Thursday, 27 September 2012

The Treasure Hunt Ends....For Now!

















Whisky: Glenrothes 1998 Vintage





Glenrothes 1998 vintage









Young Sauternes



Recently I'd visited a local bottle shop trying to find some of the beers I import into Australia and as always to try and find some sweet sweet whisky.

Inside this bottle shop which had nothing redeeming inside of it, except for a little gift pack of three different Glenrothes with some glencairn shotglasses, all for $50 AUS.

This gift pack had a recent Select Reserve, a 1995 Vintage and a 1998 Vintage Glenrothes.

Not too shabby for fifty bucks.
I've tried two of them so far, the Select Reserve (not too shabby) and the 1995 Vintage which left quite a bit to be desired.

Tonight was the Glenrothes 1998 Vintage's turn to come up to the chopping block!

First nose was quite acidic with lots of citrus notes and as I've found with quite a few of the Glenrothes needs time to breath.

After being left to sit for around twenty minutes the acidity eases down and the aromas become clearer.

Vanilla, citrus fruits (but not in the intensity it had been at the start), honey and lemon grass all pop up. It's a decent nose, but definitely not one of my favorite's so far.

There's quite a tart taste with this whisky on first sip which then slowly becomes sweet.  Honey appears on the palate along with hints of oak and apples, other fruits that I'm trying to identify, but
I swear I'm getting a hint of pear then some spices at the end, specifically cinnamon and some nutmeg.

It's not half bad.

The finish is spicy with cinnamon and nutmeg with vanilla and apples at the very end of the palate.

This is a decent Glenrothes, a fair step up from the 1995 vintage, but still not as enjoyable as the Select Reserve.

It's not too expensive if you can find it, odds are running you around $70 AUS, but you are going to have to try and hunt it down as I've yet to see a full sized bottle in any bottle shop in the city.

Nose:        18/25
Taste:       20/25
Finish:       18/25
Balance:     20/25

Overall:      76/100

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

The Treasure Hunt Continues!





















Whisky: Glenrothes Select Reserve 2012






Glenrothes Select Reserve








Young Sauternes


A few weeks ago I bought a gift pack of Glenrothes sample bottles from a local bottle shop. I'd wandered into this bottle shop because I'd never gone into it before and I was checking to see if they sold any of the beers I import into the country.

I love to wander into different bottle shops, trying to find those rare or valuable whiskies that the majority of the whisky drinking public don't realize for the gems that they are.

You can get some really good deals because oftentimes unless the bottle shop owner is a whisky drinker themselves, they don't realize what they have on their shelves and so you can oftentimes make a deal for a great whisky at a stupid price.

In the corner of the shop I'd seen a box that I'd never seen before and it just sort of called to me.

When I asked the clerk to see it he handed me this box of glencairn shotglasses and three 100ml bottles of different Glenrothes.

A 1995 vintage, a 1998 vintage and a Select Reserve.

All this for $50AUS.

I'd already had the Select Reserve from 2006 which had won a gold metal at the San Francisco Spirit Awards.

Very enjoyable whisky so I decided to give it a shot and pick up the gift set.

The first bottle I crack open is the 1995 vintage which was EXTREMELY disappointing earning a lowly 70 out of 100 from me.

Time for the Select Reserve though.

The nose is much more balanced and quite enjoyable.

First aroma that hits my nose as I crack the bottle is overwhelming citrus, but then it dies down and vanilla with cinnamon and fruit, specifically pear.

This is the Speyside nose that my wife and I love!

First taste is fruity, pears and apples, bits of citrus, vanilla that slowly gets stronger, oak, nutmeg and cinnamon.


The finish is quite short with apples and vanilla that slowly gets more and more dominating (God that's nice!)

Extremely delicious whisky!

Even better is that this whisky isn't too hard to find and is extremely affordable.   Running at around $75 AUS at most major liquor stores, it's a steal!

Only problem is that I don't know which release this is, but I'm going to assume this is the most recent batch, but once again that's just a guess.

If you see Glenrothes Select Reserve you should just buy it.

If you're not a huge fan of easy drinking sweet whiskies I'm sure your wife or girlfriend will likely enjoy this and then you can convert them to the whiskyside!

Nose:          21/25
Taste:        22/25
Finish:        21/25
Balance:      21/25

Overall:       85/100

Monday, 24 September 2012

My First Beer Review!

Beer: Mikkeller Black Buffalo Imperial Stout

Brewed at:
De Proefbrouwerij

Imperial Stout


Pitch Black


This is my first beer review, ever and I've been debating for quite a while now as to whether I should add in beer reviews to the blog.  I'm not nearly as big a beer geek as I am a whisky geek.

