Tag Archives: Whiskey

Langs Banana Jamaican Rum, 37.5%

The rum world appears to be far more willing to embrace new flavours, styles & experimentation than that of whiskey.

Langs Banana Jamaican Rum is one of many flavoured rums to have hit the market lately – and it’s a growing market too!

Langs Rum is part of the diverse range of drinks offered by the Ian MacLeod Distillers empire.

The nose was very sweet & well – banana-y!

The sweetness followed through into a smooth & oily mouthfeel with the banana being complimented by hints of Jamaican funk & a welcome soft tingling spice on the rear.

Makes for a very easy & highly entertaining tipple.

Sláinte

Langs Rum website here.

Spirits Business report on Rum sales outselling Whisky here.

Ian MacLeod Distillers website here.

Tesco Napoleon Brandy, 3 Years Old, 36%

Why did I buy Tesco Napoleon Brandy?

A number of reasons.

To begin with it was there, on the shelf, in my local store, and in a 350ml bottle too, making it both accessible & affordable – increasingly important factors in the current economic climate.

Further, my St Remy VSOP Brandy, initially purchased for an WSET course back in 2019, was nearing it’s end. I found the brandy world shared – like whiskey – a set of rules & regulations governing it’s production – as well as a long history – plus barrel ageing too & I enjoyed the drinking experience, encouraging me to explore more.

Tesco Napoleon appeared a shade darker than my St Remy, suggestive of extra caramel, a permissible added ingredient for the category – just like whiskey.

Quite a shy nose – not very aromatic for me – soft sweet winey elements are all I got.

Smooth, soft mouthfeel, easy on the palate.

Dark notes of burnt caramel & a tingling warmth surfaced on the finish giving Tesco Napoleon a bit of a lift.

Lacked any hints of oakiness I enjoyed with St Remy.

After sampling Tesco Napoleon I read the label – Mellow And Smooth Taste – it says.

A very accurate appraisal of what I found.

Sláinte

Read my study method for the WSET exam here.

For an interesting read on ingredients in brandy see cognacreverie.com blog here.

WSET website here.

St Remy VSOP review here.

Corazón Anejo Tequila, 40%

I have a decision to make when reaching for Tequila.

Do I choose the influence of the raw materials used in production or the influence of wood in the maturation of that product?

Blue Agave is the raw material – 100% in this Corazón Tequila – but there are a few different production methods that can effect the taste – earthen pits vs brick ovens vs autoclave to cook the agave being some.

I didn’t check which method Corazón used before drinking & have yet to do a back to back taste test of all 3 methods to discern any resultant differences.

However I have done a back to back tasting of Blanco Tequila – unaged – vs Reposado – aged between 2 & 11 months – vs Anejo – aged for more than 1 year – and it does make a noticeable taste variation.

With Blanco it’s all about the agave. The rich earthy notes I love complimented by a spicy pepperiness on the finish usually topped off by an oily mouthfeel.

With Anejo those agave notes are somewhat diminished by the influence of wood. Oaky tannins, vanillas & caramel all make an appearance resulting in a softer more rounded drinking experience.

I begin to encounter flavours associated with aged whiskey – where it’s all about the wood – & therefore generally prefer Blanco.

That’s not to say Corazón Anejo isn’t a fine Tequila – it is.

Smooth & silky, those agave notes are blended expertly with warm woodiness building engaging flavours – but for an alternative to my usual whiskey tipple – Blanco is the way to go.

What’s your preference in a Tequila?

Sláinte

For an article on Tequila production methods read here.

Corazón Tequila website here.

For Tequila ageing categories read here.

Whiskey & Philosophy, Editors Fritz Allhoff & Marcus P Adams

Wow!

I’ve never read a whiskey book like this before.

Authors from differing disciplines were invited to submit essays on varying aspects relating to whiskey.

The results are highly entertaining, thought provoking and at times – challenging.

Can you apply Hegelian thought, Aristotle virtue, the philosophy of Dualism, Buddhism or plain old group think & social cohesion to tasting a whiskey?

It’s all in the mix of this publication.

Why do you like one whiskey over another?

Is taste malleable?

Does knowing the master blender, visiting the distillery, being part of the clan, liking the manufacturing techniques, agreeing with the sustainable policies, bottle design, price point all alter our experience of drinking whiskey?

I certainly have my views of the above – and they’ve been further enlightened by the discourse within the pages of this book.

Whiskey & Philosophy is a bold publication full of complexity & rich depth. The diverse elements combine elegantly giving creative excitement to this blended entity.

