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

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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

Kaiyo Japanese Mizunara Oak

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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

Vicomte 9 Year Cask Strength

Vicomte CS

Price: $60

Distilled/Owned by: Vicomte

Region: France

67.8% ABV

Aged For: 9 Years

Mashbill: 100% malted barley

Cask Type: Limousin French Oak, finished in Cognac casks

Chill Filtered: No

Color Added: No


Color: Light amber

Drank: Neat, in a glencairn

Nose: Heather, honey, shar grains, wet hay, sour wine, cognac, graphite, wood shavings

Feel:Full bodied

Taste: Smarties candy, champagne, pineapple, and table sugar

Finish: Medium heat and length, sweet and savory, Artificial grape flavor

Thoughts: Much too sweet for me, and I’m a big sherry and port finish fan. I’m not the biggest Cognac fan either, so I’m sure that didn’t help.

Score: 60 out of 100