Review #76 - Still Austin Bourbon (Batch #2)

This sample was a gift from a friend. Hi Travis! I went into it knowing only that it was Bourbon from Still Austin.

Nose: Corn, vanilla, lemon, caramel, oak, light nutmeg, old varnish, gun oil, shoe polish.

Palate: Sweet corn, popcorn, caramel, burnt peanut, pepper, bitter clove, flamed orange peel, vanilla.

Finish: Corn, vanilla, a little pepper. Sweet mostly. Long but simple.

Verdict: Tastes young, I'd bet 12-18 months? Maybe 95-100 proof? Has a lot of harsh notes right in the middle of the palate. The nose has some weird unpleasantness, but the base Bourbon notes underly all of it. Might be fine with more time, but as is, I don't care for it.

Would I buy this: I'm betting this is craft priced, so 35-50 a bottle. In which case, nuh-uh.

Would I order this in a bar: Probably not.

Would I drink this if someone gave me a glass: I would, but mostly so I could discuss what I do and don't like abut it with them.

Final notes: Looking this up I see it is 100 proof and a year…

Review #75 - Scapa Skiren

Nose: Warm honey. Clotted cream. Ripe pear, bitter orange peel, apple, a little fennel seed.

Palate: The honey sweetness continues. Fresh crushed malt, sweet cream, pear, dried orange, lemon, a little pineapple. Hints of oak and vanilla.

Finish: Medium. Sweet oak and a dusting of cinnamon.

Verdict: It's a fine whiskey. But it's not a great one. Comparing this to the 16 year, though, this falls far, far short of it. The 16 was my favorite warm summer day scotch. This is...boring.

Would I buy this: At the price they want for it, not a chance.

Would I order this in a bar: Probably not.

Would I drink this if someone gave me a glass: Sure! It's certainly not bad. It's just not memorable or exciting in any way.


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: ★★★