Google American madness part deux

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Hi, this is one of our (almost) daily tastings. Santé!

April 3, 2018


American madness, five at a time,
part deux

Simply going on with what we have in the library, five at a time…

Reservoir Rye (50%, OB, American whiskey, +/-2017)

Reservoir Rye (50%, OB, American whiskey, +/-2017) Four stars
From a genuine distillery in Richmond, Virginia, and hundred percent rye, hurray! So not madly branded and story-told sourced whisky, apparently… Colour: dark amber. Nose: there, kudos! Some bread and some chestnut honey, some rye (seriously) and a good five slices of the moistenedmost pumpernickel. Could be just a few months old but we just shan’t care in this context. Mouth: very very, and I mean very good. Very earthy rye, blood oranges, liquorice, sweet and spicy chutneys, and more chestnut honey. Very rich, but perfectly clean. We’re keeping this short and sweet, but I’m pretty impressed. Finish: long, perfect, liquoricy and chestnutty. Dark maple syrup and not-too-sweet moscatel in the aftertaste, plus some earthy and spicy rye. Some raw buckwheat too, which is funny. Comments: I don’t know if they’re using the ‘craft’ word, but they sure know their craft. Did I tell you I was impressed?
SGP:561 - 87 points.

While we’re at rye…

FEW ‘Rye Cask Strength’ (60.5%, OB, USA, +/-2018)

FEW ‘Rye Cask Strength’ (60.5%, OB, USA, +/-2018) Four stars and a half
We’ve already tried – twice – their rye at 46.5% and loved it (WF 86) but this seems to be different story. As FZ would have said, it’s made by those Illinois bandits… Psst, FZ = Frank Zappa. Colour: apricoty gold. Nose: a tad shier, more self-restrained than the Reservoir, but also perhaps more elegant, with lovely breads and old orangey/herbal liqueurs. Fresh warm baguette (I’m French, can’t change that) and various small flowers, woodruff, elderberry, honeysuckle… With water: earth and old books plus spicy mead. That always wins. Mouth (neat): ho-ho-ho, this rocks! Spiced-up oranges, caraway-y bread, zucchini flower beignet, fennel, raw celeriac, turmeric, ginseng… This is pretty insane, in truth. With water: and there, many breads, we’re almost having breakfast in a Viennese palace. Excuse me? Yes, with Champagne. Finish: long, a tad sweeter and rounder, with many honeys. That’s great, most whiskies get drier at this stage. Comments: loud applause. Sadly, it’s not in Chicago that I’m staying these days, I would have gone knocking on their door…
SGP:661 - 88 points.

All going goodly, but something even more extreme? Let’s try some juice from those mad people at Lost Spirits’…

Lost Spirits ‘Abomination Chapter 1 Crying of the Puma’ (54%, OB, American spirit drink, +/-2017)

Lost Spirits ‘Abomination Chapter 1 Crying of the Puma’ (54%, OB, American spirit drink, +/-2017) Two stars and a half
Long story short, this is something very controversial they’re making quick using a nifty device. And no, not Elon Musk. But we don’t taste methods or stories, we taste drinks. So… (although I’ve noticed from the label that they’ve been using ‘late harvest riesling seasoned American oak staves’ – rolling on the floor here…) Colour: orange amber. Nose: lapsang souchong tea blended with agricole rum and crumbles of garden peat. Not as stoopid as it sounds. Also raw wool, mud, and… what, Ardbeg? With water: an old Chinese medicine shop, with many roots, plants, and God knows what else.  Yes, Ardbeg, for example. Mouth (neat): yes and no. No because it’s very monolithic, and yes because the flavours are sexy. We won’t call this porn whisky, but indeed there’s something, say unusual, with mustard seeds, curry, and burnt latex. With water: sweeter, more on Asian fruits, vegetables, and spices. Turmeric’s coming out once again. Finish: that’s the weaker spot, it’s getting dry and pretty oaky. Cocoa powder and eating grass. Too bad, we were having lots of fun. Comments: how do you score such a crazy thing? Any ideas?
SGP:571 - 78 points (Angus gave it 72 a while back).

Noah’s Mill (57.2%, OB, bourbon, +/-2017)

Noah’s Mill (57.2%, OB, bourbon, +/-2017) Three stars
Don’t we all remember that wonderful Noah’s Mill 15 yo from around ten or fifteen years ago? (WF 87) This very version seems to have lost its age statement, as many have, but let’s see… Colour: amber. Nose: maximum vanilla, coconut, sawdust, and maple syrup. Nice but simple, like a Coldplay song (I know, I apologise, elitism kills…) With water: cakes in a bakery around 7am. Mouth (neat): frankly this is very good, straightforward, sweet and spicy, with cloves and tons of gingerbread. It’s just simple and it tastes ‘young’. With water: same. Good and simple, vanilla, rye, a clove-y bitterness, lavender… Finish: rather long, nicely spicy, rye-y, clove-y, gingery… Some honeydew on the aftertaste – and some green tannins. Comments: very good, just not totally magical anymore. Too young, perhaps…
SGP:461 - 82 points.

Willet’s 3 yo ‘Family Estate’ (53.7%, OB, Straight rye whiskey, +/-2017)

Willet’s 3 yo ‘Family Estate’ (53.7%, OB, Straight rye whiskey, +/-2017) Two stars and a half
This is well new Willet juice. How many great old Willets have we tried in the past? Legends… Oh and it was a smart idea to keep the old livery totally intact. Colour: deep gold. Nose: feels a tad harsh and indeed, young and grassy, but I do enjoy these notes of green peanuts, coffee beans, perhaps asparagus (the white ones, obviously, the green ones are for our English friends ;-)), and medicinal balms. It’s certainly not one of those easy/sexy young bourbons, even if there are also nice notes of green orange essence. With water: ge-ra-niums! Mouth (neat): like this distillate a lot. For once this is not all wood-driven, and I cannot not think of those small berry eaux-de-vie we’re making here in Alsace. Sorb, rowan, elder, holly… With water: really good spirit, straight and yet showing great signs of complexity, with a spicy flowery side that’s most pleasant. Finish: long, with hints of cologne and indeed geranium water. Comments: the last ‘new’ Willet we tried three years ago had been a little difficult (WF 73) but this one’s already showcasing depth, beside its own flowery/spicy style. IMHO as we used to say on the free Internet.
SGP:451 - 79 points.

More tasting notesCheck the index of all American whiskies we've tasted so far


Whiskyfun fav of the month

March 2018

Favourite recent bottling:
Teeling 27 yo (41.6%, OB, for Switzerland, Irish, single malt, rum cask, cask #658, 2017) - WF 92

Favourite older bottling:
Ardbeg 18 yo 'Special Liqueur' (91.3° US proof, OB, USA, Kraus Import New York, 4/5 quart, 1930s) - WF 95

Favourite bang for your buck bottling:
Ardbeg 10 yo ‘Ten’ (46%, OB, +/- 2018) - WF 90

Favourite malternative:
Hampden <H> 7 yo 2010/2017 (62%, Velier, 70th anniversary,Jamaica, #107, 1679 bottles) - WF 91






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