Category Archives: Whiskey Dreams

WHISKEY DREAMS – The Balvenie CARIBBEAN Cask

I really enjoy bourbon and recently discovered that I have a love of Irish Whiskey. One of my friends loves Scotch, and keeps telling me I’m missing out. I try to explain I don’t like liquid smoke, but it doesn’t seem to sink in.

To try and convince me, he sent me this bottle of Balvenie Caribbean Cask, saying the rum casks impart a sweetness that he thinks I would like.

To my friend, thank you for the Scotch. It was a good experience, but it reminded me that I don’t like smoke. It starts with a complex mix of sweet and spice but that rapidly turned into nothing more than licking a camp fire.

Please don’t send me hate mail. I don’t like Scotch!!!! I’m sure if you like Scotch this is a fine offering, but for me this is a 2/100, and the 2 points are because it was a gift and I felt like it was mean to give it a 0.

The Valvenie Caribbean Cask – 14 Years

Pros

  • I have Scotch in my liquor cabinet for my friends now.

Cons:

  • Made me feel like I was licking a campfire or ashtray. I just don’t enjoy smoke in my whiskey.
BottleScorePrice
Redbreast 12 Year96$80/ 750ml
Jameson Distiller's Safe95$65/ 750ml
Colonel E.H. Taylor Small Batch Bourbon94$45 / 750ml
Booker's "Sip Awhile" 2017-493$80 / 750ml
Bib & Tucker91$75 / 750ml
Angels Envy90$65 / 750ml
Tin Cup85$30 / 750ml
Jameson Blender's Dog82$67 / 750ml
Jameson Black Barrel81$39 / 750ml
Old Forester 187080$55 / 750ml
Michters US 1 Small Batch79$45 / 750ml
Old Forester 189779$55 / 750ml
Yellowstone78$35 / 750ml
Basil Hayden's75$35 / 750ml
Eagle Rare 10 Year Old Bourbon75$35 / 750ml
Hirsch Small Batch74$35 / 750ml
Stillhouse Black Bourbon73$20 / 750ml
Legent72$35 / 750ml
Proper Twelve71$30 / 750ml
Teeling Whiskey70$50 / 750ml
Manhattan Knob Creek Small Batch69$30 / 750ml
Dogfish Head Alternate Takes Manhattan 69$55/ 750ml
Bird Dog Kentucky Bourbon68$22 / 750ml
Cruzan No. 9 Spiced Rum67$20 / 750ml
Beer Barrel Bourbon66$35 / 750ml
Four Roses Small Batch66$30 / 750ml
Gentleman Jack65$35 / 750ml
Kraken Rum64$25 / 750ml
Tullamore Dew63$25 / 750ml
Bushmills Irish Whiskey62$31 / 750ml
Jefferson60$25/ 750ml
Old Grand-Dad 11459$30 / 750ml
Elijah Craig57$27 / 750ml
Bulleit Bourbon56$28 / 750ml
Buffalo Trace55$25 / 750ml
Jack Daniels`51$25 / 750ml
Knob Creek Small Batch49$30 / 750ml
Widow Jane45$70 / 750ml
Dogfish Head Alternate Takes41$55/ 750ml
Redemption40$30 / 750ml
Rowan's Creek39$30 / 750ml
Hudson Whiskey Baby Bourbon38$50/ 750ml
Woodford Reserve30$13 / 50ml
Breaker29$60 / 750ml
Pure Kentucky28$40 / 750ml
Winchester Extra Smooth15$23 / 750ml
Jack Daniels Tennessee Honey10$20 / 750ml
Hill Billy9$20 / 750ml
Fireball5$18 / 750ml
Balvenie Caribbean Cask2$90/ 750ml
American XXX Born - Bourbon Whiskey1$26 / 750ml

Weekend Whiskey – Balvenie Caribbean Cask

It has been a truly sh*ty week on multiple fronts.

Got stabbed in the back by an organization I’ve dedicated years of my life to, and my father has in in the hospital for open hear surgery.

Hopefully my friend who sent me this Scotch is right and something will get better. He’s a scotch drinker, and swears this Balvenie Caribbean Cask is what someone who doesn’t like smoke needs to introduce them to Scotch.

