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The Dalmore Cigar Malt Reserve Single Malt Scotch

Dalmore Cigar Malt Reserve2 267x300 The Dalmore Cigar Malt Reserve Single Malt ScotchA Single Malt Masterpiece

By Eric Duncan & Matt Goldstein

Matured for the majority of its life in bespoke Oloroso Matusalem sherry butts and bottled at 44% alcohol by volume, the body and character of this single malt is the perfect complement to a fine cigar. The sherry cask proportion is 70 percent and 30 percent American white oak. Crafted by Master Blender Richard Paterson, who is known to enjoy a few cigars on occasion, it’s all in the wood as Richard will tell you. Tasting Notes: The scent is sweet with hints of butter and maple syrup. With a sweet flavor and complex aftertaste, the Dalmore Cigar Malt Reserve has a beautiful malty and grainy mouth feel. This single malt is sweet, but not too sweet. It’s simply perfectly balanced and one of the best single malts in the world.

With Dalmore’s signature flat top wash stills, cold water jacket spirit stills and bespoke oak cask maturation, the Dalmore Single Malt Scotch Whisky stakes its claim as one of the best of the Highland region.  Located on the northern shores of the Firth of Cromarty in the Highlands, the distillery is sited near Loch Morie and the coast of the Black Isle. According to Dalmore, being elevated at sea level is critically important to the maturation of their scotch. Many single malts gain much of their character from a salty ocean water air.

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Featured Beer of the Week: Victory Headwaters Pale Ale

victory headwater pale ale Featured Beer of the Week: Victory Headwaters Pale AleBy Tim Rodgers

Pale Ale happens to be my preferred style of beer, so I was excited to try Pennsylvania’s own Victory Brewing Company’s Headwaters Pale Ale.  The claim to fame here is the purity of the water utilized to brew this beer.  It pours a glorious orange/copper cloudy glow into a pint glass.  It settled to barely an inch of head that was a bit on the weak side, that did not really stick to the sides of the glass well.

The initial aroma hits you with a more of sweet flowery hoppy aroma, but you can initially taste the malts of mocha/toffee notes.  It follows with a dry spicy hoppy finish that falls somewhat flat in a slightly bitter aftertaste.

Overall, this beer hits all of the characteristics of a classic American Pale Ale to perfection.  Although, the malt & hop combination may not be my favorite as compared to others, it may hit the sweet spot for you!

Enjoy one ASAP.   5.1% ABV

Cheers!

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The Sierra Nevada Summerfest

Sierra Nevada Summerfest 300x198 The Sierra Nevada SummerfestBottom Fermented Pilsner Style Lager

By Kevin Hussey, Eric Duncan & Matt Goldstein

The Sierra Nevada Summerfest is made with 2-row pale and Munich malts and Perle and Saaz hops.  A crisp summer lager that has been around for more than a decade, the Sierra Nevada Summerfest also lets you know that you’re drinking a real beer.  With a full flavored tang hop kick, this pilsner style lager is another classic from Sierra Nevada.  With light malts and light hops and spice, the crisp big bubbles make an excellent refreshing summertime lager.  The lemon and malt aftertaste are very well balanced making this one of our favorite summer beers.         

GOLD MEDAL WINNER
California State Fair (European Light Lagers: 1999)

alcohol content: 5.0% by volume malts: Two-row Pale & Munich
beginning gravity: 12.2 Plato yeast: Lager Yeast
ending gravity: 2.8 Plato bittering hops: Perle & Saaz
bitterness units: 28 finishing: hops Saaz

 

The Sierra Nevada Story:

In 1979, Ken Grossman began building a small brewery in the town of Chico, California. His goal: to brew exceptional ales and lagers. Today, the Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. is considered the premier craft brewery in the United States. And the beer? Critics proclaim it “Among the best brewed anywhere in the world.”  
       
