Hudson Baby Bourbon – 20 Apr 2015

Produced at: Tuthilltown Spirits Distillery, Gardiner, New York

Description: “HUDSON BABY BOURBON is the first legal pot-still whiskey to be produced in New York since prohibition! This single grain bourbon is made from 100% New York corn and aged in our special small American Oak barrels. This unique aging process produces a mildly sweet, smooth spirit with hints of vanilla and caramel. The BABY is Tuthilltown’s first whiskey and the first legal pot-distilled whiskey made in New York since prohibition. BABY BOURBON is a perfect introduction to aged whiskey spirits. It is mild and friendly, bright to the tongue and warming all the way down. Each bottle is hand waxed and numbered. It is a true American classic. The BABY is our most sought after spirit.

A very unique bourbon (we almost put it in the American Whiskey category) it is double distilled then aged in 3 gallon casks (industry standard is 53 gallons) so the aging/wood to whiskey ratio is much higher than standard. This yields an interesting taste profile as you have a good wood component in a young fresh tasting whiskey – usually a mutually exclusive proposition.

Type: New York Bourbon
Age: No age
ABV: 46%

Tasting Notes:

Colour: Medium bronze
Nose: Sweet caramel with strong vanilla and light oak aroma; upon opening a light spice and heavier vanilla
Palate: Buttery caramel on the initial taste and clear spice on the finish.  Middle taste is highly complex, with a combination of light nutty, citrus, and salt flavours
Finish:Moderate to slightly lingering with a touch of bitter oak. The sweet corn sticks with it and is on top of some caramel and minerals. A metallic finish so-to-speak.


Silver Bourbon up to 6yo – 2014 The World Whisky Masters 2014 (The Spirits Business)
Gold OutstandingWorldwide Whiskey – Bourbon – 2013 International Wine & Spirit Competition
Gold American Craft Whiskey – 2013 San Francisco World Spirits Competition

Bottle #47

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Mortlach Rare Old – 23 Mar 2015

Produced at: Mortlach distillery, Speyside Scotland

Description: Situated in the heart of the Speyside region of Scotland, Dufftown is known the Whisky Capital of the World. The village, which produces more malt whisky than any other town in Scotland, is home to seven distilleries, the oldest of which is Mortlach Distillery. Mortlach, “The Beast of Dufftown,” is a storied Speyside distillery that has a long reputation as the maker of a connoisseur’s whisky. For years, single malt from Mortlach has been hard to come by; most of its production has been destined for inclusion in blends like Johnnie Walker. But demand for single malts continues to rise, so a couple of years ago, current owner Diageo announced it would be increasing production and launching some new Mortlach malts. The results are finally here, in the form of three general releases (plus one travel retail release). All of the prior bottlings of Mortlach are now being dropped.

The trilogy of malts was introduced to many of us via a web-based tasting by the enchantingly goofy Georgie Bell, aka “Miss Mortlach,” Mortlach’s Global Brand Ambassador. Bell led the group through the history of Mortlach, including its fabled yet confusing “2.81 distilling process,” which involves a carefully calibrated utilization of its three stills, each a different design, in the production of its whisky.

But the highlight was a tasting of these amazing whiskies. All of the whiskies are bottled at 86.8 proof. (And here’s a pro tip: Real Scots pronounce the distilleryMORT-leck. The R is nearly silent.)

Type: Single Malt Whisky
Expression: Rare Old
Age: No age
ABV: 43.4%

Tasting Notes:

Colour: Deep gold with quick legs. Some liquid residue remains on the sides of the glass.
Nose: Very light notes of sherry, but a lot of honey and some vanilla. Oranges are very pronounced, with a tinge of acetone or varnish. The nose is very light (nothing beefy there)..
Palate: Dry and very alcoholic with orange leading the palate. Light mouthfeel, not chewey of full bodied.
Finish: Sweet oranges, light spices, mainly white pepper and light cinnamon.


Bottle #46

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Booker’s – 24 Feb 2015

Produced at: James B. Beam Distilling Co. Clermont, KY

Description: In 1988, Booker Noe introduced his own signature bourbon, Booker’s True Barrel Bourbon. Inspired by a 200-year-old tradition, Booker’s is the only bourbon bottled straight-from-the-barrel, uncut and unfiltered. First created as a holiday gift for his special friends, Booker’s whiskey was so well-received that he decided to make it available to bourbon lovers worldwide; much to the joy of spirit connoisseurs everywhere. Booker’s is the rarest, absolute best bourbon available.