However I do run a store that imports beer into Australia so I am constantly trying new beers out every week to increase sales.

I'd never been much of a beer fan until I started working at my current job, but I'd found over the last few months that I'm a huge dark beer geek.  Pale ales, lagers, India pale ales, etc just don't do it for me.  I find them boring.

But big, intense, dark beers. Yeah they get my motor running.

In fact, when I see a new one come out, I sometimes start giggling in pleasure at the joy to come.

So when my sister store, the International Beer Shop posted in their newsletter that they'd received some bottles from Mikkeller, a gypsy brewer, of an Imperial Stout aged in Buffalo Trace bourbon barrels, I knew I had to try one.

When I saw that this beer was sitting at a modest 19.3% ABV, I went from "I have to try one" to "I'm going to have one, period!" even at the price tag of $35 for a 375ml bottle.  

For those used to thinking of beers like Sierra Nevada, that's just a small 20mls more beer.

And for those who don't know much about beer, your average Sierra Nevada or Budweiser sits at around 5% ABV.  That means that this beer is 4x as strong as those guys.

Now for those of us who aren't beer geeks I think there are a couple explanations in order or terms to be defined.

Let's start with Gypsy brewer.

A gypsy brewer is someone who doesn't own their own brewery, but instead rents space in other breweries to brew their own beers.

This doesn't make their bad, oftentimes many of the best brewers get their start this way, even better is that many of these brewers think outside of the typical brewing box and make some PHENOMENAL beers.

Next thing I should clear. 

Alcohol abv.

Oftentimes you'll hear me reference a whiskies or possibly now a beers abv.  You'll notice that the higher the abv the more I start giggling.  Now the reason I do this is not because I'm an alcoholic or I want to get drunk.

The reason why is simple.  

On a quality spirit or beer, a well made one, the higher the abv, the stronger the flavors and aromas that will come through.

In my mind when booze, for lack of a better term, dominates a whisky or beers flavor profile, the distiller or brewer messed up somewhere.  The best whiskies and beers are oftentimes high abvs and you wouldn't be able to taste the alcohol.

For me the flavor of alcohol is a flaw in the product.

Last my friends.  Drinking.

Do it responsibly.


The point of alcohol, of beer and whisky, is NOT to get drunk, but to enjoy something in a responsible manner.

It is EXTREMELY rare for me to get a buzz, much less drunk, because when I try whisky or beers I drink lots of water, I eat food, I indulge slowly so as to not overwhelm the system.

If you're drinking to get drunk.  Go read another blog.  One where they tell you how awesome Jim Beam and Jack Daniels and Budweiser and Coors are.

Yeah that's right the cheap stuff.

When you start getting drunk you palate becomes duller and flavors aren't so pronounced.  You might as well be drinking something cheap, not something nice and possibly expensive.

So drink responsibly.

Back to the beer though!

As soon as I could I ran over to IBS to pick up my brand new bottle of whisky, the Thomas H Handy Sazerac Rye, which I just reviewed, and a few bottles of these bad boys for my brother in law and me to try out this last weekend.

No way would either of us be able to finish a bottle in anything less then six hours and still be sober.

I mean this beer pretty much ranks in the top 50 highest abv beers in the world.  I needed reinforcements!

So my brother in law, my sister in law and I got together this last Sunday afternoon over a few beers and a few whiskies to watch Joss Wheadon's The Avengers.

We opened the session with one of my favorite beers, De Molen's Mooi & Meedogenloos (The Beautiful and Ruthless) which sits at a small 10.2%abv and then we cracked the big boy open.

I split the bottle in half and poured it into our tasting goblets.  I prefer a snifter style glass with my stouts and imperial stouts as your hand warms the beer it releases more aromas and flavors and I then poured.

It poured a pitch black, dark as night with a cocoa coffee colored head.  It's dark as sin and beautiful as could be.

It is actually incredibly impressive when you consider how monstrous this beer is.

The aroma is huge and complex. 

Bourbon, wood, ash, smoke, chocolate, coffee, roasted malts, licorice, caramel, vanilla and hints of alcohol, which is to be expected on a beer this big.

Wow, just wow.  

Huge is just about the only word to describe this beer.

I decide to take a taste, so I take the smallest of sips from my snifter.

Huge again.  A monster of a beer!

Bourbon is again exploding on the palate,  burnt mocha, coffee, licorice, burnt wood, vanilla and again a small amount of alcohol.

But this beer really does an extremely good job of hiding the alcohol.

