Caol Ila Wilson & Morgan Barrel Selection Review

caol-ila-wilson-morgan

Caol Ila Wilson & Morgan Barrel Selection Review

Distillery: Caol Ila (bottled by Wilson & Morgan)
Expression: 10 year (distilled in 2000, bottled in 2010)
Category: Single Malt Scotch
Region: Islay
ABV: 48%

A funny thing happened on the way to the dentist.

Despite YEARS of pristine flossing and brushing habits, the Gods of Toothdom were not appeased.

(Or perhaps it was that scathing review of the King Robert II)

Either way, the angered deities conspired atop Mt. Olympus and cast a treacherous thunderbolt intended to impede the palate of the Whisky Jerk

A cavity!

cavity

(And a deep one at that)

Making matters worse, me ole’ dentist tried to pull a fast one over on me.

I had TWO options:

1.) Get the “routine” treatment covered under the national insurance plan. My dentist made it clear this would be EXTREMELY PAINFUL and not recommended.

OR

2.) Fork up an extra NT$12,000 (400 $US buckaroos) for a less painful procedure.

Now I didn’t graduate from Oxnard University, (or any other prestigious SoCal school for that matter) but I can do a little math.

$400 roughly EQUALS

    • 8 bottles of Ardbeg TEN
    • 4 bottles of Redbreast FIFTEEN
    • 15 bottles of the Glenfiddich TWELVER

That’s a lot of good whisky to waste for a few hours of comfort.

So I said “FECK IT” and chose option one.

With a devilish smile she grinned and proceeded to drill and fill until she inflicted her quota of pain for NOT taking her advice.

And she did it all … WITHOUT an ounce of Novocaine.

dentist

By the time Doc was done, my mouth was a swollen mess.

Bruised but not beaten, I schlepped on over to the nearest liquor store and put some of those hard-earned cash savings to work.

Twas time to self-medicate

self-medicate

So, I headed across the street to the nearest whisky joint and picked up a 700ml bottle Caol Ila limited edition.

At 48%, this Caol Ila expression packs quite a decent punch.

Compared to the Caol Ila 12, this one wasn’t as sweet and it seemed a bit more balanced.

For Islay fans, this one is a nice change of pace if you still want the peat but would like to veer away from Ardbeg and Laphroaig for a bit.

Apparently it also has rejuvenative powers, as my molars stopped aching after 3-4 drams.

However, I did kill nearly half the bottle and woke up with a splitting fucking headache.

Damn you Zeus!

zeus

Caol Ila Tasting Notes

Nose: Bonfire, ripe fruit

Palate: Earthy, bonfire, peat with medicinal qualities. Husky chaff-like grains

Finish: Low key finish that takes you for a nice country ride without ever over exerting itself

Rating: 83 / 100

Choosing a Whiskey for Derek Jeter’s Final Game

Derek-Jeter

O Captain! My Captain!

Twas only yesterday you were a young lad, roaming the hallowed grounds at short in old Yankee Stadium.

Old-Yankee-Stadium

You gave us so many memorable moments for which we shall never be able to repay you.

  • The Dive
  • His Game-Winning World Series HR vs. Arizona
  • The Jeffery Mayer Home Run against Baltimore
  • The Flip

In tribute, I even forced my poor pooch to don his jersey for every playoff Yankee game.

rose

And game after game, #2 delivered.

But alas, now his run as a ballplayer is coming to an end.

Although this season was a disappointing bummer for the Bronx Bombers, make no mistake …

JETER IS STILL THE MAN

So how shall I shall I spend the wee minutes remaining in his final game in the Bronx, and the road games in Beantown against the dreaded LAST PLACE Boston Red Sox ?

Drunk and with a tall dram of whisky of course …

But with which one?

I could do a dram an inning, but NAH …..

It wouldn’t fit, the captain was a class act.

ONE team for his whole career

The least I can do is stick with one bottle for 9 innings.

Perhaps you have the same dilemma.

If you’re on the fence about this one, don’t worry.

The Whisky Jerk has got you covered.

I’ve put together some options suited to meet every whisky drinker’s needs.

