Whiskey - It's the water of life!

spillmilk

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I tried a new bourbon just for fun. Knob Creek Smoked Maple bourbon. It was very smooth, and I was pleasantly surprised. I’m not into “flavored” whiskey but damn it was nice. Will be getting it again at some point.
I’ve been hearing about chocolate whiskey, anybody tried that? Any brand recommendations?
 

Boris Blank's glass eye

Ring the bell, Roll down the street
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Halftime (2 weeks) update on my blending experiment.
IMG.jpg
I included some stuff for colour reference, but the photo isn't very good. Or artificial lighting wasn't good enough, whatever. Tomatin in the Ballantine's 12 bottle and Glenfarclas in the glass. The blend is obviously closer to the Tomatin, it's a little bit darker. The Arran was aged for eight years in ex-bourbon casks, then finished for two years in Sauterne casks. It is darker at its natural colour than the E150-enriched Chivas. Makes me wonder about their (Chivas') casks.

As for the Jura: I consulted some other fine people and several reviews. It's good, but not good enough to feel FOMO.
There are better bottles for either pure peat (Ardbeg and Laphroaig in general, or Arran Machrie Moor Cask Strength), or "something fruity moderately peated" (Compass Box Peat Monster, or Bunnahabhain 12 in particular). All of these are either cheaper/same price as the Prophecy, or substantially more expensive.
 

Pocket_Sand!

The sand is not in my pockets, but in my soul.
True & Honest Fan
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Has anybody tried this yet?
View attachment 1211160

It's aged in cognac barrels. I just wonder if the cognac overwhelms the scotch? I've had good bourbons that have been aged in casks used by other liquors, but Glenlivet has such a light taste I'd worry it would be overpowered.

Then again I'm also not a fan of cognac. The stuff I tried tasted like alcoholic raisin juice. Seriously, I tasted it and immediately thought of Sunmaid.
I just managed to lay my hands on a bottle at my local shop (hats off to Illinois for allowing the liquor stores to stay open, I'm essential, so I don't get time off, and my job is shitty enough that I needs mah whiskey), and I was pleasantly surprised at how good it was. I am a Glenlivet fan, and have been for quite a while, the 18 being my personal favorite. I was somewhat suspect of what a cognac barrel would do to my delicately flavored Highland Scotch, but it really compliments the whiskey quite well, bringing the pear and vanilla notes to the front, and smoothing off what little bite there is in Glenlivet, and leaving a very smooth creamy finish with just a hint of spice. It's a bottle I'm glad I picked up, and would again if it's still available.


So, uh, rate me late and dumb, but I just learned Jura dropped their old range, including Prophecy, which I'd like to try before it sells out everywhere. Does anybody have any experience with it? According to the reviews I've read, the best of the new range is Seven Wood, the 18yro is utterly unremarkable and a waste of good money, and the rest is just bad.
Prophecy is the only Jura I've had much of, it's stupid hard to find in the US for some reason, so my ability to get any has always been somewhat limited, but the new range is starting to sprinkle in, the 7 Wood in particular. Prophecy is interesting for sure, and a unique take on a peat bomb, but honestly, at around $100 USD, I can grab an Ardbeg Supernova or Corryvreckan for about half the cost, and I find I like it better in the long run. I have to be in the mood for peat, and I like Lagavulin when I want peat, with Ardbeg in second place, so my opinions on very peaty whiskey ought to be taken with your own tastes in mind.
 

Boris Blank's glass eye

Ring the bell, Roll down the street
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Prophecy is the only Jura I've had much of, it's stupid hard to find in the US for some reason, so my ability to get any has always been somewhat limited, but the new range is starting to sprinkle in, the 7 Wood in particular. Prophecy is interesting for sure, and a unique take on a peat bomb, but honestly, at around $100 USD, I can grab an Ardbeg Supernova or Corryvreckan for about half the cost, and I find I like it better in the long run. I have to be in the mood for peat, and I like Lagavulin when I want peat, with Ardbeg in second place, so my opinions on very peaty whiskey ought to be taken with your own tastes in mind.
Thank your the advice. I reckon I'll get a bottle if I can, and won't care if I can't.