  Ken’s passion for brewing began when a friend showed him the basics of home brewing. Using homemade equipment, Ken began brewing five-gallon batches of beer on his own, and soon became a proficient home brewer.In 1976, after studying chemistry and physics at Butte Community College and California State University at Chico, Ken opened his own store, The Home Brew Shop. There, he supplied Chico’s home-brewing community with equipment, materials, and advice, but dreamed of opening his own brewery.    
  Two years later, it was time to make the dream a reality. Ken and co-founder Paul Camusi cobbled a brewery together from dairy tanks, a soft-drink bottler, and equipment salvaged from defunct breweries. Though the equipment was secondhand, they created a first-rate microbrewery. The ingredients were premium, including the copious quantities of hops that would become the brewery’s trademark. An avid backpacker, Ken named the new company for his favorite hiking grounds—the Sierra Nevada mountains.  
    Finally, on November 15, 1980, the Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. brewed the first batch of what would soon become a landmark in American craft brewing: Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.Word spread quickly, and over the next decade the demand for Sierra Nevada brews soon exceeded the brewery’s modest brewing capacity. Despite nearly constant additions to the brewery, Ken was soon back at the drawing board, planning a new brewery. In 1989, the Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. moved to its current site.  
  Ken traveled to Germany and brought back a traditional 100-barrel copper brew house, which became the heart of the new brewery. This met demand for a while, but the brewery soon needed to expand again. In 1997, Ken commissioned the original coppersmiths to match new kettles to the originals, bringing the brewery’s total capacity to almost eight hundred thousand barrels per year.Building the new brewery afforded Sierra Nevada the opportunity to create two stunning showcases, both featuring exceptional dining, live music, and its award-winning beers. The elegant Sierra Nevada Taproom and Restaurant has become a destination in its own right. With mouthwatering lunch and dinner menus, an impressive dining room, and a large outdoor dining patio, it offers distinctive, contemporary cuisine as well as an opportunity to sample the brewery’s entire line of premium ales and lagers, including hard-to-find specialty drafts. The 350-seat Big Room—a beautifully designed live music and multi-purpose room—was constructed on the west end of the brewery to feature live music events for all ages and is a perfect facility for weddings, reunions, and business conferences.To this day, the Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. remains true to its roots. Ken is still personally involved in every aspect of brewery operation. Most importantly, the Sierra Nevada commitment to quality remains the same. Premium ingredients and time-honored brewing techniques make Sierra Nevada ales and lagers truly exceptional beers.  
     

 

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The Makers Mark Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Makers Mark Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey 240x300 The Makers Mark Kentucky Straight Bourbon WhiskeyBy Matt Goldstein, Forward by Shephard Ritzen

Maker’s Mark is owned by Fortune Brands, who also own Jim Beam.  The one most unique thing about Maker’s Mark is that it is not made with rye.  The creator, Bill Samuels Sr., was a sixth generation distiller, and in 1953, he abandoned his family’s 170 yr old recipe. He did not want to waste years fermenting different experimental grain formulas, so instead he decided to bake different breads with different grain proportions.  The best tasting bread recipe would be his new bourbon.  The winning combination was that of barley and red winter wheat. So by 1958, we had our first bottle of Maker’s Mark.

Admittedly, we were not expecting much from this bourbon but it performed very well.  For its price, about $22, it’s a very solid buy.  The Tasting Notes are as follows:  A light scent of grain, sweet apple spice scent and caramel.  With flavors of grain, malt and corn, sometimes sweet flavor, smooth, complex and crisp with a good long aftertaste.  This is a very solid bourbon and one we would drink again and again.  We actually like the regular Makers Mark brand more than the pricier Makers 46, which retails for about $35.   

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makers mark 250x300 The Makers Mark Kentucky Straight Bourbon WhiskeyHow Makers Mark is made:

Maker’s Mark is one of the few brands to credit Mother Nature for such a unique bourbon taste. That’s because we use pure, iron-free limestone spring water exclusively. Not city, well or river water. Our source is a 10-acre limestone spring-fed lake at the distillery.

First, we use yellow corn and red winter wheat from specially selected small farm cooperatives, all of which are located within the limestone geology near the distillery. This wheat gives our whisky its soft, mellow taste. And we only use naturally malted barley, because it has no enzyme-enhancing gibberellic acid, of course. Whatever that means.

Our dated rollermill is the key to preparing our grain for cooking. While some distillers think this method is too slow and produces a lower yield, it’s just fine for us. The slow process does not scorch the grain like a hammermill can. What can we say? That’s just how we roll.

