Category Archives: Taste of the…

Balvenie Golden Cask

The Balvenie Golden Cask Single Malt Scotch Whisky Aged 14 Years
47.5% ABV/95 Proof
$60 to $65
Travel Retail Exclusive
Website

What the Distillery Says:
“characterised by fruity sweetness and subtle spice”

In the crafting of GoldenCask, Balvenie is carefully aged for many years in traditional oak whisky casks and then transferred into barrels that had previously held golden Caribbean rum for a final period of maturation.

Characterised by fruity sweetness and subtle spice, The Balvenie GoldenCask is only available in Duty Free and is non chill-filtered and bottled at a strength of 47.5% abv.

NOSE: Light and fruity with notes of vanilla and honey. Delicate layers of orange and subtle flora add complexity.
TASTE: Sweet and spicy with a beautiful syrupiness. Chocolate orange and vanilla oak combine with hints of aniseed and liquorice.
FINISH: Long, dry and oaky.

What Richard Says:
Nose: Very light with lots of creamy honey fruit notes that remind me of cognac. Maybe scotch + rum = cognac? (I’m kidding!)
Palate: There is just a hint of sweetness. I’m mostly picking up a spicy smokiness. That’s not really what I expected from a rum cask finished scotch.
Finish: The finish is long with lots of smoky oak.
Comments: I don’t get out of the country too much. I’m not the international man of mystery the internet would lead you to believe. When I do I try to look for travel retail bottlings. A lot of them really are nothing special but I’m sucked in by the exclusivity of only being able to buy them in travel retail. This particular bottling is nice. I enjoy it from time to time but I was really hoping for a little more sweetness. Something closer to the Havana Reserve Glenfiddich 21 Year Old. I would’ve recommended that you pick up a bottle last year but with the new 14 Year old Caribbean Rum Cask as part of their standard line I’m not so sure anymore. I’ll have to grab a bottle and do a side by side to see if this is really just the same thing with 4.5% extra alcohol.
Rating: Stands Out

What Matt Says:

Matt has not had a chance to review this whisky yet.

Balvenie Doublewood

The Balvenie Doublewood Single Malt Scotch Whisky Aged 12 Years
43% ABV/86 Proof
$37 to $42
Widely available around the world
Website

What the Distillery Says:
“characterised by rich honey sweetness and a delicate layer of sherry”

The Balvenie DoubleWood is a 12 year old single malt which gains its distinctive character from being matured in two woods. Over its period of maturation it is transferred from a traditional oak whisky cask to a first fill European oak sherry cask. Each stage lends different qualities to the resulting single malt ~ the traditional casks soften and add character, whilst the sherry wood brings depth and fullness of flavour.

NOSE: Sweet fruit and Oloroso sherry notes, layered with honey and vanilla.
TASTE: Smooth and mellow with beautifully combined flavours ~ nutty sweetness, cinnamon spiciness and a delicately proportioned layer of sherry.
FINISH: Long and warming.

What Richard Says:
Nose: I get a lot of honey and fruity notes but somehow I’m missing the vanilla and sherry.
Palate: Very smooth. Sweet at the start and then it settles into notes of oak, oranges, and hazelnuts.
Finish: The finish is as smooth at the palate and very warm. It’s a little more tart and bitter on the finish though.
Comments: I really like this particular dram, especially under the $40 price point. I think it’s a great value dram and shows great craftsmanship coming out of William Grant & Sons.
Rating: Stands Out, Great Value

What Matt Says:

Matt has not had a chance to review this whisky yet.

Four Roses 100th Anniversary

Four Roses Limited Edition Single Barrel Bourbon Whiskey, 2010 Release
Bottle 395 of 2359, Barrel No. 24-2 B
54% ABV/108 Proof
$100
Available in select US markets

What the Distillery Says:
It only seems right to witness the 100th anniversary of our unique distillery building with a perfectly aged, one-of-a-kind limited edition single barrel selected from on of our 10 Bourbon recipes. After 17 years, this uncut, non-chill filtered work of art has matured into a Bourbon of uncommon character and taste. The aromas of brisk cloves and candied fruits preview the bold, jammy flavors of peach and cherry that meld seamlessly with creamy, spiced vanilla and antique oak. And the very long, velvety finish is, of course, the perfect tribute to a remarkable building – in itself so exquisitely aged.