These vice taxes and transit costs are pretty fucked up. I could get a bottle of Prophecy at around $70, and the Corryvreckan would be a lot closer to $100.
 
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neverendingmidi

it just goes on and on and on and on...
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I just managed to lay my hands on a bottle at my local shop (hats off to Illinois for allowing the liquor stores to stay open, I'm essential, so I don't get time off, and my job is shitty enough that I needs mah whiskey), and I was pleasantly surprised at how good it was. I am a Glenlivet fan, and have been for quite a while, the 18 being my personal favorite. I was somewhat suspect of what a cognac barrel would do to my delicately flavored Highland Scotch, but it really compliments the whiskey quite well, bringing the pear and vanilla notes to the front, and smoothing off what little bite there is in Glenlivet, and leaving a very smooth creamy finish with just a hint of spice. It's a bottle I'm glad I picked up, and would again if it's still available.
Thanks for the review. My dad is a big Glenlivet fan, though his favorite is the 15 year aged in French Oak. I once got him the 20 year old for Christmas (which is my limit of spending, unless I win billions in the lottery in which case you bet your ass I'm buying a bottle of the 25 year), and he still likes the 15 better.
 
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Robert Sanvagene

Autistic Lives Matter™
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Whiskey is for drinking by the shot or straight from the bottle, not for sniffing at like some skinny jeans hipster fairy.
Whiskey certainly is.

Scotch, OTOH, deserves more respect than that. Although said skinny jeans hipster fairy would probably need to take their tastebuds to a safe space for weeks after their first (and only) taste of single malt.

Old mate here has probably never worn a pair of skinny jeans in his life, yet he sniffs at his scotch like a curious doggo sniffing at an Instathot's crotch. Although I am mildly triggered that whoever uploaded this can't seem to tell the difference between whisky (i.e. scotch a.k.a. aqua vitae) and whiskey (i.e. Irish brawling juice).
 
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AnOminous

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Although I am mildly triggered that whoever uploaded this can't seem to tell the difference between whisky (i.e. scotch a.k.a. aqua vitae) and whiskey (i.e. Irish brawling juice).
This is partly why I never really got into scotch. It deserves better treatment than I am willing to give an alcoholic beverage. I'm not sure if the whisky/whiskey differentiation is an actual rule but it certainly seems to be ordinary usage. I've seen some Japanese "bourbon" labeled "whisky" too, and that's generally regarded as high quality stuff. "Bourbon" not in quotes to denigrate its quality but because it just technically isn't if it's not from the U.S. and arguably isn't to a purist if it isn't from the traditional geographical origin. For instance, most people wouldn't be willing to consider Jack Daniels a bourbon (although quality issues would be part of that too).
 

Robert Sanvagene

Autistic Lives Matter™
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This is partly why I never really got into scotch. It deserves better treatment than I am willing to give an alcoholic beverage. I'm not sure if the whisky/whiskey differentiation is an actual rule but it certainly seems to be ordinary usage. I've seen some Japanese "bourbon" labeled "whisky" too, and that's generally regarded as high quality stuff. "Bourbon" not in quotes to denigrate its quality but because it just technically isn't if it's not from the U.S. and arguably isn't to a purist if it isn't from the traditional geographical origin. For instance, most people wouldn't be willing to consider Jack Daniels a bourbon (although quality issues would be part of that too).
The nomenclature of whisk(e)y* seems to be a complex and vexed topic, and may even be a regional thing.

Here in Australia, we tend to refer to scotch as "scotch" and Irish whiskey as "whiskey". Bourbon tends to be referred to by its name, usually shortened or by initials e.g. Jacks, JD (Jack Daniel's), Beam (Jim Beam) etc. Some Scottish people and/or slightly wanky types may drill down further with scotch i.e. referring to single malt scotch as single malt, or - even wankier still - will add geography to the mix i.e. Islay single malt, Tasmanian single malt etc. The latter is also a neat way to get around the whole "scotch" that's not distilled in Scotland thing, too.

As for "bourbon", has anyone claimed the rights to that yet? I know that scotch is only allowed to be explicitly labelled as such if it is distilled in Scotland; has the US (or even a region in the US associated with bourbon such as Tennessee) attempted to have bourbon classified in a similar manner?

