Paul John “Brilliance” Single Malt Indian Whisky

“Brilliance” is distilled from Himalayan 6-row barley and aged in ex-bourbon barrels for 3 to 5 years, and is bottled at 46% ABV. Remember that whisky ages faster in India, so 3 – 5 years is equivalent to 10 – 15 years in Scotland. … As Goa is located squarely in the tropics, high heat causes barrel strength to increase in the cask as more water than alcohol evaporates. This sort of “reverse Angel’s Share” also occurs in other parts of the world, such as Kentucky in the USA, and isn’t as simple as…

Bruichladdich Octomore 12.3

Sherry aging is uncommon at Bruichladdich unlike other distilleries, and it was refreshing for me to hear the reason out loud from head distiller Adam Hannett on our group call for the Octomore Twelve campaign. He said that Bruichladdich decided to discontinue sherry aging years ago when they found they couldn’t get any true sherry casks from the open market. Everything they received was sherry “seasoned” (meaning some sherry-like liquid was…

Bruichladdich Octomore 12.2

This is not the first Octomore finished in Sauternes: The famed “Octomore 4.2 Comus” release was finished in valuable Chateau d’Yquem casks. Also like 4.2, this year’s 12.2 will be available in regular retail outlets in the United States. The last 7 editions of X.2 were only available in Travel Retail (‘duty free’). … The whisky was vatted together and transferred into first-fill French Sauternes casks for an additional 2 years (total age: 5). Although it is cask strength, Bruichladdich mixes in a “just a drop” of spring water from Octomore Farm’s natural spring, which

Bruichladdich Octomore 12.1

12.1 this year was distilled in 2015 from the 2014 harvest of Scottish-grown (not on Islay) Concerto barley. The barley was malted by Bairds in Inverness to 130.8 ppm and was aged for 5 years in first-fill ex-bourbon American oak casks from a variety of bourbon distilleries. Although it is cask strength, Bruichladdich mixes in a “just a drop” of spring water from Octomore Farm’s natural spring, which does not…

Larceny Barrel Proof Bourbon (Batch B520)

This “Barrel Proof” edition is a small batch release (just like Larceny’s non-cask-strength bottling) of Kentucky straight bourbon bottled at a whopping 61.1% ABV from casks aged between 6 and 8 years. The producers did not use chill filtration, according to the back of the bottle, which is rare to see on an American whiskey label. Heaven Hill releases a new batch of Larceny Barrel Proof…

Hirsch “The Horizon” Bourbon

The Horizon is a blend of straight bourbons, mostly (94%) 4 year and 11 month-old bourbon with a mash bill of 21% rye, 75% corn, and 4% malted barley, plus a bare 6% of 6 year and 8 month-old bourbon with a mash bill of 36% rye, 60% corn, and 4% malted barley. The barley is in there to provide enzymes that kickstart fermentation. I’m not sure whether the difference between these two parcels of bourbon is enough to warrant such a…

Dalwhinnie – Game of Thrones “House Stark: Winter’s Frost”

Dalwhinnie is not one of my favorite whiskies. I’ve always felt it was trying to do the same thing that The Balvenie does but with less success. That’s a totally unfair characterization, so let’s forget I said it and proceed with tasting the whisky. An an ex-bourbon matured single malt without an age statement, and at the now-fairly-standard 43% ABV…

Barrell Seagrass Rye

So back to Seagrass. Imagine if you will several parcels of rye whiskey sourced from all over the place (to wit, Kentucky, Indiana, Tennessee, and Canada) and finished in Martinique Rhum Agricole casks, Madeira wine casks, and APRICOT BRANDY BARRELS. What is this madness? I would happily slap down 90 bills for anything finished in an apricot brandy barrel, alone. I had no choice; I had to buy…