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The Balvenie Tun 1401 Batch #3: A Hand Crafted Single Malt Masterpiece

balvenie tun 1401 batch 3 single malt scotch whisky 225x300 The Balvenie Tun 1401 Batch #3: A Hand Crafted Single Malt MasterpieceHand Selected By Balvenie’s Malt Master of 50 Years

By Matt Goldstein & Amy K. Haight

With 103 single malt distilleries in Scotland there are only 5 which are still family owned.  Speyside in Scotland has 48 of these distilleries, the highest per capita in the world and the Balvenie has the most diverse and prestigious range if not in all of Speyside, perhaps in all of Scotland.  The only distillery with its own cooperage on site, the Balvenie grows its own barley, uses traditional floor maltings and has its own coopersmith on site.  This hand crafted artisan style is unprecedented in single malt scotch production.  Now, the Malt Master for over 50 years, Dave Stewart,  has hand selected 10 of their best casks to create the Balvenie Tun 1401 Batch #3.  Hand pumped from the cask, the ranges in years of the 10 whiskies are from 22 to 44 years.  The Balvenie Tun 1401 is a cask strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky at plus 50% ABV.

Tasting Notes of the Tun 1401 Batch #3

Slightly peated, with legs in the glass, and flavors of butterscotch, this smooth and complex whisky has a dry mouth feel and slightly bitter flavor.  Smooth, warm complex, dry and sweet, this is simply one of the best single malts in the world period.  The Balvenie Tun 1401 Batch #3 comes with our absolute highest recommendation possible.

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Beam Gifts Kilbeggan Irish Whiskey to Ireland’s Taoiseach

Kilbeggan Irish Whiskey 300x200 Beam Gifts Kilbeggan Irish Whiskey to Irelands TaoiseachAs festivities start to got underway for St. Patrick’s Day, there was never a better time to show a little love for the sweet brown elixir that many a reveler will enjoy over the holiday weekend… Irish Whiskey.  You might be interested to know that Ireland’s Taoiseach, who is in the US hosting several events in honor of the holiday, met up with Matt Shattock, President and CEO of Beam in Chicago to chat about Ireland and the success of Irish Whiskey as the fastest-growing spirits category in America.  Beam, which recently acquired Ireland’s Cooley Distillery – producer of several award-winning Irish whisky brands – announced earlier this week they would be significantly increasing their import of Kilbeggan Irish Whiskey in honor of the St. Patrick’s Day.

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The Story of Angel’s Envy Small Batch Artisan Bourbon

angels envy bourbon whiskey The Story of Angel’s Envy Small Batch Artisan BourbonLouisville, Kentucky – Louisville Distilling Company recently launched Angel’s Envy, a super-premium bourbon of uncompromising character and quality.  The highly anticipated small batch artisan bourbon is the culmination of Master Distiller Lincoln Henderson’s storied career.  One of the original pioneers of the premium bourbon and whiskey categories in the U.S., Lincoln came out of retirement to create the world’s finest bourbon on his own terms – with a simple desire to enjoy the art of making whiskey.  The Master Distiller, which many have called a living legend, brings with him more than 40 years of experience, having worked on world-class brands, such as Woodford Reserve and Jack Daniels.

The Louisville Distilling Company gave Lincoln complete creative freedom to create his bourbon, his own way.  He chose to return to the original way of producing whiskey – making decisions based on the specific taste profile he wants to achieve.  He will use locally sourced, non-GMO grains, Kentucky limestone water and hand-chosen port barrels shipped directly from Portugal. 

Each batch-or Expression, as Lincoln calls it-will be guided by his hand and allowed to develop naturally, creating nuances in the bourbon from year to year.  This year’s release is Expression 10/10, which possesses a warm spirit, lacking any hint of edginess with ephemeral hints of port wine and a rich amber hue.

The Expression is distilled for an unparalleled smoothness, aged for 4-6 years in American white oak barrels and finished in hand-selected port casks for an incremental 3-6 months.  The final result is exceptionally smooth, nuanced and refined bourbon.