Let’s see if he’s right…

Whiskey Dreams – Four Roses Small Batch

I ran out of Redbreast, my current favorite whiskey, but I needed some medicine to help my through my day. Between my father having major open heart surgery and COVID-19, its been a rough day.

This Four Roses only ranked a 66, but it is still a nice drink when a bit of ice or water is added. It is just a point over the “Mixed Drinks Only” category, but Four Roses is what I’d all a budget premium whiskey? Yes, I’m struggling here.

Four Roses starts smooth, but the aftertaste is a bit ruff and leaves a little burn on the back of my tongue. Still, it is just what the doctor ordered on a day like today.

WHISKEY DREAMS – Hudson Whiskey Baby Bourbon

I’ve now tried my Hudson Baby Bourbon on four different occasions, spreading it out so different meals and times of day let me get a good overall picture of this Bourbon.

I’ve read several other reviews of Hudson Whiskey Baby Bourbon that mention how smooth it is. I’m not sure what the heck they were drinking, but this is not a smooth bourbon. It has bite on the first sip and ends with an acidic, acrid, aftertaste that slowly turns into something that is hard to describe. Is it leather and old paper? It is both tantalizing and annoying because I can’t decide if I do enjoy that note of this.

Overall, at this price point there are a lot of better options than Hudson Whiskey Baby Bourbon, and it is a shame to spend this much money to use this in Mixed Drinks Only, but that is what this Bourbon gets when it scores a 38/100.

Pros

  • I love the bottle.

Cons:

  • I love the bottle. When the bottle is a pro, that usually means what’s in it is missing something.
  • Lots of sharp edges and chemically aftertaste.
  • Not smooth, I had to add lots of water just to drink it.

BottleScorePrice
Redbreast 12 Year96$80/ 750ml
Jameson Distiller's Safe95$65/ 750ml
Colonel E.H. Taylor Small Batch Bourbon94$45 / 750ml
Booker's "Sip Awhile" 2017-493$80 / 750ml
Bib & Tucker91$75 / 750ml
Angels Envy90$65 / 750ml
Tin Cup85$30 / 750ml
Jameson Blender's Dog82$67 / 750ml
Jameson Black Barrel81$39 / 750ml
Old Forester 187080$55 / 750ml
Michters US 1 Small Batch79$45 / 750ml
Old Forester 189779$55 / 750ml
Yellowstone78$35 / 750ml
Basil Hayden's75$35 / 750ml
Eagle Rare 10 Year Old Bourbon75$35 / 750ml
Hirsch Small Batch74$35 / 750ml
Stillhouse Black Bourbon73$20 / 750ml
Legent72$35 / 750ml
Proper Twelve71$30 / 750ml
Teeling Whiskey70$50 / 750ml
Manhattan Knob Creek Small Batch69$30 / 750ml
Dogfish Head Alternate Takes Manhattan 69$55/ 750ml
Bird Dog Kentucky Bourbon68$22 / 750ml
Cruzan No. 9 Spiced Rum67$20 / 750ml
Beer Barrel Bourbon66$35 / 750ml
Four Roses Small Batch66$30 / 750ml
Gentleman Jack65$35 / 750ml
Kraken Rum64$25 / 750ml
Tullamore Dew63$25 / 750ml
Bushmills Irish Whiskey62$31 / 750ml
Jefferson60$25/ 750ml
Old Grand-Dad 11459$30 / 750ml
Elijah Craig57$27 / 750ml
Bulleit Bourbon56$28 / 750ml
Buffalo Trace55$25 / 750ml
Jack Daniels`51$25 / 750ml
Knob Creek Small Batch49$30 / 750ml
Widow Jane45$70 / 750ml
Dogfish Head Alternate Takes41$55/ 750ml
Redemption40$30 / 750ml
Rowan's Creek39$30 / 750ml
Hudson Whiskey Baby Bourbon38$50/ 750ml
Woodford Reserve30$13 / 50ml
Breaker29$60 / 750ml
Pure Kentucky28$40 / 750ml
Winchester Extra Smooth15$23 / 750ml
Jack Daniels Tennessee Honey10$20 / 750ml
Hill Billy9$20 / 750ml
Fireball5$18 / 750ml
Balvenie Caribbean Cask2$90/ 750ml
American XXX Born - Bourbon Whiskey1$26 / 750ml

Weekend Whiskey

I’ve picked my whiskey for the weekend, and I’m looking forward to further tasting this Hudson Baby Bourbon. I’ll let you know how it stacks up later this weekend after I have more time to rate this bourbon. You can also see that I upgraded from my Yeti Tumbler to this Glencairn Crystal Whiskey Glass. The tuplip shape really does enhance the nose and I find I slow down and enjoy the flavors more than when I’m using my tumbler.