Extremely intense finish with bourbon, burnt wood and mocha just lingering forever.

It took me two hours to finish a glass of this bad boy, same with my brother in law and we both agreed fullheartedly that neither of us could have finished a bottle on our own.

This is the kind of beer that you buy a bottle and you share it out among 2, 3, or 4 friends.

This is not a "I've just got home from work and need a beer to knock back" kinda beer.  This beer is wasted on something like that.

Plus you won't be able to walk after knocking back one of these.

This guy runs for a cool $35 a bottle over here in Perth and it's worth every penny.  I have one bottle left in my fridge and I've got two more bottles on the way, one for my brother Geoff in the USA.

Even better this is a beer that's going to be good for the next ten years so if you wanted to age it, go for it!

If you like your beers big and dark and intense and have a friend to share it with, grab a bottle of this if you can!

Nose:        24/25
Taste:       24/25
Finish:        24/25
Balance:    24/25

Overall:     96/100

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Finally My Own Thomas H Handy!












Whisky: Buffalo Trace's Thomas H. Handy 2010 Release



Thomas H. Handy



2010 Release









During my recent trip to Helvetica, our local whisky bar, my wife, my brother and sister in law and myself all got a chance to try the Thomas H. Handy Sazerac Rye.

It was nothing short of brilliant.

However this is not that whisky.

Now that's not to say that this isn't a great whisky,  I just want to clarify that there will be two reviews on the Thomas H. Handy in the coming days.

The Thomas H. Handy that I tried at the local whisky bar impressed me so much that my brother in law and I both decided that we each needed a bottle of this bad boy for ourselves.

As soon as I could I went straight to my favorite whisky store in Perth, the International Beer Shop, which carries the entire Sazerac Antiquities Collection from Buffalo Trace, and picked up my first bottle from said collection for myself.

It only ran me $250, but I felt that it was worth it.

Today my brother in law and I cracked this bad boy open and gave it a spin around the block!

The nose is cracking!   Nothing short of that.

Complex and delicious!

Rye, big, beautiful, lovely rye!

Then hints of vanilla, oak, at times a hint of marshmallow, caramel, spices mainly nutmeg and cinnamon, and after about an hour of nosing a lovely tea aroma, I swear it's Earl Grey, but I can't be 100%, but it's definitely tea.

Absolutely lovely and mind boggling complex at times.

I swear at times it's the nose alone that makes me fall in love with the big boys out of Buffalo Trace.

Thick, juicy flavors pond the palate as I take a drink.

Wood, rye, lots of powerful spices of cinnamon and nutmeg, extremely spicy at times with what feels like peppers and with just the faintest hint of a hint of chocolate.

The finish is long and fairly intense with lots of rye flavors and the faintest hint of chocolate at the very end.

This as I said isn't the bottle that convinced me to spend $250 to buy a bottle of the Thomas H. Handy, but I'm still very glad that I bought this.

This whisky is in the same series as the George T. Stagg and the moment the liquid touches your lips, you know it's the same distillery that produces all these bad boys.

I've had the George T. Stagg before, I've had the Thomas H. Handy (obviously) and I've had the William L. Weller (Buffalo Traces Wheated bourbon) and while it can be extremely difficult to find in Australia and the price point is ALWAYS high over here (expect to spend $250 to $300 and up to $400 a bottle, they're worth that $250-$300 price.

I'd previously purchased the George T. Stagg for my brother in law's birthday, because he had really wanted to try it, but wasn't prepared to spend $300 on a bottle of whisky.

He now is.

And after trying the Thomas H. Handy, he's now prepared to spend that $300 again on another whisky.

If you see and can afford it, Buy it!

Nose:         24/25
Taste:        24/25
Finish:        24/25
Balance:      24/25

Overall:       96/100


Friday, 21 September 2012

Jim Beam Gets It Right, Sorta!



Whisky: Jim Beam's Booker's Small Batch Bourbon


Jim Beam


Booker's Small Batch Bourbon







Old Gold



My wife, brother and sister in law and myself recently got back from a trip to our local whisky bar, Helvetica, where we got to try quite a few new whiskies.

The Hakushu 18 yr old (meh at best), the Springbank Madeira Wood Finish (brilliant), and the Springbank Claret Wood Finish (also brilliant)

At this point we felt that it was time to head in a different direction and try some American whiskies.

Specifically Booker's Small Batch Bourbon, Thomas H Handy's Sazerac Rye Whisky and William L. Weller's Wheated Bourbon.

All whiskies that we'd never tried before.

All whiskies that are supposed to be cracking drams!

We started with the Booker's Small Batch Bourbon just because we could.

