Clyde May’s Bourbon

Clyde May’s Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Batch No. CM-079, Recipe No. 2

46% ABV
$40
Website
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What the Bottler Says:
Clyde May was moonshiner by trade but a craftsman by heart. He made his famous whiskey in hand-built copper stills, with fresh Alabama spring water and the finest local ingredients. The man was locked up for his passion — eight months in the federal penitentiary — yet he started up those copper stills the day he got out.

This straight bourbon honers Clyde’s dedication to the craft. We use simple ingredients and a patient aging process to produce a fine, easy-drinking spirit. Like Clyde’s own moonshine, it’s a whiskey with integrity. Straightforward, porch-siting, rocking chair bourbon — and this time, it’s perfectly legal.

On the nose its soft with aromas of brown sugar, baked apricot, wild strawberry & nutmeg. Palate is wonderfully soft with complex aromas of barrel spice, fruit and oiled leather. Finish is long & complete. Best sipped neat, on the rocks or in a carefully crafted cocktail with integrity.

What Richard Says:
Nose: It smells, well…like bourbon. Toffee, vanilla, and cinnamon.
Palate: The extra proof gives it a bit of a creamy, chewy feel that I like. It’s more spice and wood forward with notes of more cinnamon, vanilla, barrel char, and a bit of old leather.
Finish: The finish is dry and woody with black peppercorns around the edges.
Comments: There is no disclosure on how old this Kentucky sourced bourbon is but it is surprisingly woody for what I would otherwise think is a middle aged (6ish years) bourbon. It doesn’t particularly stand out. It’s in the vein of an Elijah Craig small batch, Old Forester, or Jim Beam Black. Not offensive in anyway but not particularly notable. A solid utility bourbon (featured in my chocolate pecan pie this year). The cute backstory is really the only thing propping up the extra $15 to $20 you would pay for similar bourbons.
Rating: Average

We would like to thank Clyde May for sending us a bottle to review.

Booker’s Rye

Booker’s Rye Big Time Batch
Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey

68.1% ABV
$300
Website
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What the Distillery Says:
Booker Noe was known for his innovative thinking, big personality and, most of all, his big-flavored bourbon. He spent his days experimenting at the distillery, tinkering with different grain mixtures, and was always intrigued by the challenge that the temperamental rye grain posed. Never one to back down from a challenge, he went big in 2003 and laid down a limited number of barrels of a rye whiskey, creating the first ever Booker’s Rye. When you take one sip of this whiskey, you’ll agree that it is “Big Time” all the way.

It has an intense flavor profile with pronounced, well-balanced notes of wood and oak from the longer aging process. The deep amber liquid offers a complex aroma with spicy notes from the rye in the mash bill.

This uncut rye has a spicy and robust flavor, but is not overpowering. It can be enjoyed neat or on the rocks.

What Richard Says:
Nose: It’s a little woody but not too much. The proof needs a bit of water before the nose can really develop. Deep sooty caramel, fiery cinnamon, oiled leather, and hint of tobacco.
Palate: Whoa! So delicious and so hot at the same time. The experience of the first taste reminds me of the first time I had George T Stagg, although this doesn’t go down quite as smooth. It is rich, thick, and sweet…oozing cinnamon Red Hots, baking spices, and cooked brown sugar and butter.
Finish: The finish is dry with lots of leather, cigar tobacco, and cocoa powder.
Comments: Supposedly this isn’t just high proof extra aged Knob Creek Rye. According to the distillery this was a special recipe rye that Booker created and laid down the year before he passed away. I don’t know if that is marketing hooey or the real deal but this tastes unlike any rye that I’ve ever had. This is absolutely delicious. If it wasn’t ridiculously over priced at $300 a bottle then I would say scour the earth for every bottle you can find. It’s a shame really, because this is such delicious whiskey and it’s marred by the stigma of Beam’s recent pricing missteps (Knob Creek 2001, Booker’s Bourbon, and this). All that aside, this really is a drink that you should experience. $300 for the bottle? No, but if you can get a glass for $30 to $40 at a bar then jump on it.
Rating: Must Try

We would like to thank Beam Suntory for sending us a sample to review.

Mosswood Nocino

Mosswood Nocino Barrel Aged American Whiskey
46% ABV
$50
Website
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What the Bottler Says:
Not much at all really. This was supposed to be release in October 2016 but I can’t find any information on the bottling on the Mosswood website or any trace of a retailer carrying the bottle. This is pretty obviously sourced whiskey but it gets a finish in barrels that held Nocino liqueur made by the people behind Mosswood with walnuts from their own tree. This release is only 359 bottles so it is very limited.

