OOLA Waitsburg Bourbon

This is 5 year-old bourbon which was previously sourced and blended but is now all made with a four-grain mashbill distillate from OOLA’s own small distillery in Seattle. They’re using locally-grown Washington State soft white winter wheat and organic corn from Waitsburg, WA, along with locally-sourced barley and rye. The mashbill, which probably changes based on grain availability, is around…

Lagavulin (9 year) – Game of Thrones “House Lannister”

This bottling is simply a 9 year-old expression of Lagavulin, which sounds young until you remember that peated single malt is usually quite good at younger ages, and between Octomore, Talisker 8 year, and… well… Lagavulin 8 year, no longer seems weird. The “House Lannister” bottling comes from only first-fill ex-bourbon casks (no sherry) and clocks in at 46% ABV.

Wild Turkey Longbranch

For less than 40 bones you get 8 year-old Wild Turkey Kentucky Straight Bourbon, which has been mellowed using a similar process to Jack Daniel’s and other Tennessee Whiskies. Instead of filtering it through 10 feet or whatever of sugar maple charcoal, Longbranch is circulated first through American white oak charcoal (the same oak used for barrels) and then through Mesquite charcoal from McConaughey’s native state of Texas.

Boutique-y Whisky: Tomatin (11 year) Batch 4

Oh, I’ve had Tomatin before. It’s bland, sweet, banana-y. I’m sure this will be just another ho-hum sample that gets suck in the back of my “tastings notes” folder and never sees the light of day. I’ve even tasted the 12-year. How much different can a batch of 11-year from That Boutique-y Whisky Company (TBWC) be? It’s not even sherried. At least, I don’t think it’s sherried…

Old Tub Bottled-in-Bond Bourbon

Old Tub is what Jim Beam used to be called a century ago when it was first sold in bottled form. The name changed to “Jim Beam” in 1943 and the previous brand name was relegated to a Kentucky-only low-volume release. Now, in 2020, Beam has released a limited edition renewal of the Old Tub brand. It’s still bottled-in-bond, and in an effort to lend the release some authenticity the whiskey is not chill-filtered and also not charcoal filtered. Honestly, I don’t know why in 2020 any whisky company still…

Johnnie Walker Island Green

Johnnie Walker Island Green – which should not be confused with Johnnie Walker Green Label – is a travel-retail variant of the Johnnie Walker Green Label bottling. The “Island” here refers to the Scottish isle of Islay, not some tropical island. Islay is essentially the opposite of tropical. Like the Green Label, this “Green” includes only…

Old Soul Blended Straight Bourbon

…Cathead has taken three straight bourbons and blended them together, so the term is apropos. The first two (totaling 90% of the blend) are 4 year-old MGP sourced bourbons and the third (at 10% of the blend) is Cathead’s own 2-year-and-1-month-old Mississippi bourbon. It’s not specified on the website, but I’m guessing there’s not much of the own-distilled juice to go around so they decided to…

Mortlach (15 year) – Game of Thrones “Six Kingdoms”

This Game of Thrones “Six Kingdoms” edition is Mortlach single malt that has been aged for 15 years in sherry casks and then ex-bourbon barrels. Oddly, the label and tin say it was “Finished in ex-bourbon casks” which is a silly way to convey that the whisky started in first-fill sherry (seasoned) casks and then was finished in ex-bourbon. You’d think they’d focus on the sherry. In fact, before I looked it up online I thought…

Talisker (8 year) Special Release 2020

Talisker 8 is a very limited edition cask-strength (57.9% ABV) batch of the familiar Talisker 10 except at 8 years, which is a bit of a reference to earlier 1980s bottlings of Talisker that were released at that age (although not at that strength). The whisky for this year’s release was distilled in 2011 and This time, the distillery broke new ground (for Talisker) by finishing the whisky in a funky pot-still rum cask from Jamaica.