Any good distiller/baker can tell you that pressure cookers and high-quality soft winter wheat do not mix.
By using an open cooker and a slower process that involves a lot of hands-on attention, we extend the subtle grain flavors into our whisky.

Makers Mark logo The Makers Mark Kentucky Straight Bourbon WhiskeyWe are among the few remaining bourbon distillers that propagate their own yeast for fermentation with cultures that we can trace back to the pre-Prohibition era. We also use the traditional sour mash method, similar to making sourdough bread, where we always leave over some culture from one batch to start another. Guess you could say our yeast roots run deep.

Our rare cypress fermentation tanks are historically irreplaceable. Some of the planks are more than 100 years old.

Cypress was chosen for fermentation before modern stainless steel was available because it didn’t contribute iron or taste to the final product. While we don’t believe that cypress affects the process in any way, we continue to use some of these fermenters to give our visitors a sense of how the process used to look. That, and we’ve never believed in a sweet metal aftertaste.

Maker’s Mark double-distills its whisky  — once in an all copper column still to produce what we call low wine and again in a copper pot still to produce high wine. This added step removes impurities and produces a more refined sipping whisky. Our low wine is distilled off at 120 proof, while our high wine is 130 proof.

We believe that this is the lowest distillation proof in the industry. We continue this more expensive practice because it preserves our mellow grain characteristics.

Most distillers choose not to rotate their barrels. Not us. We like ours to get out and move around. And by move around, we mean rotate. It ensures every barrel experiences the same aging process. And you know what they say: a moving barrel gathers no moss.

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The Royal Canadian Small Batch Canadian Whiskey

royal canadian small batch whiskey The Royal Canadian Small Batch Canadian WhiskeyA Canadian Whiskey by the Sazerac Company

By Matt Goldstein

The Royal Canadian Small Batch Canadian Whiskey is one of five Canadian Whiskeys made by the Sazerac Company.  Made in very small batches under the eye of the Master Blender, each barrel is hand bottled and described as “Sweet and smoky like a Memphis BBQ. The initial sip is velvety smooth with huge flavors.  The Royal Canadian Small Batch tasting notes:  The whiskey is thin, grainy, slightly tart and smooth. A mellow mouth feel and malty grainy long aftertaste with a light hint of malt.  This is a solid Canadian whiskey.

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The Cabo Wabo Anejo Tequila

cabo wabo blanco reposado anejo 300x246 The Cabo Wabo Anejo TequilaDouble Distilled, Aged for 14 Months

By Matt Goldstein & Joon Lee

Originating in 1996 by Sammy Hagar in Guadalajara Mexico, Sammy partnered with a tequila-making family with over 80 years of experience.  Today, the agave used to make Cabo Wabo Tequila is grown, cultivated and harvested by this same family.  Cabo Wabo is made from 100% Blue Agave and the Cabo Wabo Anejo is matured in American oak barrels for 14 months.  The color and unique flavor come from the oak barrel.  Production begins with Weber’s Blue Agave plants grown in Jalisco, Mexico, and plants are harvested after they achieve an ideal sugar/acid balance, in about 8 to 10 years.  At the distillery, the piñas are slowly roasted in traditional ovens known as hornos for a period of 24 hours.  Once the piñas cool, they are crushed and juiced and then fermented in steel tanks.   The tequila is then double distilled in traditional pot stills called alambiques and then aged in barrels. 

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cabowabo logo 300x189 The Cabo Wabo Anejo TequilaCabo Wabo Anejo Tasting Notes

The Cabo Wabo Anejo is light gold in color with the scent of citrus.  With a thin and light refreshing scent, the tequila is very smooth.  The thin light flavor and dry aftertaste are good but this anejo lacks a bit of flavor.  With a rich mouth feel and slight bite the Cabo Wabo gets better the more you sip.  This is a good tequila, not great.

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The Cabo Wabo Margarita: The Caborita

2 oz. Cabo Wabo Reposado Tequila
2 oz. Lime Juice, freshly squeezed
1 oz. Triple Sec

Combine the ingredients in a shaker half filled with ice. Shake well. Strain into salt-rimmed martini glass.

