else.
Rating: Average

Advent Day 16: Kavalan

Day 16 of the Whisky Advent Calendar comes all the way from Taiwan…

Kavalan Single Malt Whisky
40% ABV

What the Distillery Says
Kavalan Classic Single Malt Whisky exemplifies the sheer quality of whisky currently coming out of Taiwan. The skills of Master Blender Ian Chang work with the humid Taiwanese climate to create whisky that is diverse and complex. Fresh and clean, the spirit is rich with silky smoothness and hints of tropical fruits, mango in particular.

Nose: Clean, elegant, floral (pleasant & refreshing fragrance of the butterfly orchid), fruity and seductive. With hints of honey, tropical fruits (mango in particular), pear drop, vanilla, coconuts and suggestions of chocolate.

Palate: A hint of sweet mango juice with that spicy complexity and gentle warmth on a medium, oily and citrus finish.

Tasting: Kavalan classic is the perfect partner for seafood. We suggest sometimes you can dilute Kavalan classic with water, the perfect racio is “Kavalan Classic 1: Water 5”, and add ice to cool.

What Richard Says
Nose: Poached pear and green apple sweetness with a mild malty backbone.
Palate: Delicate and floral with notes of under ripe apples, expressed citrus peel, and digestive biscuits.
Finish: Lingering wet wood and vanilla extract.
Comments: I’ve only been fortunate enough to try Kavalan a few times and this is my first experience with their signature malt. It is a lovely, clean, well crafted malt that sits a bit middle of the road. It won’t offend any camp of whisky enthusiast but it won’t set them on fire either. One for the Glenmorangie fans out there.
Rating: Stand Out

Advent Day 14: Mackmyra Brukswhisky

Day 14 of the whisky advent calendar bring a Swedish treat…

Mackmyra Brukswhisky Swedish Single Malt Whisky
41.4% ABV

What the Distillery
Mackmyra Brukswhisky is an exciting, well-balanced whisky, created to be enjoyed at all times. Enjoy Brukswhisky as it is, with or without ice, on any occasion.

NOSE Butterscotch, citrus, pear, licorice, banana and mint.

TASTE Fresh fruity and peppery. Youthful, fruity flavor with a spicy taste of toffee.

What Richard Says
Nose: Kind of mealy with notes of barley and malt.
Palate: Fruity sweet with an edging of ground black pepper. Clean with a slightly minty note.
Finish: Fleeting with a bit more pepper spice.
Comments: Meh. This is my first experience with Mackmyra and it isn’t starting with a great first impression. This is very light, uninspiring, and should probably be regulated to a mixer…and a pricey mixer at that.
Rating: Average

Advent Day 3: Bain’s Single Grain

And on the third day of Advent my calendar gave to me…

Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky
40% ABV

What the Distillery Says
Bain’s Single Grain Whisky is a double matured whisky produced from 100% South African Yellow Maize, you may call this corn. We first mature it in specially selected first-fill bourbon casks for a period of three years, we then transfer it to a second set of first-fill bourbon casks for a further 18 to 30 months to extract a full rich flavor like no other.

COLOR: Warm, golden amber
NOSE: Combination of toffee, floral and vanilla aromas
PALATE: A hint of spice softened by the sweet undertones of oak
FINISH: A warm and extended mouth-feel with an exceptionally smooth finish

What Richard Says
Nose: Clearly grain with the signature light toffee and floral notes. At the back there is a bit of vanilla and something slightly astringent.
Palate: Creamy and sweet with a big helping of vanilla ice cream with butterscotch sauce drizzled on top.
Finish: Herbal and slightly spicy with a bit of high cacao dark chocolate.
Comments: Like many younger grain whiskeys, this is not terribly complex. It is oozing with sweetness that makes it terribly easy to drink. This comes from the same providence as the Three Ships brand. With only a couple of distilleries in South Africa putting out aged whiskey, this is good chance to give it a try at a modest price. Fans of Haig Club should definitely check this out.
Rating: Stands Out