Monday, September 26, 2022

Woodford Reserve Distillery Series Honey Barrel Finish Bourbon Review & Tasting Notes


I’ve always been impressed with the ingenuity of people who can repurpose things. It doesn’t matter if it is an entertainment center converted into a bar, a ladder made into a bookshelf, or a wheelbarrow that gets a new life as a planter. To me, it is fascinating (and, frankly, I’m jealous that I can never think of those things).

 

Distillers have done the same thing for many years. Bourbon and American Rye can only be aged in brand new barrels, and many find new life in other countries where whiskeys (and other spirits) can be aged in vintage oak. More recently, those barrels have wound up at breweries, wineries, coffee estates, and beekeepers, where their products are kept and take on the qualities of what’s stuck in the wood.

 

What’s fun is when a distillery sends off a barrel, it is used to store something else and then returns to that same distillery to become a finishing barrel. And, that’s how we wind up with today’s Woodford Reserve Honey Barrel Finish review.

 

Honey Barrel Finish is part of Woodford’s Distillery Series, an annual release of experimental whiskeys where Master Distiller Chris Morris and Assistant Master Distiller Elizabeth McCall have some fun with their creative juices.

 

“One of the best parts of my job is being able to experiment with new ways of making Woodford Reserve. It’s been rewarding to work with a honey producer here in Woodford County to create this unique Distillery Series expression and support local business and agriculture.” – Chris Morris

 

This release begins with a standard, used Woodford Reserve Bourbon barrel sent off to a local honeybee farmer in Woodford County, Kentucky. After the honey was aged, it was returned to Woodford Reserve and filled with properly-aged Woodford Reserve Bourbon for a short time.

 

Honey Barrel Release is bottled at Woodford’s usual 90.4° and is available in a 375ml package. It can be procured from the distillery gift shop and “select retailers” around Kentucky.

 

Before you start scrambling to get your hands on a bottle, I’m sure you’d like to know how it tastes, and the only way to do that is to #DrinkCurious. But, first, I must thank Woodford Reserve for sending me a sample in exchange for a no-strings-attached, honest review.

 

Appearance: I poured this neat into my Glencairn glass, and it appeared as a deep, dark caramel. One of the thickest rims I’ve seen stuck to the wall until it set free slow, thick tears.

 

Nose: The influence of the honey was impossible to miss as the aroma wafting from the glass. Butterscotch, vanilla cookies, and oak came next. I tasted coconut macaroons when I pulled the air in through my lips.

 

Palate:  From the stickiness of the rim, I would have expected a heavy mouthfeel. Nope. It was oily and thin. Bit O’Honey was the first thing I tasted, and as it turned out, was the entirety of the front. The mid-palate consisted of orange blossom, toasted coconut, and nutmeg flavors. The back exploded with allspice, clove, and dry oak.  

 

Finish: The oak became chewy, and the spice notes continued to build. The clove and allspice competed for attention. Then dark-roast coffee came out of nowhere. I sat there and waited for it to end, and it took several minutes to begin to fall off. Once it did, it dropped quickly.

 

Bottle, Bar, or Bust: Nothing is reminiscent of Woodford Reserve’s flagship Bourbon here. When you think of something with honey, you don’t often associate that with a big, bold spice bomb. Yet, that’s what Honey Barrel Finish gave, especially on the back and finish. All the sweetness was up front, and by the time I swallowed, it was nowhere to be found. If you’re searching for a Bourbon way off the beaten path, I believe Woodford Reserve Honey Barrel Finish will satisfy that desire. As for me, I wasn’t a fan on the first sip. But by the third, I found myself refilling my glass to enjoy this some more. I am happy to have this one in my whiskey library, and it earns my Bottle rating. Cheers!

 

My Simple, Easy to Understand Rating System

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

 

Whiskeyfellow encourages you to enjoy your whiskey as you see fit but begs you do so responsibly.

