Whisky Reviews

Review #62: Akashi White Oak 5 Year White Wine Single Malt
This is a continuation of the series of posts on whiskies we tried in Japan. Most of the places we
Review #61: Signatory Royal Lochnagar 1991
While we were having the Port Ellen and a sherry aged Port Charlotte at our new favorite scotch bar (Campbelltoun
Review #60: Ichiro Malt Chichibu
We wrote about Bar High Five during our last trip to Japan. It remains my favorite of the excellent Ginza
Review #59: Rona’s Cask Port Charlotte 13 Year
This continues our series of whisky reviews that we wrote while touring some of the best scotch bars we have
Review #58: Golden Cask Port Ellen
This starts a series of whisky reviews we started while we were in Tokyo and Osaka, which have some of
Review #57: Laphroaig Distillery Exclusive (2005 Bourbon to PX Cask)
As mentioned in Review #56 (Laphroaig 2011 Oloroso Sherry Cask from the distillery), we are now siphoning off the distillery
Review #56: Laphroaig Distillery Exclusive (Oloroso Sherry 2011)
Back during our 2018 Thanksgiving break (end of November for non-Americans), we went to Islay in Scotland and visited the
Review #55: Bowmore 18
We’re always on the hunt for difficult-to-procure bottles, but the Bowmore 18 is broadly available, if a little expensive. But
Highland Park Full Volume
Review #54: Highland Park Full Volume
At some point, we should write up a long post on Highland Park because it is massively popular at our
Wayward Rye
Review #53: Wayward Rye Whiskey
Along with our tasting of Thomas H Handy at Interval Long Now (we rated it 9/10 for a $20 pour),

Scotch Whisky

Scotch whisky must be distilled in Scotland, aged for at least three years in oak, and subject to several other restrictions. The age on a label of scotch has to be the youngest year of whisky used in the final beverage. There are five main regions of Scotch production, Highland, Lowland, Islay, Campbeltown, and Speyside. Scotch whiskys run the gamut from sweeter, smoother varieties like Glenmorangie to heavy, peatier whiskys like Laphroaig and Lagavulin. Single Malt Scotch is Scotch is a further restriction, as it needs to be produced only from 100% malted barley, and it can only come from a single distillery.

Irish Whisky

Irish whiskeys have diversified in recent years. Traditional Irish whiskies have been from a mix of malted and unmalted barley, and are triple distilled in a pot still. Irish whiskeys tend to be smoother and sweeter than most of their Scottish and American counterparts, and are great for new whiskey drinkers.

Japanese Whisky

Though whiskys were first made in Japan in the 1870s, they weren’t commercially produced until Yamazaki opened its doors in 1924. Japanese whiskys tend to be based on single malt Scotches, and often have similar flavor profiles. Yamazaki, Hakushu, and Nikka are three of the most common Japanese whisky brands available around the world. In recent years Japanese whiskys have been attracting increasing attention, especially since Nikka and Suntory’s whiskys have started to beat some of the most highly regarded Scotches in head to head competitions.

Bourbon & Rye Whiskey

America’s gift to drinking culture, bourbon dates back to the mid 1800s. Technically a bourbon is any American whiskey that’s produced in the US from at least 51% grain, distilled to less than 80% ABV, barreled at no more than 125 proof, aged in new charred oak, and bottled at more than 80 proof. Most Bourbon is aged for at least 2 years, and made in Kentucky, but there are some interesting new bourbons cropping up at distilleries across the US in recent years.