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Baker’s Small Batch Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

knob creek basil haydens bakers bookers small batch bourbon Baker’s Small Batch Kentucky Straight Bourbon WhiskeyA Small Batch Whiskey by Jim beam

By Matt Goldstein & Amy K. Haight

Named after Baker Beam, grand nephew of the legendary Jim Beam, Baker’s Bourbon is aged seven years and hand bottled at 107 proof.  Embracing over six generations of distilling experience, Baker’s Bourbon utilizes a special strain of jug yeast that has been in the family for over 60 years.  Aged in new American Oak barrels, Baker’s was awarded a gold medal from Wine Enthusiast and a double gold medalist at the San Francisco Spirit Awards.

Baker’s Bourbon Tasting Notes:

With scents of grain and corn and a good sweet complex aftertaste, having notes of sweet coffee, toffee, caramel, Baker’s is a light and flavorful small batch bourbon.  A bit thin, but very solid, the Baker’s Kentucky Straight Bourbon fits in very nicely with the Small Batch Collection from Jim Beam; Knob Creek, Basil Hayden’s, Booker’s and Baker’s.  This is an excellent bourbon.  Small Batch Bourbons are made in limited quantities, and aged 6-9 years in newly charred American Oak barrels.

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Glenfiddich 12 vs. The Glenlivet 12: A Single Malt Showdown

glenfiddich single malt scotch range 232x300 Glenfiddich 12 vs. The Glenlivet 12: A Single Malt ShowdownWorld’s Best Seller vs. America’s #1

by Matt Goldstein & Amy K. Haight

The Glenfiddich 12 Year Single Malt Scotch Whisky is the number 1 selling single malt scotch in the world, it’s also the most awarded single malt scotch in the world, while the Glenlivet 12 Year is the number 1 selling single malt in the United States.  We thought we’d have theses classic mainstream scotches go head to head in a blind taste test.  Of course we had a favorite going but we were wondering if the other could pull off the upset.  A Glenfiddich executive told us that the reason that the Glenlivet is the number 1 single malt in the United States is because in the 1950’s, the Glenlivet had a major marketing campaign in the United States and that the brand has been a rock ever since.  Of course, Glenfiddich is not too far behind.

Tasting Notes of the Glenfiddich 12 Year Single Malt:

With a golden brown color and reddish tint, the Glenfiddich is sweet with notes of caramel, honey but slightly sour, bitter, complex, and slightly dry.  Very solid.

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glenlivet single malt scotch range 300x205 Glenfiddich 12 vs. The Glenlivet 12: A Single Malt ShowdownTasting Notes of the Glenlivet 12 Year Single Malt:

The Glenlivet is sweet, thick, delicious, slightly complex and very similar but with just a bit more bight.  It’s a bit stronger with a bit more alcohol taste.  Pretty damn good.

 

Although the competition was very close, the Glenfiddich 12 Year was the unanimous choice for its beautifully sweet flavor.  Glenfiddich has a more enjoyable mouth feel, with a smooth thick finish and no burn whatsoever.  Normally, we like bite and don’t always choose the smoothest spirit as the winner but in this case the nod goes to Glenfiddich.  Don’t get us wrong, we like the Glenlivet and feel that both single malts are overlooked by many Scotch whisky snobs.  Both single malts have very solid ranges and some other their other years can compete with the best single malts in the world.

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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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Best Malbec’s Under $10: Don Paula Los Cardos 2010 Malbec

don paula wines 300x126 Best Malbec’s Under $10: Don Paula Los Cardos 2010 MalbecFeatured Wine of the Week

By Matt Goldstein & Amy K. Haight

Don Paula wines from Argentina’s Mendoza region can now be found all over the world, and after only two years on the international scene, Don Paula was already landing awards in Europe and America.  97% of Don Paula’s production is exported to 60 countries all over the world and we found a bottle in Sophia’s in Margate NJ, an upscale Greek restaurant.  Recommended by our favorite bartender and surfer, George, the Don Paula Los Cardos 2010 Malbec was the perfect choice for a complex red when you’re not looking to break the bank.  For about $10 a bottle, the Don Paula Los Cardos is simply one of the best malbec’s you can buy in the price range.

From the Luján de Cuyo, Mendoza region,  the desert climate has ooor clayey soils.  Also, the climate is characterized by its warm days and cool nights, with an average temperature variation of 14°C (57.2°F).  The estate is located at 1,050 meters (almost 3,445 ft) above sea level and the average annual rainfall in this area is 200 mm (7.87 in)managed using sustainable agriculture practices.

Tasting Notes if the Don Paula Los Cardos 2010 Malbec:

Slightly bitter, tart and complex, flavorful and well balanced.  Notes of fruits and bitter herbs, this red wine is soft, with a perfectly balanced finish.  We absolutely recommend the Don Paula Los Cardos Malbec for about $10.

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The Un-Featured Wine of the Week: Yellow Tail Grenache Shiraz Blend Basically Crap on a Crap Cracker

yellow tail shiraz grenache red wine The Un Featured Wine of the Week: Yellow Tail Grenache Shiraz Blend Basically Crap on a Crap CrackerBasically a Shitty Grape Juice

By Matt Goldstein & (Amy K. Haight)

We’re not really sure who coined the phrase “crap on a crap cracker” although we think its Homer Simpson.  However, that description couldn’t be more fitting than when discussing the Yellow Tail Grenache Shiraz blended red.  Normally we don’t go into tasting notes this quickly but damn, this red wine has the scent of a shitty flat grape juice and an overwhelming metallic flavor which is indicative of a cheap amateurish wine.  Yes, Yellow Tail is an economical wine but usually not this bad.  The bite and dry mouth feel are sometimes ok but the finish is metallic, flat stale and spoiled.  For those that are new to the web site, we go out of our way not to be total dicks, but when it’s warranted, we have no choice. The over produced economical Yellow Tail Australian wine is really hurting with this bottle.  We can’t recommend this wine at any price. The blend is 80% Shiraz and 20% Grenache but don’t even bother.

