Monday, May 10, 2021

Mythology Best Friend Bourbon Review & Tasting Notes

 


Colorado has experienced explosive growth in the distilling world. The state, home to Coors, used to be all about beer and wine, but the last few years have been all about whiskey.  Head on out to Denver, and you have a decent number of distillers to choose from. 


One such option is Mythology Distillery, which was founded in 2018. Its president, Scott Yeates, enjoys discovering a new Colorado spirit whenever he can. To me, that means he's got an open mind and willing to explore different things beyond me-too bottlings. 


"Founded by three Colorado natives that seek out experiences through travel and adventure, we love to share and hear stories from others. Our philosophy is that we each form our own Mythology through travel, connecting with others, and our experiences. It’s based on this that we named the distillery Mythology." - Mythology Distillery


Mythology's Head Distiller is Chris Ritenour, formerly of Blaum Bros. out of Galena, Illinios. Mike Blaum told me Chris is a hell of a distiller and was with them for five years before venturing out West.


One of Mythology's whiskeys is called Best Friend Bourbon.  It starts with three different straight Bourbons:  a 15-year from an undisclosed Kentucky distillery (78.5% corn, 13% rye, and 8.5% barley), a 5-year from Indiana - meaning MGP (60% corn, 36% rye, and 4% barley), and a 2-year, again from Indiana (75% corn, 21% rye, and 4% barley). It is bottled at 88° and you can expect to pay around $49.00 for a 750ml.  If you purchase it through the distillery, they'll donate 10% to the Mountain Pet Rescue.  As a recent parent of a rescued dog, that makes my heart smile.


Currently, Mythology's distribution is limited to Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho. You can also buy it directly from their website.


Before I get to the #DrinkCurious part, I'd like to thank Mythology Distillery for providing me a sample in exchange for a no-strings-attached, honest review. 


Appearance:  In my Glencairn glass, Best Friend Bourbon showed a deep copper color. The rim was thicker than I expected, which generated medium, slow legs to fall back into the pool.


Nose:  Aromas of sweet corn, brown sugar, vanilla, toasted coconut, and oak permeated my nostrils. When I inhaled through my lips, I tasted vanilla and a touch of mint.


Palate:  I discovered a rich, creamy mouthfeel that was on the weightless side. The whiskey just hovered in my mouth. On the front, I tasted dark chocolate and caramel. Mid-palate offered cocoa, tobacco leaf, and corn. Then, on the back, a nice blend of coconut, cinnamon, and oak meshed well. 


Finish:  Initially, I thought the finish was way too short with little to pick up and I was disappointed. But, subsequent sips elongated it, with flavors of vanilla, almond, cinnamon, and dark chocolate. In the end, I'd describe it as medium in length.


Bottle, Bar, or Bust:  The average craft Bourbon or Rye runs between $40.00 and $60.00 with a sweet spot at $50.00. Best Friend Bourbon retails for just under that sweet spot. There is a 15-year component to it, and that's certainly worth a premium, but we also don't know how much of that is the makeup of this blend of straight Bourbons.


The mouthfeel was lovely, the nose was inviting, and the palate was tasty. It would be interesting to taste this four- to six-points higher on proof. As it stood, I felt nothing as far as intoxication or even a tingle on my hard palate. It made it more than easy to sip on.


In the end, the overall experience is what matters. I enjoyed Best Friend Bourbon. I'd love to see it a couple bucks less expensive, but that's not a make-it-or-break-it thing with me. Mythology did a good job with this blend, I'll crown my Bottle rating for it. Cheers!


My Simple, Easy to Understand Rating System

  • Bottle = Buy It
  • Bar = Try It
  • Bust = Leave It

Friday, May 7, 2021

Cat's Eye Obtainium Single Barrel Rye Review & Tasting Notes

 


It is difficult to give an introduction to Cat's Eye Distillery because I've reviewed many of its expressions. Cat's Eye buys a lot of whiskeys, often (but not always) from MGP, and packages it under its Obtainium label. Cat's Eye is headed by Gene Nassif, and in full disclosure, he's a friend. However, that won't change the outcome of this or any review.


Single barrel whiskey is cool because once that barrel is gone, it won't be repeated. If you took two barrels, coopered them the same day from the same stack of staves, charred them the exact same amount of time, filled them with the same newmake, and put them adjacent to one another in the same rickhouse for the same amount of time, they'll be different. That's just the nature of whiskey in the barrel.