 


 

Friday, September 23, 2022

Doc Wahl Straight Single Malt Whiskey Review & Tasting Notes

 



We are so close to having American Single Malt becoming an official, legally-defined whiskey category. That is good news because many distillers have been slowly coming into their own and proving their talents. American Single Malts don’t have to age nearly as long as Bourbon or American Rye nor as long as European whiskies.

 

In Wisconsin, we have some of the most fertile cropland in the country. If you head up to Door County, you’ll find drop-dead gorgeous scenery on top of that farmland. Door County is quite rural but also a tourist destination that attracts millions of people each year.

 

In Door County, a village called Egg Harbor is home to slightly over 200 people. Chris Roedl and his wife, Emily, founded Hatch Distilling Co. in August 2017. The Roedls were beekeepers, and as their hives grew in size and number, they dreamed of distilling their raw honey. They didn’t just think of mead; they were distilling gin and vodka from honey.

 

Hatch Distilling added brandy, liqueurs, Mezcal-style agave spirit, and whiskey to its repertoire. Most of everything is grown locally in Egg Harbor, and the Roedls do their own foraging, fermenting, distilling, aging, barreling, and bottling in-house.

 

Today I’m sampling Doc Wahl American Single Malt Whiskey. It begins with three varieties of malted barley and is aged in new American oak barrels for at least two years. Packaged at 90°, a 750ml bottle retails for about $40.00.

 

Who was Doc Wahl? Robert “Doc” Wahl was born in Milwaukee in 1858 to German immigrant parents. He studied chemical engineering in Hanover, Germany, and earned a doctorate in philosophy. He then moved back to the United States.

 

Doc Wahl invented gelatin used to clarify beer, and that discovery guided him to found the Scientific Station for Brewing of Chicago with his partner, Max Henius. Wahl traveled back and forth between Chicago and Germany and introduced the American brewing industry to using pure yeast. Doc Wahl was considered the Godfather of American Brewing.

 

Unfortunately, with the passage of the Volstead Act and Prohibition, Wahl’s brewing businesses were shuttered. Wahl then moved to Door County and became a bootlegger for the next 13 years.

 

Now that you know the background, it is time to #DrinkCurious and discover what this whiskey is all about. But first, I must thank Hatch Distilling Co. for providing me a sample in exchange for a no-strings-attached, honest review.

 

Appearance:  Poured neat in my Glencairn glass, this single malt looked like liquid gold. A thicker rim formed on the wall and released wide, slow tears.

 

Nose: Doc Wahl was extremely aromatic while I allowed it to rest. Fruity malt notes escaped the mouth of the glass, reminding me of apples and pears. As I brought it to my face and inhaled, the fruit dissipated while the malt flourished. Caramel and oak tried to grab my attention, and even beneath that, there was something floral. When I breathed in through my lips, peach rolled across my tongue.

 

Palate:  Out of nowhere, a dark chocolate-covered expresso bean exploded in my mouth before I could even ascertain this single malt’s weight or texture. On the second sip, I nailed down an oily, medium-weight mouthfeel. The front and middle consisted of chocolate and expresso. The back hinted at caramel drizzle added to the coffee, then black pepper and oak followed. I could swear there was a splash of vanilla creamer.

 

Finish:  There are long finished, and then there are freight trains. Doc Wahl possesses one that traveled for miles before coming to a halt. It was a blend of chocolate, expresso, and black pepper.

 

Bottle, Bar, or Bust:  I am not a coffee drinker, but despite that, I kept coming back to additional pours of Doc Wahl. I will say this much; if you enjoy expresso, you’re going to go ga-ga for this American Single Malt. If you’re less into coffee (like me), you’ll still find this one exciting and attention-grabbing. The pepper at the end adds a complementary layer that simply works. And, yet, the nose gave no hints as to what the mouth would expect.

