Caol Ila Wilson & Morgan Barrel Selection Review


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!


(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.


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.


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


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!


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

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.


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.

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 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.


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 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)

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 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

The Arran Malt 14 Review

The Arran Malt 14 Review

Distillery: The Arran Distillery
Expression: The Arren Malt 14 years
Category: Single Malt Scotch
Region: Island
ABV: 46%

The Arran 14 was finished in sherry-hogshead and fresh bourbon casks for two years which gives it some interesting and unique flavor notes.

Plus, score it some extra points in the natural production category for being non-chill filtered.

This is a good example that age and a dark color isn’t a prerequisite for a superior whisky.

The Arran Malt 14 Tasting Notes

Color:  Sunset Copper
Nose:  Opens with a malty prelude that gives way to fresh fruits.
Palate:  Creamy with coconut, sweet oak, and some white pepper
Finish: Pleasant ending with some oak, cinnamon, and a bit of salt.

Score 83 / 100

Glenlivet Nàdurra Review


The Glenlivet Nàdurra

Distillery: The Glenlivet
Expression: Nadurra – 16 years
Category: Single Malt Scotch
Region:  Speyside
Age: 16 years
ABV: 48%

I first spotted this one at a Taipei wine bar with a limited whisky selection.

As it turns out, twas only one bottle of Nadurra left on the shelf.

A fine upstanding gentlemen was oogling it over while his sophisticated, high-maintenance date was perusing the Shiraz section.

Would he get it the last bottle?

Not on my watch.

Like a hawk targeting its prey, I stealthily homed in on the last Nàdurra.

As nimble as a drunk could be, I boxed him out of the lane like a prime Dennis Rodman and plucked the last bottle from the shelf.


Sorry Charlie, maybe next time.

When I uncorked the bottle and poured myself a dramI wasn’t disappointed at all.

For starters, it was nice to see a whiskey aged in first-fill American oak casks.

(Hopefully  Glenlivet and other distilleries will keep this trend a rollin’)

On the palate, the malts are superb and after the initial attack a splash of grape juice comes splashing forth like a geyser.

Fresh oak is present throughout and leads your taste buds on a walk through the forest.

Glenlivet Nàdurra Tasting Notes

Nose:  Lemon, Peach, Aniseed
Palate:  Velvety smooth with crisp malts. Some hazelnut notes in the background.
Finish: Long, gingery, and oaky.

Score 88/ 100

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