Whisky Squad: The Christmas Part 2018, Part 2

Following on from Part 1, in Part 2, we crack on with a trio of ryes.


Orange County Aged Rye Whiskey Ob. 48.2%.jpeg

Orange County Distillery Aged Rye Whiskey Ob. 48.2% [375ml]

  • C: Distilled from locally grown grains, it’s a rye with some freakiness.

Scores 80 points


Limestone Branch Distillery Straight Rye Whiskey 2yo [2017] Ob. Minor Case 45% [75cl] WB80[1]

‘,.. this rye whiskey is named after the founders’ ancestor: Minor Case Beam. Part of the famous bourbon-making Beam family, Minor Case worked as a distiller until 1920, when prohibition forced him to cease, and died less than a year after the ban on his life’s passion was lifted. This is a two-year-old rye whiskey which has been finished in sherry casks for six months.’ [TWE]

Limestone Branch Distillery Co. Straight Rye Whiskey Ob. 45%.jpeg

  • N: Cereal-y.
  • T: Refreshingly soft cask action [for US whiskey], makes this a relaxed, fruity presentation.
  • F: [no notes]
  • C: My short & scant notes don’t reveal that this is a whiskey right up my street. One to buy!

Scores 84 points


F.E.W. Flaming Lips [2016] Ob. Brainville Rye Whiskey [5000 bts] 40% [75cl] WB86.33[5]

F.E.W. Flaming Lips Brainville Rye Whiskey [5000 bts] 40%.jpeg

  • N: Not to be confused with Compass Box’s Flaming Heart [blog], this is an intriguing and subtly grain-based snifter that delivers sweet spices, soft varnish, butterscotch, almonds and unusual herbal candy.
  • T: A nicely blended, soft/accessible start, pleasantly woody with berries, caramel, vanilla, almonds > butterscotch,… and pistachios?
  • F: I picked out balsamic vinegar, allium and wax. There’s plenty of wood, but in character rather than volume, if that makes sense.
  • C: Given there is some depth, this is frustratingly overly tempered yet unthinkably quaffable.

Scores 84 points


Strathisla 15yo Distillery only Batch #2 55.9%.jpeg

Strathisla 15yo [06/07/2014] Un-Ob. Distillery only Batch #2 Bottled by Billy Abbot [btl #88] 55.9% [WB]86.78[20]

  • C: A straight-ahead Spey number, though the high strength helps it no end.

Scores 85 points


Laphroaig Cairdeas Feis Ile 2018 Ob. ‘Fino Cask Finish’ 51.8% WB85.77[272]

Laphroaig Cairdeas Feis Ile 2018 Ob. Fino Cask Finish 52.8%.jpeg

  • N: Another Laphroaig, this time with a fino finish – one Billy described as “filthy fino”. My limited notes mention smoked straw, lemon-y kippers and raw onions.
  • T: Onion-y smoked barley, the fino seemingly promoting the spirit as all good finishes should do.
  • F: Appropriate.
  • C: I tend to pass these Cairdeas offerings by as faddy festival fayre, and yet the occasional few I’ve tried have been very good. 

Scores 86 points


Springbank 12yo [2017] Ob. CS Batch #14 54.2% WB87.78[348]

Springbank 12 CS.jpg

  • N: Let’s finish strong. Who else but Springbank to help us home, with this sticky, deep-waxy, fruity, firm & consolidated dram.
  • T: Strong & permeating, waxy > fruity < coppery arrival with touches of rubber and thick rice paper – yet every sip varies.
  • F: Creamy > heathery-straw.
  • C: Matt recalls this as being all farmy a few years ago. Either way, I loved this as it is today.

Scores 87 points


Many thanks to Billy & Elise.





whisky squad xmas flight

3 thoughts on “Whisky Squad: The Christmas Part 2018, Part 2

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