Thread: SCOTCH Whisky Discussion

  1. #626
    Quote Originally Posted by chalkpie View Post
    Triple Wood is a must imo. Its different than any peated drams I have, really nice.
    Missed this somehow...

    Thanks for the recommendation! If I can find a bottle here, I'm definitely going to pick one up.

  2. #627
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    What is Talisker Storm? No ageing listing to speak of, what is it and how does it taste?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Staun View Post
    What is Talisker Storm? No ageing listing to speak of, what is it and how does it taste?
    It is (all things considered) a younger, cheaper version of Talisker 10. It's smokey, spicy, and pretty up front about it. There are hints of oak and vanilla as well. My general complaint is that the finish is a little on the short/thin side compared to other Taliskers, but it's pretty solid if you can find it under $50, otherwise go for the 10 year.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poisoned Youth View Post
    It is (all things considered) a younger, cheaper version of Talisker 10. It's smokey, spicy, and pretty up front about it. There are hints of oak and vanilla as well. My general complaint is that the finish is a little on the short/thin side compared to other Taliskers, but it's pretty solid if you can find it under $50, otherwise go for the 10 year.
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  5. #630
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    Had my best Scotch drinking buddy that had me taste this:

    https://www.thewhiskyexchange.com/p/...caribbean-cask

    You can really taste the rum flavor in there.... But what's the point, past the curiosity.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trane View Post
    Had my best Scotch drinking buddy that had me taste this:

    https://www.thewhiskyexchange.com/p/...caribbean-cask

    You can really taste the rum flavor in there.... But what's the point, past the curiosity.
    My thought exactly. If I want to taste rum, I'll drink rum. If I want taste whisky, I'll drink whisky.
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  7. #632
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trane View Post
    Had my best Scotch drinking buddy that had me taste this:

    https://www.thewhiskyexchange.com/p/...caribbean-cask

    You can really taste the rum flavor in there.... But what's the point, past the curiosity.
    I seem to remember having a bottle of that and quite enjoying it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trane View Post
    Had my best Scotch drinking buddy that had me taste this:

    https://www.thewhiskyexchange.com/p/...caribbean-cask

    You can really taste the rum flavor in there.... But what's the point, past the curiosity.
    I think the point is so that one tastes the rum flavor.

    I am not trying to be a smart-a$$. Barrel finishing is pretty much the biggest trend in most every spirit nowadays and now, in craft beer. The basic concept goes back a very long way. the only thing different nowadays is that some groups are trying more and more adventurous and unusual barrels.

    There are some wonderful examples out there. But also some that probably only have a limited appeal. But absolutely, expect to see more and more of this in all types of alcoholic beverages.

    The Balvenie cited is one of my favs.

    YMMV.

  9. #634
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    I have a bottle of Caribbean Cask up there, I honestly don't get a lot of rum, if any. I'll keep an eye out for that but that is something that never stood out. Its a great whisky, the only disappointing thing (and that is very slightly) is the lack of a longer finish....It seems to just putter off quick.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lopez
    If I want to taste rum, I'll drink rum. If I want taste whisky, I'll drink whisky.
    And, as the late, great Eli Wallach said, "If you're going to shoot, shoot. Don't talk."

  11. #636
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gizmotron View Post
    I think the point is so that one tastes the rum flavor.

    I am not trying to be a smart-a$$. Barrel finishing is pretty much the biggest trend in most every spirit nowadays and now, in craft beer. The basic concept goes back a very long way. the only thing different nowadays is that some groups are trying more and more adventurous and unusual barrels.

    There are some wonderful examples out there.
    Yep. Oloroso Sherry casks are being used to finish or even fully age whisky, and is very popular. The point of the Balvenie is not to simulate rum, but to add flavors of sugar cane, chocolate, molasses, etc to the whisky.
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  12. #637
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gizmotron View Post
    I think the point is so that one tastes the rum flavor.