One of the pubs in my city spells it "whisk(e)y" on their whisk(e)y menu as a catch-all for scotch, Irish whiskey, bourbon and other whisk(e)y-adjacent beverages. A logical and elegant solution IMHO.
 
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AnOminous

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As for "bourbon", has anyone claimed the rights to that yet? I know that scotch is only allowed to be explicitly labelled as such if it is distilled in Scotland; has the US (or even a region in the US associated with bourbon such as Tennessee) attempted to have bourbon classified in a similar manner?
The protection of designations of geographic origin is a global hodgepodge of local laws combined with international treaties like TRIPS, with disputes being resolved in an arbitrary manner before a number of bodies and courts completely dependent on who is being sued where, about what, and what is being claimed.

Also lots of things get grandfathered in even after agreements have been reached on general subjects. For instance, "Champagne" is one of the most obvious geographic origins, where the mere word indicates a sparkling wine of certain qualities from the Champagne region of France.
Yet, despite this, you see "California champagne." Without that additional qualifier, this would be illegal in most places in the world.

Then, there are worse offenses (I say worse because California champagnes do not generally insult the quality of the regional wine). For instance, Kraft's Parmesan cheese, which is absolutely awful garbage. It is, in fact, actually illegal for them to call this Parmesan or even imply it is related to Parmigiano-Reggiano or other protected designations of origin. In Europe, they have to sell it under the ludicrous appellation "Pamesello Italiano," although, frankly, I think it should be illegal even to call this cheese anywhere.

Bourbon is defined in the United States as such:


There's just too much to paste there. An interesting one is the bottled-in-bond variety which is one of the more stringent to qualify for legally but yet weirdly underrated. This subvariety is particularly bizarre because of the absolute requirement of federal government involvement to be called this.

Needless to say, the rest of the world could give a shit less about the utterly weird and nearly incomprehensible American rules on this, hence Japanese bourbon-styles, under whatever names.

The general rule, where there isn't a more specific rule, is that if a name necessarily implies that something is from a certain location or made in a certain way, it is illegal to present a product as if it comes from that place and/or has those qualities.

So for instance, "Virginia ham" or "Idaho potatoes" mean that the products in question actually do come from Virginia or Idaho. Bourbon may have specifically American definitions that apply here, but the rest of the world doesn't necessarily respect those local rules. Someone selling "Virginia ham" in some European country where people with an interest in selling actual ham from Virginia, though, would be looking at a lawsuit. Whether that would be local or before some WTO body would depend on who was doing the suing and why.

For instance, some things (Virginia ham is definitely one of these) are big enough that you, the corporation selling Virginia ham, might literally get Virginia itself or even the United States to do the suing and before a TRIPS body to make it an international incident.

This might also happen if you had some foreign company trying to sell "Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey." Just the word "bourbon" is a little shakier, though.
 

plgfarts

one fart smeller, he smelt fart
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I picked up two bottles of Maker's 46 for 10usd a piece. Damn good bourbon.

My go-to is always Jack, though. I always drink my whiskey neat (or if its scotch, a very light sprinkle of water).
 
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Elric of Melnibone

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Picked up a bottle of Oban Little Bay recently and it is damn good for the price point, barely $40 and it is just as smooth as a Jameson, but with a better flavor profile. Monkey Shoulder is also still my favorite blended scotch. Picked up a bottle of Bulleit Bourbon today but have yet to crack it open.

Also about the "whisk(e)y is for taking shots not sniffing" controversy, there is actually a good reason to smell your scotch, or any whisky for that matter. Its because if you just drink a bunch of scotch all at once without giving your sense of taste a chance to prepare for it you are only going to taste the harshest and strongest flavor of that drink. If you leave your mouth open a little and take several slow sniffs through your nose just until it starts to burn until you can take a full lung wiff of it, then drink it a sip at a time, you start to find the flavors hidden by the alcohol. The reason you have your mouth open is because otherwise its like being in a car flying down the freeway and someone in the back cracks a window, in that scenario it will fuck with your inner ear, in the whisky scenario it will fry your sinuses and kill your sense of smell/taste.

