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What did you buy at the liquor store today? (2014 – 2015)


Katie Meadow
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Three dusty twelves ended up in my cart today after finding them hiding behind some boxes in a locked case...at a local car wash/gas station.

 

The Taketsuru 12 is pretty much extinct, as are nearly all age statement Nikkas.

The EC 12 has the year statement moved to the back label these days.

And Hibiki because Hibiki.

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Three dusty twelves ended up in my cart today after finding them hiding behind some boxes in a locked case...at a local car wash/gas station.

 

The Taketsuru 12 is pretty much extinct, as are nearly all age statement Nikkas.

The EC 12 has the year statement moved to the back label these days.

And Hibiki because Hibiki.

 

Most older Nikka such as the Yoichi 15 yo, Miyagikyo 12 yo, and Taketsuru 17 and 21 yo are keeping their age statements for now although they will likely get rarer and more expensive (isn't everything?). Only the Taketsuru 12 seems to be going away for now.

 

And the Hibiki 12 is likely gone for the foreseeable future as well to be replaced by the Hibiki "Japanese Harmony" NAS.

 

For the moment the migration of the 12 from the front to the back of EC12 is not supposed to indicate it is going to become a NAS bottling. Rather it is so the label looks consistent with the ECBP and the EC Single barrel lines. Although there is much speculation that this move will make it easier to dump the age statement down the road.

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If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man. ~Mark Twain

Some people are like a Slinky. They are not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs...

~tanstaafl2

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I did manage to make a couple of interesting new acquaintances this week.

 

image1.JPGCut Spike 1.JPG

 

The Masters Keep is a new limited edition Wild Turkey that is the first release by Eddie Russell following his appointment as Master Distiller. I guess his dad Jimmy is now Master Distiller "Emeritus". It is also the oldest bourbon released by WT in the US to date. Kind of an unusual history of aging that has resulted in a reported rather low barrel proof of 86.8. Kind of a convenient number as that was a common proof for WT in the good old days but I wouldn't want to get in the way of a good marketing yarn....

 

I find low barrel proof whiskey to be much more interesting than whiskey cut with water to a lower proof so I was curious to try this. Very solid whiskey if overpriced like most things these days.

 

The Cut Spike is an American Single Malt made near Omaha, Nebraska of all places. The first batch got strong reviews but I haven't been able to get my hands on a bottle until now which is the third batch. This one has some surprising herbal almost gin notes on the nose but not much translates to the palate which I found a bit thin and lacking in any distinctive character.

 

Oh well, you win a few, you lose a lot more!

 

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If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man. ~Mark Twain

Some people are like a Slinky. They are not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs...

~tanstaafl2

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Most older Nikka such as the Yoichi 15 yo, Miyagikyo 12 yo, and Taketsuru 17 and 21 yo are keeping their age statements for now although they will likely get rarer and more expensive (isn't everything?). Only the Taketsuru 12 seems to be going away for now.

 

 

I've read conflicting reports including this one that says the Yoichi and Miyagikyo aged line is going away too.

http://www.nonjatta.com/2015/06/The-Nikka-Shock.html

 

A spirits friend recently in Japan heard the same thing as well and found very few stated age bottles on the shelves or at the distilleries. Whatever the timing is, it's likely to happen sooner or later which isn't a good thing.

 

I think I'm more disappointed with the Hibiki 12 going away as it looks like the Harmony doesn't have the umeshu element but has Mizunara oak instead.

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I did manage to make a couple of interesting new acquaintances this week.

attachicon.gifimage1.JPGattachicon.gifCut Spike 1.JPG

The Masters Keep is a new limited edition Wild Turkey that is the first release by Eddie Russell following his appointment as Master Distiller. I guess his dad Jimmy is now Master Distiller "Emeritus". It is also the oldest bourbon released by WT in the US to date. Kind of an unusual history of aging that has resulted in a reported rather low barrel proof of 86.8. Kind of a convenient number as that was a common proof for WT in the good old days but I wouldn't want to get in the way of a good marketing yarn....

I find low barrel proof whiskey to be much more interesting than whiskey cut with water to a lower proof so I was curious to try this. Very solid whiskey if overpriced like most things these days.

The Cut Spike is an American Single Malt made near Omaha, Nebraska of all places. The first batch got strong reviews but I haven't been able to get my hands on a bottle until now which is the third batch. This one has some surprising herbal almost gin notes on the nose but not much translates to the palate which I found a bit thin and lacking in any distinctive character.