“Angel’s Envy is a lot of things,” says Lincoln Henderson, Master Distiller, Angel’s Envy.  “It’s my life’s work.  It’s a whiskey of incomparable smoothness.  It takes into account over 200 years of bourbon heritage and mingles it with over 400 years of port wine heritage.  And it’s something I’m going to let develop each year so every batch will be a natural expression of the distiller’s craft.”

The bottle will be as iconic as the bourbon inside.  Made from perfume-grade glass in Italy and ceramic stamped with our iconic wings, the bottle is hand-filled, corked and crated in Louisville, Kentucky.

As far as the name, it’s well accepted in bourbon circles that each distillery owes a percentage of the bourbon in their barrels to the angels – known as the Angel’s Share.  But, Lincoln sat the angels down and got them to agree that they could take a larger share if they agreed to leave behind something even better.  The result is Angel’s Envy.

Angel’s Envy is available in the following markets: Louisville, New York/New Jersey, Miami/Ft. Lauderdale, Chicago, San Francisco, Austin, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Houston, Dallas, Nashville, Madison/Milwaukee, Baltimore, Portland, Washington, DC, Detroit and Boulder/Denver.

The suggested retail price for a 750ml bottle, which may vary by market, is $44.99.  Angel’s Envy is 86.6 proof and 43.3% alcohol by volume.

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Glenfiddich Single Malt Celebrates 125 Years with Special Limited Addition Single Malt

Glenfiddich Single Malt Scotch Range Glenfiddich Single Malt Celebrates 125 Years with Special Limited Addition Single MaltThe Number 1 Selling and Most Awarded Single Malt in the World!

By Matt Goldstein

The Glrenfiddich Single Malt Scotch Whisky is celebrating 125 years.  The world’s most awarded single malt and also number one selling single malt was first sipped on Christmas Day in 1887 when William Grants and his sons let the first few drops come out of their copper pot stills.  Gaelic for Valley of the Deer, Glenfiddich is now traveling the United States with a special single malt to celebrate.

Last year, Glenfiddich Brand Ambassador Heather Greene rolled an actual whisky cask around the iconic landmarks in Philadelphia, inviting passersby to inscribe their aspirations and dreams on them.  After traveling across the U.S., the casks were sent to the Glenfiddich distillery in Scotland, where they were used to complete the aging process of a special limited edition bottling—one that will has been made in part by the thousands of Americans who touched and signed our special Dream casks.

Of course, because we are a member of the “media,” we get to tast this beautiful single malt free of charge, among millions of other whiskies, vodka’s, tequila’s rums, beers wines and champagnes that the spirit companies give me.  Life is awesome!

Glenfiddich broke a world record last week with an auction of the first U.S. bottle of the world’s most valuable single malt scotch whisky—selling to a whisky collector for an astronomical $94,000!

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World’s Best Irish Whiskey: The Bushmills 21 Years Aged Malt Irish Whiskey

bushmills 21 yo single malt 111111 300x300 World’s Best Irish Whiskey: The Bushmills 21 Years Aged Malt Irish WhiskeyHappy St. Patty’s Day!

By Matt Goldstein, Amy K. Haight & Kevin Hussey

About a year and a half ago when my cousin Sari and her fiancé Kevin got married, Kevin’s father bought the groomsmen a bottle of Bushmills 21 Year Irish whiskey which meant a lot to us because Kevin’s father came right off the boat from Ireland and is a bartender at an Irish bar in Manhattan called Desmond’s.  It was a great moment and a beautiful wedding.  Unfortunately I was so hung over from the rehearsal that it was difficult to even look at the battle.  Honestly, when I woke up the morning of the wedding I didn’t think I would be able to go to the actual wedding.  Even more unfortunate, the groomsman and I crushed the bottle before Kevin could even get a taste.

So when Bushmills sent us a sample of each of their whiskey’s we thought it would be fitting to taste the 21 year with Kevin since he missed out on the beautiful gesture from his father.

The Bushmills 21 Year Malt Irish Whiskey is aged for a minimum of 19 years in Oloroso Sherry and Bourbon seasoned casks, then transferred to Madeira casks for the final 2 years of the whiskeys maturation.  The Bushmills 21 year is perhaps the most complex Irish whiskey but smooth, sweet, syrupy and oaky.  It’s sweet, soft, fruity and simply one of the best Irish Whiskeys in the world period.  The Bushmills 21 Year comes with one of our highest recommendations but it also comes with a steep price tag, about $100.  We definitely recommend this over the comparatively priced Jameson 21 year.