 

Woodford Reserve
A classy American bourbon. What every bourbon should aspire to be. About $60.
 
Whistle Pig
100 proof, rye whiskey aged for 10 years. Hard nosed and gritty rye Plays its heart out every day. Leaves it all on the line.

Redbreast 15
Smooth Irish whiskey that always comes through for in the clutch.  55$ or thereabouts.

Jack Daniels Old No. 7 (Budget Selection)
Twas Frank Sinatra’s favorite whiskey, so you can tip your hat to the Chairman and Jetes at a reasonable price courtesy of your local liquor store.

These are my selections, but what about you?

What will you be drinking during Jeter’s final games in pinstripes?

How Long Does It Take Before Whisky Goes Bad After the Bottle is Opened?

whisky-go-bad-opened

One advantage us whisky drinkers have over our wine-loving counterparts is we DON’T have to rush to guzzle down our bottles anytime soon after they are opened.

On the other hand …

Uncork some fine vino and the clock starts ticking immediately.

It’s always best to kill the wine that first evening.

From every day after that it sits, the wine gets significantly worse until you’re forced to use it for cooking or simply pour it down the drain.

Whisky, on the other hand, is much more forgiving.

You can put a nice dent in your new bottle, cork it back up, and then come back to it days, months, and sometimes even years later.

But like everything on this godforsaken planet, age will eventually have its way with it.

Although it won’t go completely bad, the sharp notes and smells you originally detected will be dulled by the hands of time and it won’t have the same oomph as it did in its unopened prime.

Why?

In a word- – OXIDATION.

oxidizing-agent-155981_640

As air mingles with the whisky, it does a number on the flavors.

How long AND strong the deterioration process will take depends on a variety of factors.

This includes:

  • Storage temperature
  • Volume of air in the bottle
  • Amount of light exposure
  • How much the liquid moves around

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So, if you want to keep your open whisky bottle as fresh as long as possible, here are a few handy tips:

  • Store it in a cool, dark environment (most important factor)
  • Stand the bottle upright
  • Finish off almost-empty bottles ASAP, as they will contain more air in the bottle, speeding up the oxidation process

So HOW LONG does it REALLY take for whisky to go bad after it’s opened?

Due to all of these factors,there’s no definitive one-size-fits-all answer.

It’s case-by-case

If you do everything wrong (a 95% empty bottle, stored at a high temperature, etc.) you might start to notice negative effects within a few weeks.

On the other hand, nearly-full bottles stored properly, will likely take several months, maybe even a year, before you notice a decrease in quality.

Although the whisky will never technically go bad like wine does, the flavor and thrill of drinking it will vanish like a dove stuffed into Harry Houdini’s hat.

magician

VAT 69 Review

vat 69 review

VAT 69 Finest Scotch Review

Distillery: William Sanderson & Son Limited
Expression: VAT 69 Finest Scotch (No Age)
Category: Blended Scotch
ABV: 40%

VAT 69 might fly under the radar of casual whisky drinkers, but this blend has actually been around since 1882.

That’s when distillery owner William Sanderson had a vision to create the blend of all blends.

S,o he had his team prepare 100 different casks of blended whiskies.

Then he hired a panel of experts carefully taste each and every one and select the best one.

I have a sneaking suspicion that these so-called “experts” secretly conspired to toss their tastings notes to the wind and play a tasty little joke on their employer.

What number did they pick?

69 dude!

Since then, VAT 69 has had a colorful history, pooping up in 1970s-80s Bollywood sets as the choice of wealthy villains of the underworld.

vat-69-bollywood

If only the Whisky Jerk would swoop in and save me!

It was also the most sought after drink by Captain Lewis Nixon in the famed Band of Brothers book and miniseries.

In terms of taste, it’s an OK non-age blend, consisting of a mixture of 40 different malt and grain whiskies.

Swimming somewhere in the Johnnie Walker Black territory.

Really cheap though, so don’t hesitate to give it a shot.

Just don’t be expecting the world or nothin’.

