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…

Kirkland Speyside Sherry Cask Finish – 19 year (2022)

You’re not going to pick up an 18 year-old Kirkland single malt for $50 and find the next best whisky in the world. What you’re going to get is a whisky that has a few relatively minor flaws but is otherwise quite good for the price. I’ll say this for Alexander Murray (the independent bottler that supplies both Costco and Trader Joe’s with their own-branded scotches): they…

Doc Swinson’s Single Barrel Rye

Doc Swinson’s is a brand owned by Distiller’s Way LLC, an independent bottler aka NDP (non-distiller producer) specializing in selecting, blending, and finishing sourced American whiskey. They kind of burst onto the scene in the last two years, suddenly winning a number of awards. They’re probably best known for their “Alter Ego” series of finished bourbons, but I first truly considered them when I noticed this single barrel of rye at my local Costco…

Lost Lantern American Vatted Malt Ed.1

Well, it’s not every day that you get to try a whiskey that represents and entirely new category of spirits. Lost Lantern claims to be (and may very well be) the first company to blend (or “vat”) together American single malt whiskies, making the first American Vatted Malt Whiskey. … a self-styled independent bottler out of Vermont, got its start by bottling American whiskies under its independent bottling label. This is a very familiar story to anyone who drinks single malt scotch. The company then released their first vatted malt (Edition 1) in 2020. It’s a vatting of 6 American single malts (2 barrels of each), and…

Pinhook ‘Rye’d On’ Rye

My first time tasting Pinhook products was this “Inaugural” release of Straight Rye Whiskey distilled at the Castle & Key facility. Each Pinhook seasonal batch is named after a Kentucky Derby racehorse, and this one (Inaugural 2020) has an illustration of “Rye’d On”. The rye is distilled from a mash bill of 60% rye, 20% corn, and 20% malted barley. It’s non chill-filtered straight rye aged for…

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…

Chapter 7 – Prologue

Chapter 7 is an independent bottler with a compelling if slightly strained narrative. They contend that an individual cask of whisky is like a character in a story. Blending casks together is, thus, like writing a novel. It’s very poignant and poetic but I’m not sure how much it really has to do with the whisky, and long-time readers will know that we don’t really pay much attention to the marketing story around here…

Kirkland Bottled-in-Bond Bourbon – Barton 1792

Just like Very Old Barton and 1792, this Kentucky Straight bourbon was distilled at the Barton 1792 distillery in Bardstown, Kentucky. It’s a bottled-in-bond straight Kentucky bourbon which means it is at least four years old and bottled at 50% ABV. … it was an easy decision when I saw they had the Bottled-in-Bond expression on the shelf during my last shopping trip. It was only a week later after recommending it to a friend that I learned it had sold out of every Costco store within 100 miles…