    I am not trying to be a smart-a$$. Barrel finishing is pretty much the biggest trend in most every spirit nowadays and now, in craft beer. The basic concept goes back a very long way. the only thing different nowadays is that some groups are trying more and more adventurous and unusual barrels.
    My point is that it was interesting (and rather neat), but beyond the first dram, I'm not interested anymore.

    The local Dutch distiller Friske Hynder uses red wine barrels (like Burgundy or Bordeaux) right from the start, meaning it spends its whole life in them "finishing casks" >> it's (very) interesting as well (the colour is dark) , but it took me five years to down the bottle... You really had to have the envy/feel for it... Actually I used it mostly to show & tell to the guests.

    Quote Originally Posted by chalkpie View Post
    I have a bottle of Caribbean Cask up there, I honestly don't get a lot of rum, if any. I'll keep an eye out for that but that is something that never stood out. Its a great whisky, the only disappointing thing (and that is very slightly) is the lack of a longer finish....It seems to just putter off quick.
    Nah, you're right: the rum aromas are subtle... if I hadn't known about before I dipped my lips in, I'm not sure I would've caught them or even made a difference with those and Xeres or Port casks aromas.

    Quote Originally Posted by Poisoned Youth View Post
    Yep. Oloroso Sherry casks are being used to finish or even fully age whisky, and is very popular. The point of the Balvenie is not to simulate rum, but to add flavors of sugar cane, chocolate, molasses, etc to the whisky.
    Molasses and sugar cane were present, but I couldn't make out the chocolate ... never been able too in any single malt yet

    No problems with tasting caramel and toffee (and even coffee), but not chocolate - or cocoa, FTM.
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  13. #638
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trane View Post
    No problems with tasting caramel and toffee (and even coffee), but not chocolate - or cocoa, FTM.
    Yeah I probably should called it cocoa, not chocolate. It's very subtle, not even really worth mentioning in the end.
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  14. #639
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    Has anyone tried this one?



    It got high praise from a whisky group I frequent, but I often take those recs with a caveat as many of the members are big bourbon drinkers and tend to recommend the sweeter/sherry choices.

    I'm really enjoying it so far. It tastes a bit like Dalmore 12 or Balvenie DoubleWood, but the last of the "Three Wood" is Pedro Ximenez sherry casks. This blend gives it a unique flavor, as it adds a spicy, sweet dried fruit taste (plum or raisin) to the mix. It's noticeable on its own, but especially so if you're sipping "regular" Oloroso sherry whisky next to it. If you're a fan of the sweeter whiskies, but want something with a different flavor, try this.
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  15. #640
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poisoned Youth View Post
    Has anyone tried this one?



    It got high praise from a whisky group I frequent, but I often take those recs with a caveat as many of the members are big bourbon drinkers and tend to recommend the sweeter/sherry choices.

    I'm really enjoying it so far. It tastes a bit like Dalmore 12 or Balvenie DoubleWood, but the last of the "Three Wood" is Pedro Ximenez sherry casks. This blend gives it a unique flavor, as it adds a spicy, sweet dried fruit taste (plum or raisin) to the mix. It's noticeable on its own, but especially so if you're sipping "regular" Oloroso sherry whisky next to it. If you're a fan of the sweeter whiskies, but want something with a different flavor, try this.
    This is in my top 5 of all-time (it's my fourth bottle of it since I joined the different Single Malts thread here), and I mentioned it a few times.
    It's definitely my preferred Lowland malt (suburbs of Glasgow) and one of those spirits that probably has the most "matter" to it... I'm not saying there is something to eat, but it feels "thicker" in the mouth (though that's a figment of my imagination). FTM, I think 3W should occupy the opposite of the Laphroaig and Adberg spots on those taste grids (this would mean bottom right corner whereas the latter two are upper left corner).
    I absolutely love its length too. And yes, it's very comparable to Dalmore (another one of my fave) and even Aberlour.
    I think its production is irregular, though... because I couldn't locate a bottle for two or three years, and now it's all over the place in Benelux & France