I should add that none of this is important if you are drinking solely for the purpose of getting a buzz/drunk, but only if you actually want to taste your scotch/whisky. Its actually quite interesting to experiment with your whisky, sniff it, sip it with small sips at first, slightly larger ones second, try it with a few drops of water in it, take a medium sip and swish it with your tongue. With a good whiskey you could take a heavy pour of scotch and take 10+ completely different flavored sips.
 
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AnOminous

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Picked up a bottle of Oban Little Bay recently and it is damn good for the price point, barely $40 and it is just as smooth as a Jameson, but with a better flavor profile. Monkey Shoulder is also still my favorite blended scotch. Picked up a bottle of Bulleit Bourbon today but have yet to crack it open.
This is a rather mild bourbon. It also has a nice aftertaste, something bourbon usually doesn't.

Also about the "whisk(e)y is for taking shots not sniffing" controversy, there is actually a good reason to smell your scotch, or any whisky for that matter. Its because if you just drink a bunch of scotch all at once without giving your sense of taste a chance to prepare for it you are only going to taste the harshest and strongest flavor of that drink.
Tbh I actually like the harsh taste of bourbons like Wild Turkey.
 

Elric of Melnibone

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This is a rather mild bourbon. It also has a nice aftertaste, something bourbon usually doesn't.



Tbh I actually like the harsh taste of bourbons like Wild Turkey.
Yeah Bulleit has been on my shopping list with Elijah Craig for a while now so I finally bit the Bulleit and grabbed it. And yeah some people like the harshness of whisky, myself included some times. But that's what Jameson is for. Or if you really want a harshness that will put hair on your chest grab some Heaven Hill or McCormic. Only comes in plastic bottles and will beat your ass like you're behind on child support.
 

Man vs persistent rat

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I found one of those Game of Thrones editions so cheap (£25 is very good for a non-supermarket age statement single malt here at least) that I no longer had an excuse not to know what Royal Lochnagar tasted like. It is quite like Speyburn, a somewhat anonymous and overlooked malt too traditional to go for the 46%/no-filtration market but not over-engineered either. It's less fruity than Speyburn, and with an appealing light mixture of grass, spice, honey, and a warming implied peat or heaviness to the distillate - or perhaps they just have not nuked it during filtration, since I suspect there is no trace of peat actually included. Actually a good purchase if you find it cheap, use it as a palate-opening session beginner like Glenfiddich.

I've been giving the Deanston 12 a go and it's been holding up very well beyond intial impressions. It's in the same ballpark as Bladnoch, Clynelish, GlenAllachie, etc. Very complex and overall harmonious, it almost gets better the more other drinks you try alongside it, and holds up in the bottle very well so far (2 months at 2/3rds fill or lower).

Halftime (2 weeks) update on my blending experiment.
View attachment 1235020
I included some stuff for colour reference, but the photo isn't very good. Or artificial lighting wasn't good enough, whatever. Tomatin in the Ballantine's 12 bottle and Glenfarclas in the glass. The blend is obviously closer to the Tomatin, it's a little bit darker. The Arran was aged for eight years in ex-bourbon casks, then finished for two years in Sauterne casks. It is darker at its natural colour than the E150-enriched Chivas. Makes me wonder about their (Chivas') casks.

As for the Jura: I consulted some other fine people and several reviews. It's good, but not good enough to feel FOMO.
There are better bottles for either pure peat (Ardbeg and Laphroaig in general, or Arran Machrie Moor Cask Strength), or "something fruity moderately peated" (Compass Box Peat Monster, or Bunnahabhain 12 in particular). All of these are either cheaper/same price as the Prophecy, or substantially more expensive.
Jura is definitely relentlessly mass-market masquerading as something a bit more fancy - engineered to entertain somebody who doesn't want any sharp edges or to bother adding water, etc. The nearest I had to an interesting one was this, which tastes nothing like the sherry/peat/bourbon mixture of the official bottlings (I wonder what percentage of casks they use are refills - I would imagine a lot), and while it's quite indistinct it at least has some punch - the flavour is a lot like the citric Tullibardine, Ord, etc. Jura's main problem is that it's just a less interesting version of what Highland Park also does, and as much as I am not too fond of the official HP 12, it goes cheap on sales and tastes pretty good. I'm also interested in what Arran does when their peated distillery begins to put out older versions. Glen Scotia is another like Jura that has a barely-perceptible amount of peat in its base bottling, but in another galaxy in terms of complexity. They had a special edition with more peat and a rum cask finish from a year or two ago that was remarkable, hopefully they'll do it again.
 

