Liquid Americana tweet tasting

Liquid Americana Tweet Tasting

In conjunction with @whiskyandwines (Arkwright’s Whisky and Wine shop in Swindon), and @theWhiskyWire came tonights bit of dramspankery action in the form of Liquid Americana (#LiquidAmericana). A blind Tweet taste of yank proportion, tasting 5 unknown american drams. Here we go:

Dram 1

Nose.

Rich Sweet Vanilla, Nutty, Almonds, Marzipan, Some Floral pleasantness, aniseed in the background. Cinnamon spice. Like melting Liquorice Allsorts and snorting the outcome.

Palate.

Sweet spicy vanilla, chewy, creamy, some coffee chocolate creams.

Finish.

medium-long – chocolate, oak, a little coffee, and some mint at the very end in the drying finish. oak spearmint!

Adding Water

Loads more on the nose. More floral, powdery sugared flowery sweets. Less marzipan, more balanced/integrated foral/vanilla/toffee. The palate is more layered, and allows for easier investigation. Lots of vanilla, spices, floral, all there waiting! Very impressive.

What Was it?

My guess – heaven hill.

And it was – Elijah Craig 12

Dram 2

Nose.

Wood spice, burnt caramel, vanilla. Stewed Banana toffees.

Palate.

Hot, deep dark stone fruits, vanilla, toffee, thick mouthfeel, quite warm though. Sweet and dry!

Finish.

Dark fruits, dusty oak spices, drying out and very long. Wood tannins.

Adding Water.

Little drop. Kick moves to the side and gives more floral and wood dust. Very spicy, and still quite powerful. Palate has less kick, allowing for more fruit integration and better balance. A little more nuttiness and sweetness on the nose. more water gives more floral!

What was it?

My Guess – Knob Creek.

And it was – Noah’s Mill (57.15%) small batch bourbon.

Dram 3

Nose. Hot

on the nose, cask strength I would guess. Quite closed, hot almond marzipan burnt fruitcake. Cream, butter, light fruits, bananas. Time in the glass gives more spices, cinnamon, star anise, aniseed, liquorice, all light, but all there.

Palate.

Creamy, surprisingly smooth, and doesn’t suffer ABV kick like i was expecting it to. Very creamy, vanilla, custard creams I suppose. Stewed light fruits, apples and bananas mashed down and simmering in a pot.

Finish.

Mild, creamy apple pie. drying some oak spice finally.

Adding Water.

Nose is gentler, more floral and gentler spice. The nose definitely needs the water. The palate is so light and creamy, very subtle and gentle, and therefore easy, a complete session dram. This one will go down a treat time and time again!

What was it?

My guess – Baby Blue corn

and it was – Bernheim Original: Kentucky Straight Wheat whiskey (45% ABV) Β£52.25

Dram 4

Nose.

Sweet powdery sugar, pears, sweetie shops, some charred oak, a little liquorice. Opens in time to be very creamy and biscuity.

Palate.

Very sweet indeed. Creamy, easy going, cereal and biscuits, rich tea. Light, but full mouthfeel.

Finish.

Sugared honey, minimal fruit. Cream sticks around. A little oak tannin towards the end.

Adding Water.

Lighter, weaker. More floral, less cream, more sawdust, less tea and taste. One to have straight i think.

What was it?

My guess – Roughstock Montana Whiskey.

It was – Pikesville Straight Rye (40% ABV), Β£23.50.


Dram 5

Nose.

HEAVY! Lots of spice. Large amount of pungent clove, peppercorns, pepper. Everything is quite burnt and toasted with this one, there is some fruit in the background, but its heavily charred. Liquorice, lemongrass, some sweet cream coming into play.

Palate.

Initially sweet, rum like, almost liqueur. a little heat, oranges, cloves, thick sugar sweetness. Very mouth coating and sumptuous. Chewy.

Finish.

The cloves and complex spices are back, very long finish, warming, fun, very tasty. errrm, yum.