 

The $40.00 price is at the sweet spot for authentic craft whiskey, bolstered more so by its stated proof. I loved Doc Wahl American Single Malt. I believe you will, too, and that means it has earned every bit of my coveted Bottle rating. Cheers!

 

My Simple, Easy to Understand Rating System

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

 

Whiskeyfellow encourages you to enjoy your whiskey as you see fit but begs you do so responsibly.

 


Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Limavady Irish Single Malt, Single Barrel Review & Tasting Notes


In ye olde 1750, alongside the River Roe in County Londonderry, Ireland, John Alexander began making whiskey on his family farm and called his distillery Limavady. Limavady remained in business in one form or another, including adding a brewery, until it was shuttered in 1915 when Distiller’s Finance Corporation (DFC) acquired several Irish distilleries and killed them off.

 

Then, 260-something years later, Darryl McNally, a well-respected veteran of the distilling industry under Bushmills and The Dublin Liberties, traced his family tree and discovered he was related to the Alexanders who began the distillery.

 

“Limavady kept calling, so I said, let’s grab this with both hands. My brother—who was also a distiller at Bushmills—left as well to come into the family Limavady.” – Darryl McNally

 

But McNally didn’t want to simply do another me-too whiskey, especially since he had to source barrels. He planned on offering Irish single malt whiskey but took things a step further. He concentrated on single barrel, single malt whiskeys. While the single-barrel idea isn’t unheard of in Ireland, it is unusual.

 

You know me; unusual is something that always grabs my full attention!


While Limavady doesn’t disclose who distilled its whiskey, we know it is made from 100% malted and unmalted Irish barley that’s been triple-distilled in copper pot stills, then aged in ex-Bourbon barrels for about four and a half years. At that point, McNally selects his barrels of whiskey.


Next, the matured whiskey is dumped and finished in former Pedro Ximénez (PX) sherry casks, giving it a chance to pull fruity notes from the wood. Those PX casks are lovingly referred to as Darryl’s Barrels.


Sourcing barrels of whiskey won’t last forever; McNally has a distillery planned so he can make everything in-house and bring distilling back to its historical roots.


Packaged at 46% ABV (92°), it carries a suggested retail price of $49.99.


Each bottle is labeled with the barrel number and bottle number. In the case of the sample that was provided to me, it is Barrel 0082, Bottle 452 of 846. And, speaking of the bottle, the brand didn’t spare any expense. It is an attractive, embossed bottle with Limavady printed lengthwise along the side, 1750 above the label, and has a bulbous neck with a glass stopper.


The bottling process and distribution are performed by WhistlePig, which has partnered with McNally. That allows McNally to concentrate on his whiskey without the hassles of logistics.


Now that we know the backstory, the only thing left is to #DrinkCurious. But, before I do, I thank WhistlePig for providing me a sample in exchange for a no-strings-attached, honest review. Let’s get to it!

Appearance: A neat pour in my Glencairn glass revealed a whiskey the color of bronze. A thick, heavy rim yielded sticky tears that slowly crawled back to the pool.

 

Nose: The journey began with an evident PX influence, with strawberry, apple, pear, and honey, followed by malt and buttery toffee from the Bourbon. When I inhaled through my mouth, honey and pear rolled across my tongue.

 

Palate: Thick and viscous, the whiskey imparted flavors of raw honey, stewed apple, and peach on the front of my palate. The middle consisted of malted barley, grass, and caramel, while the back featured cinnamon, oak, and graham crackers.

 

Finish: Cinnamon spice and oak tannins dominated the beginning, then syrupy honey seemed glued to my mouth and throat. Stewed peaches and apple pie filling slid by, with the whole shebang remaining for several minutes.

 

Bottle, Bar, or Bust:  Limavady has a complex nose, an unusually thick mouthfeel, and a spicy, fruity palate. Its long-lasting finish gently warmed my throat, and I caught myself smiling as I analyzed the experience. To offer a 46% ABV single malt at $50.00 ranks this one heck of a bargain, and I can’t think of a single reason why it hasn’t earned my Bottle rating. On a side note, Limavady is one of the better Irish whiskeys I’ve sampled this year. Cheers!

