Paddy Irish Whiskey

Found a bottle of Paddy Irish Whiskey at the local liquor store, probably on sale, and decided to bring a bottle home. The 40% ABV Irish Whiskey is triple distilled and the aged on oak according to the label. Unfortunately that is where this one diverges from really great Irish offerings. The aroma and flavor does contain the oak as promised, but it lacks depth and actually has an odd off characteristic of plastic which I attribute to the oak aging. The plastic character is present in both the aroma and flavor and even without that being present this would not be worth the price of admission. My suggestion is to let this remain on the shelf for some other unsuspecting rube and to spend your hard earned money on something better. Sorry folks, this one is a pass.

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Tomatin 12 Year Scotch

Earlier this year  Tomatin 12 Year Scotch Whisky was on sale for 30 beans with NC ABC and I was unable to find a fifth near me. I asked a friend in another county to pick up a bottle for me and was excited to give it a whirl when I finally got my hands on it. The aroma was filled with butter, caramel, light spice, and sherry. The flavor did not diverge from the aroma with the exception of a big of brown sugar, leather, and a light lingering presence of alcohol. At 86% it was never hot and even the warming post consumption was restrained. This Scotch is aged in both Bourbon and Sherry casks, but Sherry is front and center. At 30 bucks it is a nice bargain for a Single Malt, but I wish it had a little more complexity. It is just on the edge of being wonderful, but with so much restraint needs a kick in the pants to showcase what it truly has to offer. If you have not tried it, find some and give it a whirl.

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Wild Turkey Longbranch

I picked up a bottle of Wild Turkey Longbranch after seeing a post where someone mentioned they liked it. At 40 beans a bottle it hits a price point where you have to carefully consider if you will spend the coin or not. The Boubon was the brainchild of the good folks at Wild Turkey in conjunction with Matthew McConaughey and incorporates Texas mesquite in the flavor. I struggled on my first four or five glasses finding the mequite, but as the bottle contained less contents the flavor was more pronounced and easier to distinguish. The flavor of this 86 proof Bourbon is restrained and has an aroma of leather, oak, cinnamon, mesquite, pear, and just a hint of nail polish. The flavor showcases brown sugar, caramel, black pepper, mesquite (at a subtle level), oak, and caramel. The alcohol is restrained throughout and only really plays a part post consumption. While I did not find this overly complex, I really did find the flavor grew on me over many samplings. At $40 it is just on the line as to something to keep around all the time, or something to have as a one and done. Any less than $40 and the decision would be to keep it full time because of the light mesquite. Any more than $40 and it should stay on the shelf as opposed to following me home. If you see it at a $40 or less price point then snag it and give it a whirl. If it is more, wait for it to go on sale.

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Ezra Brooks 90 Proof Bourbon

After finding some wonderful inexpensive Bourbon recently someone suggested it may be similar to Ezra Brooks 90 Proof so I went out and snagged a bottle. At $12 a bottle it was not much of a stretch to give it a whirl, but unfortunately it was so boring neat it requires a mixed drink to even begin to shine. Every attribute of this Bourbon was so restrained it really isn’t worth the time to dry to describe them. This is a great bargain for mixing with ginger or another Bourbon based cocktail where the Bourbon does not need to shine, but otherwise I would find something more interesting.

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Bushmills Black Bush

Not long ago I spotted a bottle of Bushmills Black Bush for around $30 a bottle and decided to give it a whirl. It came with a free bottle of Red Bush and everyone should now know I think that Irish Whiskey is rubbish. Black Bush is a much different story. This 40% ABV Irish Whiskey is aged in Oloroso Sherry casks and it is actually quite taste. The aroma is filled with Sherry, brown sugar, and hints of leather. The flavor follows suit with an alcohol presence which is understated and well-balanced. I works very well in so many ways and I’ve found myself recommending this Whiskey on more than one occasion already. At first on the palate it presents a bit too sweet, but after a few sips that impression passes and the complexity of the Whiskey draw you in and leave you with a very enjoyable aftertaste. I know I’m going to keep my eye out to find this one at a great price and once I do I will restock the bar. Give it a try, you will not be disappointed.

