The mouth feel is clean and the front of my tongue is hit by malt that transitions to sweet honey and just a touch of butter cookies. The finish is a pleasant sweetness mixed with the charred oak from the bourbon barrels which imparts a bit of spice, and just a little bit of roughness.
This Dubliner Bourbon Cask Finish is a wonderful blended whiskey that really captures the best of a single malt pot still while optimized for this specific price point, which it does really well. Dubliner Bourbon Cask Finish scored a well deserved 80/100, making it Sip Worthy.
At under $35 a bottle, this is a great buy.
A wonderful blended whiskey. The distiller struck gold with this recipe.
While The Dead Rabbit says its based on five year old whiskey on the bottle, the whiskey itself doesn’t carry an age statement, which means that the blend may have some 5 year old whiskey in it, but we don’t know how much, and the rest of the bottle is a mixture of much more shortly aged alcohol.
What The Dead Rabbit does have is an epic backstory:
The Dead Rabbits were a notorious Irish immigrant street gang whose sworn enemies were the nativist anti-immigrant Bowery Boys. Their antagonism came to a head in a notorious riot that raged for days in 1857. Up to a thousand gang members were involved before order was finally restored. The leader of the Dead Rabbits was John Morrissey, a notorious figure who would later go on to become a Democratic congressman and senator.
The nose sweet vanilla that competes with the ethanol. The nose is subtle and not complex.
The palate is clean but there is too much Bourbon Cask to really appreciate what I like about Irish Whiskey. There is just a hint of sweet that might have some malt in it, but it is so overpowered by the time in the Bourbon and New Oak that it leaves me wanting more of the Irish, and less of the American influences.
I’m giving The Dead Rabbit a69/100, making it just a point into Mixed Drinks Only territory. Save it for your coffee!
Awesome backstory that taught me a bit about my Irish roots.
If you love Bourbon with a hint of Irish this might be the bottle for you.
At $35 there are better options out there.
If you like Irish Whiskey and butter cookies, don’t come looking to The Dead Rabbit to fulfill your desires.
While Smooth Ambler Contradiction does not have an age statement, they do say that the majority of the blend is over 9 years old. The bottle says it is a blend of West Virginia, Tennessee, and Indiana whiskeys.
I really enjoyed the Smooth Ambler Old Scout I tried in July, 2020, so I was excited to cut the seal on this bottle of Contradiction.
My bottle batch is 362, bottled by Sarah. Let me know in the comments if we are bottle brothers:
The nose on this Contradiction is nicely layered. It starts with oak that is always there, but as you breath in deeply it turns to wonderful vanilla with just hints of dried fruit.
At 92 proof this has a bit more punch than “regular” 80 proof bourbon. Happily, that extra alcohol is so well constructed you don’t really notice it. The mouth feel is clean and crisp and full of wonderful oakiness. I found that ice really opened up this whiskey and let me appreciate all the sweet vanilla just below that oak. Others have told me they also taste dried cherries in there, but to me it’s just a more generic “fruit”. It doesn’t really matter though, this is just a pleasure to sip.
Smooth Ambler Contradiction scored an 86/100, making it not only Sip Worthy, but also making its way into my Whiskey Safe, now I just have to find another bottle to put there.
A great value at $40 a bottle. (Bought at the super store an hour away, but the super store prices make it worth a drive.)
With an annual run of just 50,000 bottles to keep all us Whiskey Dreamers happy, can you find it?
This weekend’s bottle is Smooth Ambler Contradiction whiskey. I really enjoyed Smooth Ambler Old Scout, so I’m looking forward to the first sip of this Smooth Ambler Contradiction. Check back Sunday to see how it ranks.
Jameson 18 is a blended whiskey that is created from two pot-still whiskeys mixed with a portion of single grain whiskey. It’s initially aged in ex-bourbon and ex-Oloroso sherry casks, then moved to first-fill bourbon barrels before bottling.
Let’s start by saying that the last few weeks of my life have been completely nuts. There was a layoff, then a job offer, then a much better job. So a happy ending, but a crazy week.
How did I mourn friends and colleagues I will no longer get to work with and celebrate a new beginning at the same time? I went out and bought a bottle of this Jameson 18 Year.
The nose on this Jameson 18 Year is surprising. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but it wasn’t this. There is a pronounced ethanol/alcohol on the first sniff. It’s not quite a burn, and it doesn’t smack you in the face, but its there, and it does overpower some of the other more nuanced notes. Those nuanced notes are wood and spice and just a touch of malt and sherry. Overall I was quite surprised with how mellow the nose was. I was expecting more complexity, but it just wasn’t there. After about 15 minutes, the alcohol notes fell off and I did get a mix of honey with the malt.
The front of my tongue was honey, but the mid tongue and finish were all wood char and spice. I was honestly expecting a bit more smoothness and some butter cookies, which is what I associate with good Irish Whiskey, but the 18 Years spent in barrels clearly infused this with a lot of oak, char, and sherry. To me that finishes just a little rough.