    And I'm still looking for that elusive Glengoyne (also a Glaswegian malt, but that one enters the highland category) that is supposedly very similar to 3 Woods
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  16. #641
    Quote Originally Posted by Poisoned Youth View Post
    Yep. Oloroso Sherry casks are being used to finish or even fully age whisky, and is very popular. The point of the Balvenie is not to simulate rum, but to add flavors of sugar cane, chocolate, molasses, etc to the whisky.
    In fact, the Scottish distillers have always used old casks for the maturation of their malts. In the past, they would buy up old casks that had been used by Spanish sherry producers - frequently, these casks had been used on many occasions, from primary fermentation through maturation, from storage to transport. In the history books, the discovery of the effect of the sherry asks during the maturation process has been described as a "sublime accident", adding richness, roundness & depth to the whisky. There are some who would argue that a "true" malt, especially one distilled in the Speyside region, should only be matured in sherry casks.

    The use of Bourbon casks (which will, by law, have had bourbon maturing for at least 4 years in them), began when conglomerates that owned both bourbon & Scots whisky distilleries, started to use the same casks as an economy - whilst the cask oak is still new, it takes on too much of the vanilla taste of bourbon, which overwhelms the taste of the malt, so it's important for the distillers to use only aged casks. Different ages of both sherry & bourbon casks will impart different intensities of flavour to the whisky, as will different combinations of "wood".

    I think with the modern trend towards emphasising the casking, the issue is one of a certain over-hyped branding. The problem will always be that the subtlety of the basic tastes of whiskies are overwhelmed by, rather than enhanced by, the oaking (as happened with the red wine industry 20 years ago). I also fear that the trend parallels the abhorrent influence of late hopping in beer production - which has a (possibly) justifiable impact in certain brewing areas, but which, when introduced into the UK for instance, has led to the overwhelming of the complexity of tastes in traditionally brewed beers & ales by, typically, a more or less one-dimensional citrus hop hit (or - & this is perhaps closer to the potential issue for whisky - the creation of brews with a massively dominant flavour, such as chocolate, or spice, which are marketed as "adventurous", but which are really just trampling all over the underlying flavour of the beer). A market has been created which thinks this is how (all) beer tastes, & more & more is brewed to cater for this market, risking the demise of the more subtle, traditional, brews. So, the effect is that there is a spike in sales driven by marketing & by the drive to a certain "simplicity" of taste, which is great for the conglomerates; but which risks having a massively deleterious impact on the "product" in the long run.

  17. #642
    In reply to Cozy & Trane, I think that the Auchentoshan is something of an underrated malt (possibly because of the "lightness" typical of Lowland malts, which struggles to compete with, for instance, the "big" flavours of Highland & Islay malts) - or, at any rate, not well enough known. The distillery has always produced excellent whiskies, & is one of the oldest in Scotland - it's been going for nearly 225 years now! It's with the 18 that the light, dryness, typical of the younger versions, gains an increasing & impressive depth...

    How does the three wood compare with the "standard" 10 year old, would you say? - does it accentuate the typical base flavours, or does it add something distinctive?

  18. #643
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    Quote Originally Posted by per anporth View Post
    How does the three wood compare with the "standard" 10 year old, would you say? - does it accentuate the typical base flavours, or does it add something distinctive?
    I have only ever had the American Oak before this. Going by memory I'd say that it was different (aged in bourbon casks only) and more of a "daily dram". The Three Wood most certainly adds something distinctive for me with the Pedro Ximenez finishing. Maybe Hugues can weigh in with the "thickness" aspect.


    Quote Originally Posted by Trane View Post
    This is in my top 5 of all-time (it's my fourth bottle of it since I joined the different Single Malts thread here), and I mentioned it a few times.
    It's definitely my preferred Lowland malt (suburbs of Glasgow) and one of those spirits that probably has the most "matter" to it... I'm not saying there is something to eat, but it feels "thicker" in the mouth (though that's a figment of my imagination).
    I'm familiar with exactly what you're saying. If a whisky has more substance in the tasting, I usually describe as thicker, richer, or even "chewy".


