Browse Tag


Baby baumer

J. Nusbaumer Alisier Eau-de-Vie (Alsace) – What I’ve learned, as an enthusiastic alisier amateur (in the French sense of that word), is that this spirit can be taken in fruity or floral directions. I prefer the latter, especially as it is so often paired with a delicacy so rare in this category of spirits. But this, a sweet and pretty berry version, is good too. Hyper-pure, as if infused with blue glacial ice, with a somewhat indefinable fruit character somewhere in a realm between Rainier cherries, dragon fruit, mirabelle plums, and one of those toxic-looking white things you find on mountain hikes but don’t dare eat. Boisterous. (5/11)

Livet, don’t love it

The Glenlivet 15 Year Single Malt Scotch Whisky “French Oak Reserve” (Scotland) – Nothing great, nothing bad, just kinda “eh.” Very short for a scotch, which is an oddity. (5/11)


Benromach Single Malt Scotch Whisky (Madeira Casks) (Speyside) – Sticky and ponderous. There’s good, peaty material here, but far too much sheen and sugary glitter trying to bury it. I like a lot of Benromach’s whiskys, but this isn’t all that much fun. (5/11)

Michter Michter

Michter’s Single Barrel Straight Rye Whiskey (Kentucky) – Grainy, grassy, slightly bitter…all good. But then, gooped-up and sticky, with molasses-textured caramel and butterscotch. This is sorority punch rye. (5/11)


Metté Marc de Gewurztraminer (Alsace) – So much spice, smoked meat, and coriander whipped up by raw distillate. Very easy to hate, and I almost do…but in the end, it’s just so gloriously weird that I love it. Marc can be appealing or it can be challenging, but I think marc de gewurztraminer is the post-graduate examination of marc; so, so difficult without proper preparation. (9/10)

Goutte idea

Cazottes Eau-de-Vie Goutte de Mauzac Rosé Passerillé (Southwest France) – Floral as much as fruity, with the quality of my preferred clear spirits in that it goes beyond a simple spirituous expression of the source material to achieve something a little more interesting. Those who prefer that purity might not like this as much. There’s a delicacy along with the usual heat that’s not often found, either. (3/11)


Ledaig 20 Year Scotch Whisky (Isle of Mull) – As broad a peat aroma as I’ve smelled in a Scotch. Not strong, just broad. Drinking this is to experience the sensation of consuming a Scottish woolen blanket. That, since it’s probably not clear, is a compliment. I really love this. (3/11)

Poire, poire, pitiful vie

Weinbach Eau-de-Vie Poire William (Alsace) – Extremely intense, round, and fulsome, as stylistically befits any beverage from this house. Ripe pear, salt, minerality, sweat (an oddly regular component of this particular spirit, across producers and appellations). So much going on that the heat, which is not inconsiderable, actually takes a step back. I like this a lot. (2/11)

Penderyn to the crowd

Penderyn “Peated” Single Malt Whisky (Wales) – A mediocre whisky with a completely tacked-on layer of aromatic iodine. The oak is shockingly buttery, even beneath the peat. Not good. (2/11)