Review: Scapa 10 Gordon & MacPhail Distillery Label

Paid: $60 for 750ml

Distilled/Owned by: Scapa / Gordon and Macphail

Region: Island (Orkney)

43% ABV

Aged For: 10-Years

Mashbill: 100% malted barley

Cask Type: First-Fill Bourbon casks

Chill Filtered: No

Color Added: No

Color: White wine

Drank: Neat, in a glencairn

Nose: Light fruit, apples, vanilla, salt, oak, lime, and toast

Feel: Medium, on the oily side

Taste: Lots of creamy vanilla, oak, honey, kiwi, beeswax, and custard

Finish: Shorter to medium, medium warmth. Light pepper, oak, vanilla, milk chocolate, butter, maybe even a touch of smoke.

Thoughts: I have been wanting to try a Scapa for awhile, but I missed the boat on the 16, and I have yet to hear anything good about Skiren so I jumped to try this at a decent price. It’s a solid bourbon aged scotch and a great warm weather sipper.

Score: 82 out of 100

Review: Midleton Very Rare 2015

Happy St. Patricks day whiskybois!

Paid: $170 for 750ml

Distilled/Owned by: Midleton / Pernond Ricard

Region: Ireland

40% ABV

Aged For: NAS, stated to be a blend of between 12 to 25 years

Mashbill: Undisclosed, blend of single pot still and grain whisky

Cask Type: Undisclosed but often bourbon or sherry

Chill Filtered: No

Color Added: No

Color: Golden

Drank: Neat, in a glencairn

Nose: Honey and apples, cream, caramel, oak, cinnamon, pear, vanilla

Feel: Light bodied

Taste: Vanilla, cream, butterscotch, corn, earth, floral, wheat, and baking spices

Finish: Light warmth and medium length, milk chocolate, vanilla, butterscotch, apples, honey, malt, grains, and floral.

Thoughts: There are no unpleasant off notes, and this is what your average whisky drinker would call “smooth”, because of this though the body and finish are a touch weak on an otherwise tastey dram.

Score: 80 out of 100

Review: Canadian Club Chronicles 41

Paid: $299 for 750ml

Distilled/Owned by: Canadian Club / Beam Suntory

Region: Canada

45% ABV

Aged For: 41 Years, but additives may be younger, batched and barreled in 1977

Mashbill: Blend of whiskies using rye, malted rye, malted barley, and corn

Cask Type: Undisclosed, but likely refill casks

Chill Filtered: Yes

Addatives: Blended with amounts of Cognac, rye, and sherry

Color: Golden

Drank: Neat, in a glencairn

Nose: White chocolate, oak, white pepper, butter, sweet corn, cloves, pipe tobacco, and muscat grapes

Feel: Medium body

Taste: Vanilla, cream, butter, caramel sauce, coffee, apples, milk chocolate, oak

Finish: Gentle warmth, medium length, a touch more pepper and oak with vanilla, custard, almond paste, and more white chocolate with just a touch of sherry

Thoughts: If you like vanilla or white chocolate with a touch of fruit this will be the drink for you. Blended more for the average persons idea of a fancy whisky rather than a whisky snob, but still a good showing. Cut the price tag in half and it would be a great buy.

Score: 83 out of 100

Review: L’Encantada “Lous Pibous” 14-Year 2003 #183 Lincoln Road

Paid: $150 for 750ml

Distilled/Owned by: “Lous Pibous” / L’Encantada

Region: Bas Armagnac

56.5% ABV

Aged For: 14-Years

Cask Type: New Oak

Chill Filtered: No

Additives: No

Color: Chestnut

Drank: Neat, in a glencairn

Nose: Caramel, herbal spices, oak, incense, jasmine, dates, floral coffee, rye whiskey

Mouthfeel: Hot, medium body

Palate/Taste: A lot of pronounced spice and oak, tannins, caramel, cinnamon, raisins, herbal tea, pepper, wasabi, and spearmint.

Finish: Very warm and long, slightly bitter with lasting oak, pepper, citrus, dry grapes, and leather.

Thoughts: I can see why Pibous gets so much love from bourbon fans, it reminds me more of a rye or bourbon than brandy. However when I want brandy, generally I want something… well more brandy like! I find it hard to put a score on this as it’s a good drink, but if I personally were to rank and stack it as a brandy it would be middle of the road.

Score: 80 out of 100

Review: Deanston 9 Year 2008 Brandy Cask Finish

Price: $60

Distilled/Owned by: Deantson / Distell

Region: Highland

56.4% ABV

Aged For: 9 Years, distilled 2008

Mashbill: 100% malted barley

Cask Type: Ex-bourbon, finished in brandy casks

Chill Filtered: No

Color Added: No

Color: Golden

Drank: Neat, in a glencairn

Nose: Calvados, apples, honey, pipe tobacco, tropical rum notes?/molasses

Feel: Full, creamy, spicy

Taste: Pepper, spices, oak, honey, malt, citrus, calvados, sour apple, slightly bitter

Finish: Long, warm, spices, oak, molasses, vanilla, bitter citrus

Thoughts: Very calvados like, but with thicker mouthfeel and more spice

Score: 80 out of 100

Domaine d’Esperance 14 Year 1998

Domaine d’Esperance 98

Paid: $95 for 750ml

Distilled/Owned by: Domaine d’Esperance

Region: Bas Armagnac, France

49% ABV

Aged For: 14 years

Grapes: Baco 22 A

Cask Type: French Gascon Oak, medium toast

Chill Filtered: No

Color Added: No


Color: Tawny

Drank: Neat, in a glencairn

Nose: Oak, sweet grapes, cinnamon, butterscotch, baking spices

Mouthfeel: Supple

Palate/Taste: A nice dry sweetness, raisins, toasted oak, coffee, and rye spice

Finish: Medium warmth and length, dry port wine, cloves oak, fig, and chocolate

Thoughts: This is one of the younger Armagnacs I have tried that would appeal to a bourbon drinker, while still being very distinctly a brandy.

Score: 83 out of 100

Plantation XO 20th Anniversary

Plantation XO 20th Anniversary

Price: $60 for 750ml

Distilled/Owned by: Sourced / Pierre Ferrand

Region: Barbados

40% ABV

Distillate: Molasses

Aged For: Blend of rums from 10 to 25 years

Cask Type:  New white oak, ex-bourbon, and Cognac casks

Chill Filtered: Undisclosed

Additives used: Yes


Color: Chestnut

Drank: Neat, in a glencairn

Nose: Molasses, oak, chocolate, toasted nuts, brown sugar, and vanilla

Mouthfeel:  Light bodied

Palate/Taste: Coconut, caramel, vanilla, brown sugar, oak, and fruit

Finish: Light warmth and length, Cola, cream, vanilla, caramel, and sugar

Thoughts: On its own it’s a decent sipping rum, but very sweet and not overly complex. I have noticed it pairs very well with cigars however.
Score: 80 out of 100