The Shadow

Movies gave me scabies
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The nomenclature of whisk(e)y* seems to be a complex and vexed topic, and may even be a regional thing.

Here in Australia, we tend to refer to scotch as "scotch" and Irish whiskey as "whiskey". Bourbon tends to be referred to by its name, usually shortened or by initials e.g. Jacks, JD (Jack Daniel's), Beam (Jim Beam) etc. Some Scottish people and/or slightly wanky types may drill down further with scotch i.e. referring to single malt scotch as single malt, or - even wankier still - will add geography to the mix i.e. Islay single malt, Tasmanian single malt etc. The latter is also a neat way to get around the whole "scotch" that's not distilled in Scotland thing, too.

As for "bourbon", has anyone claimed the rights to that yet? I know that scotch is only allowed to be explicitly labelled as such if it is distilled in Scotland; has the US (or even a region in the US associated with bourbon such as Tennessee) attempted to have bourbon classified in a similar manner?

One of the pubs in my city spells it "whisk(e)y" on their whisk(e)y menu as a catch-all for scotch, Irish whiskey, bourbon and other whisk(e)y-adjacent beverages. A logical and elegant solution IMHO.
The geography is less wanky and more in regards to flavor profiles typical of the region. I know I'm partial to the smokier flavor in Islays, so I usually stick to those.
 
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Boris Blank's glass eye

Ring the bell, Roll down the street
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Glen Scotia is another like Jura that has a barely-perceptible amount of peat in its base bottling, but in another galaxy in terms of complexity. They had a special edition with more peat and a rum cask finish from a year or two ago that was remarkable, hopefully they'll do it again.
Thanks for the tip. My go-to store stocks the 12 and the "old" 16 yro. Between those two, which one would your recommend?
 

Reverend

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Whiskey certainly is.

Scotch, OTOH, deserves more respect than that. Although said skinny jeans hipster fairy would probably need to take their tastebuds to a safe space for weeks after their first (and only) taste of single malt.

Old mate here has probably never worn a pair of skinny jeans in his life, yet he sniffs at his scotch like a curious doggo sniffing at an Instathot's crotch. Although I am mildly triggered that whoever uploaded this can't seem to tell the difference between whisky (i.e. scotch a.k.a. aqua vitae) and whiskey (i.e. Irish brawling juice).
As someone that has been to Scotland, tasted all the Scotch from the 5 regions there, notice how they are all different, he is 100% spot on for putting a splash of water into the scotch to bring out the flavor so it doesn't take like turpentine+rubbing alcohol.

One thing I do with my scotch/whisky is that I use round ice cube. 1 single round ice cube in my drink to help slowly add water to the flavor when drinking it with a good cigar. Square/cube wear unevenly so you get too little ice while the ball gently rolls and gets dissolved evenly into your drink.
 
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Man vs persistent rat

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Thanks for the tip. My go-to store stocks the 12 and the "old" 16 yro. Between those two, which one would your recommend?
The only age statement I see with any regularity where I live is the 15yo, although from curious googling I don't see people having any bad words to see about other versions, though I can't be sure they are exactly the same. Is the 12 you saw the same spirit wolf tshirt-style yak bottle here? If so, it might be worth picking up a second one to save if you like it before it fully disappears, at worst you'll have a nice drink in storage, at best it might become one of those unicorn bottles that you can put on auction in a decade or two :tomgirl:

Edit: It appears as though they may be doing that limited edition every year, like last year it's a little expensive vs the 15 but also cask strength, which is nice. I am leery about cask finishes in scotch but I can't say the distiller has ever led me wrong yet. The festival this year is in may, so depending on whether it is cancelled or not, they may have more bottles floating around this time.
 
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