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Bourbon and Spirits

Whiskey Profile: The Whistler The Blue Note 7 Year Old

The Whistler The Blue Note 7YO 1March 19th, 2018

The whiskey

The Whistler The Blue Note 7 Year Old Single Malt Irish Whiskey
46% alcohol by volume
Non chill filtered / natural colour

This Irish single malt represents an award winning offering from the relatively new, family owned Boann Distillery located in County Meath, Ireland. It was actually distilled at the Cooley Distillery, and aged for five years in ex-Bourbon oak before being transferred to Oloroso casks for a further two years of maturation at the Boann site.

The Boann Distillery will subsequently market whiskies entirely distilled and matured in-house over the coming years.

Tasting glass

Glencairn whisky glass.

Appearance of whiskey

Gold with an amber cast.

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Whisky Profile: Benromach 10 Year Old 100º Proof

Benromach 10YO 100 Proof 1February 19th, 2018

The whisky

Benromach 10 Year Old 100º (Imperial) Proof Single Malt Scotch Whisky
57% alcohol by volume

Benromach is the Gaelic term for ‘shaggy mountain’. The distillery is located in the central-western Highlands, just to the east of the River Findhorn.

Originally titled Forres, Benromach dates from 1898. It was the brainchild of Duncan McCallum, a Campbeltown distillery proprietor, and F.W. Brickman, a spirits merchant. Closed in 1983, it recommenced operating in 1998 under the auspices of Gordon & MacPhail.

Benromach aims to produce a heavier spirit more akin to Speyside whiskies of the past.

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Bourbon Profile: Stagg Jr

Stagg Jr 1September 14th, 2017

The whiskey

Stagg Jr Barrel Proof Bourbon
Batch 8 (released in 2017)
64.75% alcohol by volume (129.5 Proof)

Stagg Jr represents Buffalo Trace’s attempt to market a younger, less expensive and more readily available expression of the classic, limited edition George T. Stagg Bourbon. Stagg Jr has been released in relatively small batches since 2013, and has purportedly improved in quality since its introduction. Buffalo Trace utilizes a low-rye mash-bill for the production of Stagg Jr.

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Whisky Profile: Watch Out for Wolfburn!

Wolfburn Distillery 1January 22nd, 2018

The whisky

Wolfburn Single Malt Scotch Whisky
46% alcohol by volume
Natural colour
Non-chill filtered

Once upon a time, there was a distillery located outside of Thurso in the County of Caithness, Scotland. Founded by one William Smith in 1821, Wolfburn (named water source) operated rather successfully until its closure in the mid to late 1800s.

In 2013, malt whisky began to flow from a brand new Wolfburn, built in the Henderson Park area close to the site of the original distillery, about one kilometer from the Thurso railway station.

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Bourbon Profile: Knob Creek 9 Year Old & 9 Year Old Single Barrel

Knob Creek 9YO 1September 4th, 2017

The whiskies

Knob Creek Bourbon
Aged 9 Years
50% alcohol by volume (100 Proof)

The Knob Creek line comprises one of four in the Jim Beam Small Batch collection of Bourbons, the others being Basil Hayden’s, Baker’s and Booker’s. The nine year old ‘standard’ release profiled here has recently been replaced by a no-age-statement version bottled at the same strength. (There are also rye-heavy and Smoked Maple interpretations of the Knob Creek style available.)

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A Holiday Season Wish List of Whiskies

A Holiday Season Wish List of Whiskies 1December 11th, 2017

For many whisky and whiskey lovers, the Holiday Season represents a time to celebrate the blessings of good friends and family by gifting and broaching special bottles of the water of life. With this thought in mind, I’d like to offer up a few spirituous suggestions. I’ve intentionally bypassed harder to procure, more esoteric and – yes – often far more expensive whiskies, and instead focused on selections that should be easier to find.

Here we go!

Ardbeg Uigeadail (54.2%ABV – Scotland) is now a well-established Islay classic. The almost assaultive, room-filling aroma offers an invigorating lead-in to a fabulously intense, layered and ultimately alluring flavour spectrum. This one provides ample proof that a no-age-statement whisky can still attain true excellence. For peat lovers.

