Whiskyfun
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June 30, 2015


Whiskyfun

Young Americans four by four, part one

We’re on again with our unlikely tastings of bourbons and other American whiskies. I’m far from being as talented and knowledgeable as our blogging friends from across the ocean, but well, we’re trying hard. We’ll also include a few Canadians, since some whiskies from the good old US of A seem to be sourced from up there anyway. Especially some ryes, apparently… And why not start this with the Canadians, precisely?

Glen Breton 10 yo 'Rare' (43%, OB, Canada, single malt, +/-2015)

Glen Breton 10 yo 'Rare' (43%, OB, Canada, single malt, +/-2015) Two stars From Glenora Distillery in Nova Scotia, which managed to ruffle many feathers in Scotland a few years ago – and fatten quite a few lawyers. We tried this expression back in 2010 and found it pretty acceptable (WF 70). As usual with whisky, what’s ‘rare’ is rather common. Colour: straw. Nose: vanilla and American oak here and everywhere, plus some butterscotch and overripe apples. This isn’t unpleasant at all, it’s just a tiny-wee bit uninteresting. Mouth: creamy easy sweet vanilla-ed whisky with some sweet oak, some tea tannins, a touch of ale and perhaps a few tinned fruits in their syrups. And a little porridge and butter cream. Finish: short, sweet, beery. Raw oak in the aftertaste. Comments: I haven’t changed my mind. This is acceptable, but probably more for locals. SGP:430 - 70 points.

WhistlePig 10 yo (50%, OB, Canadian Rye, USA, +/-2015)

WhistlePig 10 yo (50%, OB, Canadian Rye, USA, +/-2015) Two stars This is complicated, it’s straight rye, which means that there’s at least 51% rye (so not 100%) and that its been aged for at least two years. It was sourced in Canada and further aged – for how long? – in Vermont. But it’s said to be 100% rye. Ooh my head! Yeah, it’s a brand. Colour: gold. Nose: clean, almost immaculate. Immaculately one-dimensional, I’d say. Vanilla, cranberry sweets, pineapples, a touch of caraway, a little cellulose (varnish). With water: the vanilla comes out, together with more bready notes – which is cool. Mouth (neat): same flavours. Pear and pineapple sweets, cranberries, vanilla, butterscotch. Very clean combination, but not a lot of depth. With water: sweet and rounded. Reminds of the bottles of Canadian Club that my Dad used to bring back from his trips forty years ago. Finish: short, oaky, vanilla-ed. Comments: I know many people love this, but I find this style a little too simple and a little flat when diluted. Doesn’t swim too well. But the obligatorily-retro packaging is very lovely! SGP:540 - 75 points.

Another go at WhistlePig…

WhistlePig 13 yo 'The Boss Hog' (61.1%, OB, Canadian Rye, USA, cask #42, 2014)

WhistlePig 13 yo 'The Boss Hog' (61.1%, OB, Canadian Rye, USA, cask #42, 2014) Two stars and a half Almost 250€ a bottle in Europe, the price for this is quite ridiculous, isn’t it. Now, Boss Hog is a great band and Jon Spencer always rocked! Colour: gold. Nose: oak, strong bourbon-style. Vanilla and dried grated coconut. I know this is 100% rye but I do not find much ryeness. Maybe that’s the high strength, so… With water: some kind of stronger pina colada. Simple and straightforward. Mouth (neat): ah, now we’re talking! Spicy fruity rye, bread and lavender, geranium jelly, cloves and caraway, aniseed and more caraway… Great impact, immediate pleasures, what a relief! With water: gets very bready. You just have to like bread. Finish: quite long, cerealy, with caraway. Comments: should expensive whisky be complex? What’s the price of complexity in whisky? Do people still crave for complexity in whisky? Discuss… SGP:650 - 79 points.

Good, we have room for one more. Maybe this legend?

Bush Pilot's 13 yo ‘Private Reserve’ (43%, OB, Canadian, cask #A-045, +/-2000?)

Bush Pilot's 13 yo ‘Private Reserve’ (43%, OB, Canadian, cask #A-045, +/-2000?) Two stars It’s very complicated, better read Davin’s excellent writings (link at the end). I think this is corn whisky. Colour: white wine. Nose: very sweet and mellow, with soft vanilla and barley syrup, sweet agave juice, vanilla cake and fudge, plus just a little grass. Shall we call this ‘undemanding’? I do enjoy these distant whiffs of wet concrete, or clay, though. Mouth: it’s fruit syrup. Tinned pears, for example, then rather marshmallows, with ideas of bubblegum and hints of Haribo’s finest. Some oranges coming through after a while, with a feeling of earl grey tea. Finish: a little short, but creamier. Some saccharin, aspartame, those things. Alsatian liqueur de Poire Williams. Comments: this baby’s first virtue was probably that it was early in the market as a ‘single’ Canadian bottling. It’s good, but the rather thin structure may not quite be for malt lovers. Bah, it’s a legend anyway. SGP:530 - 73 points. Davin’s great exegesis there

More tasting notes Check the index of all American whiskies I've tasted so far

 

 

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