Musings on Why I Bother

So why do I continue to pan every whisky that I either dislike or think is overpriced for its intrinsic value? Why not take the easy road and say everything tastes like Heather in Springtime and be done with it? Why do I continue to expose my sensitive ego to every Keyboard White Knight who just can’t handle a negative review of their house dram?

Broken Barrel Cask Strength Bourbon

So here we are, today, once again taking a look at a well-marketed bourbon without the faintest clue to where the liquid is actually distilled. At least Infuse Spirits, makers of the Broken Barrel brand as well as a slew of – hah – infused spirits, is trying to do something innovative. They are doing something similar to what John Glaser of Compass Box wanted to do with the original Spice Tree…

Blind Tastings Are Humbling

No real review this week, since I attended a blind Zoom tasting of 12 American single malt whiskies and I’m still recovering. What follows are some other stream-of-consciousness notes from our tasting. If you have an opportunity to gather a few like-minded friends to taste some whisky together (online or in person if your situation warrants), I highly recommend it.

BenRiach Heart of Speyside

Why anyone bottles any single malts at 40% ABV anymore is beyond me. This would probably be a rich, inviting example of classic Speyside single malt at 46% ABV, but instead it’s thin and watery. The thinness allows bitter elements to show through instead of being the foil to sweetness that they are in more robust malts. In essence, by taking out the things that make a single malt expensive (time in oak and high proof), they’ve taken out the things necessary to…

Oban Bay Reserve – Game of Thrones “The Night’s Watch”

I’ve always been a big fan of Oban. It’s one of the few distilleries that come to mind when I want something essentially “Highland” and with such a consistent house character that you know every bottle is going to contain that same predominant biscuity honey quality. Prices have crept up over the years, as they have with everything with the word “whisky” on the label, but I still think of Oban as my go-to Highland malt….

Westward American Single Malt

Not to be confused with Seattle producer Westland (which also makes amazing American single malt whiskey in the US Pacific Northwest), Westward is a Portland, Oregon based distillery founded in 2004 by Christian Krogstad, who has a brewing and winemaking background. Westward uses a two custom-designed copper pot stills to distill an ale-style wash…

GlenAllachie (12 year)

Official information is a little scarce, but it seems like the 12 year is aged in a combination of virgin oak, PX sherry casks, and oloroso sherry casks. I can’t tell if those are full-term sherry or if they are finishes, or what kind of virgin oak that is (American? European? Was a swallow involved?) or if there was ex-bourbon in the mix that they aren’t…