This bottle of Dublin Liberties Copper Alley Irish Whiskey was a birthday gift from my Dad, and I have thoroughly enjoyed sipping it. Dublin Liberties is a single malt that is aged for 10 years and finished in Oloroso Sherry casks.
The nose on this Dublin Liberties Copper Alley is a wonderful malt and butter cookies. It is muted compared to Redbreast 12, but still lovely, and mixes with just a hint of sherry that is subtle but so well crafted into this whiskey that it is
The sip is complex and swirling and starts with malt and butter cookies mixed with a nuttiness. The mid tongue immediately turns to cinnamon that quickly turns to pepper and sherry on the finish. After the swallow you will appreciate the dryness of that sherry.
Some of the other sherry finished whiskeys I’ve had overpower the whiskey, but this is just a masterfully crafted blend and all the tasting notes mesh together beautifully.
Dublin Liberties Copper Alley scored a well earned 90/10. If you can find it, but a bottle and let me know if you agree.
Single malt and aged 10 year goodness.
Incredibly well created sherry finish.
It was a surprise bottle for my birthday, and it was an awesome present.
Can you find it? I’d never seen it in a store and was psyched to get it as a present.
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 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?
The mouth feel is clean, very sweet, and exploding with banana flavors. I can’t get the association out of my head, this tastes like someone ground up Banana Runts and infused it with alcohol. You can’t really appreciate the alcohol, which worries me, because this level of sweetness and flavoring could easily lead to someone drinking more than they should. It is 40% ABV, but it doesn’t taste like that. It tastes like candy.
I don’t want to be a snob, but this is more candy than whiskey for me. Sure, its like dessert, but its so heavily sweetened and flavored that after a single dram I just can’t think about pouring another. I’m going to give this a 50/100, making it a Mixed Drinks Only whiskey – but there is so much flavoring, this is a mixed drink even without any other mixers added.
Very mild taste.
If you like candy flavored whiskey, this will be right up your alley.
May be great if your trying to get a newbie to like whiskey.
If you don’t like candy flavored whiskey, you are not going to enjoy this.
Tastes like dessert, which might be good, except after a single dram the sweetness and overly rich banana flavoring doesn’t make me want to pour another glass.
The Busker Single malt says it is a modern Irish whiskey that is smooth enough to drink straight, or perfect for a mixer, or in their own words:
Ireland- The Busker Single Malt Irish Whiskey is born out of a modern Ireland, where the contemporary and bold meet at the crossroads of tradition. Smooth enough to be had alone or added as a delicious kick to your favorite mixed drink.
The nose is full of alcohol burn. There is maltiness hidden in there, but the nose really hits you with ethanol.
The first impression is alcohol, just like the nose, that turns to malt and transitions to a bit of butter cookie before finishing very rough. I was really not impressed with the overall mouth feel, the opening, or the very rough finish.
I was really surprised by this as I’d read a ton of positive feedback on “The Busker” brand Irish Whiskeys.
At the end of the day all I can guess is that The Busker marketing team is really good, and really aggressive. For me, The Busker Single Malt scores a paltry 4/100. Yes I drank it, but I didn’t enjoy it, and while it did get me tipsy really fast, it also gave me a headache, which for me, is usually a sign that the quality isn’t up to snuff.
Then again, this is just my opinion, and maybe this just isn’t my cup of tea. Let me know how you feel about The Busker Single Malt in the comments below.
It tastes like it might power my lawn mower. Is that a positive? I couldn’t think of anything to be honest.
Too expensive at $34.
The alcohol hits you on the nose and continues to hit you on the palate.
How can something give you a hangover while you’re drinking it? This gave me a headache as I was drinking it.
I ranked Death’s Door whiskey as a 68/100 as a straight sipper, but at $40 a bottle for me (Northeast United States) there are better options for two twenties – so I was curious how it would do as a Manhattan.
The good news is that a bit of vermouth did take off the rough edges of this Death’s Door whiskey.
