Google A few more American whiskies

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

January 25, 2018


A few more American whiskies

Just what we have in the box these days… Do not expect old glories, but it’s always nice to be able to revisit a few regulars, and perhaps some rare ones too…

Buffalo Trace (40%, OB, Kentucky Straight Bourbon, +/-2017)

Buffalo Trace (40%, OB, Kentucky Straight Bourbon, +/-2017) Three stars
Not a very expensive one, you’ll find it for around 25€ in French hypermarkets. A shame that it’s gone from 45 to 40% vol. a while back. Colour: gold. Nose: shall we say ‘nice’? It’s rather light in style but it does talk, with a blend of honey and maple syrup, and not too much bland vanilla-ness. Some toasted rye bread, notes of gingerbread, a touch of wet earth (could be the rye), and a little soft curry, always enjoyed here. Really, I think it’s a nice nose. Mouth: soft, and indeed 43% vol. or more would have worked better, but this bread/gingerbread combination works very well. More maple syrup, honey sweets, cappuccino, Demerara sugar, soft liquorice, gingerbread… Finish: medium, a tad more caramely. Corn syrup and molasses in the aftertaste, but that’s all right. Comments: serious Bourbon. I think I liked it better than some smaller batches of BT!
SGP:641 - 82 points.

Evan Williams ‘White Label’ (50%, OB, Kentucky Straight Bourbon, +/-2017)

Evan Williams ‘White Label’ (50%, OB, Kentucky Straight Bourbon, +/-2017) Two stars and a half
Heaven Hill’s turn… This is not very expensive either. Colour: dark amber. Nose: there’s more heavy sweet oak in this one, café latte, vanilla cream, speculoos, touches of lavender and violets, and grandma’s old cookie jar. A wee bit of varnish and glue. With water: gets rather spicier and earthier. Damp wood, sawdust. Mouth (neat): rich, on many kinds of sweets and other regressive foods, marshmallows, orange liqueur, and indeed vanilla. A gritty side in the back, but that may be the higher strength. With water: it’s the sweetness that wins it. Notes of banana skins and sawdust in the background. Finish: medium an a tad oaky. Black tea, cinnamon, Parma violets. Comments: a tad less easy than the BT. Not a total fan of all this oak, but it’s a style indeed.
SGP:631 - 78 points.

Hudson ‘Manhattan Rye’ (46%, OB, +/-2017)

Hudson ‘Manhattan Rye’ (46%, OB, +/-2017) Three stars
The famous speed-aged Rye from Tuthilltown. It doesn’t say it’s whisky, so it’s probably very young. I last tried this version in… 2008, when it was still ‘Hudson Whiskey’. How time flies… Colour: amber. Nose: funny spirit, between cologne and speculoos, with notes of lilies of the valley and juniper berries, plus pumpernickel and orange blossom water. Perhaps a little closer to gin than to whisky, but I won’t deny that it’s extremely well made. There. Mouth: certainly more ‘whisky’. Massive bready and sweetly spicy arrival, with some thyme and rosemary, plus orange liqueur, cranberry syrup, juniper, and cloves. Thick mouth feel. Finish: long, thick, oily, with many spices and tiny berries. Checkerberries for sure. Liquorice allsorts in the aftertaste. Comments: very unusual, but characterful and kind of sexy. And with a brilliant time-to-market, I suppose.
SGP:651 - 80 points.

FEW ‘Bourbon’ (46.50%, OB, +/-2017)

FEW ‘Bourbon’ (46.50%, OB, +/-2017) Three stars and a half
I’ve liked all the other FEWs I could try (the ryes, the single malt etc.) Colour: amber. Nose: it is, indeed, very ‘bourbon’, with some vanilla cake, some roasted chestnuts and pecans, some maple syrup, some sweeter cloves, and a curious coastal side that’s adding some complexity. Very nice touches of fermenting oranges and cardamom. Mouth: I know it’s some high-maize/corn bourbon but I find it rather spicy and rye-y, with touches of lavender, grenadine, grist, caramel pie, coffee toffee… I’m even finding bananas flambéed, or even arranged rum (spiced). Quite a ride. Finish: rather long and a tad oakier and breadier now. Gingerbread and quite a lot of cinnamon – or rather cinnamon cake, with oranges in the aftertaste. Comments: a distiller you can trust! The ryes are a tad more outgoing (and outspoken), but this wee bourbon just does it.
SGP:551 - 84 points.

Perhaps an indie now, and we’re done…

Heaven Hill 8 yo (48.8%, Valinch & Mallet, Kentucky Straight Bourbon, 2016)

Heaven Hill 8 yo (48.8%, Valinch & Mallet, Kentucky Straight Bourbon, 2016) Four stars and a half
Interesting, very interesting… We had seen quite a few George Dickels by some indie bottlers in the last months, but this is different, obviously. Really curious… Colour: dark gold. Nose: aren’t we going a little more towards malt whisky here? As if it was a little more about the distillate, and a little less about the wood. Utterly love these pine-y whiffs, pine needles, moss, fern, then the lime, this wee feeling of ti-vieux (that’s a ti-punch made with aged rum), pistachios, caramel cream, crème brulée, rye, buckwheat (Breton galettes)… Only good things to say so far (who said for a change, who?) Mouth: my, this is hugely spicy! Did they redistill gingerbread liqueur? Sure that exists… Also many notes of cool vegetables, Brussels sprout, sweet carrots, broccolis (I’m joking, no broccolis)… Gets then a little rounder and sweeter, with the usual maple syrup and Demerara sugar, but it does keep this tenser, ‘maltier’ side all along. Which, naturally, we enjoy at WF Towers. Finish: rather long, and to tell you the truth, this could have been some Glen Garioch matured in heavily-charred virgin US oak. Seriously! Comments: loud applause.
SGP:651 - 88 points.

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






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