I enjoyed this Jameson 18, but at the same time I have to take into account the price of this whiskey compared to its overall taste. I will drink this Jameson 18 every time you offer it to me – but it’s not making its way into my Whiskey Safe and I’m honestly not likely to buy another bottle.
The packaging is really cool. The wooden box and bottle packaging is top notch – but whenever there is this much quality on the packaging side I worry about what I’m really paying for. I’m guessing a decent part of the $140 I paid for this Jameson 18 went into the packaging. That means that this whiskey doesn’t quite stand up against some cheaper offerings.
That price to value makes it hard to score Jameson 18 with a high score. To be honest, regular Jameson is only $25 at the “super store” across state lines and while its not super complex, it is smooth and easy to sip. How do you compare a $25 whiskey and a $140 whiskey? For me, the taste to value has to be a part of that, and that is where Jameson 18 falls apart. Both these whiskeys score an 80/100, and that means that I’m going to choose the cheaper option here every time.
Is Jameson 18 more complex then regular Jameson? Yes, 100 percent. But not $115 worth, and that is the crush of the issue. I enjoyed sipping this Jameson 18, but I can’t see myself buying another bottle at $140. The cost to value just isn’t there.
Does Jameson put out any bad products?
If this is a gift or someone else is buying your drams, who’s going to turn this down?
I had this whiskey on my bucket list, and now I can check it off.
At $140 this is just too much as there are offerings at half the price that beat this hands down.
I recently found Redbreast 12 at $70 and at half the price I’d take that every time.
I had this whiskey on my bucket list, and now I can check it off – does that mean I’m one step closer to dying?
Stillhouse Black Bourbon has the honor of being my first edition of Second Sip, where I’ll go back and take a second look, and sip, or many whiskeys. I’ve learned a lot on my Whiskey Dreams journey and I’m curious how a much broader exposure to whiskey will change how I interpret different drams.
When I first found Stillhouse Black Bourbon it was all the way back in June of 2019, and I scored it a 73/100.
So how does Stillhouse Black Bourbon hold up to my better educated bourbon taste buds?
The nose is unchanged. It is subtley sweet, and not very pronounced.
I’m not sure if its the “coffee mellowing” or the blend of whiskeys used to create this, but what I called astringency really hammers my mid tongue. The finish on the swallow has bitterness and pepper. It’s not punching me in the throat, but its not what I’d call super smooth either.
Stillhouse Black Bourbon is a great budget bourbon, and while I am updating my score to a 61, this is still a great value Bourbon, and it is still perfect for camping trips and hiking – when a glass bottle would be a bad idea. The one downside that I did notice is that if I have more than a dram or two this bourbon gives me a horrible hangover the next day – which isn’t true of a lot of other options, even at this price point, which cost it major points.
This drops Stillhouse Black Bourbon into Mixed Drinks Only territory, but I am putting as asterisk next to that. I won’t be sipping this as a straight bourbon anymore – but I will absolutely take it on outdoor trips and drink it under the stars. This is still an excellent budget offering at anywhere between $20 and $25 bucks.
Mr. Whiskey is a blended Irish Whiskey that is matured in IPA Casks. At $22 this is what I’d describe as a budget offering, but don’t let that scare you off, this whiskey punches way above its price point.
The nose is floral with hints of malt. This is a gentle, subdued nose which is perfect for the beginner.
The mouth feel is light and watery and opens with sweet vanilla that turns to malt as it reaches the mid tongue. The finish is more malt mixed with just a hint of butter cookies that ends with just a flash of roughness.
Mr. Whiskey scored a 70/100, making it Sip Worthy, but more importantly, this Irish Whiskey also made into my Whiskey Safe. At this price to value, I plan to keep a bottle of Mr. Whiskey on my shelf at all times.
Slane Irish Whiskey is blended from three casks. virgin oak and seasoned Tennessee/Bourbon casks, and then the final cask previously held Oloroso Sherry.
The nose is sweet and malty that changes to caramel as it fades. I can imagine the faint hints of sherry as well, but I’m not sure if that is real or the power of suggestion because I know its in there.
The palate is malt and butter cookies that is sweet and creamy as it hits the mid tongue. The finish is all dry sherry. I’ve had a few other Irish Whiskeys finished in Oloroso Sherry casks, but I have to be honest that this is the first one that I really liked. They did a great job blending the malty goodness of the base Irish Whiskey with the dryness of the sherry.
I really enjoyed this bottle of Slane and plan on putting a bottle in my Whiskey Safe. This is a great bottle for new drinkers who are now getting just a bit more into what makes a good nose and wonderful palate. Slane earned very point of its 74/100, making it Sip Worthy.
Pleasant malty sweetness on the nose.
Perfect balance between the opening malt and the closing sherry notes.
Whoever blended this whiskey serves a medal.
Great whiskey to transition a new drinker from more basic flavors to something with a little more complexity.
If you aren’t a fan of Oloroso Sherry, you may not like the finish on this whiskey.