Adding Water.

The harsher nose notes are toned down to give way to discover some of the fruitier elements, oranges, sugary Caramel coated cloves. The palate is lighter but still has a lot of intrigue and investigation to warrant. Lots of spicy notes that you can spend a lot of time delving through.

What was it?

My Guess – Balcones Baby Blue Corn.

And it was. High West Double Rye 46% ABV. Β£44.99.

Conclusion.

What an enlightening night. As usual, the humbling nature of a blind taste is always so very interesting, fun, depressing and brilliant! There was a great manner of difference of opinion in the overall order of favourite drams. But for me, the order was:

1st Place – Dram 3 – Bernheim Orignal Kentucky Straight Wheat Whiskey

Joint 2nd – Dram 1 – Elijah Craig 12 Year old & Dram 4 – Pikesville Straight Rye (the value on this dram is amazing!)

3rd – Dram 5 – High West Double Rye

4th – Dram 2 – Noah’s Mill

Massive thanks go out to Fran and Ken at Arkwright’s. All of tonight’s drams and a sample dram pack are available there. Thanks also to Steve at the Whisky Wire for hosting.

Tweet tastes rock!

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Whisky Review – Glenlivet Alpha

Glenlivet alpha.
50% abv (nothing else known at this time)
Around Β£100 if you can find it!

Colour.

Amber +2. I would assume no added colourings.

Nose.

Rich tropical fruits. Pineapple rich. Tooty fruity. Juicy fruit chewing gum. Apples. Vanilla. A little oaky age in there. Maybe a touch of varnish or pear drops! Lots of boiled old school sweeties.

Palate.

Fruity sweetness covers the tongue and envelopes the mouth. Initial burn gives a little sweet and sour effect but soon subsides into that fruit fuelled glory. Time in the mouth just makes the dram chewable and thoroughly integrated into taste heaven. A very easy drinker considering the alcohol level.

Finish.

Drying fruit salad sweets. Some oak chips and dust. Fruit layers come through in the medium-long finish. Interchanging between fruit and oak as time goes on. Very smooth going down.

Adding water?

This dram is pretty easy going out of the bottle. But need to try what water will do for it. Will put in a few drops into my half a dram. On the nose the sting is lowered which gives more depth to the fruit station. More citrus. Fruits are more stewed. Lemons. Grapefruit. Ripe pineapple. On the palate the heat is reduced and the fruit explosion is higher in the megaton dept. The oaky sawdust age is more evident also giving an excellent balance. The finish continues to interchange between fruit and oak and is just very beautiful. Very enjoyable. Want more! A lovely mistiness has entered the dram. Non-chill filtered then! πŸ™‚
A little more water added causes the fruit to diminish and the old oak sawdust effect to shine. So it’s a matter of taste to how much water. For me. A little water. Not a lot! Let the fruit come through and balance remain.

Conclusion.

Initially I was very dumbfounded by the idea of a bottle coming out at the near 100 quid range which had no info whatsoever about it. In honesty my experience with the blind tasting of the 12 blends of Easter did give me more of an interest in the whole unknown nature of Whisky tasting and that made me more open to the idea of trying this with that zero info element. I have to say its been very interesting so far. I haven’t done a lot of reading about this dram or followed the info provided so far online/Facebook. But now I’ve made my judgement I will follow it and see what info comes out and how wrong I am! πŸ™‚ So. Was it worth it. Yeah, I’d say it was worth a go! I did get a sample pack through from Chivas for this and I would like to thank them wholeheartedly for allowing me to test and be a part of this experiment. It’s been great fun. I did buy a bottle in as well! :-). I guess as far as maturation is concerned I would either go with bourbon casks. Possibly an older refill Whisky. Or of course it could be a mix of old and newer. Refill+first fills! :-). Whatever it is its a tasty dram.

My thanks go to the Glenlivet for including me on the alpha tweet taste.

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