Elijah Craig 12yo

???????????????????????????????Bought this a few weeks ago and forgot to try it out.

I know, “What were you thinking?”

Honestly, I don’t know. I guess I was afraid of disappointment. I had the EC-20yo during Easter and was extremely impressed. The last thing I want is for this to be lacking.

Anyway,

Good runs in the glass (Glencairn Whisky), even, tight and long. Very pleasant first whiff and lighter than expected nose. This is after all a 12yo bourbon and 94 proof. There’s a toasty fruit here that could be a citrus but I don’t get any impression of wood or leather.

First taste – Well, there’s that 94 proof coming out and the citrus is a mellowed grapefruit. Not bitter and barely there at all but not any kind of pitted fruit or apple.

Finish – Plenty of time to think about the flavors involved but not overly long and I appreciate it. No burn or back of the tongue… bite.

This is good but I was expecting to be transported back to the log cabin library where the old gents tobacco humidors make me feel like a kid again. I know, kinda wimpy for a description but hey, that’s the feeling I get from the really good juice like EC-20, Pappy Rye, and Four Roses (SB-LE) give me. I hope I get a shot at the EC-21 but at the $140 a bottle price, I’m not holding my breath.

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Jefferson’s Reserve–Reservations confirmed

I have no reservations about telling you were I finally found this bourbon. (http://www.scrooges.com/) my only complaint is not knowing how old this stuff is. The best I can get is that it has some whisky that is 20 years old in it. Which means that the bourbon is at least ‘Straight’ bourbon but no more than that. This is bottle number 202 of 2400 from batch 113.

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Now that I’ve sounded like a prick that doesn’t like JR, let me clarify things.

This is some very fine bourbon whiskey/whisky. I’m a single barrel guy and if I can get it, a barrel proof guy. This is a small batch, a ‘very’ small batch. Meaning that more than one barrel and less than the rest of the warehouse was involved in the process. Given that there were 2400 bottles there are probably about 20 barrels involved (give or take a few).

I broke in my new Glencairn ‘Nosing’ glass for this one (ginger jar top and all) and I’m glad I did.

I prefer to let my glass sit for at least five minutes after the poor and often as long as ten minutes. This one sat with the lid on for five minutes.

Color – Looks like bourbon. Not a hint of red and not pale (like some recent single malts I’ve had) but very amber and clean.

Runs – Where are they? I cleaned the glass in hot salty water, there should be runs even if this was water. I gave it another 30 seconds and there they were. I have never seen such long, fine sparse and distinct runs in any whiskey/whisky.

First nose – WOW, did I say WOW already. I have to check this against another whiskey to be sure but when I lifted the lid and took that first nose, I was floored. The fruity vapors were rich and the 90.2 proof was evident. But, where is the spice I keep reading about. I didn’t expect nutmeg but I was looking for some walnut at least. Even after that first nosing, the runs continue to develop. I did mention that this is fruity didn’t I? Well I get a hint of burnt cherry and apricot from this – others say “orange rind”. I haven’t had this smell in years (My first whiff of 17 yo Willett Family Reserve for the Bourbon Society about eight years ago) and I know exactly where it came from.

Taste – First, I have to admit, I swirled this again with the lid on to get that aroma before I took the first swallow. – Man o man I could just sit and smell this forever – So, ok, the taste. Impressive to say the least. This stuff flows across the tongue and swirls around the cheeks like nothing I have ever had before. That fruity burnt cherry reminds me of fresh cherry cobbler with a bit of bourbon in it (note to self – make a cobbler tonight). The apricot is gone and I never got any spice out of the nose or taste. I have to wonder if there is any Rye in the mashbill at all.

Finish – Well I been sitting here typing this up for about ten minutes and I’m still waiting for the bell to ring. This is a very sweet, corn liquor with a good body of sweet cherry. I usually like a little spice but I don’t miss it at all in this stuff.

Closing – I’m more impressed than I thought I would be but I don’t think this was worth the $48 I paid for it. I still won’t use it to make a cocktail with and will reserve it as a “Now try this” whiskey. I have had almost as good for less and better for less.

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A Whisky Tasting–Glenfiddich Single Malt Scotch Whisky

IMG_0690This was a gift for Christmas in 2011. It’s a nice green box with a diary and a Glencairn Glass as well as a 750 ml bottle of 12 yo Signature Malt. I have had quite a few Glenfiddich over the years and it was the first Single Malt Scotch I ever tried. That may be why my brother gave me this.