Highly recommended!

Sláinte

The Bootlegger by Clive Cussler & Justin Scott

Despite being a 2014 publication this rip roaring action packed story set in 1920’s prohibition times of rum running reads like a 1930’s boys own story.

The clean cut hero thwarts a Bolshevik takeover of the US with the help of his trusted friends.

There’s a little background into the dark underworld prohibition spawned with mentions of Haig & Haig, The Real McCoy, Canadian Club & Bushmills too.

Could easily be the plot for a classic style of B Movie.

Sláinte

Book image courtesy fruugo.ie

Nardini Grappa Bianca, 50%

I do love exploring other spirit categories.

They give variety, a different suite of flavours & a contrast to the whiskey I normally consume.

With whiskey – it’s all about the wood – to borrow a popular tagline.

With the trio of clear spirits represented by rum, tequila & grappa it’s more about the interplay of the raw ingredients & distillation process used to bring about a richness of taste in the unaged spirit.

Courtesy CelticWhiskeyShop

Clear spirit does not mean silent spirit – as this lovely Nardini Grappa Bianca demonstrates.

Nardini are one of the oldest & largest grappa distilleries in Italy where the leftovers from wine production – pomace – is distilled in a combination of copper stills to produce this rich & pungent spirit.

An earthy sweetness greeted me on the nose.

Smooth, oily mouthfeel with a rich, almost agricultural style of flavour going on.

Slight prickly spice on the rear.

I didn’t guess this was presented at 50%.

Yeah – Grappa grabs me!

Nice one Nardini.

Salute

St Rémy VSOP, French Brandy, 40%

Doing the Wine & Spirit Education Trust – WSET – Level 2 Spirits Course a few years ago opened my palate to spirit categories I hadn’t appreciated before.

Brandy being one of them.

This St Rémy bottle is a leftover from that course.

You have to taste a variety of spirits to pick out the characteristics of each category.

It looks like a whiskey.

The nose is sweet & fruity.

Soft, smooth & mellow on the palate.

Finishes with a gentle oaky spice.

An easy approachable drinker to sit back & mull over – if it wasn’t for the phylloxera epidemic of the 1860’s that wiped out most of the grapevines worldwide – could brandy have been as big as whiskey?

Sláinte

All images authors own.

8 Degrees, Devil’s Ladder Belgian Tripel, Sherry Cask Aged, 11.5%

Very rich tasting.

Very moreish.

A mountain of a beer at 11.5%.

Devil’s Ladder c/othewhiskeynut

Part of 8 Degrees Brewing Irish Munro series – this beer’s casks are in turn used to age a whiskey creating the Crested Devil’s Ladder version.

Crested Devil’s Ladder c/oCelticWhiskeyShop

As both 8 Degrees & Crested are owned by Pernod Ricard – it’s great to see further developments from this partnership.

Enjoy them while you can!

Sláinte

DOT Brew, Session Rye Revisited, 4%

I don’t just enjoy a rye whiskey – I’m also partial to rye in beer.

The grain imparts different qualities to the beverages.

In whiskey there’s usually a light sweet aroma, rather dry palate & a gorgeous spiciness to finish.

In beer I loose the spice.

Rye beer c/othewhiskeynut

With this Session Rye from DOT Brew a light sweet & fruity nose kicks things off.

Definitely dry on the palate.

Then fades rather quickly leaving you wanting more!

Back label c/othewhiskeynut

Rye grain is harder to work with – which is probably why it’s use faded over the years.

Makes it all the more enjoyable to savour when it does appear!

Sláinte

That S*it Will Never Sell! David Gluckman

As much passion, creativity & hard work goes into building a brand that sells big – Baileys – as to one that doesn’t – Kenya Cane anyone?

This attractively presented book delves into the often hidden world of a drinks & brand innovator.

Front c/othewhiskeynut

Clearly the author relished his work. Passion shines through in the pages of this highly entertaining & engaging publication.

In my travels I’ve fortunately encountered some of the brands featured – the aforementioned Baileys – to it’s lesser known Baileys The Whiskey.

Bailey’s The Whiskey c/othewhiskeynut

And there were a few others I’d have been tempted to try – Stubbs White Rum?

When branding is often more about perception than product, the author stresses the liquid must always match the narrative.

Back c/othewhiskeynut

I’ve pictured the book with Proper Twelve. It’s been a runaway success that many scoffed. The whiskey inside is every bit as good as the story.

Sláinte