WHISKEY DREAMS – Redbreast 12 Year Old

I bought my bottle of Redbreast on Friday and was just plain thrilled that my local store actually had a bottle on the shelf. Just one, but still, there was a bottle there for me to buy, and boy am I so glad they did.

I’ve been on an Irish Whiskey journey over the last few weeks, and Redbreast was the next logical step. At the end of the day Friday I had done a little bit of damage to the bottle, and Saturday I spent the day binge watching television with my wife and drinking all afternoon. The end result, by the time I poured a sip to finalize my review today was a bottle that was almost empty.

What’s left of my Redbreast bottle.

I don’t drink beer or wine anymore, but when I did, I usually drank light beer. My dad and brother loved darker beers, but it took me years to try a Golden Monkey by Victory. I remember being shocked at how much flavor the Golden Monkey had compared to regular light beer – and I fell in love. That is the best way to describe Redbreast for me. I just found Jameson Distiller’s Safe and thought it would take me another year to find something better. So I am both shocked and surprised that I found this Redbreast, and how much fuller it is than Jameson Distiller’s Safe.

Yes, I know that Jameson and Redbreast are both owned by the same French drinks conglomerate Pernod Ricard, which owns Irish Distillers, which in turn produces ten or so other brands of spirits, and I can taste the Jameson heritage in Redbreast.

Since Jameson is a blend, it is very likely I am indeed tasting a bit of it in Redbreast, or maybe it should really be the other way around? Redbreast is a single pot still Irish whiskey, while Jameson is a blend of of both pot-distilled malt whiskey and column-distilled grain whiskey, meaning that Jameson is blending some of what Redbreast is with cheaper column distilled grain whiskey, which also explains the slightly higher price of Redbreast.

You can already guess that I thoroughly enjoyed my first bottle of Redbreast by the damage I did the bottle over just three days, but how did it it rank? First of all, let me say it earned these awards.

Redbreast Awards

The nose is rich and nutty with well balanced hints of ginger mixed with a subtle sweetness. The nose hints at greatness to come, and that first sip only fulfills every promise the nose is making. Redbreast is smooth and rich and lingers on the palate in a very enjoyable way. It is both smooth and complex and rich, which is no easy feat, earning Redbreast the highest score so far with a 96/100.

Redbreast 12 Year

Pros

  • Clean nose full of nutty richness and sweet cakes.
  • The palate is complex and every time I think I’ve tasted every dimension something else opens up.
  • Blends spice and toffee perfectly.
  • The sherry casks complete the finish of every sip with a subtle sweetness that makes every touch of the lips to the glass seem like the finest dessert.

Cons:

