This week’s selection is Maker’s Mark. Check back Sunday to see how it ranks.
I was honestly a little nervous about this Kavanagh 16 Year Old Irish Whiskey after having to pour out a bottle of regular Kavanagh Whiskey. At the same time I was interested to see what 16 years of additional aging would do for this whiskey.
So how did it hold up?
I have to be honest and say that this is a budget whiskey and the 16 year age statement is very deceiving. Why? I feel like these are the rejected barrels for something else they are selling. Sure it has a 16 year age statement, but its still not as good as Tyrconnel Single Malt which is the same price (for me) and no where near being even close to Redbreast 12 Year.
I did finish the bottle, but I kept finding myself licking my lips and kind of “puckering up” against the strange aftertaste. I am ranking this at a 66/100, but there are much better options for the price, and this is not a bottle that I will be buying again.
- Budget 16 Year Old Irish Whiskey. Where are are you going to get a 16 year old bottle for $50 bucks.
- Nice honey and butter cookie notes. (At least until the funky aftertaste hits.)
- Doesn’t really hold up to other bottles at the same price points that don’t even have an age statement.
- Better options available at the $50 mark.
- Strange burn and chemically aftertaste.
This weekend’s bottle is Kavanagh 16 old single malt Irish whiskey. Check back Sunday to see how it ranks.
Whiskey Dreams, a truly magical place…
Chestnut Farms Straight Bourbon Whiskey is distilled by Barton 1792 Distillery and is 90 proof. It won a Double Gold Medal at the San Francisco Spirits Competition according to their website. What year? I couldn’t find it, but that is probably due to my poor google skills. What I was able to find is that this bourbon doesn’t have a website, and is made at the same Barton 1792 distillery where they make the Costco and Trader Joe’s brand whiskeys. (According to the internet.)
I’ve found awards are hit and miss for me. Some things that people rave over, tastes like gasoline to me, while some things that didn’t even place, were things I’d buy another bottle of, so I didn’t get my hopes up for this Chestnut Farms.
I’m not a huge fan of rye. For me it just creates a lot of sharp edges and an aftertaste I don’t enjoy. Maybe that will change as I get older. I remember a time when I didn’t like Brussel sprouts, but now I love them.
Why am I talking about rye? It’s because this Chestnut Farms has some rye added onto its 51% corn and malted barley mash bill. That usually means I’m not going to like it, but in this case, they got the ratio just about perfect. All those rough edges I don’t appreciate in rye whiskeys are smoothed out and come out as spicy warmth in my mouth.
The nose is mild. There is a little caramel and toffee, but its not complex and overall it very light.
The palate is a little different from the nose. It has that warm flush of a regular bourbon that quickly turns to oak char and then finishes with the spice from the rye. Overall it is a very well balanced whiskey and a great introduction to rye for those who aren’t really rye lovers.
Chestnut Farms is Sip Worthy and scored a 77/100. It isn’t making it into my Whiskey Safe, but it is a bottle I could see myself picking up when the mood strikes me again.
- Perfect balance of corn and rye.
- Ends with a nice mix of rye spice and oak notes.
- If you don’t like rye at all, you may not like this.
- At a $45 price point, there are a lot of very competitive whiskeys to choose from.
My go to drink after settling into vacation in Jamaica at the Iberostar Rose Hall Suites was this Appleton Reserve Blend Jamaican Rum. It was the “top shelf” at the all inclusive, and I wasn’t going to spend more money for bottle service.
The nose was ripe fruit that ended with just a touch of sharpness. The sharpness on the nose is hard to describe. It’s a bit metallic but also chemically. Like I said, its hard to describe.
The palate light and smooth. There isn’t a lot of depth to this rum, but it is perfect for sipping by the edge of the pool. Overall, this Appleton Reserve Blend scored a 67/100.
- The more I drank the more they refilled my glass. (I drank this while on vacation at the all inclusive resort Iberostar Rose Hall Suites.
- Not a whole lot of depth or complex flavors.
My selection for this week is Chestnut Farms Straight Kentucky bourbon. Check back tomorrow to see how it ranks.
According to the Powers website, this Irish whiskey received its name from the Powers family coachmen. To keep warm in the harsh Irish winters, the three coachmen would each take a swallow from their hip flask. Thus was born Powers Three Swallow Whiskey.
Thank you coachmen, I’m sure you enjoyed the whiskey as much as I did.
Powers Three Swallow is just about everything you want, and honestly can have at this price point. Like everything else in life, there is a diminishing return. Sure, you can spend more, but at $38 at my local mega liquor mart, your not going to find a better value. This Powers Three Swallow has the sweet honey I love in Irish Pot Still Whiskey that finishes with just a bit of spice.
If you want a great Irish Whiskey, that is affordable, approachable, and deserves to be in every whiskey drinkers cabinet, you can’t go wrong with Powers Three Swallow, which is why this has earned a very respectable 87/100.
- Punches above its weight for a $38 whiskey.
- Full flavored and robust.
- Perfect mix of smooth, honey, and spice.
- This is not helping my drinking habit.
Everyone tells me I need to try this Powers Three Swallow, so now I am. Come back on Sunday to see how it ranks.
This Redwood Empire Pipe Dream Bourbon hales from Sonoma Country, California, and is apparently named in honor of an actual redwood tree named “Pipedream”.
According to FamousRedWoods.com its the 14th tallest tree in the world.
I guess this bourbon has a big repetition to live up to.
Which probably explains the big bold flavors that this Pipe Dream bourbon brings to the table. From the first scent, to the first sip, this is a strong, flavorful bourbon.
The nose is mildly sweet, full of toasted wood and char. Don’t let the nose fool you, the moment you take the first sip this bourbon fills your mouth with a swirling, complex flavor profile. It is wood char with a little sweetness under it, which finishes on a strong nuttiness that quickly turns to black pepper.
This is not a bourbon for the weak hearted.
I did enjoy sipping this Redwood Empire Pipe Dream and can see myself wanting more in the future. It’s not a dram I’d drink as a casual sipper, but on those occasions I want something full flavored and strong, this will absolutely be a go to, which is the reason this scored an 81/100.
- Wonderfully complex bourbon.
- Mildly sweet opening that instantly becomes woody char and black pepper.
- Deep and flavorful.
- May be too much for new bourbon drinkers.
- Flavors may be too much for some.
- The bottle is really tall. No, seriously, it doesn’t fit onto the shelf with my other bottles. I had to put it on a different shelf because its so tall.