Review: Caol Ila Unpeated 15 Years Old Limited Edition 2014

Caol Ila is an active Islay distillery, and any Scotch nut knows that means peat and lots of it. But once each year Caol Ila makes unpeated whisky, just for kicks. This is one of those releases, a 15 year old “Highland style” spirit distilled in 1998. This expression, #3 of 11 in the 2014 Diageo…

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Review: Brora 35 Years Old Limited Edition 2014

Whisky #2 of 11 for Diageo’s 2014 special releases is a familiar one: Brora 35 Years Old, which is being issued for the third time in three years. Distilled in 1978, this is a classic expression from a long-shuttered distillery. (Shuttered in 1983, there can’t be much Brora left out there.) The nose is a…

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Review: Benrinnes 21 Years Old Limited Edition 2014

One of the most anticipated annual events in Scotch whisky is now upon us: Diageo’s Special Releases, antiquities both old and new (mostly old) from some of Scotland’s most storied distilleries. We’ve covered these releases for a few years, and 2014 (as each is formally labeled) presents us a bigger bounty than usual: 11 whiskies…

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Review: Bender’s Whiskey Small Batch Rye 7 Years Old Batch #2

What we’ve got here is Canadian rye, aged for seven years, then shipped off to San Francisco’s Treasure Island for bottling by a craft distilling operation, Treasure Island Distillery. The label says seven years, but actually for this second batch, the mashbill has been updated (now it’s 92% 9 year old rye, 8% 13 year…

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Review: Glenmorangie Tusail

The Glenmorangie Private Collection continues to grow, with Tusail the latest launch from this Highlands producer. The focus on this one isn’t a special barrel-aging regimen (typical for Glenmorangie), but rather it’s a unique type of barley used to make the whisky. In Glenmorangie’s own words: The 6th release from Glenmorangie’s award-winning Private Edition, Tùsail is the product…

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Review: Old Potrero 18th Century Style Whiskey and Single Malt Straight Rye

Old Potrero is the craft distilling arm of San Francisco-based Anchor Distilling, and in addition to a number of gin and unaged whiskey products, it also produces a handful of aged spirits under the OP label. Today we look at two extreme oddities, both made 100% malted rye, which means the rye has been partially…

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Review: The Legendary Hatfield & McCoy Whiskey

Much has been made about the authenticity of the genealogy behind Hatfield & McCoy whiskey — a new spirit allegedly being produced by blood relatives of the infamous West Virginia-vs.-Kentucky clans who put aside their differences to sell hooch. I won’t rehash the who’s-who behind this new brand or whether this is just an attempt…

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Review: 2013 Menage a Trois Chardonnay California

This year’s expression of California Chardonnay from Menage a Trois is a tough one, loaded with vanilla candy to within an inch of its life, and balanced only by a hint of caramel apple and a twist of lemon on the finish. Cloying and mouth-coating from the get-go, it grabs you by the sweet tooth and…

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