 

My Simple, Easy to Understand Rating System

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

 

Whiskeyfellow encourages you to enjoy your whiskey as you see fit but begs you do so responsibly.

 


 

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

The Great Whiskey Challenge Blind Tasting Kits Video Review

 



I don’t do too many video reviews. Aside from the fact that I have a face for writing, I enjoy wordsmithing, and for me, that isn’t easy to do in a video format. Perhaps with a teleprompter, I could accomplish something that sounds more professional without all the ahs, ums, and periods of brief silence where I’m trying to make my thoughts sound interesting.

 

What usually drives me to do a video review is when I have subject matter that wouldn’t do well in a written review, and that’s precisely the case with The Great Whiskey Challenge and its Blind Tasting Kits.

 

The review is in an unboxing video format and covers everything about the Single-User Blind Tasting Kit for $35.00 and the Master Edition Blind Tasting Kit for $109.00.


You can also visit (and like) their Facebook page. 


The link to the video is here.



 

Cheers!

 

My Simple, Easy to Understand Rating System

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

 

Whiskeyfellow encourages you to enjoy your whiskey as you see fit but begs you do so responsibly.

 





Monday, September 19, 2022

Dragon's Milk Origin Small Batch Bourbon Review & Tasting Notes


 

New Holland Spirits is probably best known for its Dragon’s Milk beer. However, New Holland broke into the distilling market in the last decade and a half. Founded by Brett VanderKamp in Holland, Michigan, in 1997, New Holland has made a name for itself and employs a team of more than 500, making it a serious operation.

 

New Holland capitalized on the name of its famous beer and pulled that over to a line of whiskeys. However, that doesn’t translate to the same mash used.

 

“Origin is one of the most exciting projects we’ve taken on at New Holland. We’ve been sampling this product patiently for five long years and are continually impressed by its complexity of flavor, and delicate finish. As Michigan’s oldest whiskey distiller, we are immensely proud to be able to offer this bourbon to our customers. We feel that it is a landmark moment for us as a distillery.”Adam Dickerson, Brand Manager

 

Origin is a small batch Bourbon consisting of 100 barrels or less that were distilled from a mash of corn, rye, and a large portion of malted barley. It aged for at least five years in new, #3 charred American white oak before being packaged at 95°. It is available in California, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Texas, and Wisconsin.

 

A couple that Mrs. Whiskeyfellow and I are friends with purchased their bottle for $46.00 and cracked it open with me while we did the #DrinkCurious thing.

 

Appearance: Served neat in my Glencairn glass, Origin presented as caramel in color. It formed a medium rim that released a thick curtain that crashed back into the pool.

 

Nose: I smelled crème brulee, field corn, tobacco leaf, and charred oak. When I pulled the air into my mouth, the crème brulee became thick.

 

Palate:  Origin had a thin consistency. The front of my palate tasted candy corn, pink grapefruit, and vanilla. Flavors of cherry, orange peel, and caramel were found midway through, while the back encountered tobacco leaf, charred oak, and clove.

 

Finish: Medium to long in duration, the warming finish started as heavy cherry cough syrup, charred oak, clove, and pink grapefruit.

 

Bottle, Bar, or Bust: The bottle was gorgeous. It was embossed with scales and had a small dragon etched on it. It would make a lovely decanter once you finished what was inside. The contents, however, were less exciting. I found Origin to be expensive for what it is; while $46.00 isn’t a lot for whiskey these days, I would have expected more from it. That seemed to be the consensus of the three of us trying it. I’ll toss Dragon’s Milk Origin a Bar rating; you’ll want to sample this before committing to a bottle. Cheers!