Booker’s Bourbon is the only uncut, unfiltered, straight-from-the-barrel, connoisseur’s sipping bourbon available today. It’s bottled at its natural proof of between 121 and 127, and aged between six and eight years. Booker Noe, Jim Beam’s grandson and master distiller emeritus, hand selects each barrel that will become Booker’s Bourbon. Each barrel that will become Booker’s bourbon is aged in the very center of the rackhouse where the temperature and humidity combines in the perfect proportion for the finest bourbon. This is truly the absolute best bourbon available.

Type: Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Age: 6 to 8 years
ABV: 63.4%

Tasting Notes:

Colour:Deep, rich, smoky amber
Nose: Big oak, vanilla, smoky charcoal.
Palate: Intense, fruit, tannin, tobacco.
Finish: Clean, long, intense.


Gold Medal Bourbon – Wine Enthusiast
Jim Murray, Whisky Bible, 2012 – Score – 93.

Bottle #45


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Chivas Regal Royal Salute 100 Cask – 05 December 2014

Produced at: Strathisla Distillery (Speyside) owned by Chivas Brothers.

Description: In 1953, in honour of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, Chivas Brothers created Royal Salute. The first flagons were specially produced on the 2nd June 1953, the day of her coronation. A blend of the finest aged whiskies, named after the Royal Navy’s 21-gun salute to pay tribute to dignitaries. This premier deluxe whisky was blended from some of the rarest whiskies in the world, laid down in the 1920s and 1930s. Each drop of whisky in the blend was at least 21 years old. Initially limited to only 2,500 cases, produced for the global market during its inaugural year. The Royal Salute 50 Year Old, a limited edition of just 255 bottles, was released in 2003 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Royal Salute and of the Queen’s Golden Jubilee. The Royal Salute range now also includes Royal Salute Hundred Cask Selection, and Royal Salute 38 Year Old. With the Chivas Brothers’ exceptional inventory of whiskies, laid down from the 19th century onwards, Royal Salute consistently creates prestigious aged blends of whisky. Blended from the finest of aged whiskies. Since 1953, only four people have had the nose – and intuitive understanding of Scotch whisky – to become Royal Salute Master Blenders. They have created unique blends from some of the rarest and most aged whiskies in the world. Notably, for the Royal Salute Hundred Cask selection, the Master Blender hand picks 100 casks from the exceptionally aged reserve of whisky casks. Each flagon is made with the same care that goes into the whisky, individually decorated with the Chivas Brothers crest by expert craftsmen. Royal Salute is the only luxury Scotch whisky whose range starts at 21 years old. The award-winning brand remains the international market leader in the over 21-year-old whisky category.

Type: Blended Scotch Whisky
Expression: 100 Casks
Age: Between 21 and 40 years
ABV: 40%

Tasting Notes:

Colour: Deep Autumn gold
Nose: Intense and rich aromas of ripe plums and syrupy oranges mingle with notes of marzipan, smoke and subtle aromatic spices.
Palate: Full and perfectly smooth with luscious autumn fruit flavours of oranges and plums that are enhanced with the sweet notes of vanilla, almonds and a hint of spicy oakiness.
Finish: Long and lingering with a deep mellow warmth.


  • Rated 92 points in Whisky Bible 2013
  • 2009 Gold Medal, IWSC – Best in Class
  • Best Luxury Spirits Brand in the Hurun Report’s ‘Best of the Best 2009’ Survey

Best Whisky we have ever drank

Bottle #44

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The Tyrconnell – 03 November 2014

Produced at: Cooley Whiskey Distillery.

Description: Cooley’s resurrected the Tyrconnell brand after the distillery had shut down many years prior. I was eager to try the port finish after hearing it was one of the better Irish single malts. This single malt Irish whiskey is aged in used bourbon barrels before being placed in port wine casks for an additional 6-8 months. The whiskey is produced much like a single malt Scotch would as it is double, not triple distilled.

Type: IrishWhisky
Expression: Single Malt Whisky
Age: 10 years
ABV: 46%

Tasting Notes:
Colour:Deep coppery
Nose: is fruity and thick with notes of roots, tropical fruits, mixed conserves and a green character.
Palate: is jammy and thick. There is a marked sweetness with notes of barley sugar and malt.
Finish: is sweet and long with marmalade and a little oak.

Silver: Single Malt Irish Whiskey – 2013 San Francisco World Spirits Competition
Bottle #43


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Jura Superstition – 06 October 2014

Produced at: Jura distillery, on the island of Jura.

Description: The distillery didn’t open until 1810, the people of Jura were entitled to distill whisky for personal consumption, until a ban was introduced in 1781.The Isle of Jura is a barren, sparsely populated island off the west coast of Scotland. It is a close northern neighbour of the more-prolific whisky-producing island of Islay, but the light, delicate nature of the signature whisky made by Jura’s one distillery, the Isle of Jura, is vastly different from the heavily peated, medicinal malts of Islay. A union of two Jura malt whisky styles: one bold, strong and peated, the other warm and delicate. Superstition is a unique whisky created from the marriage of traditional Islay style peated barley and a selection of aged malts.