What Richard Says:
Nose: Wow that barrel finish really makes the nose stand out with notes of fruit brandies. As it sits a bit it comes out with peanut butter pie and candied walnuts.
Palate: This has a great mouth feel to it. It’s very rich and creamy and coats the tongue. The flavor is more like a heritage apple brandy or some obscure grape varietal brandy. It reminds me a lot of the brandies coming out of Germain Robin.
Finish: Light wood, like wet toothpicks, offset by a slightly astringent nuttiness.
Comments: This is really interesting. The Nocino finish does a number on this. It tastes like a fruit brandy and feels like a whiskey. It’s kind of got the better parts of both. It is very interesting and if you are inclined toward interesting whiskey then try it if you have the opportunity.
Rating: Stands Out

We would like to thank Mosswood for sending us a sample to review.

Glen Grant 18 Year

Glen Grant Single Malt Scotch Whisky Aged 18 Years
43% ABV
$120
Website
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What the Distillery Says:
This unrivaled single malt matures for at least 18 years in the highest quality, handpicked oak casks, which creates a radiant golden colour and seductive floral and oaky aroma.

Deeply layered and complex, this rich and vibrant whisky delivers beautifully intricate flavours of malted caramel, vanilla, and raisins and lingers with a long, sweet, and pleasantly spicy finish.

Tasting notes
Colour: Bright Gold
Aroma: Rich and floral with oaky overtones and hints of baking spices
Taste: Malty caramel, delicate, dried raisins and vanilla
Finish: Long, sweet with hints of nuts and spice

What Richard Says:
Nose: Grassy and straw-like with floral and crisp apple notes. In the background is a hint of treacle with honey and citrus rind.
Palate: Fresh malted grains and fresh cut hay drizzled with vanilla extract. There is also a light sweetness around the edges but it isn’t a forward sweetness at all. A little too delicate
Finish: The finish has some legs to it but it’s dancing out woody and slightly peppery.
Comments: This one just didn’t do it for me. It wasn’t firing on all cylinders. The elements were light to the point of being barely there. If it only had a more buttery flavor and texture then I would’ve thought it was a grain whisky but not an exceptional one.
Rating: Probably Pass

We would like to thank Glen Grant for sending us a sample to review.

Glen Grant 12 Year

Glen Grant Single Malt Scotch Whiskey Aged 12 Years
43% ABV
$50
Website
12-years
What the Distillery Says:
Glen Grant 12 Year Old is a remarkable single malt.

With a bright, golden colour and pleasant aromas of orchard fruit, almond and citrus, this exceptional whisky delights the palate with exquisite and delicate notes of apple pie crust and caramel, and finishes with lingering fruit and subtle hints of spice.

Tasting notes
Colour: Bright Gold
Aroma: Honey, pear and apple with hints of almond and citrus
Taste: Apple pie crust, caramel and vanilla
Finish: Lingering fruit with subtle hints of spice

What Richard Says:
Nose: This nose is all kinds of light and fruity. That description gets a bit over used but if there was a tasting notes dictionary then this dram would be next to “light and fruity”. Sour apple candies, under ripe pears, orange blossom honey, and dew on fresh cut hay.
Palate: The whisky remains crisp and fresh to the taste. Granny Smith apples, vanilla candles, and some sweetness that’s like a house made floral infused simple syrup.
Finish: Kind of meh on the finish. It’s so light that wasn’t really expecting much.
Comments: You know, I really am not a fan of all this recent fancy, trendy new packaging for old whiskey brands. Glen Grant, Elijah Craig, etc. are all under this umbrella. I’m probably too old fashioned but I like the old stodgy packaging. This new sleek and sexy bottle for Glen Grant is just too damn sleek and sexy. I realize I’m in the minority and this rant has nothing to do with the liquid in the bottle but damn it I want dimpled hand blown imperfect glass with papyrus labels pasted on with horse glue. I want OLD!!!

So back to the actual whisky in the bottle…it’s okay. This is not a stunner by any means but it’s a light easy drinker that would be fine as an aperitif or a daily drinker for fans of the “Three Glens” (Glenlivet, Glenfiddich, Glenmorangie).
Rating: Average

We would like to thank Glen Grant for sending us a bottle to review.