    And I'm still looking for that elusive Glengoyne (also a Glaswegian malt, but that one enters the highland category) that is supposedly very similar to 3 Woods
    Well, I got my first bottle recently. It was Glengoyne 15. Unfortunately it was tainted with TCA (mildew, musty smell and taste). It's the first time that has happened to me. I'm taking it back this weekend actually. Hopefully I'll be able to report on a legit bottle soon.
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  19. #644
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    Good discussion about cask aging. Well done.

    I really like the Three Wood too.

  20. #645
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    Quote Originally Posted by per anporth View Post
    I think with the modern trend towards emphasising the casking, the issue is one of a certain over-hyped branding. The problem will always be that the subtlety of the basic tastes of whiskies are overwhelmed by, rather than enhanced by, the oaking (as happened with the red wine industry 20 years ago).
    From my perspective, we are entering a new age for the whisky experience due largely to the demand/popularity of the spirit in the last 10-15 years. New distilleries are being opened (and closed ones re-opened). And with all this demand, distillers are getting creative in experimenting with ways to create interesting expression options that don't carry an age statement (often allowing them to use whisky between 5-10 years). Lots of interesting new expressions have emerged in the process.

    Sure there are some gimmicks and outright deception that is taking place in the process. I think it takes time (and money unfortunately) to discover how this affecting the outcome of whiskies in general.

    For example, I'm having a lesser opinion Ardbeg, Macallan, and Balvenie than I used to several years back. In the case of Ardbeg, almost their entire line is NAS - which is not a bad thing of course. But since they are not transparent about what they put in their whisky, it's a growing suspicion that expressions like Uigeadail and Corryvreckan are getting younger with each passing year. At least with age statement whisky you are being told the whisky has aged a specific number of years (though obviously taking their word for it).

    Also trending of late is the use of virgin oak in the aging process by some distilleries as it tends to give the impression that the whisky is older than it is. So distilleries will age spirit for 5 years trying to simulate the experience of aging in used casks for twice that long. I've also read of other "shortcuts" (not sure how true they are) where casks are "sprayed" with bourbon or sherry and then sort of toasted or "baked" to refresh used casks.

    At some point consumers (the more enthusiast types) will demand more transparency in what they are buying. In my opinion, it would simply be helpful if each product (even just on the website) came with information on sourcing, casks used, age(s) of the spirits, if it was chill filtered, colored, etc.
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  21. #646
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poisoned Youth View Post
    I have only ever had the American Oak before this. Going by memory I'd say that it was different (aged in bourbon casks only) and more of a "daily dram". The Three Wood most certainly adds something distinctive for me with the Pedro Ximenez finishing. Maybe Hugues can weigh in with the "thickness" aspect.

    I'm familiar with exactly what you're saying. If a whisky has more substance in the tasting, I usually describe as thicker, richer, or even "chewy".

    Well, I got my first bottle recently. It was Glengoyne 15. Unfortunately it was tainted with TCA (mildew, musty smell and taste). It's the first time that has happened to me. I'm taking it back this weekend actually. Hopefully I'll be able to report on a legit bottle soon.
    chewy is exactly how I would say it (in French we say "avoir de la mache" >> having some chew)

    Too bad with the Goyne and the TCA >> I'd expect the strong alcohol content not to be hit with that, since it would kill anything of the sort >> could it come from the cork cap??

    Quote Originally Posted by Poisoned Youth View Post
    From my perspective, we are entering a new age for the whisky experience due largely to the demand/popularity of the spirit in the last 10-15 years. New distilleries are being opened (and closed ones re-opened). And with all this demand, distillers are getting creative in experimenting with ways to create interesting expression options that don't carry an age statement (often allowing them to use whisky between 5-10 years). Lots of interesting new expressions have emerged in the process.

    Sure there are some gimmicks and outright deception that is taking place in the process. I think it takes time (and money unfortunately) to discover how this affecting the outcome of whiskies in general.