Bushmill’s uses 100% malted barley to make their whiskey and the Old Bushmills Distillery is about 100 miles northwest of Belfast in Northern Ireland and has been making whiskey in the same area for more than 400 years.

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Best Irish Whiskey Cocktails: Bushmills Irish Whiskey & Ginger

bushmills irish whiskey portfolio  300x227 Best Irish Whiskey Cocktails: Bushmills Irish Whiskey & GingerIrish Whiskey Cocktails by Bushmills

Here’s a simple way to show your support and solidarity with top players from Northern Ireland–like the extraordinary Rory McIlroy, this year’s U.S. Open winner.  Mix up a batch of cocktails with Northern Ireland’s own Bushmills!  Since 1608 Bushmills whiskey has been synonymous with the country; the historic distillery is even pictured on the £5 Irish bank note.  Of course, on the rocks or with soda are always appropriate–but Bushmills Irish whiskey is also great mixer for summer beverages in front of the TV or at backyard barbecues.  Recipes that make it easy…even for duffers:

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Bushmills Irish Buck

1.5 oz Bushmills Original Irish Whiskey

1 squeeze fresh lime juice

2 oz. ginger ale

1 wheel lime

Combine Bushmills Original Irish Whiskey and lime juice over ice in a tall glass. Top with ginger ale and garnish with lime wheel

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Bushmills & Ginger

1.5 oz Bushmills Original Irish Whiskey

3 oz. ginger ale

1 twist orange

Pour Bushmills Original Irish Whiskey and ginger ale over ice cubes into a tall glass.

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The Tullamore Dew 10 Years Aged Irish Whisky

Tullamore Dew 10 Year Irish Whisky The Tullamore Dew 10 Years Aged Irish WhiskyTriple Distilled, Aged in American and Spanish Oak

By Matt Goldstein

A few weeks ago we were invited to the Tullamore Dew Irish True event in Philadelphia.  This tour featured free Tullamore Dew, free Irish food, Irish music and some boxers sparring in a “secret” room.  While the boxers were barely sparring, the free food and free whisky was pretty god dam awesome.  Unfortunately, the other people attenting this party weren’t there to pick up their 3 complimentary bottles of Tullamore Dew so they could review it for their whiskey web site.  We’ve had the Tullamore Dew original many times and we’ve had the pleasure of tasting the 12 year, which is simply one of the best Irish whiskies on the shelves.  However, this is the first time we’re tasting the Tullamore Dew 10 year, after all, we can’t buy every bottle of liquor one the shelf.

The Tullamore Dew 10 Years Aged Irish Whisky is a triple distilled spirit matured in Spanish and American Oak casks.  This whisky is thin, salty, and a light thin gold color.  With a sweet, syrupy mouth feel, slightly bitter, dry, with a light malty flavor, the Tullamore Dew 10 years is a good sipping Irish whisky and definitely one of the better Irish whiskies, very close to the 12 year.  The Spirit Journal recently gave Tullamore Dew 10 Year Old Reserve 4 Stars/Highly Recommended.  We recommend this whisky as well.

Tasting Notes from Tullamore Dew:

Colour: Medium amber gold.

Nose: Spicy, oily and fresh malty notes with more complex toasted wood and vanilla undertones.

Body: Medium bodied, balanced with malt, spice and citrus fruits. Complex oily flavours with faint notes of Christmas cake and a touch of leather.

Palate: Smooth and full; woody undertones, giving way to sweet Olorosso nuttiness with just a touch of spice.

Finish: Rich, long, malty and spicy notes. Pleasantly dry finish with slightly lemony and sweet notes lingering

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Jameson Gold Reserve Irish Whiskey: Not Worth the Irish Gold in Your Pocket

Jameson Gold Reserve Irish Whiskey 211x300 Jameson Gold Reserve Irish Whiskey: Not Worth the Irish Gold in Your PocketAre Pricey Irish Whiskys Really Worth It?

