Review: Barrell Rye Single Barrel 13-Year Astor Wine & Spirits

Paid: $109 for 750ml

Distilled/Owned by: Sourced / Barrell

Region: Canada

66.39% ABV

Aged For: 13-Years

Mashbill: 100% rye

Cask Type: Undisclosed, Likely ex-bourbon Cask# L956

Chill Filtered: No

Color Added: No

Color: Burnished

Drank: Neat, in a glencairn

Nose: Alcohol whiff with baked bread, oak, cracked pepper, coriander seeds, caramel, vanilla, and herbs

Feel: Full bodied

Taste: Rich spice, tobacco, cardamom, oak, pepper, rye, caramel, clove, and touch of mint

Finish: Warm and lasting, with cocoa, peach, anise, caramel, vanilla, oak, pepper, and cedar notes

Thoughts: Lots of rich spices here with an underlying sweetness to balance it out.

Score: 84 out of 100

Review: Nikka Miyagikyo

Price: $80 for 750ml

Distilled/Owned by: Miyagikyo / Asahi Breweries

Region: Japan

45% ABV

Aged For: NAS

Mashbill: 100% malted barley

Cask Type: Ex-bourbon, new American oak, sherry casks

Color: Amontillado sherry

Drank: Neat, in a glencairn

Nose: Orchard fruits, apples, pears, floral, fresh, touch of sherry, oak, nuts, and ginger

Feel: Medium body

Taste: Honey, malt, vanilla, sherry, dried fruit, citrus, floral notes, and apples

Finish: Light to medium warmth and slightly under medium length duration, lots of honey, orchard fruit, dried citrus, and light sherry notes

Thoughts: Gentle and fruity and very much in the vein of speyside scotch. An easy drinker, but a touch overpriced for its current state.

Score: 79 out of 100

Review: Nikka Yoichi 2000’s

Price: Roughly $250 for 500ml

Distilled/Owned by: Yoichi / Nikka

Region: Japan

57% ABV

Aged For: NAS, distillate from 2000 through 2009

Mashbill: 100% malted barley

Cask Type: Undisclosed

Chill Filtered:No

Color Added: No

Color: Pale gold

Drank: Neat, in a glencairn

Nose: Powerful peat, vanilla, graphite, sawdust, caramel, pepper, citrus, pear

Feel: Rich

Taste: Apples, rosewater, butterscotch, oak, vanilla, mint, campfire ashes, honey

Finish: Medium length and warmth, saltwater spray, cream, tannins, malt, and hay with slight smoke

Thoughts: The high ABV helps immensely with the mouthfeel and is a good young peated whisky with a good mouthfeel and flavor range.

Score: 84 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: 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: 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: 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

Kirin Fuji-Sanroku

Kirin Fuji-Sanroku

Distilled/Owned by: Kirin

Region: Japan

50% ABV

Aged For: NAS

Chill Filtered: No


Color: Light Amber

Drank: Neat, in a glencairn

Nose: Banana, honey, oak, grains, cream, and spice

Feel: Medium to full bodied

Taste: Sweet and fruity with banana, coconut, vanilla, and cream

Finish: Warm, lasting, vanilla, honey, chocolate, almond, spices, and a touch of fruit

Thoughts: The heavy banana notes were a bit off-putting for me, but otherwise a standard fruity malt

Score: 75 out of 100

Crown Royal Hand Selected Barrel Duex

img_20180810_225308

Paid: $60 for 750ml

Distilled/Owned by: Crown Royal / Diageo

Region: Canada

51.5% ABV

Aged For: NAS

Mashbill: 64% corn, 31.5% rye, and 4.5% malted barley

Cask Type: New oak, and maybe reused casks

Chill Filtered: No

Color Added: No


Color: Gold

Drank: Neat, in a glencairn

Nose: Sharp grain, sweet oak, vanilla, honey, earth, flowers, and light bubblegum

Feel: Medium body

Taste: Sweet, simple syrup, honey, artificial vanilla, corn, and oak

Finish: Medium warmth and length, sweet oak and bubblegum, touches of fruit and oak

Thoughts: Much harsher than the last barrel I tried and I’m hoping some air will do this one good over time.

Score: 75 out of 100