I am on vacation, so no “real” post this week. Instead, two minor updates:

First, from the blind tasting that I participated in recently, I had some leftover samples. I was able to update my review of McCarthy’s Oregon Single Malt using one of them. If you don’t want to bother reading it, the short version is that McCarthy’s apparently has some batch variation and this particular batch didn’t fare well in the rankings from our tasting. I also enjoyed it far less than I remember from my last review, which was 9 years ago.

Second, I was able to taste something that I liked so much I went an ordered a bottle for $130: St. George’s Single Malt – Lot 20. This is the 20th anniversary edition of one of my favorite American whiskies, St. George single malt which is made so near to where I live that I’m thoroughly embarrassed that I’ve never visited the distillery. I’d like to think my lapse is akin to New Yorkers who have never visited the Statue of Liberty. That distillery visit is definitely on my to-do list.

This edition of St. George is a vatting of barrels aged between 4.5 and 21 years, using a variety of barrel types: ex-bourbon, Tennessee whiskey casks, American and French oak apple brandy casks, Port casks, and a California Sauternes-style wine cask. It’s this last cask that dominates (thankfully), with an unctuous dripping honeyed pear cordial note. This whiskey is DECADENT, with so many fruits and flowers that I can’t begin to name them all. Crystallized ginger, late-harvest Riesling wine, pear drops, candied cardamom, candied orange peel, the list goes on. If you couldn’t tell from my description, the dominant notes are SWEET and FRUIT, but in such an elegant way that it’s hard to convey. The liquid has a syrupy body with notes of raspberry leaves, white tea, all the fruit notes from the aroma, plus a dry wine-like tartness. The finish is on the short side but consistently continues the notes all the way from the aroma. It’s is an exemplar of the quality one can expect from a St. George single malt, and it’s no wonder their releases often sell out and are sometimes hard to find these days. If you’re on the fence about purchasing a bottle, all I can say is that I wish I could buy a bottle of every lot that comes out.

See you all next week!

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  • I really appreciate this post because I am a New Yorker who has never visited the Statue of Liberty. For the record I live 27 miles away. I should probably put it on my post pandemic to-do list. Fortunately for me that while the statue is not considered essential business in New York State, liquor stores are and did not close for a single day.