Review #74 - Bunnahabhain Staoisha Heavily Peated 3 Year Milroy

Nose: Lemon zest, light smoke, dry minerality, fresh cream, barley husks.

Palate: Bright barley, light smoke, fresh ash, cut hay, honey, bright sweet apple, moss, ginger.

Finish: Pale wood smoke, sweet fresh barley, light honey, vanilla.

Verdict: This is surprisingly good for 3 year old scotch. It's fresh and bright, light and malty and smoky and vibrant. There's not a ton of complexity, but it's a fun dram!

Would I buy this: Especially given the price, I absolutely would.

Would I order this in a bar: Yes! Great value for a nice little smoky pour.

Would I drink this if someone gave me a glass: Most definitely.

Rating: ★★★

Review #73 - Connemara Peated Irish Whiskey

Nose: Tart fruits, a waft of peat, honey, sweet mash, a little wood smoke. I expected a bit more, the nose isn't very peaty, but the little peat there is subdues the rest.

Palate: Malt, clean peat, honey, slight moments of tropical fruit that disappear quickly. The peat isn't very medicinal, but there's just a hint of something off with it, like melted plastic.

Finish: Vegetal peat, wood smoke, sweet barley, honey. It's long, and fairly flavorful. The slightly metallic/chemically peat really comes through in the finish and kind of ruins it for me.

Verdict: This isn't great. I know they sourced the peat for this from Scotland, I wish they used Irish peat instead, and released something at 46% rather than 40. As is, this is all the boring parts of irish whiskey and many of the flaws of peat with none of the brash fun parts.
Would I buy this: I would not.
Would I order this in a bar: No.
Would I drink this if someone gave me a glass: Yes, if nothing else to discuss it with …

Review #72 - Barrell Bourbon Batch #11

Nose: Vanilla and oak predominate. Hints of baking spices, especially allspice. Buttered corn, and something a little citrusy, like dried orange peels. A little brown sugar. It's an inviting and intriguing nose. The proof doesn't come across, even sticking my nose in and breathing deeply.
Palate: Cocoa, baking spices, vanilla, sweet corn, a little mineral, hints of cream. Sort of all over the place. Not unbalanced, but just doesn't work well together somehow.
Finish: Oak, floral Mexican cinnamon, toasted pecan, marshmallow, white pepper. Pretty nice. If it had slightly less wood to it that would be better. 
Verdict: 6 year old, 114.8 proof, and not bad, but Barrell has sure done better.
Would I buy this: Depending on the price, yes. Knowing what Barrell bourbons usually go for, no.
Would I order this in a bar: Maybe. Do they not have ECBP?
Would I drink this if someone gave me a glass: Absolutely. It's pretty good.

Review #71 - Old Sugar Distillery Number One Smash Black Malt Barley

This was a collaboration between Old Sugar Distillery and Capital Brewery and Bier Garten in Middleton, WI. They used the same mash bill as their Schwarzbier, called Fishin' in the Dark.

Nose: Vanilla, sour wood, under ripe pear, musty, sour cherries. Tiny touches of something smoky, and a little floral.

Palate: Thin, lightly sweet. Apples, plums, a moment of wildflower honey spread on malted toast.

Finish: Honey and a little sour. The honey is gone in moments, the touch of tannic sourness remains.

Verdict: Overall, not great. I've sure had worse, but this is thin and lightly sweet and not much else. There's a tiny moment in the nose that hints at the black malt, otherwise I'm not getting it.

Would I buy this: I would not.

Would I order this in a bar: Negative.

Would I drink this if someone gave me a glass: Yes. But I'd take my time at it. It's not great, but it's not the worst thing.

Rating: ★

Review #70 - AnCnoc Cutter

Nose: Yesterday's campfire, clean maritime salt, smoke, toffee, canned peaches, yellow cake, vanilla frosting. Palate: Smoked apples, orange rind, soot, nectarines, vanilla buttercream frosting. Finish: Long. Simmering smoky vanilla. Sweet and warming. Verdict: I like this a lot. It's like a sweeter, fruitier Springbank. Would I buy this: I would, it's a shame it's limited edition. Would I order this in a bar: Yes, depending on price. Would I drink this if someone gave me a glass: Absolutely! Thank you! Rating: ★★★

Review #69 - Mystery from Jon - Bundaberg Blender's Edition 2015

Nose: Burnt sugar, vanilla, cherry blossom, white rubber, guava, papaya. A little funk here. Palate: Caramel, cassia, passion fruit, and something herbal. It's sharp, like something in the mint family but not quite actually mint. It reminds me of a South American mint I've had, which is like a mix of spearmint and vanilla. Finish: Sweet sugar and that miny herbal something carry on for quite some time. Verdict: Well, it's rum. No idea from where. I like it, it's interesting but still easy to get into. I don't love the herbal finish that much, but it's not terrible. Maybe 45ish% somewhere, not enough wood influence to be very old. 4 or 5 years? I like it a bit overall, but I sure don't love it, and that's the main thing. Would I buy this: I would not! It's just not interesting enough. Would I order this in a bar: Maybe? If there's not much else on offer. Would I drink this if someone gave me a glass: Sure, but I'd think they were holdi…

Review #68 - Secret Santa Mystery Dram #3 - Ron Navazzos Palazzi 15 Year Cask Strength Oloroso Finish

Mystery Dram #3

Nose: Stewed plums, dark chocolate, toasted almonds, hazelnuts, vanilla, allspice, molasses, toffee, bitter orange

Palate: Thick and sweet. Roasted hazelnuts, turbinado sugar, quince paste, vanilla, allspice, walnuts, dried fig.

Finish: Oak, vanilla, dried nuts, touches of sea salt.

Verdict: This is like rum and sherried scotch had a baby. This is delicious, rich, and complex. Strength is higher, maybe 100 proof? Sweet and sherried and woody and spicy.

Would I buy this: Depending on price, absolutely. For under 150 bucks I'd be in.

Would I order this in a bar: Yes, especially around Christmas time. This has a lot of holiday notes to me.

Would I drink this if someone gave me a glass: Absolutely! Slainte!

Rating: ★★★★