What Richard Says:
Nose: Rich and creamy on the nose. Creme brûlée and cloves.
Palate: The richness continues on the palate. It’s very spicy and fruity with a lot of vanilla and oak but I get very little of the sweetness from the nose.
Finish: Even at a high octane proof this is quite smooth. There’s an almost medicinal note that I don’t usually find in Four Roses bourbons. Spicy with hints of cherry.
Comments: First of all, for the whiskey geeks out there this bottling is a 17 year old from the OBSV recipe. I’m not quite sure if I like this more or less than the 2010 Small Batch Limited Edition. You really can’t go wrong with either. If you find the opportunity to get a glass of this you really should try it.
Rating: Must Try

What Matt Says:

Matt has not had the chance to review this whiskey yet.

Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch 2010

Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch 2010 Release Barrel Strength Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
55.1% ABV/110.2 Proof
$75
Available in select US markets

What the Distillery Says:
Four Roses is the only distillery that gently ages 10 distinct Bourbon recipes. Form time to time, our Master Distiller selects a few exceptional barrels and marries them by hand to create an exquisite Limited Edition Small Batch Bourbon like this one. Three recipes aged between 10 and 15 years have been artfully mingled at barrel strength, creating a rich, complex spirit defined by soft oak, caramel and honeysuckle aromas. Subtle flavors of cherries and apricot are well balanced with whispers of light spice, honey and raspberries. And the cream smooth finish is satisfyingly long and mellow, making this a Bourbon you’ll not just savor, but long remember.

What Richard Says:
Nose: Interestingly, the nose isn’t that alcoholic given the barrel proof and surprisingly delicate. Orchard fruit and some spice hide in the background.
Palate: Sweet, spicy, and oaky on palate. It also reminds me of a honey drizzled fruit cup like the one your mom put in your lunch as a kid.
Finish: The finish is very long with plenty of oak. It leaves cinnamon in the mouth long after the drink is gone.
Comments: Oddly enough the first thing that struck me about this whiskey was the name. I believe, to date 14 words is the longest official name of anything we’ve reviewed. For you whiskey geeks out there, the actual recipes used in the limited edition are a 15 year old OBSV, an 11 year old OBSK and a 10 year old OESK. They stopped calling this annual release “Mariage” so that they could use more recipes instead of just two. If this year’s release is any indication I’ve not problem with the change.
Rating: Must Try

What Matt Says:

Matt has not had a chance to review this whiskey yet.

Old Forester Birthday Bourbon 2010

Old Forester Birthday Bourbon, 2010 Edition
47.5% ABV/95 Proof
$35 to $40
Available across the U.S.

What the Distillery Says:
George Garvin Brown, founder of Old Forester bourbon and the first person to bottle bourbon, was born in Munfordville, Kentucky, on September 2, 1846. This vintage release of Old Forester has been selected to honor the birthday of this bourbon pioneer, innovator and industry leader.

This year’s vintage release of Old Forester is crafted from a 72 barrel batch of 97J24. These barrels were evenly matured together in the very middle of Warehouse K, on the 5th floor in ricks 42, 43, and 45, surrounded by open space. This environment allowed the barrels to easily breathe during maturation and develop a rich fruit and spice character.

Color-Deep caramel brown.
Aroma-Rich hints of cedar, dark chocolate and tropical fruit underscored by caramel and butterscotch notes.
Taste-Crisp cedar and nutty oak mingle with fig, berry and citrus character.
Finish-A long, crisp wood spice note ends with a touch of fruit.

What Richard Says:
Nose: Very rich on the nose. Sticky toffee and cedar wood with an almost oily resinous smell.
Palate: Raisins, Christmas spices (think mulled wine or pumpkin pie spice) with a little mint right before the finish.
Finish: The finish is long and woody. Pepper and oak seem to stay around forever.
Comments: Are you looking for good bourbon for under $40? Here you go. This annual release has swung widely from year to year. This year’s is some of the best 12 year old coming out Brown Forman. Not a must try but it really stands out.
Rating: Stands Out

What Matt Says:

Matt has not had a chance to review this whiskey yet.