Today I'm drinking its 5-year single barrel Rye, specifically Barrel SC90. This weighs in at a hefty 118.3° and is distilled by MGP.  This whiskey runs about $50.00 for a 750ml bottle.  


I obtained my sample of this Rye from Cat's Eye's Wisconsin distributor and would like to thank them for it in exchange for a no-strings-attached, honest review. Time to #DrinkCurious and find out what this one's all about.


Appearance:  In my Glencairn glass, this Rye presented as deep, orange amber in color. It generated an ultra-thin rim which, in turn, formed medium-thick, slow legs.


Nose:  The aroma of dill was obvious. It was joined by mint, cinnamon, and rye spice. When I drew the fumes in my mouth, caramel rolled across my tongue.


Palate:  An oily mouthfeel with a medium body started things off. On the front of my palate, I tasted rye bread, vanilla wafers, and nutmeg. The middle featured mint and very light, dried cherry. On the back, flavors of dill, rye spice, cinnamon, and oak gave an unusual experience. 


Finish:  Medium in length, the finish consisted of smoked oak, cinnamon spice, rye bread, and then an explosion of dill pickle muted everything else. 


Bottle, Bar, or Bust:  This Rye drinks much lower than its stated proof. If I had no idea what it was, I'd guess about 100°. If you're looking for heat, you'll want to go elsewhere. I like dill. I'm a pickle freak. However, it dominated both the back of the palate and even more on the finish, and while I understand some folks like a pickleback, that's not my thing. If that's your jam, you're going to love this whiskey, but I found it distracting. I'm conferring a Bar rating for this. Cheers! 


My Simple, Easy to Understand Rating System
  • Bottle = Buy It
  • Bar = Try It
  • Bust = Leave It

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Port Charlotte OLC:01 2010 Single Malt Scotch Review & Tasting Notes

 


Experimental whiskies are something I find exciting. It really doesn't matter if it turns out good or bad, because I love it when a distiller does something outside the box. Obviously, my hope is that things would turn out good (or great). But I'll try any experimental whisky to see what was done.


The fun happens when a distillery is fully transparent about what it tried. That's something Bruichladdich is known for. If you visit its website, they'll tell you pretty much everything you'd want to know, to the point where even a whisky geek will, if you'll excuse the pun, geek out


Port Charlotte is Bruichladdich's heavily-peated brand (with Bruichladdich as its unpeated lineup, and Octomore as its super-peated brand).  I've reviewed some from each of the expressions, and for me to be truly transparent, I'm a fan of Port Charlotte. As such, when Bruichladdich sent me a sample of OLC:01 2010 to review, I was intrigued. I'd never heard of it, and had no idea what to expect.


What I learned is OLC:01 is part of Port Charlotte's Cask Exploration Series, which is an experimental line of single malt Scotches. It starts with a 2009 harvest of 100% Invernesshire malted barley. Once distilled, it was then aged from 2010 to 2018 in first- and second-fill ex-bourbon barrels, first-fill Vin Doux Naturel barrels, and second-fill Syrah wine barrels. Once that's done, it was then transferred to first-fill Fernando de Castilla Olorosso sherry hogsheads where it rested for another 18 months. 


"These Olorosso hogsheads are superb casks. They're smaller than your average butts. So they've quickly left a lasting impression on this complex single malt." - Adam Hannett, Master Distiller


It is non-chill-filtered, naturally colored, and has a 40ppm phenol rating, which is something you'd expect with Port Charlotte. Bottled at 55.1% ABV (110.2°), it carries a nine-year age statement and you can expect to pay around $124.99 for a 750ml.


The big question, of course, is, How did this experiment turn out? That's answered by a simple tasting, and I'd like to thank Bruichladdich for sending me the sample in exchange for a no-strings-attached, honest review.


Appearance:  In my Glencairn glass, OLC:01 presented as a soft mahogany color with an amber tinge. It formed a medium ring that created slow, medium-thick legs that dropped back to the pool of liquid sunshine.


Nose:  This was an extremely fragrant Scotch. As I allowed it to breathe, the aroma of barbeque filled the room. When I went to nose it, I smelled peat, plum, cherry, apricot, apple, honey, and chocolate. Yes, it seemed like I was in an orchard with a bit of smoke in the air. When I drew the vapor into my mouth, I picked out honey and milk chocolate.