  • I bought the only bottle my local store had.
  • A bit pricey at $80, and worse yet, it is worth every penny. So now I want more!!!
BottleScorePrice
Redbreast 12 Year96$80/ 750ml
Jameson Distiller's Safe95$65/ 750ml
Colonel E.H. Taylor Small Batch Bourbon94$45 / 750ml
Booker's "Sip Awhile" 2017-493$80 / 750ml
Bib & Tucker91$75 / 750ml
Angels Envy90$65 / 750ml
Tin Cup85$30 / 750ml
Jameson Blender's Dog82$67 / 750ml
Jameson Black Barrel81$39 / 750ml
Old Forester 187080$55 / 750ml
Michters US 1 Small Batch79$45 / 750ml
Old Forester 189779$55 / 750ml
Yellowstone78$35 / 750ml
Basil Hayden's75$35 / 750ml
Eagle Rare 10 Year Old Bourbon75$35 / 750ml
Hirsch Small Batch74$35 / 750ml
Stillhouse Black Bourbon73$20 / 750ml
Legent72$35 / 750ml
Proper Twelve71$30 / 750ml
Teeling Whiskey70$50 / 750ml
Manhattan Knob Creek Small Batch69$30 / 750ml
Dogfish Head Alternate Takes Manhattan 69$55/ 750ml
Bird Dog Kentucky Bourbon68$22 / 750ml
Cruzan No. 9 Spiced Rum67$20 / 750ml
Beer Barrel Bourbon66$35 / 750ml
Four Roses Small Batch66$30 / 750ml
Gentleman Jack65$35 / 750ml
Kraken Rum64$25 / 750ml
Tullamore Dew63$25 / 750ml
Bushmills Irish Whiskey62$31 / 750ml
Jefferson60$25/ 750ml
Old Grand-Dad 11459$30 / 750ml
Elijah Craig57$27 / 750ml
Bulleit Bourbon56$28 / 750ml
Buffalo Trace55$25 / 750ml
Jack Daniels`51$25 / 750ml
Knob Creek Small Batch49$30 / 750ml
Widow Jane45$70 / 750ml
Dogfish Head Alternate Takes41$55/ 750ml
Redemption40$30 / 750ml
Rowan's Creek39$30 / 750ml
Hudson Whiskey Baby Bourbon38$50/ 750ml
Woodford Reserve30$13 / 50ml
Breaker29$60 / 750ml
Pure Kentucky28$40 / 750ml
Winchester Extra Smooth15$23 / 750ml
Jack Daniels Tennessee Honey10$20 / 750ml
Hill Billy9$20 / 750ml
Fireball5$18 / 750ml
Balvenie Caribbean Cask2$90/ 750ml
American XXX Born - Bourbon Whiskey1$26 / 750ml

WHISKEY DREAMS – JAMESON DISTILLER’S SAFE

I picked up my first bottle of Jameson because I’d tried every bourbon they had on the shelf, so I moved a little to the left into the Irish Whiskey section. That was a few weeks ago, and it took me that long to buy this bottle of Jameson Distiller’s Safe.

How is it? Well, this should tell you something…

I’ve had this bottle for two weekends, with the week in between, and I’ve found it to be so smooth, mellow, and easy to sip. Some sippers have complained that it is too mild, that the flavor isn’t there, but I have to disagree, I think this is the perfect blend of smooth, tasty carmel with just the right hints of sweet fruits. Distiller’s safe is light in color, but don’t let that fool you, that light color hides a depth of sweet, easy sipping that earns this the top score of all my Whiskey Dreams so far.

Jameson Distiller’s Safe has earned itself the current top dog spot at 95/100.

Pros

  • Light, sweet caramels.
  • Sweet fruit and floral notes that blend with the caramel like a well made dessert.
  • Amazingly easy to sip.

Cons:

  • Being top dog means I just keep having to try and find something that beats this.
  • Can I do that and still keep a fully functioning liver? I guess we will wait and see.
  • Amazingly easy to sip. How am I going to make a bottle last more than a few weeks?
BottleScorePrice
Redbreast 12 Year96$80/ 750ml
Jameson Distiller's Safe95$65/ 750ml
Colonel E.H. Taylor Small Batch Bourbon94$45 / 750ml
Booker's "Sip Awhile" 2017-493$80 / 750ml
Bib & Tucker91$75 / 750ml
Angels Envy90$65 / 750ml
Tin Cup85$30 / 750ml
Jameson Blender's Dog82$67 / 750ml
Jameson Black Barrel81$39 / 750ml
Old Forester 187080$55 / 750ml
Michters US 1 Small Batch79$45 / 750ml
Old Forester 189779$55 / 750ml
Yellowstone78$35 / 750ml
Basil Hayden's75$35 / 750ml
Eagle Rare 10 Year Old Bourbon75$35 / 750ml
Hirsch Small Batch74$35 / 750ml
Stillhouse Black Bourbon73$20 / 750ml
Legent72$35 / 750ml
Proper Twelve71$30 / 750ml
Teeling Whiskey70$50 / 750ml
Manhattan Knob Creek Small Batch69$30 / 750ml
Dogfish Head Alternate Takes Manhattan 69$55/ 750ml
Bird Dog Kentucky Bourbon68$22 / 750ml
Cruzan No. 9 Spiced Rum67$20 / 750ml
Beer Barrel Bourbon66$35 / 750ml
Four Roses Small Batch66$30 / 750ml
Gentleman Jack65$35 / 750ml
Kraken Rum64$25 / 750ml
Tullamore Dew63$25 / 750ml
Bushmills Irish Whiskey62$31 / 750ml
Jefferson60$25/ 750ml
Old Grand-Dad 11459$30 / 750ml
Elijah Craig57$27 / 750ml
Bulleit Bourbon56$28 / 750ml
Buffalo Trace55$25 / 750ml
Jack Daniels`51$25 / 750ml
Knob Creek Small Batch49$30 / 750ml
Widow Jane45$70 / 750ml
Dogfish Head Alternate Takes41$55/ 750ml
Redemption40$30 / 750ml
Rowan's Creek39$30 / 750ml
Hudson Whiskey Baby Bourbon38$50/ 750ml
Woodford Reserve30$13 / 50ml
Breaker29$60 / 750ml
Pure Kentucky28$40 / 750ml
Winchester Extra Smooth15$23 / 750ml
Jack Daniels Tennessee Honey10$20 / 750ml
Hill Billy9$20 / 750ml
Fireball5$18 / 750ml
Balvenie Caribbean Cask2$90/ 750ml
American XXX Born - Bourbon Whiskey1$26 / 750ml