    For example, I'm having a lesser opinion Ardbeg, Macallan, and Balvenie than I used to several years back. In the case of Ardbeg, almost their entire line is NAS - which is not a bad thing of course. But since they are not transparent about what they put in their whisky, it's a growing suspicion that expressions like Uigeadail and Corryvreckan are getting younger with each passing year. At least with age statement whisky you are being told the whisky has aged a specific number of years (though obviously taking their word for it).

    Also trending of late is the use of virgin oak in the aging process by some distilleries as it tends to give the impression that the whisky is older than it is. So distilleries will age spirit for 5 years trying to simulate the experience of aging in used casks for twice that long. I've also read of other "shortcuts" (not sure how true they are) where casks are "sprayed" with bourbon or sherry and then sort of toasted or "baked" to refresh used casks.

    At some point consumers (the more enthusiast types) will demand more transparency in what they are buying. In my opinion, it would simply be helpful if each product (even just on the website) came with information on sourcing, casks used, age(s) of the spirits, if it was chill filtered, colored, etc.
    I'm not optimist for the future, TBH... and indeed, it's global demand that pushes it that way, but also the distillery-owner multi-national groups that are on the look-out for increased profit and dividends.

    And I'm not the one demanding for this, but an ingredient list and "tobacco-pack" warning labels will be coming someday soon on the European market... from there on, the actual nutrient contents (Kcal, Glucids, etc...) will also appear on the bottles
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  22. #647
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    TCA & NAS...not familiar. I checked my friend Google...Probably not Network Attached Storage, though trichloroacetic acid could be a hit.
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  23. #648
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poisoned Youth View Post
    From my perspective, we are entering a new age for the whisky experience due largely to the demand/popularity of the spirit in the last 10-15 years. New distilleries are being opened (and closed ones re-opened). And with all this demand, distillers are getting creative in experimenting with ways to create interesting expression options that don't carry an age statement (often allowing them to use whisky between 5-10 years). Lots of interesting new expressions have emerged in the process.

    Sure there are some gimmicks and outright deception that is taking place in the process. I think it takes time (and money unfortunately) to discover how this affecting the outcome of whiskies in general.

    For example, I'm having a lesser opinion Ardbeg, Macallan, and Balvenie than I used to several years back. In the case of Ardbeg, almost their entire line is NAS - which is not a bad thing of course. But since they are not transparent about what they put in their whisky, it's a growing suspicion that expressions like Uigeadail and Corryvreckan are getting younger with each passing year. At least with age statement whisky you are being told the whisky has aged a specific number of years (though obviously taking their word for it).

    Also trending of late is the use of virgin oak in the aging process by some distilleries as it tends to give the impression that the whisky is older than it is. So distilleries will age spirit for 5 years trying to simulate the experience of aging in used casks for twice that long. I've also read of other "shortcuts" (not sure how true they are) where casks are "sprayed" with bourbon or sherry and then sort of toasted or "baked" to refresh used casks.

    At some point consumers (the more enthusiast types) will demand more transparency in what they are buying. In my opinion, it would simply be helpful if each product (even just on the website) came with information on sourcing, casks used, age(s) of the spirits, if it was chill filtered, colored, etc.
    Some excellent points here. And it isn't just the whisky that is being marketed to younger consumers as popularity rises. Red wines, at least US ones, are far more likely to be thicker, sweeter, stronger, darker, and have less character than the ones of a couple decades back. They call them fruit-forward, and pretend that's a good thing. Often they taste like grape juice with alcohol. Or they just call them dry when they aren't, assuming the imbiber won't know the difference, which is kind of insulting to their experienced consumers. Either they don't want to take the time and effort to make good wines, or those wines are still around but are now priced beyond my means. But other countries are still able to make very good wines that don't cost an arm and a leg, so it must be down to US marketing, and young customers who don't know any better. I am told many wineries will add oak chips to wine in metal casks and claim it to be oak-barrel aged. Deception goes on and on in corporate America.

