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.
I have Scotch in my liquor cabinet for my friends now.
Made me feel like I was licking a campfire or ashtray. I just don’t enjoy smoke in my whiskey.
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.
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.
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.
I prefer my bourbon on the rocks, as I find that a little ice helps open up the whiskey. This is how I also tried this Knob Creek Small Batch to begin with, and quite honestly, I found it not quite to my taste as it only scored a 49/100.
What do I do with bottles of whiskey I don’t really enjoy? I find that making Manhattan’s with them makes the whiskey much more palatable. For whiskey I don’t like on the rocks, I mix two ounces of whiskey to a half ounce of Vermouth, and that is exactly what I did with this Knob Creek Small Batch.
Did it make the Knob Creek Small Batch drinkable for me? yes it did. As a Manhattan, this whiskey gained 10 points, and rose to a 69/100, which for me, is just enjoyable enough to keep sipping on. The Vermouth really turns the burnt sugar into something smoother, something that doesn’t turn my palate.
Turns the burnt taste of this bourbon when straight into something softer and drinkable.
The sugar in the Vermouth adds to the flavor, but if your watching your sugar like I am, you have to be careful not to have too many Manhattans.
I picked up this bottle of Old Grand-Dad 114 because I remember my actual grandfather drinking bottles of Old Grand-Dad, so many in fact that when he passed we found the attic crawl space littered with empty bottles. He’d lived in that house since he returned from WWII in 1945, and from what I can put together, there were a few rough years before he settled back into normal life.
Myself, I only have a few sips on the weekends, and I traded my big cup for this smaller, more reasonable tumbler.
That smaller tumbler was a blessing when it came to this Old Grand-Dad 114. It is a high proof whiskey, although it oddly didn’t taste that way to me, or at least it didn’t overpower the spice and sweetness.
What the alcohol level did was make this taste like syrup on my tongue. For me, this was so sweet I couldn’t enjoy it, which earned Old Grand-Dad 114 a score of 59/100.
Years ago I had a glass at Tullamore Dew at a friends house. This was long before I started to really enjoy bourbon, but I remembered it fondly, it was one of the first whiskeys that I drank straight that I actually enjoyed.
How has Tullamore Dew held up to twenty years of memory?
It’s not bad.
That’s not a great way to rate something is it though?
It is a little thin on the palate, and the back of my tongue gets hit with a little astringency that I associate with cheaper whiskeys.
If you have a bottle and offer me a glass I’ll take it over Jack any day, but if you have other bottles, I’m definitely going to look for something I like more. For the price, I’d go for Stillhouse Black Bourbon, its a few bucks cheaper, and much better on the tongue.
So how does Tullamore Dew rank? I’m giving it a 63/100. Like I said, it’s not bad, it’s just not great either.
Easy to find.
There are better options, even at this $25 price point.
One of my older boys got me this bottle of Booker’s as a father’s day gift. I have to be honest, it is one of the best father’s day gifts I’ve ever gotten.
I was waiting for a quiet weekend to try this Booker’s “Sip Awhile”, and this weekend was it.
First off, this is not a whiskey for a beginner. The oak and caramel is going to be washed out by the high alcohol content and I’m not sure if a new whiskey drinker is going to appreciate all the depth of flavors this whiskey has to offer.
That being said, if you enjoy bourbon, this Booker’s “Sip Awhile’ is a must have in terms of the experience, as well as in terms of a bottle to keep on your shelf.
“Ship Awhile” more than earned its 93/100 score. Now all I have to do is control myself and not drink the bottle before I can find another.
Rich oak flavors.
Smooth caramel that washes over your tongue.
Is getting harder to find.
The 128.1 proof can overpower the rich oak and caramel flavors
I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised when I took the first sip of Stillhouse Black Bourbon. My expectations weren’t that high, as I only paid $22, so on top of being a very drinkable bourbon, it is quite affordable.
So how drinkable was it?
Stillhouse Black Bourbon is “mellowed in coffee beans” and while I was struggling to name the flavor on the back of my tongue, once I read how they produced Stillhouse, the coffee flavor clicked in my head.
I thoroughly enjoyed Stillhouse Black Bourbon and it will be a new “standard” on my whiskey shelf. It earned every point of its 73/100.
Just the right amount of astringency that turns smooth after a few sips.
Pleasant mix of coffee and caramel.
Packaged in a metal tin, which makes it perfect for camping and hiking as well as parties where you don’t want to take a glass bottle.
Great bang for the buck when it comes to value.
Some drinkers may not like that opening astringency. I think this bourbon will appeal to more advanced bourbon drinkers versus newcomers.
It is packaged in a squarish metal case, while being awesome, also means its hard to tell when you are almost out of Stillhouse.