Showing posts with label liqueur. Show all posts
Showing posts with label liqueur. Show all posts

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

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Select Club Pecan Praline Ultra-Premium Whisky Review & Tasting Notes


Flavored whiskeys... I've been trying to have a more open mind regarding them, particularly since I've tasted some shockingly good ones. But, if I'm going to be intellectually honest with myself, I don't go in with much expectation. That allows me to be less disappointed when they taste phony and, to me, is a ploy to sell bad whiskey by drowning it in flavor. But, it also allows me to be happy when I'm wrong.


When a local distributor asked me to try Select Club Pecan Praline Ultra Premium Whisky, I was more open-minded than usual. The first pecan flavored whiskey I tried was William Wolf Pecan Bourbon and I found it enjoyable. When I saw Select Club was Candian Whisky mixed with neutral grain spirits, that open door creaked shut just a little bit. For the record, neutral grain spirits are akin to vodka, but can basically be anything that is pure grain alcohol distilled to a very high level of ethanol. 


Select Club is owned by a company called Mextor, a family-owned company located in Houston. They don't do any actual distilling as far as I could tell, rather, they just import various wine, beer, and spirits and then distribute to 46 states.


Mextor bills this as something that is "a tasty shooter, great straight, or pairs perfectly with other flavors to serve up an amazing cocktail." It is bottled at 70° and has a suggested retail of $17.99. The actual distiller is undisclosed, and considering there are over 250 working distilleries in the country, your guess is as good as mine who it actually is.


So, is Select Club good, bad or ugly? The only way to answer that is to #DrinkCurious. Here we go...


Appearance:  In my glass, Select Club appears as a pale amber. It left a thick rim on the wall of my Glencairn, which led to fat droplets that stuck like glue and never really went anywhere.  


Nose:  Within about a foot of my face, the aroma of pecan pie greeted my nostrils. No matter where I positioned my glass, it always came up as pecan pie, both the nuttiness and the sweetness. When I stuck my nose inside the glass, I was able to pick up mild ethanol, but it required work to find it. Interestingly enough, inhaling through my mouth brought absolutely nothing:  no pecan, no ethanol, nothing.


Palate:  Select Club had an incredibly thick mouthfeel, almost like drinking cream. In fact, the more I sipped it, the thicker it became. As expected, pecan and brown sugar dominated the palate. There was a certain wood quality that I would not define as oak, but also not to be mistaken by either nuts or nutshells.


Finish:  A medium-long finish was made of brown sugar, cream, and smoke. And, on a side note, when I ran my tongue across my lips, I picked up more brown sugar, which seemed to reboot some of what was on the palate.



Bottle, Bar, or Bust:  Select Club Pecan Praline Ultra Premium comes with a very un-premium pricetag. Inexpensive is nice so long as it isn't cheap. I can see sipping this with many non-whiskey drinking friends and having them enjoy the hell out of it. It would make a nice campfire drink. Mrs. Whiskeyfellow enjoyed it so much she informed me we were buying a bottle, so we did. And, that, my friends, means this gets a Bottle rating. Enjoy this one, cheers!



My Simple, Easy-to-Understand Rating System:
  • Bottle = Buy it
  • Bar = Try it first
  • Bust = Leave it 

Monday, January 20, 2020

Skrewball Peanut Butter Whiskey Review


What's the deal with Whiskeyfellow and flavored whiskeys?  Has he gone over the edge?  No, I've not. I've just had an opportunity to try several of these and rather than just passing them off, I believe it is best to share my thoughts with you so those of you who are interested in flavored whiskeys can make an educated decision, just like with any other whiskey I review.


Today's whiskey is Skrewball Peanut Butter Whiskey.  This one, like when Fireball was introduced, has taken the market by storm. It isn't a cheap whiskey, a bottle will set you back about $29.99.  


Skrewball was invented by Steven and Brittany Yeng, owners of O.B. Noodlehouse and Bar 1502 in Ocean Beach, California. This was something they served to their patrons, who have been described as "misfits, black sheep, and screwballs" of the community. Brittany got the brand up and going, and the rest is history.


Made from whiskey, natural flavors, and caramel coloring, Skrewball is bottled at 70°.  It carries no age statement, but being a liqueur, you can't assume anything from that.  The distiller of the whiskey itself is undisclosed. Caramel coloring is caramel coloring. But, what catches the eye on the back of the bottle is a warning label:


So, yes, apparently the natural flavoring is from real peanuts!  While I would assume there isn't an issue simply opening the bottle in the venue of someone with a peanut allergy, I'd certainly recommend being careful around them so as to not accidentally cause any issues.