 

My Simple, Easy to Understand Rating System

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

 

Whiskeyfellow encourages you to enjoy your whiskey as you see fit but begs you do so responsibly.

 

Saturday, September 17, 2022

The First Ever Wisconsin Whiskey Fest Recap and Review

 


Everything has to start somewhere, and last night was the inaugural year of Wisconsin Whiskey Fest in Milwaukee. In full disclosure, I was comped a VIP ticket.

 

When founder Zack Farrar first announced the festival, I was publicly skeptical. Tickets were sold when it was still just an idea in Zack’s head, and no venue had been secured. As far as I knew, there weren’t any distilleries lined up. Finally, there was less than a year between that announcement and the actual event.

 

Some doubters felt Wisconsin Whiskey Fest would be a duplication of Distill America, which has been held in Madison for the last 14 years. Distill America is a wildly successful event that fans look forward to again and again. Yet, Distill America is not a whiskey event; it is a celebration of the American distilling industry that includes whiskey as a significant component. On the other hand, Wisconsin Whiskey Fest was centered solely around whiskey, both American and otherwise.

 

The Hilton City Center was eventually selected as the venue. Many Wisconsin distilleries, including Dancing Goat, J. Henry & Sons, Driftless Glen, and Great Lakes Distilling, supported the event. Heaven Hill, Bardstown Bourbon Company, Buffalo Trace, Luxco, and other big names also poured their whiskeys.







I went to the Wisconsin Whiskey Fest with an open mind and an almost #DrinkCurious mood. I was willing to give Zack the benefit of the doubt and take a look-and-see attitude.

 

I drank hardly anything, but I planned my evening that way. Aside from having a long drive home afterward, I wanted to keep a clear head during the festival.

 

I spent my evening talking to distillers, friends, and reps I knew. I met new-to-me distillers and reps (even at least two brands I'd never heard of before) and talked to random folks in the crowd. I did four Facebook Live sessions. People were smiling, laughing, drinking, and seemed to be having a good time.  I ran into many guests I knew (including a trio from the Janesville Bottle Club), and they told me they were enjoying themselves.




 

Plenty of food was available between the appetizers, carving station, and desserts. I didn’t engage in much eating because I hate standing in lines. But, I did sample some of the tasty appetizers.




Mistakes were certainly made, the biggest being the event’s timing. Wisconsin Whiskey Fest competed against the Kentucky Bourbon Festival and Bourbon and Beyond. Several brands did not put on their A-game as resources were likely directed to those events. But, it showed. The brands might have approached things differently if the festival had been scheduled differently in either direction for a few weeks. Zack must be more mindful of long-standing, competing events to limit the cannibalization of distillery resources.

 

In visiting with some of the reps there, I learned a few things that should be changed. I won't go into details because they were said to me in confidence. But I'm sure they'll give their bosses or Zack feedback.

 

Another issue was the VIP access. Special bottles were supposed to be poured for those who purchased VIP tickets. What was poured wasn’t what many expected or hoped for. If you were looking for Blanton’s, that was there. Other near-impossible-to-find whiskeys were missing, and that’s something that people who pay for VIP access to whiskey events not only expect but demand.

 

The Wisconsin Whiskey Fest must grow into something bigger for 2023 than last night to justify the price of admission at $150 for general admission and $200 for VIP access. In Wisconsin, we’re a little spoiled by what Distill America has to offer for half the price (to be fair, Distill America is a not-for-profit event).

 

The Wisconsin Whiskey Fest also needs a different venue for 2023, even if it does not grow in size. Once the general admission guests came in, there was hardly room to walk around. I felt bad for the brands blocked from view by the line of people getting food. I also don’t believe The Hilton City Center’s ballroom was set up for as many people that were there. I’m not talking about fire code issues; instead, it was uncomfortably warm inside.

