Archive for the ‘Single-Malt’ Category

Color: Real dark, beautiful mahogony

Nose: What a monster! Moist brown sugar. Maple sap and pine pitch. Orange blossom honey and old orange liqueurs. Walnut skins. At last, some stewed prunes arrive with a touch of lemon balm. Elvoves further on big, beautiful dark chocolate, and further on raisins and menthol, some cocoa or shea butter and aloe. Coffee, soft cinnamon, apple butter, and a hint of heather. Wood notes growing now on birch bark and bit of sawdust.

Palate: Demerera rum and coffee, cola, gentian, more chocolate, tons of orange pith, birch syrup, orange liqueur, walnut liqueur, every damn root, herbs, woods and spicy english pipe tobacco and the leather pouch it’s held in. It’s lively, too, almost effervescent.

Worth every penny and worth buying several. Love that rich old extracted sherry-monster.


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I wasn’t in peak condition for doing notes as I was in the process of falling terribly ill, as it appears that drinking and jet-lag evidently is something my body is incapable of handling. Well, here we go:

Benromach 30: Actually good! (I’m not a huge Benromach fan, but I like this a lot) Apricot compote, a thread of smoke, some vanilla, roasted peanuts, a touch of sumac. The sherry is a rather bass note sort without being earthy or too nutty. Raspberries, polished oak, bramble. A bit of plum comes through eventually with some licorice and anise on the finish. Some lemon oil comes late to the party.

G&M Glen Albyn 1975: Very nutty and spicy as hell on the palate. Very strong. Palate is quite bready like cornmeal crused pizza crust (not pizza-y mind you). Toasted corn kernels. Kiwi is suggested and I must say I agree along with a touch of grapefruit and juniper. Very Gin-like actually with very big botanicals. Blackberry seeds develop on the nose.

G&M Strathisla 1963 43% First-fill sherry: Reasonably stick with honey and birch sap, broken branches, some dates, leather, cherry cordial, and chocolates. Gains touches of buttercups and coffee.

G&M Glen Grant 1953 40%: Ahh lovely. Despite feeling hellish this is truly beautiful. Brown sugar, candied orange peel, old rum, virginia tobacco, some char, antique wood, cloves, menthol and some bitter cough syrup.

G&M Glen Livet 1940 70 YO 45.9%: Very unusual, hot nose and funky with earth and mushrooms and beef demi-glass. All such dark notes that have little to do with the fragile, light color of the whisky. Brittle notes of pistachio and almonds, as well as gold rum rise up from the glass. On the palate it’s quite different from the nose. Green notes of eucalyptus leaves, cucumber, pine needles, great icing sugar. The nose develops peach melba, some freshly cut green apples, and orange pulp. The palate is now showing a delicious, mouth-watering bitterness, perfectly in balance and quite fresh. Water shows cherry cordial, some cola, gentian and more apple. A mouthful held is hot and hard at first but develops into syrupy goodness and finishes on hardwoods, walnuts, vanilla, honey, and cinnamon. Whoah.

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Bulk Post #4

A Bevy of Bowmores:

A. D. Rattray Bowmore  Sherry Cask ’91-’10 53.5%

Cedar, mushrooms, figs, soap, dust, phenols, gasoline, soil, mint, dried apricots, and purple grapes.


Hart Brothers Bowmore 1958

Nose: Super light and tropical: mangoes, nectarines, kumquats, syrupy peaches, lychees, starfruit and coconut with just the faintest prickle of smoke. Palate shows honey, mint, that starfruit, lychees, and kumpquats with a bit of grapefruit. Hardly any wood to it, just a gentle brushing of spice: cardamom, cinnamon, turmeric, and ginger on the finish.


Signatory Bowmore 1968 32 YO Cask 1428 46%

Light billowy gray smoke, vanilla cake, cocoa butter, marzapan, linseed oil, then the fruits: banana, lychee cantaloup, honeydew. also some cappuccino. Water brings out more fruit: raspberry, bitter orange, torched orange peel, orange flower water, strawberry, some grapefruit. Also coming out is fennel pollen, peanut brittle, burnt toffee, dried cherries, some peppercorns, bay leaf, loads more strawberries and kirsch.


Bowmore 1993 bottled by The Whisky Exchange for The Whisky Show 2011:

killer. huge tropical fruits and big smoke. Amazing.

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St. George is a small distillery in Alameda, California which you may not recognize though have experienced if you’ve ever consumed Hangar One Vodka, which they produce in conjunction with the Germain-Robin distillery. I would very much like to get out to the west coast sometime to try the eau-de-vie produced by the distillery, as well as the brandy made at Germain-Robin; hell, while I’m at it, may as well head up to Portland and sample the line of spirits coming out of McCarthy’s orchard at Clear Creek Distillery… Some day.

On my holiday trip to NYC with my family I stopped into Park Ave Liquors, which to my (very limited) knowledge, seems to be the stop for single-malt shopping in Manhattan. I had my own shopping list (and that of a dear friend of mine) to take care of, and while I was talking with a wonderfully knowledgeable sales clerk, my father, after unsuccessfully trying to find a brittish columbian ice-wine, found this particular bottle and purchased it. He and I recently broke it out while watching the Winter Olympics and I jotted down a few tasting notes.

Consumed: Neat

Nose: ruby grapefruit, blueberries, vanilla’d sugar, cream, chocolate malt, nutmeg, almonds, hazelnuts, coffee, licorice
Palate: Very heavy on the cocolate and hazelnuts with a blueberry top note, finish is short and immediately nutty, then fading to the blueberry again.
Overall: a little too simple and sweet, which is often my problem with domestic single-malts. It just hasn’t spent enough time in wood for the sugars to transform into a honey or caramel etc. flavor, they remain plain and saccharine, boring. Don’t get me wrong, not unpleasant at all, just not quite there, and probably not worth whatever it was he ended up paying for it.

St. George Single-Malt Whiskey

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McCarthy’s Single Malt is a Islay-style single malt whiskey from Clear Creek Distillery in Portland, Oregon. The peat-malted barley is brought over from Scotland and fermented by Porland micro-brewery Widmer Brothers. Clear Creek’s distiller Steve McCarthy then distills and ages it, first in sherry casks then in Oregon oak barrels for a total of three years.

I picked up this bottle from Federal Wine & Spirits a couple days ago and over the course of the week have been slowly tasting it.

Consumed: Neat, with a glass of water on the side.

It’s a very light gold, almost sunshine in the glass and it’s got a very heavy, lingering saline minerality to it, it’s intensely peaty, smokey, and heavy on the phenols. It’s complex, but I’m not sure I’d describe it as well balanced since it’s hard to get past the salt and smoke; however once you do it has notes of apple, raspberry, cane sugar, sea weed, and stone fruits and finishes with sherry. It goes down surprisingly smooth for such a young whiskey.

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