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The Sexton Single Malt Irish Whiskey

Not long ago I happened upon a fifth of The Sexton Single Malt Irish Whiskey with a tag along bottle of Bushmills Red Bush. At less than 30 beans for a Single Malt I figured why not give it a whirl. The 40% alcohol by volume Irish Whiskey came in a really cool bottle, but unfortunately that is about where the love affair ends. Turns out this really cool hexagonal black bottle is a pain in the butt to pour from and the color makes it near impossible to tell how much remains after pouring. While that is a minor annoyance, the monkey juice ester which is prominent and everlasting is just a bit off-putting. I am not a fan of bananas as a fruit so why the heck would I want them to overpower the aroma in my Irish Whiskey? Oh well, after you get past the jungle juice vibe you can pick up caramel, brown sugar, peppery spice, and a hint of leather. The flavor was middle of the pack with more brown sugar and leather and a nice presence of spice. Had this been a 20 bean bottle of Irish Whiskey I might have had a different impression, but I can think of several bottles which have a lower price point and better aroma/flavor. For me it’s a pass on a second bottle and as I mentioned earlier the airplane bottle of Red Bush, even at free, was too high a price. I’d suggest you skip it unless you really want a cool bottle to have an hold which really shouldn’t be used for housing Whiskey or pouring.

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Memorial Day 2018

Never forget the reason for Memorial Day and all those who fought and died to give you the freedom you enjoy today in America! If you know a Veteran, tell them thank you for your service, if you are a Veteran, I thank you for your service.

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American Cemetery at Normandy overlooking Omaha Beach – photo taken May 5, 2018

Kirkland Signature Irish Whiskey

Once again I ran into a handle of Kirkland brand liquor at Costco and had to give it a try. Kirkland Signature Irish Whiskey was less than $30 for a half gallon and aged 4 years according to the label. The aroma wasn’t very complex, but had a light cedar spice and honeysuckle with a light waft of alcohol. The flavor was filled with a light sweetness, more honeysuckle and cedar, a light characteristic of citrus, and bit of caramel. Also in the flavor was a distinct alcohol burn which wasn’t oppressive, but could have been more restrained for my palate. At 80 proof I didn’t expect it to have no alcohol, but like the better Irish Whiskeys I expected it to be more retrained. Unfortunately this was worth about what I paid for it and for just a few bucks more there are better and more complex Irish Whiskeys out there. If you are like me and have to try everything you might as well give it a try, but I know I won’t be running back to purchase another handle.

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Bushmills Red Bush Irish Whiskey

With a recent Irish Whiskey purchase came an airplane bottle (50 ml) of Bushmills Red Bush Irish Whiskey so I figured why not give it a whirl while the price is right. The label proudly states it was aged for a minimum of three years and the alcohol content is 40% abv. The triple distilled whiskey is matured in Bourbon barrels and that is about all the information you can find on the bottle and website. It was introduced just in time for St. Patrick’s Day 2017 and is a blend of single malt and Irish grain whiskey according to a press release from last year. Based on a quick search it appears the price point is around $20 in most areas. So let’s get to the important stuff, the flavor. Immediately upon pouring a strong estery banana presence wafted from the glass. In allowing the glass to air a few minutes the aroma contained lower esters than first presented, but an alcoholic note which had some higher alcohol presence with a plastic impression. Once the fusel nature was suppressed it was apparent a background presence of cinnamon, graham crackers, leather, and black pepper spice existed at a low level. The flavor had a sweet note of caramel coupled with light aspects of leather and a notable plastic as was perceived in the aroma. Black pepper, leather, oak, and cinnamon spice lasted long into the aftertaste and an alcohol burn was notable and a bit out of place in an 80 proof whiskey. The off-putting nature of the initial monkey juice notes and lingering plastic nose and flavor are enough to tell me to not add this to my bar. The Bushmills website discusses mixing and that may very well be how my other small bottle is consumed. I suggest you skid this one, even at the low price point it really is not worth the price of admission.

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Pulse Nightclub Shooting Revelations

Back when the blog was daily we had a brief post following the Pulse Nightclub tragedy and never revisited the incident. The news reported it as an attack against the LGBTQ community by a wanna be terrorist and we accepted that to be true. Recently an article from Huffington Post entitled Everyone Got The Pulse Massacre Story Completely Wrong pointed out the flaws in the previous byline. Sure, the news posted the fact the shooter visited an entertainment complex and the police presence cause him to move on. We  never put two and two together as the author of the article did to come to the realization the shooting was random and the nightclub had not been targeted for any reason other than it had a large number of people in one location who could be victims. The shooters widow was recently acquitted and it was determined her confession was bogus and only made after half a day of continuous questioning. The FBI knew her confession wasn’t true because she didn’t go with her husband to case the club and they were never near the  club at the time stated. It was a horrible hand fate dealt those at the club that the shooter went to the club they were in, but as the article points out, they were not targeted for being LGBTQ.

If you haven’t see the Huffington Post article, be sure to read it from beginning to end, it is well worth your time.

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