 

Wisconsin Whiskey Fest was not a bad event. I had fun and I enjoyed myself. It just needs further work per my suggestions above. And, especially considering the fact that for whatever reason, people in Milwaukee will not travel to Madison, a big whiskey event (this or something else), Wisconsin Whiskey Fest is something whiskey fans in Milwaukee desperately need.

 

Cheers!









Friday, September 16, 2022

West River Whiskey Co Bourbon Review & Tasting Notes


Some distilleries do something different, and then some distilleries do something way off the norm. How many whiskeys are you aware of that are distilled from Indian corn and whose grains are smoked with apple and cherry wood?

 

In Deadwood, South Dakota, there exists a distillery called West River Whiskey Co. Bourbon is the name of the game, and the owners are shooting for the moon. The Bourbon was released around Christmas 2021.

 

“West River Whiskey Co. is like the annoying (yet adorable) little brother to sister-store Madame Peacock's Beer & Bling. Originally from Mitchell, Tom and Julie Koth opened Madame Peacock's in 2012 after falling in love with Deadwood and the Black Hills. Almost a decade later, they partnered with Julie's daughter, Alex, and her husband, Joel, from Nashville, Tennessee to bring Main Street in Deadwood a so-far untapped (ha) concept.” – West River Whiskey Co.

 

It starts with that Indian corn, which per the distillery, it contains more germ, bran, and nutrients than your average #2 dent yellow corn. The grains are grown by a local fourth-generation farming family. It is distilled twice through a copper pot still, then aged in #3 new, charred Missouri Ozark White Oak oak casks. It is aged at least four years, and you can procure an 80° 750ml bottle for $47.99.  

 

The whiskey is sourced from BlackFork Farms, an artisan distillery out of Brookings. However, West River Distilling Co.’s Bourbon is considered the Official Bourbon of Deadwood. A portion of every bottle sold goes to the Deadwood Chamber of Commerce.

 

A friend passed along a sample of this Bourbon and requested a review. Let’s #DrinkCurious and figure this one out.

 

Appearance: A neat pour of this Bourbon in my Glencairn glass suggested a light caramel color. A thicker rim released thick legs that fell to the pool like molasses.

 

Nose: Cinnamon powder, smoked oak, corn, and caramel rose from the neck of my glass. When I drew the air through my lips, the smoked apple and cherry wood stood out.

 

Palate: A thin, watery mouthfeel rolled over my tongue. The front of my palate discovered thick caramel and vanilla, while the middle tasted of toasted oak and corn. The back offered a soft pepper flavor to it.

 

Finish: There was something mildly sour on the back end, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. It wasn’t an offensive note; to be clear, it wasn’t some sour fruit. This Bourbon had a medium-short finish that featured smoked oak and light pepper.

 

Bottle, Bar, or Bust: I got excited with the notion of Indian corn over a standard #2 yellow dent and looked forward to the experience. Corn makes a difference, but in the case of Wild River Whiskey’s Bourbon, the 80° muted much of what was there. I believe it was appropriately aged; however, it requires more alcohol content to make the flavors shine.

 

It isn’t a bad Bourbon but isn’t memorable, which is a shame because it has potential. I’d love to explore this if it carries more weight down the road. In its present form, and running nearly $50.00, there’s just not enough value for the price, even considering the Deadwood Chamber of Commerce angle.

 

If you are in Deadwood and want something to bring home as a souvenir, go for it. But, as a Bourbon, this one ranks a Bust.  I'd rate it a Bar if the price were $10.00 to $15.00 less. Cheers!

 

My Simple, Easy to Understand Rating System

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

 

Whiskeyfellow encourages you to enjoy your whiskey as you see fit but begs you do so responsibly.

 


 

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Rampur Double Cask Indian Single Malt Whisky Review & Tasting Notes

 


If you’re new to Indian whisky, there is the whisky that’s sold only in India, which is usually distilled from molasses. Then there is Indian Foreign Made Liquor (IMFL), the type of whisky with which much of the rest of the world is familiar.