Oh well, you win a few, you lose a lot more!

Bruce, I've heard good things about the Masters Keep except for the price. Would you buy it again? I have yet to try it or see it in my local market. And agree that lower proof in the barrel is a good thing. Something WT does routinely. Lower proof out of the barrel is such a rarity that I'm not able to comment on it

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How's the HSE Islay finish?

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”In Demerara some of the rum producers have a unique custom of placing chunks of raw meat in the casks to assist in aging, to absorb certain impurities, and to add a certain distinctive character.” -Peter Valaer, "Foreign and Domestic Rum," 1937

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The Islay finish so far is interesting.  I think this will be a bottle that get better as it empties.  I've had two small glasses so far and it's opened up slowly but surely with each glass.  My first glass had a really muted nose and basic but refined agricole rum taste and a quick shot of smoke on the finish.    

 

Second glass, I got a very light Islay note of smoke on the nose.The weird thing about tasting it is no(none,zilch) Islay notes  come through until the finish but when they come, they come strong. I get  some smoke, ash, orange and lemon mixed with a light rummy note.  An hour later I could still taste the smoke.

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Bruce, I've heard good things about the Masters Keep except for the price. Would you buy it again? I have yet to try it or see it in my local market. And agree that lower proof in the barrel is a good thing. Something WT does routinely. Lower proof out of the barrel is such a rarity that I'm not able to comment on it

 

I do like it but it is tough to justify the local $150 cost. I guess bourbon approaching single malt prices just doesn't feel right. But I suppose it is the reality these days for things that are older and/or limited editions. At $100 I would feel a little more like it was a fair price. But I think it will sell, unlike the WT Diamond Anniversary that I still see sitting on the shelf.

 

Nice mouthfeel despite the low proof similar to the occasional low proof older single malt that I have tried and has a solid caramel/fruit flavor (a touch of cherry perhaps?) on the palate. Not thin and watery like I typical feel is the case with many cut low proof whiskey's. But not overly oaky to me. in fact surprisingly little wood influence for 17 years. Cooler aging temps perhaps with less temperature variation through each season.

 

WT for a long time kept the lower barrel entry proof (in WT's case about 107 pf I have been told) that once was pretty common. But these days they too are beginning to go up although not to the max allowed at 125 pf. Probably more like 115 these days for WT. But older WT isn't usually this low out of the barrel. This batch supposedly lost proof because of the type and location of the rickhouses they rested in. Or so the story of this release claims.

If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man. ~Mark Twain

Some people are like a Slinky. They are not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs...

~tanstaafl2

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I've read conflicting reports including this one that says the Yoichi and Miyagikyo aged line is going away too.

http://www.nonjatta.com/2015/06/The-Nikka-Shock.html

 

A spirits friend recently in Japan heard the same thing as well and found very few stated age bottles on the shelves or at the distilleries. Whatever the timing is, it's likely to happen sooner or later which isn't a good thing.

 

I think I'm more disappointed with the Hibiki 12 going away as it looks like the Harmony doesn't have the umeshu element but has Mizunara oak instead.

 

Certainly possible! I am sure that source is well informed. Nikka seems to have exploded beyond all expectations and capacity to replace thanks in part to the TV show. I still see both age stated versions on the shelf so maybe the "terminal aunt syndrome" hasn't hit here yet but the Taketsuru 12 and Hibiki 12 are gone (or going fast) with their NAS replacements already hitting the shelves. A side by side of the age and NAS bottles might be interesting but I am loath to spend the money on the NAS bottles as long as I still have access to the age stated versions.

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If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man. ~Mark Twain

Some people are like a Slinky. They are not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs...

~tanstaafl2

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  • 3 weeks later...

My fairly recently recently acquired side job at a liquor store has actually been mostly detrimental for spirit purchases (mostly because I have been purchasing far too much craft beer and old world wine with my new discount, and my bar was well stocked with liquor).

 

However, I recently bought (on awesome sale) a bottle of Knob Creek Single Barrel. The barrel was actually selected by the GM of the store I work for, and you can only get the whiskey for this particular barrel in two stores owned by the same people in my town (pretty cool porgram, actually). It is a fairly awesome bourbon. The regular Knob Creek has always struck me as overpriced, bu this version is amazing. 120 proof, very vanilla and caramel forward, but not too sweet. Really coo little bottle.