The box promises a nose of a hint of pear, a rich fruity taste with a hint of peatiness and a long lingering finish.

It’s been in the glass for ten minutes so lets see if it lives up to the promises.

Nice bold well pronounced sugar runs. and an aroma that has filled the immediate area for the last five minutes or so. A yellow gold color sparkles in the glass. – I always salt scrub my glass in hot water prior to a tasting –. The first nose is indeed very nice and I smell the fruits of the sherry casks this was aged in. I also get that peat aroma but I have try hard for it. This is going to taste good. I can tell it already.

OH MY GOSH is that ever so smooth! Man am I ever reminded why I like Glenfiddich so much. This has a nice fruit, the pear I suppose but I can taste that gentle peat malting that first brought me into the Single Malt world 35 years ago.

Ten more minutes and now I have a spice in the nose of this glass. Probably the bourbon casks coming out. It’s not strong and very much like a hazelnut. The fruitiness is balanced by the nut. This just absolutely wants to lay on my tongue and give me pleasure. It has a soft feel (only 40% ABV) and the liquid is just so… sweet – the sugar runs don’t lie about this one – and I just don’t want to swallow it.  I can’t believe I ‘m going to wait ten more minutes to finish this tasting off.

That’s it. I can’t do this again. The runs look like the tears I’m crying because I only have one bottle of this stuff. My pallet is just to rough for this very fine whisky. Liquid Gold is just to raw and Earthly to describe the color, and the taste just lingers on and on, the gentle spice, the light pear or apple, the smoke of the peat bogs and the barley…

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USB 3.0–Nice deal!

Since I got out of school (Graduation is June 30)…

I have been tinkering around with the computer stuff again.

Last month I installed a SSD. WOW! What a difference in speed and sound.

I got an Intel 120GB SSD at Best buy. The drive came with the migration software and hardware to mount it in my desktop. The hardware install wasn’t much of a hassle but the migration was more involved than I expected and not quite as straight forward as the instructions made me believe.

I have a 1TB hard drive partitioned into the OS, recovery and a D: – Data drives. Supposedly, the migration software would take the OS partition and shrink it as needed. It had about 80GB of software. OBTW I’m running Win7 sp-1 64B with 6g of ram on a HP desktop machine.

I ended up moving the data drive contents to a thumb drive (not a bad idea because I needed to backup anyway) and extended the OS partition to encompass the rest of the drive. From then on the migration went pretty much as it should have. Once the SSD was running I re-partitioned the TB drive for data again (I left the old OS drive on it just in case) and now I hardly ever hear the hard drive come on at all except when I write something to it.

This led me to want to try USB 3.0. I’ve heard about how fast it is and I figured I could put a 32g thumb drive in and eliminate the need for the hard drive. Seriously folks, I don’t have a bunch of movies and music and my TB drive only has about 16g of misc data.

So I went to the local Computer Direct store and found a four port USB 3.0 card for $30, a molex extender cable for power and a 32g usb 3.0 flash drive.

THAT was the easy part. I tried seven different ways to get the card to work and finally cried “No Mas” and called the guys at Computer Direct. Raymond Schults said we could exchange the card and I told him I really wanted to make it work and didn’t want to give up. He suggested I bring the box (my PC) in and we see what could be done. Frankly, I really did not want to hawl this monster in so I just took the card to Raymond. I watched in embarrassment as he installed the card and drivers on his breadbox machine with no issues. I explained what all I had done and he told me that he thought I had done all the right things and that there was probably a chipset driver issue. We looked at another card with only two ports but a different chipset and drivers. He pre-installed the card on his breadbox and verified that all was good.

I brought the new card (and a USB 3.0 extender cable) home and installed it. The install took about two minutes (everything was still open from the previous attempts) and the driver install took about another 45 seconds. I noticed that the drivers were older than the ones from the previous card but, I also noted that they were for a different chipset and figured that the writers must have gotten it right the first time. Anyway,… it all worked as advertised and I installed the USB 3.0 thumb drive (with extender cable) and copied some files to it with no issues whatsoever.

WOW! again… This is fast and quiet. I simply can’t believe just how much of a difference this makes. I also noted that the power drain on the UPS is down a fraction and that is probably because the HD isn’t running. In the hour since I finished the install, I have not heard the HD hit even one time.

It’s time for a whiskey or a whisky and see just how this thing pans out for a while.

