Sunday, July 22, 2012

Hiatus update

I'm happy to announce that Eileen and I had our first baby, Neil, on May 9th. It has been quite a change in our lives, but luckily we've had support from both our families, who have helped take care of him so we can have some free time and get some rest.

With Neil's arrival in the world comes a new slate of responsibilities for us as parents. As such, I have been significantly decreasing my whisky (and other alcohol) consumption. I'm also moving into a new position at work that may require me to be on call for extended periods of time, so I will likely need to remain sharp around the clock.

This is not the end of my whisky drinking, as far as I can help it, but it is a change in my lifestyle that will likely manifest itself as a lowered frequency of posts on this blog for the foreseeable future. You're still welcome to contact me with questions or for recommendations: whiskeytastings [at]


Sunday, May 6, 2012

Whisky review: Glenmorangie The Original 10 Year

Glenmorangie is a highland distillery and boasts the tallest stills in Scotland, which gives the spirit a lighter body. Glenmorangie makes a big deal of the quality of their wood, and they even go so far as to own a section of forest in the Ozark Mountains of Missouri so they can be sure of their wood source.

This particular whisky has been aged in first- and second-fill ex-bourbon casks.

Also see my review of the Glenmorangie Nectar D'Or for further enlightenment.

Glenmorangie The Original 10 Year, 43% ABV
Single malt Scotch whisky (Highland)
Price range, 750 mL: $29 at Total Wine in Arizona, up to $40 elsewhere

Nose: Nice, deep toastiness and fruit.

Palate: Light fruit mingled with a backbone of wood and toasted malt. Creamy. A bit of milk chocolate develops.

Finish: A bouquet of fruit all the way down: peaches, plums, oranges, red apples, raisins. Outstanding.

Rating (of 100): 92. This is probably the best value single malt available (at $29). It's an easy drinker that is accessible for a novice and still satisfyingly complex for a whisky veteran.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Whisky review: Compass Box Great King Street

This is not my first post about Compass Box, and you can find other posts here and here. Whisky writers generally seem to have a massive crush on Compass Box founder John Glaser's creations, but I have honestly not yet fallen for his work.

I was hoping to reverse that trend with my latest purchase from Compass Box, the Great King Street blended Scotch whisky. It's supposed to be a new take on blends that will help elevate blends to the rock star status that's currently being enjoyed by single malts. While I definitely disagree with the premise that blends are inherently inferior to single malts, I was happy to hear so many good things being said about this whisky and eagerly bought it when I saw it on the shelf.

Let's see how it goes...

Compass Box Great King Street, 43% ABV
Blended Scotch whisky
Price range, 750 mL: $43-48

Nose: Floral and fruity, with wood spice.

Palate: Floral with citrus and vanilla. Kind of hangs like it's going to deliver something massive and then never does. Has a nice bit of light spice, though.

Finish: Crisp and rather light.

Rating (of 100): 83. Not a mind-blowing blend by any means. I would happily take a Glenlivet 12 over this whisky any day ("HERESY!" yell the snooty fanatics), and at Arizona prices, I would also save about $18 per bottle.

Sorry, John, you have yet to successfully woo my palate.