Whisky Reviews

Review #42: Archives 15 Orkney Highland Park
Single cask release from the Whisky Archives group. Bottling of a 15 year old Highalnd Park (Orkney) whisky with strong
Review #41: Port Charlotte MC:01 Marsala Cask
This is the third review of our 4-bottle Port Charlotte vertical tasting with a variety of cask maturations. The first
Review #40: Port Charlotte 2007 CC:01 Cognac Cask
This is the second review of our 4-bottle Port Charlotte vertical tasting with a variety of cask maturations. The first
Review #39: Aberlour 12
Last week we went to a lecture and vertical tasting of Aberlour led by Brand Ambassador Callum O’Donnell. After climbing
Review #38: Port Charlotte Scottish Barley Heavily Peated 2007
Our trip to the Bruichladdich distillery ended with the acquisition of our prized possession: a Valinch distillery-exclusive 500 ml bottle
Review #37: 2bar Spirits Bourbon
We showed up to this distillery soaking wet, after running through the Seattle rain from Westland Distillery. 2bar didn’t look
Review #36: Old Malt Cask – Ben Nevis 21
I can't put my finger on what went wrong. But something went terribly wrong and the distillery sold off the
Review #35: Hepburn’s Choice John Maccrae 26 Year (Teaspooned Balvenie)
This was our first teaspooned cask purchase. Teaspooning is a common practice for many distilleries to change a single malt
Review #34: Bruichladdich Classic Laddie 2007
A great dram and really helps me understand why I love the peated Port Charlotte bottlings so much. 
Review #33: Bruichladdich Islay Barley 2007 from Wee Laddie Tasting Set
Good – but I prefer the Scottish barley (Classic Laddie), which has a lot more complexity and salinity. I also

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.