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The Cabo Wabo Bloody Mary:  The Bloody Maria

2-1/2 oz. Cabo Wabo Blanco Tequila
1/2 oz. Lemon Juice
5 oz. Tomato Juice
Dash Tabasco® Sauce
1 Lime Wedge
1 Celery Stalk
1/8 tsp. Celery Salt
1/8 tsp. Pepper

Stir well over ice cubes in a Collins glass, garnish with a celery stalk (can also be prepared in a shaker and poured without ice into a Collins glass).

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Rain Organics Vodka by Sazerac

rain organics vodka logo Rain Organics Vodka by SazeracHandcrafted & Seven times Distilled:  A Martini Review and other Recipes

By Howard & Matt Goldstein

The Rain Organics Vodka is an organic vodka handcrafted by white corn and distilled seven times.  Made by the Sazerac company, one of the largest and most decorated distillers in the United States, known for their Sazerac Rye and Buffalo Trace bourbons.  We would tell you more about this vodka but there’s not much we know.  Made from white corn, it’s probably left over from the 20 bourbons they distill.  Doesn’t sound good?  You’re wrong.  The Rain Organics is a very solid vodka.

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rain organics vodka bottle pic Rain Organics Vodka by SazeracRain Organics Vodka Tasting Notes:

Flavors of grain with good bite and warmth.  Rain is crisp, clean with slight hints of vanilla and an overall good vodka flavor.  A long aftertaste, slightly oily and blends with vermouth very well.  Below are some Rain Organics vodka recipes.

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Classic Martini Recipe

Ingredients

5 oz. Rain Organics Vodka
1 oz. Vermouth
1 Olive
Ice

Serving Instructions

In a shaker, add Rain Organics Vodka, vermouth and ice. Shake and strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with an olive.

Bloody Mary

Ingredients

1 oz. Rain Organics Vodka
3 oz. Tomato Juice
Juice of One Lemon
7 drops Worcestershire Sauce
2 drops Tabasco Sauce
1 pinch Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1 pinch Celery Salt
Celery Stick and/or Lemon Wedge
Ice

Serving Instructions

In a shaker, add Rain Organics Vodka, tomato juice, lemon juice, Worcestershire Sauce, Tabasco Sauce, black pepper and celery salt. Shake and pour in a highball glass filled with ice. Garnish with a celery stick, lemon wedge or both.

Rain Blossom

Ingredients

2 1/2 oz. Rain Organics Vodka
1 oz. Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice
1 oz. Mint-Infused Simple Syrup, recipe follows
2 Mint Leaves
Lime Wheel

MINT-INFUSED SIMPLE SYRUP
1 cup Water
1 cup Sugar
1/4 cup Chopped Mint

Serving Instructions

Mint-Infused Simple Syrup: Combine water, sugar and chopped mint into a saucepan and bring to a boil for one minute. Remove from heat and let steep for 20 minutes. Strain out mint using a cheesecloth or an extra-fine strainer.

In a shaker, add Rain Organics Vodka, lime juice and mint-infused simple syrup. Shake and strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with mint leaves and a lime wheel.

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PBR: Pabst Blue Ribbon, A Review

pabst blue ribbon PBR: Pabst Blue Ribbon, A ReviewA PBR Review:  Hipsters Rolling their Eyes Everywhere

By Matt Goldstein

When I had a PBR last summer, there was something wrong with the tap and the beer was spoiled.  It was basically undrinkable.  Now, considering I can drink even the worst of beers without a flinch, I decided that Pabst Blue Ribbon deserved another try.  Pabst Blue Ribbon is the first beer to sell 10 million cases of beer in the United States.  It’s an American staple and deserves recognition for that alone.  Let’s give Pabst Blue Ribbon the chance it deserves: A Whiskey Goldmine Review. 

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Pabst Blue Ribbon Tasting Notes:

PBR is sweet, dry, crisp with a grain aftertaste.  Very refreshing!  There you have it.  That’s our review.  It’s an easy drinking session lager and pretty good flavor.  We love it.  If you got a problem with that, nobody cares.