By Matt Goldstein

On vacation this past weekend, we decided to stop in the critically acclaimed Irish Pub in Atlantic City.  Aside from the terrible smell, and the other terrible smell, there’s something about this dingy dark hole that makes you want to drink.  So we went for a half and half and the Jameson Gold Reserve neat, what’s more Irish that that?  Now, the Jameson Gold Reserve was solid but we can’t see how it’s really worth $60 a bottle.  Most Irish Whiskey’s lack complexity, and especially this one.  The Jameson Gold Reserve is blend of three whiskeys aged in virgin oak barrels coupled with the bourbon barrels and sherry casks.  The Jameson Gold Reserve is sweet, smooth, solid and slightly spicy.  This is a good Irish Whiskey but does not have the complexity to command $60 a bottle.  If you’re looking for thin and smooth than this is it, but if you’re looking for a great whiskey, the Jameson Gold Reserve misses the mark.   For $60 a bottle, we would recommend many other whiskey’s over the Jameson Gold Reserve.

 

TASTING CHARACTERISTICS FROM JAMESON

NOSE – Fragrant wood, rich pot still with a touch of sherry sweetness.

TASTE – All the creaminess and honey sweetness come together to create a taste sensation of spicy character.

FINISH – A very long finish with a pleasantly peppery finale.

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The Dimple Pinch 15 Year a Very Underrated Blended Scotch Whisky

The Dimple Pinch Blended Scotch Whisky 225x300 The Dimple Pinch 15 Year a Very Underrated Blended Scotch WhiskyMade in the Oldest Distillery in Scotland

By Matt Goldstein

The house name brands of blended scotch whiskey, Dewar’s, Chivas Regal and Johnnie Walker Black certainly deserve their do, but the Dimple Pinch Pinch 15 Year Blended Scotch Whisky can stand with any of these major brands.  The Dimple Blended Scotch Whisky consists of over thirty malt and grain whiskies, produced by Haig in Scotland’s oldest surviving Scotch Whisky distillery.  For over 300 years, Haig has been distilling and blending whisky.  The Dimple Pinch Blended Scotch Whisky has been around since 1893.  Blended, matured and bottled in Scotland, the Haig distillery is in the heart of Edinburgh.

The Dimple Pinch Tasting Notes:

With a sweet thick scent, the Dimple Pinch has a smooth taste with a sweet and complex syrupy flavor.  The scent is much sweeter than the average premium blended scotch as well as the thickness and finish.  With a sometimes spicy finish and dry mouth feel.  We absolutely recommend the Dimple Pinch 15 Year Blended Scotch Whisky which retails for about $35.  We actually like if much more than the much pricier Chivas Regal 18 Year Blended Scotch Whisky which about twice the price for $70.  The Dimple Pinch is a stud as evidence by the bottle we just crushed.

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The Top 10 Best Irish Whiskeys: Powers, Jameson, Redbreast, Tullamore Dew and more…

powers 12 year special reserve irish whiskey1111 The Top 10 Best Irish Whiskeys: Powers, Jameson, Redbreast, Tullamore Dew and more...St. Patty’s Day Special: The Best Irish Whiskeys

By Matt Goldstein and Sommelier Tom Pittakas

In honor of this St. Patty’s Day, the Whiskey Goldmine has compiled our list of the best whiskeys from Ireland.  From sipping neat, on the rocks or in a shot, we give you a magnum opus of whiskey classics.  The following whiskeys are an absolute must try! 

 

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powers 12 year special reserve irish whiskey1122 The Top 10 Best Irish Whiskeys: Powers, Jameson, Redbreast, Tullamore Dew and more...1. Powers Special Reserve 12 Years Aged Irish Whiskey

Powers Special Reserve 12 years aged is crafted from the finest Irish Barley and water, triple distilled and matured in American Oak casks.  Powers 12 doesn’t need to any ice; this whiskey should be sipped neat.  Scoring 91 points from Malt Advocate Magazine, Powers 12 is a complex and flawless whiskey. The regular Powers Gold Label is the best selling whiskey in Ireland.  Yes, it crushes Jameson in sales actually.