VAT 69 Tasting Notes

Nose: rubbing alcohol,All-spice, vanilla custard, pear
Palate: light caramel, bitter melon, black pepper, hints of peat
Finish: decent finish for a budget blend. Some interplay and smoke but it won’t blow your socks off though.

Rating: 72 / 100

Tomatin Legacy Review

tomatin legacy review

Tomatin Legacy Review

Distillery: Tomatin
Expression: Legacy
Category: Single Malt Scotch
Region: Highland
ABV: 43%

With the Legacy,  Tomatin has throw its proverbial hat into the ring of the non-age-statement whisky arena.

Here’s a little background on Tomatin …

For years, it has lurking in the shadows of the popular Scottish distilleries.

Unbeknownst to many casual whisky drinkers, it’s actually been quite a major player in the whisky world for quite some time.

In fact,  you’ve probably been drinking it all along without even knowing it, as it’s been providing a lot of oomph to many of your favorite blends.
Yet it wasn’t until recently that Tomatin decided to branch out it operations and put some weight behind its single malt offerings.
Straight out the gate, it has already brought some extremely fascinating malts to the table but in a short time span, it’s already completely overhauled and revamped its offerings.

Case in point:

The Tomatin 15 was a phenomenal whisky.

It even earned a nice little spotted perched above the Whisky Jerk’s home collection.

Yet just as soon as I developed a twinkling in my eye for this sweetheart , it was plucked from the bosom of myself and other enthusiastic consumers and quickly discontinued.
thumbs-down

Oh Tomatin. Why doth thou plucketh the 14 from us so soon?

 

Similarly, the Tomatin 18 is a stellar whisky, but it’s in such short supply that they are dolling it out on allocation.

Now …. back to the Legacy

So what’s the Jerk’s take?

We’re talking about some pretty phenomenal stuff at a delicious price offering.

Whisky guru Jim Murray gave it a 94 in his acclaimed Whisky Bible.

 And by golly … he’s got it right.

 

At $30 – $35 a bottle, it’s a steal of a deal. So, if you can your grubby mitts upon a bottle, snatch it up before they come to their senses and jack up the price.

I liked it so much I decided to share a mini-dram with my goldfish.

goldfish slightly drunk on Tomatin

Needless to say, he can’t speak.
But he crashed face-first into the tank a few times and swam a lap around the bowl backwards.
{I think he liked it}

 

Tomatin Legacy Tasting Notes

Nose:It delivers a tangy wisp of lemon on the nose, vanilla bean, marshmallow, and some pine overtones coming over the top.

Palate: The whisky comes ablaze on the tongue. The malts are young albeit, but they’re clean and crisp and under the reigns.

Finish:As this whisky fades into the sunset the malts go on cruise control, leaving you with some delicate spices on the fade away.

Rating: 82 / 100

Ardbeg Ten Review

Ardbeg 10 Review

Ardbeg Ten Review

Distillery: Ardbeg
Expression: 10 Year
Category: Single Malt Scotch
Region: Islay
ABV: 46%

The Ardbeg Ten is an entry-level offering from (arguably) the most iconic Islay distillery on the planet.

It’s non-chill filtered, comes in at a respectable 46%, and blows virtually every entry-level peat offering out of the water.
Have you got your bottle in front of you?

I hope so, because we’re about to get down and dirty with this baby.

First, uncork that sucker and put your ear to the bottle.

Listen closely.

Do hear that?

It’s the sound of a Monster Truck Peat Machine rumbling its engine, seconds before it leaves a long stretch of rubbery tire streaks across your palate.

A monster truck

If you’ve ever been curious about what it’s like to die from peat asphyxiation you’re about to find out.

And if the Ardbeg Ten is any indication, it wouldn’t be such a bad way to go.

In addition to the peat, there are some vague notes of black pepper, crispy bacon, lemon, and smoked fish.

But the chocolate, pear, banana, notes touted in Ardbeg’s official tasting notes seem like a load of unnecessary marketing mumbo jumbo, aimed at sprucing up an already stellar whisky.

Whatever additional pleasantries (that may or may not exist) are effectively choked out in a brooding fog of smoke wafting from the Ardbeg’s V-8 engine.