WHISKEY DREAMS –DOGFISH HEAD ALTERNATE TAKES Manhattan

This bottle of Dogfish Head Alternate Takes scored a 41/100 as a sipping whiskey. It had sharp edges and just wasn’t smooth enough for me to consider it a sipping whiskey – but I can’t just throw a whole bottle of whiskey away right? The good news is that I’ve found making a Manhattan with whiskey’s that may not be sip worthy, actually make a very good whiskey for mixers.

Which is exactly what this Dogfish Head Alternate Takes needed. I make my Manhattan. I use the classic recipe:

The addition of the Sweet Vermouth is exactly what this Dogfish Head Alternate Takes needed to smooth out the edges. Making a mixed drink like a Manhattan from this Dogfish Bourbon gave this whisky new life, as well as 18 points, bringing it to a 69/100 as a Manhattan.

Pros

  • Takes a whiskey that is a little rough and makes a very nice Manhattan.

Cons:

  • Dogfish Head Alternate Takes is an expensive bottle to make mixed drinks from.
BottleScorePrice
Redbreast 12 Year96$80/ 750ml
Jameson Distiller's Safe95$65/ 750ml
Colonel E.H. Taylor Small Batch Bourbon94$45 / 750ml
Booker's "Sip Awhile" 2017-493$80 / 750ml
Bib & Tucker91$75 / 750ml
Angels Envy90$65 / 750ml
Tin Cup85$30 / 750ml
Jameson Blender's Dog82$67 / 750ml
Jameson Black Barrel81$39 / 750ml
Old Forester 187080$55 / 750ml
Michters US 1 Small Batch79$45 / 750ml
Old Forester 189779$55 / 750ml
Yellowstone78$35 / 750ml
Basil Hayden's75$35 / 750ml
Eagle Rare 10 Year Old Bourbon75$35 / 750ml
Hirsch Small Batch74$35 / 750ml
Stillhouse Black Bourbon73$20 / 750ml
Legent72$35 / 750ml
Proper Twelve71$30 / 750ml
Teeling Whiskey70$50 / 750ml
Manhattan Knob Creek Small Batch69$30 / 750ml
Dogfish Head Alternate Takes Manhattan 69$55/ 750ml
Bird Dog Kentucky Bourbon68$22 / 750ml
Cruzan No. 9 Spiced Rum67$20 / 750ml
Beer Barrel Bourbon66$35 / 750ml
Four Roses Small Batch66$30 / 750ml
Gentleman Jack65$35 / 750ml
Kraken Rum64$25 / 750ml
Tullamore Dew63$25 / 750ml
Bushmills Irish Whiskey62$31 / 750ml
Jefferson60$25/ 750ml
Old Grand-Dad 11459$30 / 750ml
Elijah Craig57$27 / 750ml
Bulleit Bourbon56$28 / 750ml
Buffalo Trace55$25 / 750ml
Jack Daniels`51$25 / 750ml
Knob Creek Small Batch49$30 / 750ml
Widow Jane45$70 / 750ml
Dogfish Head Alternate Takes41$55/ 750ml
Redemption40$30 / 750ml
Rowan's Creek39$30 / 750ml
Hudson Whiskey Baby Bourbon38$50/ 750ml
Woodford Reserve30$13 / 50ml
Breaker29$60 / 750ml
Pure Kentucky28$40 / 750ml
Winchester Extra Smooth15$23 / 750ml
Jack Daniels Tennessee Honey10$20 / 750ml
Hill Billy9$20 / 750ml
Fireball5$18 / 750ml
Balvenie Caribbean Cask2$90/ 750ml
American XXX Born - Bourbon Whiskey1$26 / 750ml