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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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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 Compass Box Oak Cross Malt Scotch Whisky: Unprecedented in Cask Maturation

Compass Box Oak Cross Malt Scotch Whisky 193x300 The Compass Box Oak Cross Malt Scotch Whisky: Unprecedented in Cask MaturationMade with a Signature Cask of American and French Oak

By Matt Goldstein

Named the Oak Cross because it’s aged in very unique oak barrels, the Compass Box Oak Cross Malt Scotch Whisky is made entirely of Highland malts.  The whiskies are aged in American Oak casks then an oak cask with French & American Oak.  Yes, one barrel with two different oaks, that’s the Oak Cross signature.  The Oak Cross is actually a vatted malt which is blended with only single malts and no acutall grain whisky such as a Blended Scotch whisky.  These single malt whiskies are hand selected for this specific vatted blend.  Bottled at 43% alcohol, the Oak Cross Blended Scotch Whisky is a beautiful light and clear color resembling white wine, a very rare but natural color for a blend.  About 50% of the blend is aged in the Oak Cross cooperage and “this is something no one else in Scotland does” according to Compass Box.  Ya gotta respect the innovativeness of Compass Box and their willingness to take risks to make a unique and very rewarding whisky.  The chief whisky maker at Oak Cross, John Glaser, actually an American and former wine maker, comes with a different background which may be cause for his willingness to branch outside of classic whisky making styles.

Tasting Notes of the Oak Cross Blended Scotch:

With a sharp scent of malt and grains, the Oak Cross has a spicy bite.  Thin, sweet, syrupy and smooth, this solid whisky is a stud.  For about $35 per bottle retail, the Oak Cross is a solid well rounded whisky.  We recommend trying this innovative and unique whiskey as it won’t break the bank and fits any occasion.

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The Jura 16 Year Single Malt Scotch: Simply one of the Best Whiskies in the World!

Jura 16 Year Single Malt Scotch Whisky The Jura 16 Year Single Malt Scotch: Simply one of the Best Whiskies in the World!What Single Malt Scotch Whisky was Meant to Be…

By Matt Goldstein & Amy K. Haight

Only 180 people populate the Isle of Jura, and the Jura distillery lies on the east side of the island.  Distilling scotch on the remote island of Jura dates back to the 1600’s and the Jura distillery just celebrated their 200 year anniversary in 2010. The island of Jura is just 7 miles wide and 30 miles long with one road, one hotel and one distillery.  In Gaelic, the people of Jura are known as Diurachs and known for their hunting, shooting, fishing, sailing, lobster, and of course, single malt scotch.  The Jura 16 Year Single Malt is aged just off the beach on the Isle of Jura and gets much of its complex characteristics from the ocean air.  Matured no less than 16 years, this single malt Scotch whisky is simply one of the best in the world period.  All we can say is WOW!

The Jura 16 Year Single Malt Scotch Whisky Tasting Notes:

With a scent of ocean air, oak and syrup, thw Jura has notes and flavors of oak, syrup, honey and has real complexity.  Smooth yet very complex, this is the perfect single malt scotch and comes with our highest recommendation.

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Tullamore Dew 10 Year Single Malt: One of the Most Unique Irish Whiskeys

Tullamore Dew 10 Year Single Malt Irish Whiskey Tullamore Dew 10 Year Single Malt: One of the Most Unique Irish Whiskeys Quadruple Cask Complexity

By Matt Goldstein

One of Ireland’s best and most famous whiskeys, Tullamore Dew was first distilled in 1829.  Now, this staple of Irish whiskey has released a signature single malt that could be the most unique Irish whiskey’s on the market.  Tullamore Dew 10 Year Single Malt is the only Irish whiskey aged in four different casks, Old Bourbon, Dry Oloroso Sherry, Port and Madeira casks.  When most people think single malt, their assuming single malt scotch, however, single malt merely means the whiskey is made with malt only and whiskey from one distillery.  As opposed to most whiskies which are blends and a mix of grains and different whiskies from different distilleries, this Irish single malt is a contemporary distinction in the maturation of whiskey.

Bourbon casks are used in most Irish whiskeys and Scotches, however, the Whiskey Goldmine at Tullamore Dew Tasting Tir Na Nog 300x225 Tullamore Dew 10 Year Single Malt: One of the Most Unique Irish Whiskeys Sherry, Port and Madeira Cask addition is where this whiskey separates itself.  Most will claim that these three casks are used to ad sweetness to the whiskey and many times that is the case, however, the Tullamore Dew 10 Year Single Malt isn’t just an Irish whiskey with added sweetness, but an Irish whiskey with real character.

The Tullamore Dew 10 Year Single Malt Tasting Notes: 

A very unique flavor for any whiskey, there are notes of oak, wood, malt, fruit and vanilla.  Slightly smooth and more complex than the average Irish whiskey, this is solid and we recommend giving it a try.

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