Palate:  The mouthfeel was thin and very oily. My first sip consisted of a peat bomb - more than anything I've had from either Port Charlotte or Octomore. Once I got past the palate shock, the second sip had amazingly muted the peat. Orange, apricot, and peach were at the front. The middle offered flavors of honey, date, and vanilla. On the back, I tasted tobacco leaf, clove, and citrus.


Finish:  A medium-long finish started with citrus, smoked salt, tobacco leaf, and black pepper. One thing to note is this Scotch drinks at its stated proof, and that was eye-opening.


Bottle, Bar, or Bust:  I was happy when I smelled the typical Port Charlotte barbeque but it was missing from the palate. I was shocked with how heavy the punch of peat was and how quickly it dissipated. I expected fruit, yet not the entire orchard on the palate. Finally, this may have been the "hottest" Scotch I've ever had, and I've tried plenty of cask-strength offerings. All of this makes for a unique drinking experience, and I believe that makes OLC:01 well worth the price tag. Obviously, this one earns my Bottle rating. Cheers!


My Simple, Easy to Understand Rating System

  • Bottle = Buy It
  • Bar = Try It
  • Bust = Leave It



Monday, May 3, 2021

Dubliner Irish Whiskey with Honeycomb Liqueur Review & Tasting Notes

 


There are days where it is hot, you're tired, and you just want something refreshing to sip on. It was the first such day in Wisconsin for 2021, Mrs. Whiskefellow and I did yard work, and we were both pooped. I didn't want a full-blown whiskey, it was just not the right day (weird, right?). But, I was hurting, I wanted to relax, and I was hoping for a little treat.


That added up to the perfect opportunity to crack open a bottle of Dubliner Irish Whiskey with Honeycomb Liqueur.  Legally speaking, this isn't a whiskey. It is below the 40% ABV (80°). While there's no age statement, because it is a liqueur, it doesn't have to meet Irish whiskey standards. It also has, if I had to guess, way beyond the allowable limit of E150A caramel coloring for Irish whiskey. What's the allowable limit? That's a fair question. An amount or percentage isn't specified, but the rule is that it can only affect color and not the flavor. 


Produced by The Dublin Liberties Distillery, and packaged at 30% ABV, you can expect to pay about $20.99 for a 750ml bottle. There is no indication of what the various percentages are of each ingredient (whiskey, honeycomb liqueur, and caramel coloring), and I'm not entirely sure it matters.


Before I get started with the review, I'd like to thank The Dublin Liberties for providing me a sample in exchange for a no-strings-attached, honest review. Time to #DrinkCurious and discover what this is all about.


Appearance:  In my Glencairn glass, The Dubliner presented as the color of a new, copper penny. Now, keep in mind, there is caramel coloring added. A heavy, sticky rim was formed, which yielded watery legs that fell back to the pool.


Nose:  An explosion of butterscotch walloped me in the face before I even attempted to take a sniff. Once I managed past it, smells of saltwater taffy, chocolate, and orange candy slices permeated my nostrils. When I drew the aroma into my mouth, that butterscotch bomb returned.


Palate:  I expected this to be sugary-sweet, but instead I was greeted by a soft, airy mouthfeel that offered just a hint of warmth to remind me this was still whiskey-based. Butterscotch discs and pecan started things off, which gave way to caramel and white chocolate on the middle. The back featured honey and cinnamon.


Finish:  Sweet with honey, pecan, and white chocolate, the dusting of cinnamon at the end seemed near-perfect. It was a longer finish than I anticipated, especially considering the 60°.


Bottle, Bar, or Bust:  Cutting to the chase, I loved it. So did Mrs. Whiskeyfellow. The nose sucks you in, the palate convinces you, and the finish just makes you smile. Would this make a great cocktail base? Probably. Am I making a cocktail with it? Not likely, because I don't see the point of going beyond a neat pour. This is delightfully sweet, but not overpowering, and perfect for a hot summer's day. In fact, I'd declare this one of those dangerous drinks, one you can drink several pours before things sneak up on you. With or without the low price, it a very easy Bottle rating. Cheers!


My Simple, Easy to Understand Rating System

  • Bottle = Buy It
  • Bar = Try It
  • Bust = Leave It