 

Founded in 1943 as Rampur Distillery & Chemical Company, Ltd., this Indian distillery didn’t start producing its own brands until 1998. Instead, it made extra neutral alcohol and bulk alcohol that it sold to other brands. But that changed when its new owner, Lalit Khaitan, and his son, Abhishek, learned that more Scotch whisky was consumed in India than what was produced in Scotland!

 

Think about that last thought… and then consider why there is a massive market for counterfeit spirits worldwide.

 

The Khaitans had an idea: they wanted to provide Indians with inexpensive Scotch-like whisky since there was, at the time, nothing that could satisfy the demand. After much financing and taking on partners such as Diageo and Whyte and Mackay Group, Radico Khaitan Ltd., as the company was now known, entered the international whisky market. Radico Khaitan operates two distilleries, Rampur in Uttar Pradesh and Radico NV Distilleries Maharashtra Limited in Aurangabad.

 

The climate in much of India is stiflingly hot. And, if you are in the Himalayan region, it can also get darned cold. Uttar Pradesh is at the base of the world’s highest mountain range and is exposed to both. In the summers, Indian whisky ages much faster than its Scottish counterpart, some claim by a factor between three and five times. When you consider the cold temperatures, too, that only compounds the equation.  

 

The Rampur brand is considered Radico Khaitan’s premium drink division. Today I’m reviewing Double Cask, an Indian Single Malt made from 100% malted barley that’s been run through a copper pot still. The newmake is aged in ex-Bourbon for two-thirds of its long sleep and ex-Oloroso sherry casks for the remainder. It carries no age statement (similar to most Indian whiskies), is packaged at 45% ABV (90°), and is non-chill filtered. The suggested price is $79.99 for a 750ml bottle.

 

For the record, I’ve had stunning Indian whiskies and others that are far less impressive. The only way to know where Rampur Double Cask falls on that scale is to #DrinkCurious. However, I would be remiss not to thank Rampur for providing me a sample in exchange for a no-strings-attached, honest review.

 

Appearance:  This single malt appeared rusty brown when served neat in my Glencairn glass. A thicker rim formed, which yielded wide, fast legs that crashed back to the pool.

 

Nose: The second this whisky left the bottle, its aroma wafted and filled the room. I let this sit for about 20 minutes before I pulled the glass close to my face. As I inhaled, I discovered pine, stewed pear, and nutmeg. Further exploration offered malt, nut, and toasted oak. The stewed pears slammed across my tongue as I sucked the air into my mouth.

 

Palate: A thicker, silky texture greeted my mouth, and I immediately tasted grapefruit, roasted coffee, and cacao on the front of my palate. The middle hinted at strawberry, which was quickly overcome by more of the stewed pear. On the back, flavors of toasted oak, nutmeg, almond, and a kiss of clove were evident.

 

Finish:  This long-lasting finish consisted of grapefruit, roasted coffee, oak, macadamia nut, strawberry, and crescendoed with clove.

 

Bottle, Bar, or Bust:  If you asked me if Rampur Double Cask is more similar to one of the two other Indian Single Malt brands (Amrut and Paul John), I’d tell you that the three are more cousins than siblings. I’d say Rampur is more of a distant cousin. That should not be interpreted as a lesser whisky, just that it is decidedly different.

 

I admit I was concerned with how this whisky would taste during the nosing. I’m not a gin fan because I dislike juniper, and the pine quality left me wondering. Thankfully, the pine was restricted to only the nose. The tasting experience, on the other hand, was lovely. I enjoyed the combination of citrus and berry fruits; the spice notes were significant yet not overwhelming. In all, they melded together nicely, creating a happy sipping event. At $79.99, I’m delighted to have this in my whiskey library and believe it has earned every bit of its Bottle rating. Cheers!

 

My Simple, Easy to Understand Rating System

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

 

Whiskeyfellow encourages you to enjoy your whiskey as you see fit but begs you do so responsibly.