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2. Redbreast 12 Year Pure Pot Still Irish Whiskey

Redbreast 12 Year is perhaps the smoothest Irish whiskey in the world.  With a scotch like complexity and slight sweetness, Redbreast has a perfect whiskey flavor with a flawless bite.  Redbreast 12 Year is the only aged pure pot still whiskey in the world and is matured in sherry and bourbon casks.  

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Tullamore dew 12year bottle The Top 10 Best Irish Whiskeys: Powers, Jameson, Redbreast, Tullamore Dew and more...3.  Tullamore Dew 12 Year Old Special Reserve

Founded in Tullamore, Offaly County in the heart of Ireland in 1822, this “legendary” Irish Whiskey is famous for it’s copper pot still blend.  Triple distilled and aged in American Oak and Spanish Olorosso Sherry Casks, Tullamore Dew 12 is a sweet and complex Irish Whiskey with notes of malt, nuts and oak.  “Give everyman his Dew!”    

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4.  Jameson 18 Year Old Limited Reserve

The Jameson 18 is a Blended Irish Whiskey is handpicked by the Master Distiller.  Aged in American Oak Bourbon Casks and Olorosso Sherry Casks, the Jameson 18 Year Old is a classic! 

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tyrconnel single malt irish whiskey 300x189 The Top 10 Best Irish Whiskeys: Powers, Jameson, Redbreast, Tullamore Dew and more...5.  Tyrconnell 10 Year Old Single Malt Irish Whiskey

Aged in Madeira casks and scoring a 98 by the beverage tastings institute, the Tyrconnell is a bit pricey but also critically acclaimed.  Tyrconnel 10 Year has pioneered the single malt revolution in Irish Whiskey.  It’s an absolute must try. 

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6.  Knappogue 12 Years Aged Single Malt Irish Whiskey

Distilled in copper pots with malted barley and aged in oak casks, Knappogue 12 is made with pure Irish spring water which creates a very light, smooth and easy drinking style.  Well rounded with medium intensity and a clean finish, Knappogue is a uniquely light but complex whiskey that still retains character. 

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bushmills single malt 16 year old irish whiskey The Top 10 Best Irish Whiskeys: Powers, Jameson, Redbreast, Tullamore Dew and more...7.  Bushmills 16 Year Old Irish Whiskey

Bushmills 16 Year Old is triple cask matured in a combination of seasoned American Oak Bourbon Casks and Sherry Olorosso Casks, and finished for a few months in Port Wine Casks.  The triple cask maturation gives this whiskey one of the best finishes in the world. 

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8.  Connemara Peated Single Malt Irish Whiskey

Scoring a 93 by the Beverage Tasting Institute and a 90 by Wine Enthusiast, this little known but critically acclaimed single malt Irish whiskey is very well rounded and one of the most underrated Irish Whiskeys ever made.

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Jameson 12 year old special reserve irish whiskey 1111 The Top 10 Best Irish Whiskeys: Powers, Jameson, Redbreast, Tullamore Dew and more...9.  Jameson 12 Year Old Special Reserve  

The Jameson 12 Year Old Special Reserve Blended Irish Whiskey is a triple distilled, pot still and sherry cask blend.  The 12 year took the gold medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition in 2007 & 2009.  The Jameson 12 is very smooth and dry with a great scent and taste of malts; with notes of oak, wood and spice.  The Jameson 12 is a full bodied Irish whiskey, with a slight sweet, rich and full finish.

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1o.  Tullemore Dew Blended Irish Whiskey

Tullamore Dew is the 2nd best selling Irish Whiskey in the world and is also growing the fastest.  Tullamore Dew has won 22 gold medals in the last 10 years and is simply one of the best whiskey shots in the world.   

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11.  Green Spot

 

Powers Whiskey The Top 10 Best Irish Whiskeys: Powers, Jameson, Redbreast, Tullamore Dew and more...12.  Powers Gold Label

Powers Gold Label is the best selling whiskey in Ireland.  Yes, it crushes Jameson in sales actually.

 

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13.  Bushmills 12 Year Old Irish Whiskey

14.  Michael Collins Single Malt Irish Whiskey

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