Old Pulteney Navigator

It’s definitely maritime in that it smells like something slathered on a hull to make it seaworthy. I kid. Sort of. There is an intrusion of peat but absolutely no smoke, which makes it smell and taste earthy but without evoking Islay’s style of smoky peat. The overall effect is brooding and difficult, and that so-called partial sherry cask aging is thoroughly in the background…

Tullibardine 500 Sherry Finish

The 500 Sherry Finish is matured for an undisclosed period of time in first-fill bourbon casks before being filled into 500-liter (hence the name) Spanish Pedro Ximenez sherry butts for one year. The final whisky is bottled at 43% ABV, and is both chill filtered and (probably) has added spirit caramel for coloring. (Sigh.)

Henry McKenna Bourbon

In fact, Henry McKenna is made from the same mashbill (75% corn, 13% rye, 12% barley) as Elijah Craig and Evan Williams. Bottles can be found for $15 or less, and even 1-liter bottles are available in some markets for about the same. That’s some inexpensive whiskey, even though it’s definitely younger and lower ABV (40%) than its cousin brands.

Tamnavulin Double Cask

… It seems like the Double Cask refers to a maturation in American oak ex-bourbon and then a partial finish in ex-sherry casks. There is no age statement, and the whisky is bottled at the bare minimum of 40% ABV, with no mention of the use of color or chill filtration. This is all bad news on paper, so let’s see what happens in the glass.

Boutique-y Whisky: Teaninich (11 year) Batch 2

A very pale single malt from an ex-bourbon cask, and bottled at the potent but also very drinkable 47.9% ABV, this Teaninich makes me want to go find other (cheaper) bottles from the distillery. Those will all have to be independent bottlers as well, as there are no official bottlings from this distillery, aside from an occasional entry in Diageo’s Flora and Fauna series, most of which doesn’t make it to US.

Hancock’s President’s Reserve

The label on this squat bottle of bourbon looks like it was created before anyone in the market started caring about the contents of their bottles. It informs me that the liquid is from a single barrel, without giving a bottle number, barrel identifier, date, year, or even batch number. It also reveals that it is bottled at the very random 44.45% ABV and that it was distilled by Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort, Kentucky. Aaaaaand… that’s it.