Browse Tag


Islay me down to sleep

The MacPhail’s Selected Single Distilleries Collection (Bunnahabhain) 8 Year Scotch (Islay) – Boring. How do you make an Islay whisky boring? Well: exhibit A. Iodine, but only just, with a clammy boredom resting atop an alcoholic nonentity. The most “flavor” of the three from this lineup that I’ve tried, but in service of naught. (10/10)


The MacPhail’s Selected Single Distilleries Collection (Highland Park) 8 Year Scotch (Orkney) – Boring, though slightly less so than its stablemates. A little sweetness, a little spice, a little of not enough that’s nice. Just barely worth the $25 I paid for it, though one of the better blended whiskys would have been just as good, and probably cheaper. (10/10)


Old Rip Van Winkle 10-Year Bourbon (Kentucky) – As with the superior bottlings from this distillery, the wood-infused peach and caramel are more lively and less barrel-deadened than many other commercial bourbons. And while I don’t mean to suggest that this isn’t good – it is; in fact, it’s better than most – it doesn’t quite have the complexity of the longer-aged and more eccentric bottlings. This is carping, I know. (7/10)

Toil & trouble

Aberlour 12-Year Scotch “Double Cask Matured” (Highland) – Extremely fruity and sweet. So much so that if they claimed one of the casks was sourced from Sauternes, I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised. Not my kind of Scotch. (7/10)


Cragganmore 1984 Scotch Whisky “Distillers’ Edition” (Speyside) – Heady and somewhat dominated by alcohol, but still loaded and layered with caramels, nuts, and creams. Big. Very, very big. (4/10)

No quarter

Macallan 25-year Scotch Whisky (Scotland) – Sultry and shy, enveloping rather than impressing. The nose has moved through the elegant wood stage into something fruitier, darker, and much more mysterious. Not an enormous amount of fun to drink, but an incredible aromatic experience. (4/10)

Hits the green

[bottle]Mitchell & Son “Green Spot” Irish Whiskey (Ireland) – Friendly, even “pretty,” yet with smoke and ancient wood enough for enjoyable sipping. It must be said that this was tasted at the end of an awful lot of wine and other, more spirituous beverages, and my attention was not fully upon the glass in front of me. (6/09)