Review: Ancient Ancient Age 10 Star

Paid: $30 for 1.75 Liters

Distilled/Owned by: Buffalo Trace / Sazerac

Region: Kentucky

45% ABV

Aged For: Minimum 3 years

Mashbill: Buffalo Trace Mash Bill #2

Cask Type: New Charred Oak

Chill Filtered: Yes

Color: Tawny

Drank: Neat, in a glencairn

Nose: Corn mash, oak, clove, caramel, dirt, tobacco, pepper

Feel: Thin, light bodied

Taste: Young corn mash, pepper, oak, musty earth, cherry, touch of rye

Finish: Short to medium length and medium warmth. Again you taste the young corn distillate, cardboard, oak, pepper, cocoa, and rye.

Thoughts: There are solid standard bourbon flavors to be found here, but the downside is this is probably mostly young stuff and it shows in the taste. I would assume it makes for a good mixer though.

Score: 73 out of 100

Review: Mic Drop 4 Year L19-01

Paid: $60 for 750ml

Distilled/Owned by: MGP / PM Spirits

Region: Indiana

56.1% ABV

Aged For: 4-Years

Mashbill: 60% corn, 36% rye, 4% barley

Cask Type: New charred oak barrels from Zak Cooperage

Chill Filtered: No

Color: Chestnut

Drank: Neat, in a glencairn

Nose: Young oak, caramel, sawdust, banana, cinnamon, licorice, pepper, honey, corn

Feel: Medium body

Taste: Starts out earthy with a nutty profile, oak, cherry, citrus, coffee, corn mash, with a floral flourish

Finish: Medium warmth and length, Banana returns with caramel, oak, pepper, leather, honey, and balance of fruit and floral notes.

Thoughts: For a four year old bourbon this has a pretty good balance and drinks well for it’s age, but there is not mistaking its young. At MSRP it’s a bit overpriced, but hey its funding some U.S. brandy distribution so there’s that.

Score: 74 out of 100

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: Canadian Club Small Batch Classic 12

Paid: $20 for 750ml

Distilled/Owned by: Hiram Walker / Beam Suntory

Region: Canada

40% ABV

Aged For: 12 Years, batch C12-018

Mashbill: Undisclosed amounts of barley, rye, and corn

Cask Type: First fill bourbon or ex-Canadian whisky barrels

Chill Filtered: Yes

Color Added: Yes

Color: Golden

Drank: Neat, in a glencairn

Nose: Caramel, grains, vanilla, maple, cedar, rye, and cream

Feel: Light bodied

Taste: Vanilla, honey, maple, rye, oak, baking spices

Finish: Short, little warmth, vanilla, cream, honey, oak, caramel, and a slight bitter aftertaste

Thoughts: For $20 this isn’t bad, it’s simple and easy to drink, whisky for people who think bourbon is to intense sort of thing.

Score: 70 out of 100

Review: Compass Box Asyla

Paid: $50 for 750ml

Distilled/Owned by: Cameronbridge, Glen Elgin, Teaninich, Linkwood / Compass Box

Region: Blend

40% ABV

Aged For: NAS

Cask Type: First Fill American oak, refill hogsheads

Chill Filtered: No

Color Added: No

Color: White wine

Drank: Neat, in a glencairn

Nose: Pears, vanilla, floral, citrus, “green fruits”

Feel: Light and delicate

Taste: Apple, melon, vanilla, citrus, oak, brine

Finish: Short, gentle, vanilla, apple, lemon, white chocolate, and a touch of salinity

Thoughts: The front of the bottle says delicate, fruity, and balanced and I’d mostly agree with that. A good aperitif scotch to pair with appetizers, or desert, but not too much to write home about on it’s own. As a blend it is superior to a lot of the big boys though.