This bottle of Old Forester 1920 Prohibition Style Bourbon has been hiding on the back of my “to be reviewed” shelf for almost two years after I fell in love with Irish Whiskey. Since then I’ve been trying to alternate between an American Whiskey/Bourbon and Irish Whiskey/Scotch every week. I grabbed this bottle of Old Forester 1920 because Old Forester never let’s me down, and I was excited to try this 1920 Prohibition Style Bourbon my eyes settled on it hiding in the back corner of the shelf.
Old Forester 1920 Prohibition Style Bourbon is a strong offering. It is bottled at 115 Proof and a mashbill of 72% Corn, 18% Rye, and 10% Malted Barley. Based on the distiller’s lore, this bourbon was created during America’s experiment with making alcohol illegal . Or at least mostly illegal. Apparently there was a medicinal use exception, and Brown-Forman applied and was granted for Kentucky Permit KY – 3. This allowed Brown-Forman to create Old Forester 1920 Prohibition Style Bourbon and legally sell it for “medicinal” use, even during prohibition.
The Old Forester brand has the distinction of being the only bourbon sold before, during, and thankfully, after, prohibition. There is a lot of history in every sip of Old Forester, which is likely one of the reasons it never disappoints.
The nose on this Old Forester 1920 is rich, deep, and layered with fruit and concentrated brown sugar just on the verge of burning. The nose ends with a swirl of alcohol and sweet fruit that is really surprising for how balanced it is. I was expecting a strong alcohol burn based on the proof, but this is such a well crafted whiskey that it all just fits together perfectly.
The first sip was an explosion of flavor. Sweet brown sugar mellowed over oak char and black chocolate. That sweetness continues and melds with ripe fruit on the swallow that does hint at the 115 proof, but in a good way. Yes, you can appreciate this is a higher proof, but it is just so well made that it never smacks you in the face.
While this Old Forester 1920 Prohibition Style Bourbon isn’t something I’d pour for a new whiskey lover, for the advanced class who an appreciate all its complexity, this is just a pleasure to sip. It not only scored a 96/100, tying it for top honors with Red Breast, but it of course made it into my Whiskey Safe, meaning I will always keep a bottle locked up to enjoy during the Apocalypse.
Awesome back story that dates to prohibition.
Complex, multi layered nose.
Lovely sweet brown sugar and fruit on the front of tongue.
At local prices (east coast) ranging from $59.99 to $69.99 this can take a bite out of your whiskey budget.
Easy to over enjoy, and at 115 proof it might catch up to you.
Not for the new whiskey lover. Save it for when you are more experienced.
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.
This Blade And Bow scored a 48/100 as a a sipper, which relegated it to the Mixed Drinks Only category. Which means I wasn’t super excited about what a Manhattan would do for this Blade And Bow whiskey. I find that a Manhattan can soften some rough edges, but usually results in a 10 or 15 point increase (max) to the base whiskey.
The makers of Blade And Bow might not have been super happy with my score as a “straight sipper”, but hopefully they will be a little more pleased with what their bourbon can do as a mixer, especially for a Manhattan.
I used my normal two to one formula, mixing two parts whiskey with one part vermouth, then adding in a few drops of Orange Bitters, and this Blade And Bow really shone through.
My issue with Blade And Bow as a straight sipper was the soft sweet opening and the hardness on the swallow that was kind of a punch in the face. The good news is that the vermouth really evens this out, turning this jarring sip into something much smoother. The vermouth takes that rough finish and just smooths everything out in quite a lovely way. So much so, that this is the all time biggest increase when comparing a whiskey to its Mixed Drinks Only pairing.
This Blade And Bow Manhattan scored an all time high 90/100 (as of 3/17/2021). If you love a good Manhattan, this is a must try. This just might might help me justify spending $50 on another bottle – which is crazy for a mixer right? But still, it’s that good in a Manhattan.
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.