Review: Nikka Apple Brandy VSOP

Paid: N/A

Distilled/Owned by: Nikka / Asahi Breweries

Region: Japan

40% ABV

Aged For: NAS, VSOP

Cask Type: Undisclosed

Distillate: Apples

Chill Filtered: Undisclosed

Color Added: Undisclosed

Color: Autumn orange

Drank: Neat, in a glencairn

Nose: Apple cider, mulled wine, cloves, dry leaves, and earthy fruit

Mouthfeel: Light bodied, dry

Palate/Taste: Cinnamon, apple butter, young tasting, bits of cantaloupe

Finish: Short to medium length, apple crisp, orchard fruit, melon, and bitter apple cores.

Thoughts: Not on par with the calvados I have had, it just tastes young and like boozy bitter apple juice.

Score: 67 out of 100

Remy Martin VSOP


Price: $35 for 750ml

Distilled/Owned by: Remy Martin

Region: France

40% ABV

Aged For: NAS, 4-12 years

Cask Type: Oak casks

Chill Filtered: Yes

Color Added:Yes

Color: Amber


Nose: Wood pulp, white grapes, citrus, grass, floral

Mouthfeel: Light bodied

Palate/Taste: Light grape, oak, dried citrus, raisin, and floral notes

Finish: Short, and light warmth, light grape and floral notes with artificial sweetner

Thoughts: Not a fan, too light, sweet, and artificial.

Score: 68 out of 100

Kill Devil 2007 Hampden 10-Year

Kill Devil 2007 Hampden 10

Price: $70 for 700ml

Distilled/Owned by: Hampden / Hunter Laing

Region: Jamaica

64.1% ABV

Distillate: Molasses

Aged For: 10 years, distilled 2007

Cask Type: Undisclosed

Chill Filtered: No

Additives used: No

Color: Pale gold

Drank: Neat, in a glencairn

Nose: Rubbery funk, nail polish, sour floral notes, rotten fruit

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and oily, then becomes dry

Palate/Taste: Honey, varnish, gasoline, grapefruit, vanilla, oak, pepper, and leather

Finish: Long and hot, honey, bitter, mango, pepper, and oak

Thoughts: I keep hearing a lot a praise for Hampden’s funk, but after trying this I don’t think it’s a profile I enjoy.

Score: 65 out of 100

Old Portrero Single Cask Chardonnay “K&L”

Old Potrero SB K&L

Price: Discontinued

Distilled/Owned by: Anchor Distilling / Hotaling & Co

Region: California

55.3% ABV

Mashbill: 100% malted rye

Aged For: NAS

Cask Type: New charred oak, finished in Chardonnay casks

Chill Filtered: No?



Color: Orange Copper

Drank: Neat, in a glencairn.

Nose: Rotted grapes, rye spice, fruit and more white grapes, caramel, and oak.

Mouthfeel: Medium body

Palate/Taste: Green oak, rye, grapes, mint, vanilla, pine,

Finish: Medium length and warmth, sour grapes, oak, vanilla, cinnamon, and pepper.

Thoughts: There’s this sour wine note throughout that does not pair well with the natural herbal rye tones here. I don’t know if it’s the base malt I’m disagreeing with or the cask finish, but this one isn’t for me.

Score: 65 out of 100


James E. Pepper Barrel Proof

James E Pepper

Price: $35 for 750ml

Distilled/Owned by: MGP / James Pepper

Region: America

57.3% ABV

Mashbill: 95% Rye, 5% malted barley

Aged For: 2 years

Cask Type: New charred oak

Chill Filtered: No



Color: Copper

Drank: Neat, in a glencairn.

Nose: Strong herbal overtone with rye spice and underlying dill, very alcohol forward

Mouthfeel: Hot and oily

Palate/Taste: Herb blast with a strong sour vegetal taste. Pepper, oak, mint, and turpentine.

Finish: Medium length and hot, with peppers, dill, earthy rye, and eucalyptus.

Thoughts: It was overwhelming hot and herbal for my palate, it reminds me of an unrefined HW Double Rye (with good reason) and I’m not a fan.

Score: 67 out of 100


Old Forester

Old Forester

Price: $25 for 750ml

Distilled/Owned by: Brown-Forman

Region: Kentucky

43% ABV

Mashbill: 72% Corn, 18% rye, 10% Barley

Aged For: NAS

Cask Type: New charred oak, Char # 3

Chill Filtered: Yes



Color: Light amber

Drank: Neat, in a glencairn.

Nose: Thin caramel and cinnamon with bits of sugar and char, slight rye

Mouthfeel: Hot for proof, rough

Palate/Taste: Caramel, oak, tobacco, clove, cinnamon, and metallic

Finish: Still hot and bitter, oak and spices as it begins to fade into pepper.

Thoughts: Granted I sampled this from one of those little 50ml bottles, but it was a complete hot mess. Not recommended.

Score: 69 out of 100

Lexington Bourbon

Lexington Bourbon

Price: $21 for 750ml

Distilled/Owned by: Sourced / Western Spirits

Region: Kentucky

43% ABV

Mashbill: Undisclosed

Aged For: NAS

Cask Type: New charred oak

Chill Filtered: Yes

Color Added: Possibly



Color: Lightish amber

Drank: Neat, in a glencairn.

Nose: Vanilla, young grains, caramel, and sweet sugar

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied

Palate/Taste: Bitter corn, salty oak, caramel, and vanilla

Finish: Short, quick bits of pepper and oak.

Thoughts: Bourbon is not the most complex of the whisky family, but this is almost sleep inducing with its blandness.

Score: 68 out of 100