Review: Ilegal Mezcal Anejo

Paid: $100

Distilled/Owned by: Destileria Tlacolula, S. de R.L. M.I.

Region: Oaxaca, Mexico

40% ABV

Aged For: 13 Months

Distillate: 10 Year old espadin agave from Tlacolula, roasted 5-7 days in an earth pit lined with stones using mesquite and eucalyptus wood, crushed by horse drawn tahona-wheel, fermented in pine vats 7-10 days then double distilled on a copper still.

Cask Type: French and American oak

Chill Filtered: ?

Addatives used: No

Color: Pale gold

Drank: Neat, in a tumbler

Nose: Smoked agave, vanilla, grass, earth, oak, honey, cream

Feel: Light bodied

Taste: Butterscotch, smoke, roasted notes, oak, milk chocolate, agave, citrus, and earth

Finish: Light warmth and medium length, a smooth buttery smokiness similar to a gently peated whisky, vanilla, cream, honey, and a touch of vegetalness

Thoughts: This is my first review of an agave based spirit, as I’m normally not a fan. I actually do enjoy this, it has notes similar to many whiskies I enjoy, while being distinctly not a whisky. Something to try if you are a fan of whisky or rum and not a tequila or mezcal drinker like myself.

Score: 85 out of 100 (Shot in the dark here, don’t place a ton in this number)

Review: Zaya 16

Price: $30 for 750ml

Distilled/Owned by: Trinidad Distillers LTD/ Diageo

Region: Trinidad and Tobago

40% ABV

Distillate: Molasses

Aged For: Solera System, up to 16 Years

Cask Type: Oak

Chill Filtered: Yes

Additives used: Yes

Color: Mahogany

Drank: Neat, in a glencairn

Nose: Brown sugar, vanilla, molasses, caramel, solvent, oak, cola syrup

Mouthfeel: Light, slightly syrupy

Palate/Taste: Dosed, heavy vanilla, molasses, and cocoa notes. Brown spleda like sugar, maple

Finish: Light to medium warmth, medium length, caramel, vanilla, molasses, and sugar

Thoughts: The finish was surprisingly warm and long considering what this is as a heavily sweetened rum. Overall it’s in the same boat as Zacapa and other “rons”

Score: 74 out of 100

Review: Wild Turkey Rare Breed 116.8

Paid: $40 for 750ml

Distilled/Owned by: Wild Turkey / Campari

Region: Kentucky

58.4% ABV

Aged For: NAS

Mashbill: 75% corn, 13% rye, 12% barley

Cask Type: New charred oak, char #4

Bottle Code: LL/FH010735

Chill Filtered: Yes

Color: Tawny

Drank: Neat, in a glencairn

Nose: A sweet vanilla oakiness, that gets a sort of musty herbal edge with caramel and cinnamon

Feel: Full bodied

Taste: Chocolate, oak, vanilla, caramel, leather, baking spices, apple, and herbs

Finish: Good length and warmth, damp musty oak, vanilla, pepper, caramel

Thoughts: Turkey continues to bring their A game to affordable everyday bourbon offerings. Strong and flavorful, but unique.

Score: 83 out of 100

Review: Lustau Solera Gran Reserva Finest Selection

Paid: $60 for 750ml

Distilled/Owned by: Lustau

Region: Spain

40% ABV

Aged For: 15 Years

Cask Type: Amontillado, Oloroso, and PX sherry casks

Grapes: Airen

Color: Brown Sherry

Drank: Neat, in a glencairn

Nose: Lots of raisin, dried fruit, figs, old oak, sherry, chocolate, walnuts, butterscotch, and citrus

Mouthfeel: Light bodied, slightly syrupy

Palate/Taste: Syrupy cherry and raisin notes, PX sherry, dates, figs, caramel, milk chocolate, orange, hazlenut

Finish: Light to medium warmth, and medium length, Again the sweet sherry notes dominate, a touch of oak and with more tannins than the palate, but still predominantly fruity

Thoughts: Its like an old sherry cask aged scotch on sweetness steroids. Would have liked to see it bottled at 45% but still a good buy at the price.

Score: 85 out of 100

Review: Glenlivet 10 Year 2007 SMWS 2.106 “Devilishly Opulent”

Paid: $100 for 750ml

Distilled/Owned by: Glenlivet / SMWS

Region: Speyside

61.3% ABV

Aged For: 10 Years, distilled 2007

Mashbill: 100% malted barley

Cask Type: Ex oloroso butt then finished in first fill PX sherry butt

Chill Filtered: No

Color Added: No

Color: Russet

Drank: Neat, in a glencairn

Nose: Cinnamon, nutmeg, oak, ginger, oloroso sherry, coffee beans, clove, dried fruits, touch of sulphur

Feel: Medium to full body, dry

Taste: Sherry, oak, pepper, caramel, raisins, figs, becomes sweeter over time with the PX shining more, orange,

Finish: Long and warm, with dark chocolate, oak, pepper, tobacco, olive oil, ginger, citrus, and sherry

Thoughts: When I first cracked this bottle I wasn’t blown away, but its growing on me over time, A little water really helps as it’s a bit to boozy even for me with a lot of heat. At first the oloroso cask is dominate with the PX creeping more in over time.

Score: 83 out of 100

Review: Hamilton Navy Strength

Price: $25 for 750ml

Distilled/Owned by: 60% Demerara Distillers & 40% Worthy Park / Caribbean Spirits Inc.

Region: Guyana & Jamaica

57% ABV

Distillate: Molasses

Aged For: NAS

Chill Filtered: No

Additives used: Undisclosed

Color: Auburn

Drank: Neat, in a glencairn

Nose: Banana, custard, walnuts, molasses, coconut, oak, and some sharp spices

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied

Palate/Taste: Chocolate, oak, tobacco, smoke, banana, light funk, pepper, and dried fruits

Finish: Long and very warm, kiwi, oak, lime, oak, pepper, smoke, leather, and tobacco

Thoughts: If you like your rum strong, a little rough around the edges with hints of funk and a blast of flavor this is a must try at the price point.

Score: 80 out of 100

Review: Speyside Distilllery 21-Year 1993 Distiller’s Art

Paid: $96 for 700ml

Distilled/Owned by: Speyside Distillery / Hunter Laing

Region: Speyside

48% ABV

Aged For: 21 Years, Distilled 1993, Bottled 2015

Mashbill: 100% malted barley

Cask Type: Sherry Butt

Chill Filtered: No

Color Added: No

Color: Amber

Drank: Neat, in a glencairn

Nose: Earthy nutty sherry, leather, oak, blackberry, cherry, dirt

Feel: Medium body

Taste: Sherry, caramel, nuts, figs, malt, bitter pepper, malt, sour mustiness

Finish: Light to medium warmth and medium length, cream and honey, sour fruit, coffee, and oak

Thoughts: It smells and starts out like a good sherried dram, with heavy nut flavors, but then on the backside of the palate and finish it has a bitter and sour note that spoils the drink. Flawed.

Score: 76 out of 100