Score: 73 out of 100

Review: Mars Kumamoto Bartenders Project

Price: $90 for 700 ml

Distilled/Owned by: Shinshu Mars / Hombo Shuzo Co

Region: Japan

43% ABV

Aged For: NAS

Mashbill: 100% malted barley

Color: Amber

Drank: Neat, in a glencairn

Nose: Honey, malt, light smoke, oak, maybe a light fruit note buried deep down?

Feel: Light to medium body

Taste: Vanilla, honey, malt, oak, hay, and light smoke, “delicate”

Finish: Light warmth, medium length, malty with vanilla and honey notes

Thoughts: It’s a pretty basic blended malt with no real flavor popping out, but nothing offensive either. Tastes young, but not in a bad way.

Score: 73 out of 100

Review: Ezra Brooks

Paid: $12 for 1 liter

Distilled/Owned by: Heaven Hill / Luxco

Region: Kentucky

45% ABV

Aged For: NAS

Mashbill: Undisclosed

Cask Type: New charred oak

Chill Filtered: Charcoal filtered

Color: Light amber

Drank: Neat, in a glencairn

Nose: Light caramel, corn, oak, vanilla. This one is really simple, nothing offense to it, just plain Jane

Feel: Light to medium body

Taste: Vanilla, corn, nutmeg, oak, and light hints of pepper. Again, nothing complex about it, but nothing offensive either.

Finish: Light to medium warmth, vanilla, caramel, honey, and spices.

Thoughts: For $12 you could do a hell of a lot worse, at the same time the old 7 year was $20 and was one of my go to every day bourbons and this is nowhere near that. Simple, and easy.

Score: 70 out of 100

Berneroy XO Calvados

Berneroy XO Calvados

Price: $30 for 750ml

Distilled/Owned by: Berneroy

Region: Normandy, France

40% ABV

Aged For: NAS, XO, Minimum 6 Years

Cask Type: “Seasoned” Barrels

Distillate: 180+ types of apples

Chill Filtered: Undisclosed

Color Added: Undisclosed


Color: Tarnished gold

Drank: Neat, in a glencairn

Nose: Cinnamon, apple, nougat, floral, and sugary fruits

Mouthfeel: Light bodied

Palate/Taste: Apples, vanilla, gentle plum, fig, floral, cider

Finish: Light warmth, short in length, apple, cinnamon, with pear, orchard fruit, and gentle oak

Thoughts: The flavors are solid, but the palate and finish are too gentle and weak for my personal preference.

Score: 74 out of 100

El Dorado 3 Year

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Price: $15 for 750ml

Distilled/Owned by: El Dorado

Region: Guyana

40% ABV

Distillate: Molasses

Aged For: 3 years

Cask Type: Oak

Chill Filtered: Yes

Additives used: Yes


Color: Clear

Drank: Neat, in a glencairn

Nose: Coconut husks, sugar cane, molasses, grass, fresh and crisp

Mouthfeel:  Light bodied, but coating

Palate/Taste: Vanilla, coconut, grass, and sugar crystals

Finish: Light warmth, medium length, vanilla and cane sugar

Thoughts: A good mixing rum, but too simple to shine neat on it’s own.

 

Score: 74 out of 100

Kaiyo Japanese Mizunara Oak

img_20180816_170045

Price: $65 for 750ml

Distilled/Owned by: Sourced Teaspoon malt / Kaiyo

Region: Japan

43% ABV

Aged For: NAS, and aged at sea!

Mashbill: 100% malted barley

Cask Type: Mizaunara Oak

Chill Filtered: No

Color Added: Undisclosed


Color: Golden

Drank: Neat, in a glencairn

Nose: Herbal spice, earthy, weeds, oak, sugar, and salt

Feel:Medium body

Taste: Cream, vanilla, herbal, grass, and caramel

Finish: Caramel, vanilla, oak, herbal rye, malt, shorter length, light warmth

Thoughts: I actually think this is superior to the cask strength version, it tastes less like a young craft whisky and more like it’s own thing. Still doesn’t make it a good whisky though.

Score: 72 out of 100