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There are some tasty barrels hiding in those rickhouses. We've picked a few barrels and they are definitely better than OTS stuff. The 120 pf is a nice step up. Prefer barrel proof but from the many barrels we tasted through most were not much over 120 pf.

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Ok so not exactly at the liquor store, but at the local Farmers Market. BC has started letting craft distillers sell at Farmers Markets. Most of the small distilleries products have been fairly good, I usually buy gin, not much of a vodka drinker, since craft distilling is only 2-3 years old in BC there isn't much aged product available yet. But, this weeks bottle was so bad. My husband smelled it and thinks it smells like lacquer thinner. I don't disagree. Couple sips in to G&T and a headache starts.

Anyone else experienced terrible bottle? And how does it end up so bad? I don't understand distilling enough to know what went wrong.

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 And how does it end up so bad? I don't understand distilling enough to know what went wrong.

They are making poor cuts - they are trying to get all the alcohol out of their fermented product rather than throwing away the first bits that contain all the acetone like compounds. When alcohol is distilled you get the methanol off first, then the acetone stuff, then finally the 'hearts' and finish up with tails that can smell like wet dog depending on what the wash is. You air out the various cuts, sniff, taste and decide which should be added together to get good flavour, which should be used as cleaning fluid and which should be added to your next batch for another run.

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IMG_0733_zpsggci7fcu.jpg

 

The Fernet, Punt and Luxardo were restocks. The Russell's was bought purely because I tasted, in store, the bourbon I'd been meaning to buy blind and thought better of it--not bad, not worth twenty bucks more than what Russ has to offer. The Elisir Novasalus is a new one to me (as is the Nardini). I tasted it in store and had to have it. It brought to mind a (relatively) more civilised Sibilla.

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Chris Taylor

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I've never met an animal I didn't enjoy with salt and pepper.

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Restock of DC's own, fuckin' awesome Green Hat Gin, Smooth Ambler Revelation Rum (a blend of a 1990 Appleton and a 1980s Jamaican - incredible!), Chairman's Reserve Forgotten Cask (fine, maybe worth the $37, maybe not), and Foursquare Port Cask - 3 years in bourbon barrels, 6 years in port pipes - great stuff, though not rummy at all.

image.jpg

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The Elisir Novasalus is a new one to me (as is the Nardini). I tasted it in store and had to have it. It brought to mind a (relatively) more civilised Sibilla.

 

Damn, really? Novasalus is how I troll people: "I'll have a shot if you have one!" and then watch the horrified, disgusted look on their faces afterwards  :laugh: I wouldn't say I like it, but I can tolerate it fine (unlike vomit-inducing Fernet Branca)

 

Sibilla to me has nothing on it in the freak-nasty sphere, I rather like it!

 

Nardini, of course, is some A-grade, tip-top hooch.

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12033780_10100846713581022_1566145980_n.

 

The Smooth Ambler rum is a blend of 1990 Appleton and 1980s Monymusk bottled at 90 proof, purchased at Astor Wines. The Alessio Vermouth Chinato was a gift for participating in Cure's takeover of our bar this week. The 28 year old Armagnac is an early birthday present to myself to be opened in a couple of months when I turn 28. The penguins are cold brew coffee.

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DrunkLab.tumblr.com

”In Demerara some of the rum producers have a unique custom of placing chunks of raw meat in the casks to assist in aging, to absorb certain impurities, and to add a certain distinctive character.” -Peter Valaer, "Foreign and Domestic Rum," 1937

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Restock of DC's own, fuckin' awesome Green Hat Gin, Smooth Ambler Revelation Rum (a blend of a 1990 Appleton and a 1980s Jamaican - incredible!), Chairman's Reserve Forgotten Cask (fine, maybe worth the $37, maybe not), and Foursquare Port Cask - 3 years in bourbon barrels, 6 years in port pipes - great stuff, though not rummy at all.

Got to taste some Smooth Ambler Rum last week at their distillery. We were there picking bourbon barrels. One of my buddies was hot on picking up a couple barrels of their rum if it tasted great. They had several barrels of their rum stored in both their bourbon and rye barrels. Didn't think it it improved their rum any when tasting it against their standard bottle as a control but time may tell.

We ended up passing on the rum but did find two really nice barrels of their bourbon. For a twist we had our wife's and significant others select the barrels for the tasting. Lots of fun and the ladies got to participate in both the barrel selection and tasting.

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