Highland Park 18 Year Old (43%ABV – Scotland) has, over the years, garnered much praise for its breadth of stylistic nuances and consistency. This Orkney gem opens with a plethora of scents before caressing the palate with a sensuous textural quality. It’s well-nigh perfectly proportioned, and ‘has it all’.

Talisker 18 Year Old (45.8%ABV – Scotland) is distilled on the Isle of Skye. Its assertive yet composed aroma reflects those additional years of maturation during which the spirit rests prior to bottling. The tremendously rich and round mouth-feel appears disarmingly succulent at first. However, small shoreline fires continue to flicker amidst the sweeter malt notes from start to lengthy finish. Simply superlative.

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Bourbon Profile: Bulleit 10 Year Old

Bulleit 10YO 1June 29th, 2017

The whiskey

Bulleit Bourbon Frontier Whiskey
Aged 10 Years
45.6% alcohol by volume (91.2 Proof)

Bulleit 10 Year Old comes in a retro-styled bottle. Perhaps this fact has something to do with the 'Frontier Whiskey' connotation on the label.

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Whisky Profile: Gooderham & Worts Four Grain

Gooderham Worts Four Grain 1November 13th, 2017

The whisky

Gooderham & Worts Four Grain Canadian Whisky
Blend No. A.A1129
44.4% alcohol by volume

This ‘Four Grain’ bottling represents a relatively recent addition to the Gooderham & Worts lineup marketed by Corby Wine & Spirit Limited. It utilizes a mash-bill incorporating rye, wheat, barley and corn, and replaces a Small Batch release, which was available a decade or so ago.

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A Rich Pour 41: Springbank Distillery – An ‘All in the Family’ Story

A Rich Pour 41 1April 13th, 2017

Springbank Distillery is located near the southern tip of the Kintyre Peninsula, in the town of Campbeltown, Argyllshire. Its complex of buildings encompasses portions of five other local distilleries that have long since closed down – Argyll, Longrow, Riechlachan, Springside and Union. Springbank’s whisky is considered by many spirits aficionados to be one of the most complex and rewarding of all the Scotch malts.

The rocky finger of the Peninsula of Kintyre extends so far as to practically touch the shores of Northern Ireland. Tribes venturing forth from ancient Dalriada in Eire probably first set foot on Caledonia’s soil here, at the southwestern tip of Scotland. Christian missionaries soon followed this same path, hoping to spread both the Gospel’s promise of salvation and healing knowledge of spirits distillation. In which of these pursuits did they ultimately achieve greater success? The result is debatable. What is certain is that the inhabitants of Kintyre embraced alcohol with an almost religious fervour. In fact, documents relating to regional whisky production date back to the late 16th-Century.

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Bourbon Profile: Wild Turkey 101

Bourbon Profile Wild Turkey 101 1September 28th, 2017

The whiskey

Wild Turkey 101 Kentucky Straight Bourbon
50.5% alcohol by volume (101 Proof)

Among the numerous Bourbons currently on the market, Wild Turkey 101 represents an established, reasonably priced and widely available classic. It utilizes a traditional corn-rye-barley mash-bill that emphasizes the corn component, and contains whiskies aged for as long as six to eight years. The new oak barrels into which the fresh spirit is transferred are heavily charred.

Wild Turkey Distillery is located in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky, and is owned by Gruppo Campari. Master Distillers Jimmy (a legendary figure in the industry) and Eddie (Jimmy’s son) Russell oversee operations.

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A Rich Pour 39: Whiskies and Port Casks

A Rich Pour 39 1January 19th, 2017

In this edition of A Rich Pour, Cigar Weekly’s Managing Editor Doug Kuebler (jazznut) explores how whiskies interact with Port casks to create some very interesting, and oftentimes very tasty, results.

The bond between wood and whisky (or whiskey) stretches back in time and encompasses many regions of the globe. Scotland, Ireland, Canada and the United States of America – to name but a few countries – boast strong traditions in the ageing of the noble liquor in wooden containers. Wood provides a perfect medium for mellowing the rather aggressive spirit that condenses off a typical whisky still.

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