WHISKEY DREAMS – Legent Bourbon

I was excited when I saw this bottle of Legent as I’d ready a review of it and it was on my list of whiskey’s to buy if I saw a bottle.

So how was it?

The first thing I noted was the burn, which doesn’t usually bode well for the rest of the glass. Thankfully I like my bourbon on the rocks, and that bit of extra water really does open up Legent. My advice, put a splash of water or drink this on the rocks, it greatly improves the finish, and lets you taste the lovely fruit and butterscotch hiding in this whiskey.

I am enjoying the bottle, but the thin mouth feel and initial burn before the ice melts a bit and opens up the whiskey cost this bourbon some point. It is however a good, drinkable, whiskey, and it earned itself a 72/100.

Pros

  • Lovely fruit and butterscotch when it opens up.
  • Good price to value.

Cons:

  • Thin body with an immediate burn.
BottleScorePrice
Redbreast 12 Year96$80/ 750ml
Jameson Distiller's Safe95$65/ 750ml
Colonel E.H. Taylor Small Batch Bourbon94$45 / 750ml
Booker's "Sip Awhile" 2017-493$80 / 750ml
Bib & Tucker91$75 / 750ml
Angels Envy90$65 / 750ml
Tin Cup85$30 / 750ml
Jameson Blender's Dog82$67 / 750ml
Jameson Black Barrel81$39 / 750ml
Old Forester 187080$55 / 750ml
Michters US 1 Small Batch79$45 / 750ml
Old Forester 189779$55 / 750ml
Yellowstone78$35 / 750ml
Basil Hayden's75$35 / 750ml
Eagle Rare 10 Year Old Bourbon75$35 / 750ml
Hirsch Small Batch74$35 / 750ml
Stillhouse Black Bourbon73$20 / 750ml
Legent72$35 / 750ml
Proper Twelve71$30 / 750ml
Teeling Whiskey70$50 / 750ml
Manhattan Knob Creek Small Batch69$30 / 750ml
Dogfish Head Alternate Takes Manhattan 69$55/ 750ml
Bird Dog Kentucky Bourbon68$22 / 750ml
Cruzan No. 9 Spiced Rum67$20 / 750ml
Beer Barrel Bourbon66$35 / 750ml
Four Roses Small Batch66$30 / 750ml
Gentleman Jack65$35 / 750ml
Kraken Rum64$25 / 750ml
Tullamore Dew63$25 / 750ml
Bushmills Irish Whiskey62$31 / 750ml
Jefferson60$25/ 750ml
Old Grand-Dad 11459$30 / 750ml
Elijah Craig57$27 / 750ml
Bulleit Bourbon56$28 / 750ml
Buffalo Trace55$25 / 750ml
Jack Daniels`51$25 / 750ml
Knob Creek Small Batch49$30 / 750ml
Widow Jane45$70 / 750ml
Dogfish Head Alternate Takes41$55/ 750ml
Redemption40$30 / 750ml
Rowan's Creek39$30 / 750ml
Hudson Whiskey Baby Bourbon38$50/ 750ml
Woodford Reserve30$13 / 50ml
Breaker29$60 / 750ml
Pure Kentucky28$40 / 750ml
Winchester Extra Smooth15$23 / 750ml
Jack Daniels Tennessee Honey10$20 / 750ml
Hill Billy9$20 / 750ml
Fireball5$18 / 750ml
Balvenie Caribbean Cask2$90/ 750ml
American XXX Born - Bourbon Whiskey1$26 / 750ml