A Wee Trip Over The Pond: Part 1/2

Despite overlooking American & Canadian spirits much of the time, once in a while, I fancy myself a whiskey. Here’s a random bunch I’ve enjoyed this year.

Wild Turkey Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey [2022] Ob. 40.5% [81 proof] WB78.15[28] WF80

In the spirit of Roy’s V-pub evangelism [33:55], where he encourages us [from time to time] to remind ourselves of the early days when whisk[e]y was a fun curiously without rules or procedure, I order this NAS Wild Turkey in a tumbler with ice.

  • Whisky-wise, it’s a completely forgettable experience, but fun yes,… even if ‘on the rocks’ doesn’t quite work ‘al fresco’ in England on a cold winter’s night. [Not scored but sits somewhere around the +mid 70s]

On a side note, according to theculturetrip: Italians use the expression ‘al fresco’ to mean ‘in the chill’ or ‘in the cool’. For example, when they want to convey keeping things in the right places, they’d say ‘keep the cheese al fresco’. But these words have also another meaning. For Italians, ‘al fresco’ literally means ‘in prison’. The reason why it means that is probably because in the past, prisons were very cold places with thick walls (‘fresco’ means ‘cold’). So, don’t be angry if, when you say: ‘I’d love to eat al fresco’, the waiter laughs, because you are actually telling him: ‘I want to eat in prison’!

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Michter’s US*1 Straight Rye [+/-2022] Ob. Single Barrel [unknown] 42.4% WB? [WF]84

What’s a decent pub go-to these days? The pub spirits landscape has changed so radically this year since a number of regular brands – Lagavulin 16 for example – were premiumized, quite literally overnight! Sadly, Booker’s is now scarce too. Thankfully, reliable Michter’s is still holding on in there and never disappoints!

  • C: Last time I tried Michter’s ‘Straight Rye’ was in 2016 [83]. We’re in a similar ballpark tonight. Slightly soft of body, the nose offers some nice licks. Overall, decent and recommended.

Scores 84 points

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Following a fabulous Waterford tasting at Cut Your Wolf Loose [WLP] earlier in the year, Seb generously pours a mystery dram to each person that has stayed on.

Heaven Hill 12yo [2021] CYWL/Un-Ob. single cask abv unknown

  • N: Sweet eucalyptus, Marmite jam,…. is all I noted at the time.
  • T: Fresher and perhaps stronger than expected given those high-strength Waterford’s, this is uncompromisingly American. Descriptors-wise, a blackcurrant note leads proceedings. Clean overall yet not too EQ-ed, a touch herbal,….
  • F: Wonderfully industrial, slightly chalky~dunnage-y, berry sour,….
  • C: The freshest US 12yo I’ve experienced! Thank you, Seb.

Scores 85 points

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Following on neatly from here, a corn-based Heaven Hill catches my eye.

Heaven Hill 2009/2020 10yo Artful Dodger Port Pipe #152726 [380 bts] 59.3% [50cl] WB87.08[15] WF86

With an 80% corn mash bill, one could view this as Mellow Corn at cask strength.

  • N: Sugary fruitiness with a sweet chalky fungal underside, this one is very present/immediate. A far cry from the Ben Nevis we started with.
  • T: So very fruity with decent body/weight and a plasticine-ey chew with a decent middle-spectrum vista.
  • F: Finish is sho[rt],…. hold on a fine minute, that’s alright!
  • C: I love the occasional American whiskey, especially when successfully aged/finished in a port pipe.

Scores 86 points

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Come back tomorrow when there’ll be four more!

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