Glengoyne 15 Year

Glengoyne Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky Matured 15 Years
43% ABV
$65-$75
Website

What the Distillery Says
The depth and sweetness of dried fruit
Complex depths and bright tropical notes – with a spicy oak finish. Hints of candied lemon and pineapple reveal the influence of first-fill bourbon casks, balanced by the rich intensity of our signature sherry wood.

What Richard Says
Nose: Rich, meaty, and sherry forward.
Palate: Stewed dark fruits and raisins with a deep nutty framework.
Finish: A nice balance of peppery heat and solid oak with a lingering sherry backbone. When all else fades a sprinkling of cocoa powder remains.
Comments: Of many “double wood” single malts blending sherry and bourbon wood that I’ve tried, this Glengoyne stands out with more robust strength and backbone than similar whiskies. The nose and palate are very enjoyable but the lingering finish keeps me coming back.
Rating: Stands Out

Glengoyne 10 Year

Glengoyne Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky Matured 10 Years
40% ABV
$43
Website

What the Distillery Says
Smooth, fruity and incredibly moreish. Fresh green apples, toffee and a hint of nuttiness. This is the taste of distilling slower than anyone else in Scotland, of barley we dry by air – never peat – and of hand-selected sherry casks crafted from European and American oak.

What Richard Says
Nose: Malty and crisp with notes of fresh apples, leather, and malted barely.
Palate: Green apple sweetness.
Finish: Short and clean with a hint of nutmeg.
Comments: The 10 year old is by no means an exemplary bottle of Glengoyne but it is a very enjoyable malt none the less. It offers a very good sub-$50 alternative when you go to the liquor store seeking Glenlivet, Glenfiddich, or Glenmorangie.
Rating: Stand Out

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