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Anudder Tasting

So,…

My boss (whom I have much respect for) recommended a single malt Scotch to me – Lismore.

So. I bought a bottle.

It’s Lismore Single Malt. 40% ABV and it’s a Speyside so I don’t expect a very earthy taste. I have nIMG_0689o idea how old this is or when it was bottled which seems to be typical of the general purpose Scotch’s.

The ten minute review: Very short and nearly missing sugar lines. The Nose is not as fruity as I expected and the color is as lite golden yellow as you can get (this stuff didn’t age long in ANY barrel). Back to the Nose – the grain is there in abundance and I don’t get any spicy sense at all. Just the smell of the malted grain. Actually, I find this very pleasant and cleansing. So many other spirits have such complicated noses that it makes me feel inadequate to describe them.

The first taste is sweet and oatsy (OATSY! is that a descriptor?) and it lingers long on the pallet but isn’t obtrusive. But, after a gentle wash down there is a sour after-taste. I’ve grown to expect this from most blended Scotch but didn’t expect it from a single malt. I was looking for more of the exotic spices but I realize those are usually a product of the Isley products so I’m not disappointed that they aren’t here.

The twenty minute finish: Okay bossman, this is better than a blend but a far cry from the McClellan (which I thought this would be equal to) and not in the same game with the Glenfiddich (I’ll review that later) on the shelf. the sugar runs are a little more pronounced but still far and few between. The nose is the same. Not earth (peaty) or fruity but still like being in a field of fresh cut grains. It’s pleasant but nothing to stand out for. The taste is sweet to the point of being oily but the aftertaste is gone. That’s a good thing (to me). I would hesitate to chill this with stones (I’d never dream of ice or water) because it is so lite. Unlike the McClellan though, I would save this for after dinner. That first sour bite might prejudice the pallet for some of the lighter fare like fowl or some baked fish.

In closing, I think this would be a good step up from a blend but I hesitate to place on an even keel with any other Single Malts in MY cabinet (which is admittedly thin). It would go well with a good cigar because it has enough grain to hold it’s own with the tobacco and enough finish to not be washed off the tongue by the cigar. I’m not sorry I bought this however, I won’t put forth the effort to buy it again.  Sorry Dave.

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A Whisky Taste: McClelland’s Single Malt Speyside Scotch

I picked this up because my mother is a McClellan (no ‘d’) and the family has a rich history. I had tasted some of this many years ago but never bothered to really taste it.

The whisky bottle is in a paper can, plain white with very little decoration. No real pretention here, just the statement of a ready to drink whisky. No bottle date or age indications, no indication of age process. I get the impression that in Scotland, this is a plain Jane whiskey easily acquired and not worth much hype.

The can does have a tag that has the notes about the whisky.

 

Just judging by the notes I believe this was aged in a used whiskey or whisky barrel and not a rum or wine barrel. For me, that’s good because I don’t care much for the fruitier single malts. It’s a Speyside so I’m not looking for this to be a very ‘peaty’ or earthy flavored whisky. I am curious as to the “Fine Dark Chocolate” taste it claims and I hope it’s not too strong.

My Glencairn glass has had this sitting for ten minutes and the sugar runs are very thin and far between. Color is as advertised – honeyed, golden highlights. The first nose however isn’t what I expected. There is a pine smell but not overbearing and I do not smell the mint. There is a sweet smell but I can’t say I would call it “Fine Dark Chocolate”.

The first taste is pleasant. I can taste the Brazil nut but I can not find any Hazelnut in it (maybe I shouldn’t have had the Hazelnut creamer in my coffee this morning) or anything even close to a strong nut. It has a  strong finish but not an awkward finish.

After ten  more minutes, the nose has faded but now I can tell that the sweet smell is akin to cocoa. The piney smell is nearly gone. The taste is all Brazil nut now and no other lingering flavors. The finish was much less pronounced and though the tag claims a “Complex, unforgettable” finish, I have to disagree.

I do like this whisky. I believe it would be a good before dinner drink that would not pose any interference with the meal. I believe though that a recent spicy meal or flavored coffee would dilute the experience of the whisky. My belief this was aged in a whiskey or whisky barrel is stronger but, I would like to know for sure. I kinda like the idea of someday tracing barrel stave through it’s history from the forest to the distillers.

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…Or not

School is OUT!!!.

Finished officially on March 3rd. Got my diploma last week – in the mail.

However, graduation is 30 June at the Georgia Dome. Y’all come on down.

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