My first opportunity to taste Skrewball was at a family birthday party.  Someone started passing along a bottle, it came to me and I tried it.  SPOILER:  I enjoyed it.  I enjoyed it so much I went out and got a bottle.  Why?  I'll give you the details...


In my Glencairn glass, Skrewball appears as caramel color. Again, being artificially colored, it means nothing. However, it left a medium-thick rim that generated a huge, wavy curtain and medium legs that slowly crawled back to the pool of whiskey.


The aroma?  Let's get real.  This is a peanut-butter flavored whiskey.  I smelled peanut butter. Not just peanuts, but processed peanut butter. When I inhaled through my lips, it was peanut butter and a hint of vanilla. Anything else was indiscernible.


Skrewball has an amazingly thick and rich mouthfeel, even a bit sticky - just like peanut butter. The stickiness is typical of many liqueurs and wasn't completely unexpected. On the palate, it wasn't just peanut butter. There was also vanilla and then, my mind figured out this was honey roasted peanuts. 


The finish gave some warmth to remind you it is made from whiskey and not just a kiddie drink. But that thick peanut butter remained for a long finish.


For kicks and giggles, I made myself a cocktail of Skrewball and Godiva White Chocolate Liqueur. If you've ever had a Reeses white chocolate peanut butter cup, this was a darned good copy of it, even down to the creamy texture. No ice needed.


Bottle, Bar or Bust:  Well, the spoiler earlier makes this rating moot, but I want consistency in my reviews. Spend the $30 and get yourself a Bottle. Skrewball is a flavored whiskey worth having around. Cheers!


Postscript:  In all the years I've been writing reviews, I've never felt the need to add a postscript until today. This review has been "live" for about 48 hours and the social media response has been amazing, to say the least. Essentially, people either love Skewball or they have found it disgusting. There have been 250+ comments and not a single one suggests it is just okay or decent. The polarization is unbelievable. Cheers!

Monday, December 9, 2019

Rainmaker Superior Bourbon Whiskey with Strongly Charged Coffee Liqueur Review & Tasting Notes


My experience with flavored whiskeys tends to be negative. That isn't to say I've not had some tasty flavored whiskeys, rather, they're just hard to come by. Usually, they are overly flavored, often not even doing a good job with that, and then can be sickly sweet. I find the producers are trying to hide a bad whiskey under all of that flavoring. So, when a friend came over and poured me "Legendary" Rainmaker Superior Bourbon Whiskey with Strongly Charged Coffee Liqueur, you can understand that I came at it very skeptical.  But, then there's that whole #DrinkCurious lifestyle thing.


There isn't any information online that I could find about Rainmaker. I do know that it is produced by World Wide Distillers Company out of Philadelphia. When I visited the company website, they mention several sourced items but, curiously, not Rainmaker.  What I do know is what I could get from the label. It is 37.5% ABV (75°), it has added caramel coloring, and the back label simply tells you what a rainmaker is while providing four recipes.  That's not very encouraging for something that is supposed to be "superior bourbon whiskey." I can also tell you that Rainmaker retails for about $23.99. 



So, without any background, without knowing anything about the company or the whiskey they have sourced (because it says produced on the bottle, not distilled), I can only give my tasting notes and recommendation. Without further ado, here we go...


In my glass, Rainmaker presents as deep and dark.  Of course, with the artificial coloring, that really means nothing except that it looks good in a glass. It did leave an ultra-thin rim that created super-fast legs on the wall of my Glencairn.


The nose was a very enticing mix of coffee ice cream and coconut. While I'm not a coffee drinker, I do appreciate the flavor in other things, and I'm a big fan of coffee ice cream, Kahlua, White Russians, etc. And, the coconut gave it an additional level of interest.  When I inhaled through my lips, it was absolutely pure coffee. 


Rainmaker had a very thick mouthfeel, again, reminding me of the aforementioned Kahlua. The palate was a combination of espresso and rich caramel and offered a finish of chocolate-covered cherries that was, thankfully, not short-lasting. 


As much as I tried, I didn't pick up any whiskey notes.  Again, it makes it difficult to tell you whose Bourbon this might have been, but if they used a superior Bourbon, it was completely wasted. My guess is that it was much less than superior, only because it would have been stupid to do otherwise.


Bottle, Bar or Bust:  Here's the weird thing. This stuff is absolutely delicious. I could drink this neat all day.  It would probably be excellent as the base of a White Russian. Yes, that's right, you're reading me giving a flavored whiskey liqueur that coveted Bottle rating. Finally, if you can find any background on this, please let me know. Cheers!