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

High West Rendezvous Rye Campfire Finish

HW RR Select

 

Price: $80 for 750ml

Distilled/Owned by: MGP & Barton / Constellation Brands

Region: America

50% ABV

Aged For: Minimum 5 Years, finished additional 2.2 Years

Mashbill: 95% rye, 5% barley, & 53% rye, 37% corn, 10% barley, & 80% rye, 10% corn, 10% barley

Cask Type: New charred oak, finished in barrels that held High West Campfire

Chill Filtered: No


 

Color: Copper

Drank: Neat, in a glencairn

Nose: Caramel, vanilla, cinnamon, oak, rye, sharp sweetness, heather

Feel: Medium body

Taste: Rye, cinnamon, clove, tobacco, pepper, coriander, fennel, oak, vanilla

Finish: Medium warmth and length, honey, vanilla, oak, and rye spices

Thoughts: The campfire barrel really mellowed the rye out, without sacrificing flavor. Still very much a rye, but a nice change of pace.
Score: 82 out of 100

Glengoyne 8-Year 2008 Hepburn’s Choice

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Paid: $42 for 700ml

Distilled/Owned by: Glengoyne / Hunter Laing

Region: Highland

46% ABV

Aged For: 8 Years, Distilled 2008

Mashbill: 100% malted barley

Cask Type: Refill-Hogshead

Chill Filtered: No

Color Added: No


Color: White wine

Drank: Neat, in a glencairn

Nose: Airy, honey, malt, vanilla, light fruit, spirity

Feel: Medium to full body

Taste: Young malt spirit, oak, vanilla, leathery honey, highland herbs

Finish: Medium warmth and length, barley, honey, vanilla, oak, and a bit of pepper

Thoughts: An example of a young malt driven scotch that manages to be good.
Score: 80 out of 100

Michel Huard Reserve Hors d’ Age Le Pertyer Calvados

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Paid: $60 for 750ml

Distilled/Owned by: Huard

Region: Normandy, France

40% ABV

Aged For: NAS, Hors d’ Age

Cask Type: Oak Casks

Distillate: About 30 types of apple

Chill Filtered: Undisclosed

Color Added: Undisclosed

 


Color: Off gold

Drank: Neat, in a glencairn

Nose: Apple cinnamon tart, orchard fruit, baking spices, more apples

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body

Palate/Taste: Cinnamon, nutmeg, apple, caramel, baking spice, and what I can best describe as autumn flavors

Finish: Medium warmth and length, apple, tart, dry, crisp sweetness

Thoughts: It’s the fall season in a bottle!

Score: 80 out of 100

Review: Clément 10 Year Grande Reserve

Price: $75 for 750ml

Distilled/Owned by: Rhumerie du Simon / Bernard Hayot

Region: Martinique

42% ABV

Distillate: Sugar cane juice

Aged For: 10 Years

Cask Type: Virgin and re-charred oak barrels

Chill Filtered: Undisclosed

Additives used: No


Color: Light tawny

Drank: Neat, in a glencairn

Nose: It’s a very fresh scent, oak, vanilla, chocolate, pineapple, white tea, cane sugar, lilac, and tropical fruit

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body

Palate/Taste: Vanilla oak with macadamia nuts and white chocolate, custard, papaya, simple syrup and pipe tobacco

Finish: Medium warmth and long lasting, oak and pepper with bakery sweets followed by plantains covered in brown sugar with a slight vegetal and earthy finish

Thoughts: After not enjoying several white and young rhum Agricole I decided I had to try one with some age on it. I love oak and barrel influence on my spirits, and young spirity drinks are not my thing (Gin and I don’t get along) so it remedied a lot of what I disliked about white Agricole. It was fresh but still sweet and deep. I want to scoop up a few more and broaden my horizons.

Score: 83 out of 100

Review: Little Book Chapter 2: Noe Simple Task

Paid: $80 for 750ml

Distilled/Owned by: Jim Beam & Undisclosed Canadian Distiller(s) / Beam Suntory

Region: Kentucky & Canada

55.9% ABV

Aged For: NAS (Blend of 8, 13, and 40 Year whisky)

Mashbill: Undisclosed (Blend of Kentucky rye, Canadian rye, and Canadian Corn whisky)

Cask Type: Mix of new charred oak, re-charred barrels, and ex-bourbon casks

Chill Filtered: No

Color Added: No

Color: Golden

Drank: Neat, in a glencairn

Nose: Cinnamon rye spice, butterscotch, eucalyptus, vanilla syrup, lavender, caraway seeds, cracked corn, and caramel, the scent of alcohol lingers moderately in the background

Feel: Medium body

Taste: Cloves, tobacco, black pepper, rye, oak, cinnamon, toffee, butterscotch, herbal notes with perhaps cumin? Apple and VSOP brandy if I really focus on the fruit aspects. Bounces back and forth between sweet and spicy herbal.

Finish: Medium length and warmth. If the palate fought over spicy and sweet, sweet is winning now. Oak, vanilla, caramel, honey, butterscotch, and cream soda, with rye spice having a nice linger in the background.

Thoughts: I actually think Freddie made a decent blend here. The rye spices and sweet buttery flavors of old Canadian corn whisky pair nicely. The palate could have used a bit more body, and with most releases these days its priced $25 to $35 dollars over what it should be, but overall its something I think most fans of rye or bourbon would enjoy.

Score: 82 out of 100