Type: ScotchWhisky
Expression: Single Malt Whisky
Age: Made up of whiskies aged for 13 years and 21 years
ABV: 43%

Tasting Notes:
Nose: Gristy and quite like new make. This is a young whisky, though it offers up the same evocative smoke and heady malt that you’d expect from an older Jura. It’s quite sweet and creamy, and reminds us of Chantilly cream.
Palate: Sweet and porridge-like. A cereal fest on the tongue, with hints of white pepper and black forest honey with hot buttered toast. Oily.
Finish: Medium length with hints of honey and spice on the tail.

Silver Outstanding: Scotch Single Malt – Island – 2014. International Wine & Spirit Competition
Silver: Distillers’ Single Malts 12 years and under – 2014. International Spirits Challenge
Silver: Scotch Single Malt – Island – 2013. International Wine & Spirit Competition

Bottle #42


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Colingwood Whiskey, 17 Dec 2012

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The Macallan Sienna – 15 September 2014

Produced at: Macallan Distillery, Speyside.

Description: The third darkest and third most expensive bottling in the no age statement, sherry matured 1824 Series from The Macallan. Sienna is a naturally occuring pigment, referring not only to the hue of this expression but to the fact that The Macallan’s whiskies are all released with no added colouring.

Type: Scotch Whisky
Expression: 1824 Series
Age: +17 yrs
ABV: 43%

Tasting Notes:
Colour:Dark amber
Nose: Noticeably bigger than Gold and Amber, orange peel, vanilla sugar and hot cross buns.
Palate: Raisins and dried apricots, ripe greengages, frozen currants.
Finish: Fruity and slightly spiced with a touch of anise.

Gold Liquid Gold Award – 2014 Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible

Bottle #41


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Kavalan – 25 August 2014

Produced at: King Car Whisky Distillery, Taiwanese.

Description: By utilising Taiwan’s unique natural resources and remarkable technological skills, aiming for the first whisky distillery in Taiwan, Kavalan distillery of King Car Group was founded. Kavalan group holds their initial hopes and would not give up, aiming to establish the solid foundation of the distillery. The effort goes into every drop of new make spirit and every seasoned cask we choose. Coupled with the mastery of the blender, they ensure the silky smoothness and distinctive flavours of Kavalan whisky. The first bottle of Kavalan was released in December 2008 and now it is the best-selling expression. The recipe of classic Kavalan is complex and contains different types of casks- fresh bourbon, fresh sherry and refill casks rendering the spirit a multilayer of fruity and floral notes.

Type: Whisky
ABV: 40%

Tasting Notes:
Colour:Pleasant brownish red
Nose: Tropical fruitiness with honey, vanilla, coconut and candy floss
Palate: Rich bodied with natural sweetness and complexity
Finish: Short and sweet. It has a freshness and ends with a slightly bitter spiced tang.

Silver 2011/2012/2013 San Francisco World Spirits Competition

Bottle #40


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High West American Prairie – 28 July 2014

Produced at: LDI & 4 Roses blended by High West.

Description: Founded in 2007 High West has gone the route of many small distilleries and created a line of unaged spirits and, most notably, blending and bottling whiskey from other distillers to help tide them over financially while their own whiskey ages. This particular bourbon is a blend of LDI and Four Roses. The LDI is a 6 year bourbon comprised of 75% corn, 20% rye and 5% barley. The Four Roses is a 10 year bourbon made up of 60% corn, 35% rye, and 5% barley malt. The 10 year Four Roses alone is a great reason to give this a go. Another reason to pick up a bottle is that High West will donate 10% of profits (after tax) from each bottle to the American Prairie Foundation which is building the largest wildlife reserve in the lower 48 states. So not only are you getting good bourbon, but you’re being a philanthropist as well.

Type: Bourbon
Age: 6 Yrs
ABV: 46%

Tasting Notes:
Colour:A nice deep amber with ruby facets
Nose: It’s a bit bitey and full of iodine. Things like dark fruit leather, overripe strawberries, hints of anise, vanilla custard, and toasted marshmallow. Add water and the caramel starts to bellow and that traditional spicy bourbon nose really kicks up.
Palate: It has a fantastic peppery pop to it that blends well with the bourbon spice and cinnamon notes. After that initial pepper pop there are nice notes of strawberry jam. Rounding out the taste is a grainy rye like flavor. Add some water and fantastic roasted corn emerges. With or without water there is a nice light oak flavor that ties the whole thing together in a nice neat package for your palate.
Finish: Cherry licorice, a hint of sherry, green apples and fresh cut grass and barley.


Bottle #39

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