Ardbeg Ten Review

That doesn’t make it a bad whisky by any stretch.

In fact, that’s what makes it so great.

The Ardbeg 10 is an iconic Islay brand for a good reason.

Whether you’re an Islay lover or a whisky newbie curious about what people mean by a “peaty” whisky, be sure to give the Ardbeg Ten a test drive.

Rating: 88 / 100

AnCnoc 12 Review

ancnoc-12

AnCnoc 12 Review

Distillery: AnCnoc
Expression: 12 Year
Category: Single Malt Scotch
Region: Highlands
ABV: 40%

I hate to be a party pooper, but every day of your life ain’t gonna turn out to be the best day you’ve ever had.

I’d even venture a guess that unless you’re an unstoppable fiesta machine like the Whisky Jerk, on most days you probably

  • Wake up
  • Go to work
  • Shuffle home
  • Watch old 
  • And go to bed

Such is LIFE.

VARIOUS

My day was rather ordinary

By the same token, every whisky bottle in your collection ain’t gonna be a fucking classic.

That’s just the way el cookie crumbles.

For every Redbreast 12 and Glenmorangie Ealanta that honors your shelf with its mere presence you’re bound to have a crew of plain-jane malts that stick around for eons.

Not horrendous enough to re-gift or dump down the drain, but not enticing enough to drink.

And in a nutshell, that’s the AnCnoc 12.

Extremely goddamn ordinary.

It’s a good one to sip with some old friends you went to high school with … who you never stopped hanging out with 25 years later.

AnCnoc 12 Tasting Notes

Nose:  Light. floral potpourri with a spritz of honey
Palate:  Feint smoke accompanied by woody, apple, and medicinal notes
Finish: Medium-length. Oak and grains.

Score 73 / 100

The Macallan 12 Sherry Oak Review

The-Macallan-Sherry-12

The Macallan 12 Sherry Oak

Distillery: The Macallan
Expression: 12 years – Sherry Oak
Region: Speyside
Category: Single Malt Scotch
ABV: 43%

 

Macallan 12 Sherry Oak Tasting Notes

Nose:  Extra fruity: Wild berries, vanilla, clean sherry
Palate:  Smoky sherry, plums, Fuji apple, dark chocolate
Finish: The smoke dies down and transforms into a short but smooth finish.

Score 82 / 100

The Macallan 12 Fine Oak Review

The-Macallan-Fine-Oak-12

The Macallan Fine Oak (12)

Distillery: The Macallan
Expression: 12 year Fine Oak
Category: Single Malt Scotch
Region: Speyside
ABV: 40%

Really stellar offering for an entry level single malt. Flavors and complexity galore thanks to the triple cask maturation. Fantastic nose, smooth and mellow on the palate, with a short but smooth finish. Sadly, it’s been discontinued.

The Macallan 12 Fine Oak Tasting Notes

Nose:  Musty pine, dried mango, spicy oak. Quite sophisticated overall.
Palate:  Chewy caramel/chocolate chip middle section with raisin and spice notes that provide balance.
Finish: Silky finish that pulses with cherry, oak, and vanilla

Score 86 / 100

The Arran Malt (10)

The-Arran-10

The Arran Malt 10

Distillery: The Arran Distillery
Expression: The Arran Malt (10 years)
Category: Single Malt Scotch
Region: Island
ABV: 46%

The Arran has an extremely light color because it’s non-chill filtered.

Yet looks can be deceiving, as the Arran 10 is mature beyond its years in many ways.

However a few rowdy grain notes and bursting fruit flavors are a reminder that this young whippersnapper ain’t over-the-hill.

All in all, the Arran 10 is a solid entry level single malt.

Although it’s not exceptional by any means it probably won’t do anything to turn you off.

The Arran Malt (10) Tasting Notes

Color:  Light Honey
Nose:  Quite fruity (raisins, green apples, plums) with floral notes
Palate:   Lots of grain notes. Steel oats, barley, fresh-cut hay. Honey and almond
Finish: Light smokey finish with some toffee and vanilla notes. Fairly complex

Score 81 / 100

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