Review: Glenmorangie “The Original” 10 Years Old

Easy to find and almost as easy to drink, Glenmorangie’s entry-level whisky is a solid and affordable entree into the world of Scotch. Glenmorangie is often noted for its floral character, but here you’ll find a surprising saltiness that interplays in an intriguing way with the caramel and honey notes of from the wood in…

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Review: Scapa 16 Years Old

Scapa is a relatively small outfit on Orkney Island, which is why Scapa gets to put the awesome word “Orcadian” on its label. Inside the bottle is a 16-year-old Scotch, which replaces the distillery’s 14-year single malt (which, in turn, replaced the distillery’s 12-year-old). Scapa’s just a one-whisky outfit, it seems. This is a racy…

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Bar Review: The Four Seasons, Austin

Spent New Year’s Eve in Austin, Texas this year — specifically at one of the classiest joints in town, the lounge within the Four Seasons hotel, a fixture of downtown Austin and a bar which I’ve visited dozens of times. (I had martinis here before hanging out with Leaving Las Vegas director Mike Figgis, even.)…

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Review: Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Select (2009)

Your excitement about getting a bottle of this “single barrel” whiskey may dim somewhat when you read the lengthy alphanumeric code identifying the barrel from which it came. In my case, I’m sampling barrel number 7-4229 from rick number L-35 (warehousing information). So, yes, it’s from a single barrel… but we’re talking about thousands of…

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Review: Old Rip Van Winkle Handmade Bourbon 15 Years Old

After enjoying — thoroughly — Pappy Van Winkle’s 20 and 23-year-old bourbons at WhiskyFest, I got ahold of some 15-year-old bourbon from the company. This is an older bottle of Old Rip Van Winkle — bottle number A5909 (not the exact one seen below, but the same style/branding) — and the brand has been repackaged…

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Review: Glen Moray 16 Years Old

A Speyside Scotch, aged 16 years and matured in old Chenin Blanc white wine barrels. This amber/copper Scotch is rich with flavor, a solid malt core backed up with lots of fruit. A big fruit salad in this one, with apples, bananas, and some cinnamon/clove spices to top it all off. Though just 80 proof,…

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Review: The Macallan Sherry Oak 18 Years Old (2009)

What a treat to try the distillery-bottled Macallan 18 Years Old after spending weeks with the Kirkland indie version. Here we see what Macallan had in mind — a honey and caramel-infused spirit with the lightest touch of smoke, layered with light fruit notes — apple and pear and a little citrus. The sherry wood…

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Review: Glenfiddich Solera Reserve 15 Years Old

This 15-year single malt is matured in the solera style in three different types of wood casks — sherry, bourbon, and new oak. Despite being bottled at 80 proof, it strangely comes off as hot. Even after adding a moderate amount of water, it’s still got some burn to it. There is sherry here and…

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