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clint eastwood pabst blue ribbon PBR: Pabst Blue Ribbon, A ReviewPabst Blue Ribbon and the Hipster issue: 

Now, it wouldn’t be a Pabst Blue Ribbon article if we didn’t address the hipster issue.  Yes, Hipsters drink PBR at staggering amounts and the Hipsters are multiplying exponentially like a badass zombie movie.  The Hipsters where PBR t-shirts, and drink PBR like it’s their uber sudo liberal (but not the democratic party) political identity.  Yup, their socially advanced, and your craft beer is just too cool to be cool. Drinking real beer is uncool.  It’s scary, frightening and Hipsters could simply revolt and kill us all.  However, now that everyone knows the Hipsters drink PBR to be cool, or un-cool, they are moving on to a new beer.  And they probably will officially move on after this review.  It’s too cool to be called un-cool.  Hipsters are moving on to National Bohemian.  Yup, they be drinkin the “Nati bo.”  Review coming soon.  We’re gonna single handedly do our best to destroy the Hipster Nati Bo revolution.  Someone might get smacked in their face for this one.         

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pabst blue ribbon mobile wallpaper can PBR: Pabst Blue Ribbon, A ReviewHere are some facts to enjoy about Pabst Blue Ribbon: 

Pabst Blue Ribbon
American Style Premium Lager

Pabst Blue Ribbon is a premium lager brew crafted with a hefty infusion of 6-row barley in its ingredient package, a carefully balanced carbohydrate profile from corn syrup, and a unique combination of Pacific domestic hops blended with an imported Yugoslavian variety.  Fermented with a pure culture of yeast and aged at high gravity, PBR is cellared and finished to the smooth, robust likeness of a fine Pilsner.

144 calories

12.8 grams of carbohydrates

Pabst Blue Ribbon Light
American Style Light Lager
Pabst Blue Ribbon Light is brewed with the traditional grains and malts of a fine lager, and is tailored to the brewing specifications of a low calorie beer.  Hopped with the same intensity as PBR, the light version is a satisfyingly superior way to bend an arm.

113 caloreies

8.3 grams of carbohydrates

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The Top 10 Mexican Beers: Bohemia, Negra Modela, Dos Equis, Corona, Carta Blanca, Tecate, Sol and more…

bohemia classica bottle cream The Top 10 Mexican Beers: Bohemia, Negra Modela, Dos Equis, Corona, Carta Blanca, Tecate, Sol and more...Water Supply Issues Create a Light, Easy, Drinkable Mexican Style

By Matt Goldstein & Tim Rodgers

Now, Mexican beers are at a disadvantage because of the water supply situation.  One must remember to compare apples to apples when analyzing their brews.  Mexico tends to be a warm, arid climate with spicy/salty cuisine.  Therefore, the beers that would make the most sense would be your lighter lagers.  All of which Mexico produces.  Bohemia was by far the best beer we sampled.  It could compare with a solid American IPA and tasted a lot like Flying Fish. 

1. Bohemia, surprisingly crisp/clean with an unexpected subtle yet distinct hoppiness

2. Negra Modela, always consistently smooth with a nice malty finish

3. Dos Equis Lager Especial, crisp flavors, solid lager

4. Carta Blanca, smooth, light, solid

5. Corona, always good, always refreshing

6. Cristal, actually from Peru, but fits in well with the Mexican style

7. Corona Light, great light beer but light on flavor

9 Tecate, just OK, light and smooth but far from great

9. Sol, awful, almost undrinkable, bad aftertaste

10. Modela Especial, the six-pack we bought was skunked, we know Modelo is a good beer but it will have to wait a few months for another chance to be reviewed.

Bohemia Pilsner is this year’s Mexican Category champion!  It was a hot day in Chester down at the new MLS stadium PPL Park.  We decided to conduct this categories beer tasting tailgating the Philadelphia Union soccer game.  The dirt parking lot in July made it actually feel like a Mexican desert.  Pure genius!  To keep the theme going, we got burritos, chips, salsa and guacamole to cleanse our palates between each beer.  We had Pork, Chicken and Beef burritos made with black beans, corn and rice. 