    Beers are being flavored and aged in rum or whiskey barrels as never before. This is not necessarily a bad thing, as long as the regular beers and ales are still available for those who prefer them, or to take the taste of the sweet flavored beers out of your mouth when you are done tasting the novelty beers. I like to taste the flavored or barrel aged beers on tap, so that I can try one without committing to a 6 pack of something I may not be that fond of. Some of them can be quite good. Most are not that special, IMO. Even the good ones usually don't make me want a second one. Again, I sometimes get the feeling they are marketing toward people who don't care for traditional beer and ale and want something more like soda pop. Innis & Gunn (sounds almost like pig latin for Guinness) specialize in rum and whiskey barrel aged ales. They aren't bad. Probably because that is all they make.

    In the case of Scotch, price prevents me from trying every variety a distillery puts out. Usually I stick with what brought me to the brand in the first place, their flagship whisky, i.e., Laphroaig 10 YO, Lagavulin 16 YO, or Talisker 10 YO. I would love to try the various cask whiskies they now market alongside their flagship whisky. But if they are not lower priced and age specific, I am unlikely to try them any time soon as long as my income remains unchanged. I don't think my experienced taste buds are going to prefer a five YO whisky aged in virgin oak to a 10 YO whisky aged in the traditional used casks. I'm not saying there isn't a NAS cask whisky I won't like. Just that it is unlikely I will get to try one to find out.

    The actual length of aging is determined by an experienced distiller to be the age at which the whisky is at its best. Many years ago I read of a brand (I can't now recall which) that blind tasted their whiskies of all ages and found that their 10 YO was unanimously preferred to both younger and older whiskies. Aging at least 10 years does add to the quality and smoothness of a whisky.

    I once tried a Rogue Farms Oregon Single Malt Whiskey, from the people who brew Rogue ales. It was not age specific. To me it was pretty sweet and tasted nothing like Scotch, but it didn't claim to be like Scotch, only single malt. I'm glad I tried it, it was decent sipping whiskey, but next time I'll go for Scotch.

    In wine, beer, and liquor making, consistency is the name of the game. Make something good, and put it out unchanged year after year. Change it, and you risk losing customers.

    It can seem deceptive when you find a whisky brand you respect, and on the shelf right next to their flagship whisky is a "special edition" that does not reveal an age (I search all the label text) or the specifics of how it is made. And for Dog's sake, stop filling up liquor stores with flavored vodkas obviously marketed to children. Adults don't need cake, ice cream, whipped cream, or chocolate flavored vodka. Vodka is distilled intentionally not to taste like anything. You want it to taste like something, choose a mixer.

  24. #649
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    I guess from context that NAS means not age specific, or no age specified. I never heard TCA before.

  25. #650
    I absolutely agree that there is an attempt to produce whiskies that can appeal to a customer base brought up on "alcopops", who drink "fruit" ciders, or "fruit" gins - & for whom the appeal is the immediacy, the sweetness, & the simplicity of the flavour hit. Similarly, there are attempts, notably with Japanese whiskies, to front-load flavours, whilst removing the "burn" - which has, as a corollary, the effect of cancelling out any depth of flavour past the initial taste. All of this is about making the drinking "easier"...

    "Innis & Gunn (sounds almost like pig latin for Guinness) specialize in rum and whiskey barrel aged ales. They aren't bad. Probably because that is all they make."

    I have mixed feelings about Innis & Gunn. They are a breakaway company, formed by guys who were the head brewers at the Caledonian Brewery in Edinburgh, a wonderful brewery unique in still brewing from the original copper stills dating back 150 years (it used to be the Lorimer & Clark brewery). They produced many outstanding beers through the 80s & 90s, not least Deuchars IPA (brewed to a recipe co-created with Iain White for the Cumberland Bar, for many years my local!), beloved of Inspector Rebus, & which inspired a brewing revolution in Britain. Unfortunately, Scottish moved in, & took the brewery over a few years back, so the boys moved out & set up I&G.

    I think the house beer is interesting - I like the vanilla notes that come from the cask-aging. But, ultimately, it's one & out for me. It's too much of a novelty drink, & in the final analysis, the flavours of the beer struggle to compete with the flavours from the cask...

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