Jim Beam Double Oak

Double Oak’s approach to the industry meme of “do something different to the base whiskey so we can charge more for it” is about as simple as you can get, and yet is oddly rare in the bourbon business. They took Jim Beam, having aged it like all bourbons in new charred American white oak barrels, and they…

Mortlach (12 year) ‘Wee Witchie’

The “Wee Witchie” is the name of Mortlach’s small experimental pot still, and “some” of its output was included in the batch for this bottling. “Some” is one of the worst words in the English language, so we don’t know if we’re talking about a literal teaspoon, or if 30% of the vatting comes from The Wee Witchie, so it’s kind of an irrelevant piece of information…

Musings on Sauternes

…so in an attempt to better understand the flavors that arise when whisky is aged in Sauternes casks, I sought a bottle of actual Sauternes. I’m drinking a Château Guiraud 2010 (375ml bottle) which was something like $40, and I’m drinking it chilled. I’m noticing the aroma – particularly – has distinct notes of golden raisins (duh), rich honey, fresh apricots, dried apricots, and a not-quite-yeasty fungal aroma that’s…

Kirkland Islay Single Malt (2022)

Getting the easy stuff out of the way: This is a single malt scotch whisky, from a single distillery on the island of Islay in Scotland. It is heavily peated like other Islay stalwarts (Ardbeg, Lagavulin, Laphroaig, Caol Ila, etc.) and should not be considered unless you know you’re ready for a face-full of smoke and weird brine flavors in your whisky. It is bottled at the impressive strength of…

The Exceptional Grain

The Exceptional is a line of sourced scotches blended and bottled by Sutcliffe & Son. They began with The Exceptional Grain in 2013, and then expanded to an Exceptional Malt and Exceptional Blend. Putting aside the hubris involved in referring to your own work as “Exceptional”, Sutcliffe has garnered renown for his blends and continues to release new editions each year. Each edition of…

Book Review: Malt Whisky Yearbook 2023

The Malt Whisky Yearbook is an annual “field guide” to the world of malt whisky and the malt whisky industry. Author/Editor and Keeper of the Quaich Ingvar Ronde started in 2005 – and every year thereafter – compiling 12 months of news, facts, and figures from the industry while also managing to capture the overall trend and feel of the marketplace. In a way, it’s like a whole year of whisky magazine issues compressed into one compact and concise guidebook.