Now, Mexican beers are at a disadvantage because of the water supply situation.  One must remember to compare apples to apples when analyzing their brews.  Mexico tends to be a warm, arid climate with spicy/salty cuisine.  Therefore, the beers that would make the most sense would be your lighter lagers.  All of which Mexico produces.  Bohemia was by far the best beer we sampled.  It could compare with a solid American IPA and tasted a lot like Flying Fish.  I think the most surprising beer was Carta Blanca.  Based on our preconceived notions of the beer, I thought it would be mere swill.  However, it would be up at the top of my choices if we were scarfing down tortilla chips and tacos on the roadside in Puerta Vallarta.  Dos Equis Lager was also very solid.  Again, based on the most the interesting man in the world advertising campaign, perhaps Dos Equis would bring more style than substance, but it was an enjoyable beer.  The most disappointing beer was Sol.  It basically tasted awful to everybody.  Now, we’ve had Sol before and liked it, but this was just not its day.  Tecate, we expected to be at the bottom, but it was a toss-up between Sol and Tecate for the worst of the day.  Bohemia is officially the first beer to receive an automatic bid to the first annual Whiskey Goldmine March madness 64 beer tournament.  Let the countdown begin!

The Top 10 Breweries in the World: Founders, Bell’s, Ballast Point, Stone, Port/Lost Abbey

The Top 25 Beers in a Can: Oscar Blues, Sly Fox, Maui Brewing, Young’s Double Chocolate, Caldera, 21st Amendment

Pennsylvania Crushes Germany in the Top 10 Pilsners: Pilzilla, Prima Pils, Stoudt’s Pils, Pikeland Pils, Troegs Sunshine Pils

The Best Beer under $20 a Case: Yuengling Lager, Bitburger, Leinenkugels, Shiner Bock, Lionshead and more…

The Top 25 Stouts: Founders KBS, Breakfast Stout, Bell’s Kalamazoo, Rogue Shakespear Oatmeal, Goose Island Black Cat Bourbon, Deschutes the Abyss

The Top 10 Oktoberfest Beers: Ayinger, Beck’s, Hacker Pschorr, Flying Fish, Hofbrau, Stoudt’s, Lefthand, Magic Hat, Spaten

The Top Ten Belgian White Ales from a Taste Test: Blanche de Bruxelles, Hoegaarden, Ommengangs Witte, Victory Wirlwind, St. Brnardis Blanche, Allagash White, Blue Moon and more…

The Top 10 Mexican Beers: Bohemia, Negra Modela, Dos Equis, Corona, Carta Blanca, Tecate, Sol and more…

Top 50 Pound for Pound Beer List: Chimay, Dogfish Head, Sierra Nevada, Bells’, Victory, Founders, Hacker-Pschorr, Weyerbacher and more…

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Johnnie Walker Black 12 Year & Dewars 12 Year Blended Scotch Whisky

johnnie walker black label 260x300 Johnnie Walker Black 12 Year & Dewars 12 Year Blended Scotch WhiskyJohnnie Walker Black is the #1 Selling Premium Blended Scotch Whisky in the World!

By Matt Goldstein

Johnnie Walker Black Label dates back to 1790 but officially became the Black Label in 1909.  One hundred years later, Johnnie Walker Black is the #1 selling premium blended scotch whiskey in the world.  Although there is no whiskey inside the blend that is younger than 12 years, Johnnie Walker claims that each bottle is at least 20 years in the making, from the selection of the oak for cask aging to drawing from Scotch whiskies all over Scotland, drawing from West coast malts to East coast scotch. 

Tasting Notes of Johnnie Walker Black:  The scent is a light peat; the flavor is a smooth, medium to heavy peat.  There is a full flavor malt aftertaste, slightly dry and thin with medium warmth.  Johnny Walker Black is a classic and complex blended scotch whisky and sets the standard for any smoky style blend.  Give us a glass of neat Johnnie Walker anytime and we’re a happy happy whisky drinker. 

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dewars 12 year scotch whisky 225x300 Johnnie Walker Black 12 Year & Dewars 12 Year Blended Scotch WhiskyDewar’s 12 Year Blended Scotch Whiskey

The Dewar’s 12 Year is “double aged” and finished in a vintage Oak cask, and up to 40 different whiskies go into each blend.  Founded by John Dewar and dating back to 1846, Dewar’s blended Scotch whisky is available in White Label, 12 Year, 18 Year and Signature blends. 

Dewar’s 12 Year Tasting Notes:  Lightly smoky, thin flavor, medium warmth, complex and a thin flavor, smooth and a bit sweet.  This is a good quality blended scotch whiskey. 

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