Whiskey reviews and advice by Jeff Schwartz a/k/a The Whiskeyfellow. Learn, laugh and enjoy great whiskey!
Wednesday, December 25, 2019
Compass Box The Spice Tree Blended Scotch Review & Tasting Notes
Tuesday, December 17, 2019
Review of Misercordias; or, A Tale of Two Whiskeys
I did find minor editorial and technical errors in this 400-page book, but they're few and far between. The English major in me wasn't turned off, and neither was the whiskey reviewer. I know that no matter how many times you read and re-read your own stuff, it is impossible to be perfect every time.
Miscordias is available on Amazon either as an e-book for $6.99 or paperback for $15.99. Go buy this book. I promise you'll love it. I'm anxiously awaiting the next chapter myself. Cheers!
Saturday, December 14, 2019
And, the 2019 Whiskey of the Year is...
To even contend for an award, it has to be something that's actually crossed my palate. I don't have a team of interns who vet everything for me and then present me with their best of what they've tasted. If you're following me because you agree with my palate, then it is my palate on the line, not some intern's palate.
- Anything allocated. That means nothing Van Winkle, no Buffalo Trace Antique Collection, no Birthday Bourbon, etc. The average whiskey drinker isn't getting his or her hands on an opportunity to a bottle unless they're very lucky.
- Anything unaffordable. This one is more subjective, but it means no Johnnie Walker Odyssey and no Macallan M. The average whiskey drinker isn't spending thousands on a bottle. Heck, because even a few hundred is out of reach of many, everything on this list is well below $200.00.
- Anything you can't reasonably expect to get your hands on. The average whiskey drinker in Florida isn't getting a store pick from Wisconsin that's already gone by the time they get there, and I'm not a big fan of the secondary market.
In my opinion, for one of these Best Of lists to be worth anything is when it contains things you can actually buy for yourself and enjoy. Otherwise, what's the point other than to post a Ha Ha! Look What I Have! Sucks To Be You! article?
While this is the most expensive whiskey on my Best Of list, it is worth every penny you'll pay. The distillate is likely Heaven Hill's, but it is unlike anything they've put out before, which is how it made my best Bourbon of the year. I reviewed Lux Row Double Barrel Bourbon in October.
Best World Whiskey of 2019 - Fukano Whisky Vault Reserve #1 - $74.99
Best Whiskey of 2019
Now that you've seen my best in each category, it is time to crown this year's best of the best. Choosing my favorite was not easy. I danced between three of the category winners several times before making my final decision. The winning whiskey comes from distillers who pawn themselves off as just two guys making whiskey with no prior experience, they've managed to take a very serious attitude toward distilling something that isn't a me-too product and is very special.
Congratulations to the Blaum Bros. Distillery Co. for the most unique American Rye I've ever tried. That smoked malt put this one over the top and earned the Whiskeyfellow 2019 Whiskey of the Year Award. Cheers!
Wednesday, December 11, 2019
"Sweet Carmella" Elijah Craig Single Barrel Review & Tasting Notes
- Bottle = Buy It
- Bar = Try It
- Bust = Leave It
Monday, December 9, 2019
Rainmaker Superior Bourbon Whiskey with Strongly Charged Coffee Liqueur Review & Tasting Notes
Thursday, December 5, 2019
Union Horse Reunion Barrel Strength Bourbon Review & Tasting Notes
When you say, “Kansas,” there are several things that come to mind. Wheat. Corn. Rolling hills and large, open spaces. Tornadoes. Dorothy and Toto. That’s not a knock on Kansas, it is simply what those of us outside of Kansas think. Trust me, I’m in Wisconsin. Folks think of cows, cheese, beer, the Packers and nine months of winter. In both states, nobody’s first thought is “distilleries” or “whiskey.”
In Lenexa, there is a distillery called Union Horse. They currently offer four different whiskeys (Reunion Straight Rye, Reunion Straight Bourbon, Rolling Standard Midwestern Four-Grain and Longshot White Whiskey) and a vodka. The Rye is distilled from a mash of 100% rye, is aged five years, and bottled in both 112° Barrel Proof and 93° versions. Reunion Rye is non-chill filtered.
Today I am reviewing the Barrel Proof Rye. It is available in both 375ml and 750ml for $30 and $60 respectively. In full disclosure, Union Horse provided me a sample in exchange for a no-strings-attached review and I thank them for that. And now, time to #DrinkCurious…
In the glass, this Rye presented a rich, caramel color. It left a thinner rim on my Glencairn that led to thick, wavy legs to drop back into the pool.
A gentle mint greeted my nostrils as I brought the glass to my face. As I moved the glass through the various nosing zones, aromas of nutmeg, floral rye and toffee presented themselves. When I inhaled through my lips, the flavor of stone fruit ran across my palate.
The mouthfeel was thin and watery. The initial hit to my palate surprised with coffee, toffee, and mint. A second sip made the coffee stand out on the front, behind that was a mix of vanilla and toffee mid-palate. On the back, vanilla (again) with white pepper.
While the mouthfeel was thin and watery, the finish was long and creamy. Pepper and oak continued to build and left a slight tingle. It absolutely did not drink like a 112° whiskey, as despite that tingle, there was no real burn to speak of on either the palate or throat. That creaminess also was left behind on the palate, possibly masking any heat.
Bottle, Bar or Bust: Here’s where the tires meet the pavement. First, let’s consider the price. $60 for a 750ml craft whiskey is scratching the rafters. $60 for a barrel-proof craft whiskey is, pardon the pun, more palatable. However, price is nice but taste is king. 100% rye mash can be tricky as to whether something is pleasant or harsh, and Union Horse distilled a very pleasant barrel-proof whiskey that I would be proud to have in my library. The obvious rating is a Bottle.
Happy Repeal Day!
Happy Repeal Day! Cheers!