I'd heard good things about this cask strength bourbon from Jim Beam, but I'd never got a chance to try it before.

Mainly because it was the cheapest of the upcoming whiskies.

That and the Antique Collection from Buffalo Trace is considered one of the high end sets of
American whiskies and I wanted to save the best for last.

My wife at this point has removed herself from the tasting festivities so it was going to be me and my brother and sister in law.

Now I'm not really a huge Jim Beam fan, finding most of their whiskies being really good mixers, but not very good sipping whiskies so I wasn't sure what I was walking into.

Nose on this bad boy is intense with lots of spice, caramel, tobacco, vanilla, and oak.

Quite intense and not half bad!

Time for a taste.

A lot of wax and grass notes are the first thing that hits my palate, then some cinnamon, caramel, oak, vanilla and a hint of cherries, but it is all dominated by a waxy grass flavor.

Finish is quite long with cinnamon, vanilla, oak and wax grass following through.

Not a bad bourbon, but not that greatest I've ever had, however it's a cask strength and small
batch so you'll get different flavors from different bottles even better is the price point for a cask strength whisky.

Roughly $90 AUS which is bloody cheap for a cask strength whisky.

In fact I do believe my next bottle of exploration bourbon might be another one of these bad boys because at that price point, it's stupidly cheap. And I might get a better bottle!

Nose:         22/25
Taste:       19/25
Finish:        20/25
Balance:     21/25

Overall:      82/100

Campbeltown Races Doo Dah Doo Dah!


 Springbank Claret Wood 12 Year Old Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (700ml) 













Whisky: Springbank 12 Year Old Claret Wood






12 years old Claret Wood







Pale Gold



My last whisky review was of the Springbank 11 yr old Madeira Wood Cask Strength that I'd recently tried with my wife, brother and sister in law. We'd go to Helvetica, the local whisky bar, to try some new whiskies.

Specifically in my case some new Campbeltown whiskies.

Not having tried a decent selection of Campbeltown whiskies I was keen to expand my experiences in that area.

I'd purchased the Springbank Madeira Wood while my brother in law got the Springbank Claret Wood.

We all enjoyed the Madeira immensely, but now it was the Claret Woods turn!

Now for the record if I recall correctly this was the point where my brother in law informed me that he'd never tried a Campbeltown until the Madeira Wood.

But if many of them were in the same league as that bad boy, he'd be happy to buy a few bottles.

Time for the Claret Wood!

We pass the glencairn glass back and forth to one another, everyone nosing the glass and then tasting it. There is a lot of grinning around the table.

It's my turn now!

The nose is nothing short of awesome!

Coal smoke, raisins, butterscotch, caramel, raspberries, melons, honey, figs and hints of chocolate.


Just wow.

I can't wait to try this bad boy out!

I take a sip and bam!

Flavors explode across my palate!

Raspberries, vanilla, caramel, apples, raisins, orange peel, sea brine, nutmeg, cinnamon, wow, wow,
wow and at the end a hint of smoke.

That is a big whisky!

Delicious and big!

The finish is spicy with nutmeg and pepper with smoke at the very end of the palate.

Awesome, complex whisky!

Yeah if more Campbeltowns are like this bad boy we'll definitely be picking up some of these guys.

Hard to find though, limited numbers of Springbanks with wine finishes are available, and I've never seen one in a normal bottle shop.

However for $150 odd dollars, this is bloody good value for money so if you want a complex big
whisky, grab it!

Nose:        23/25
Taste:       23/25
Finish:       23/25
Balance:    22/25

Overall:    89/100

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Campbeltown Races! Doo Dah!




Whisky: Springbank 1997 11 Year Old Madeira Wood Finish Cask Strength






Springbank 1997 11 Year old Madeira Wood






Young Sauternes


My wife, sister and brother in law had recently gone to Helvetica, our local whisky bar, to try some new whiskies.

The joys of the whisky geek.

The first whisky had been intended to be Springbank 11 yr old Madeira Wood Cask Strength.

However a problem immediately developed, actually two problems to be honest.

The first problem was that I saw the Hakushu 18 year old and it being my favorite Japanese distillery I knew I had to try a dram of it.

The second problem that came up was that the Hakushu 18 year old was pretty bad.

So I decided that the next dram NEEDED to be the Springbank Madeira Wood.

I've REALLY been wanting to try some more Campbeltown whiskies and this seemed like the perfect time to do it!

I ordered the Madeira Wood Finish while my brother in law ordered the Springbank 12 year old Claret Wood.

We decide that we'll try each others whiskies to save us a wee bit of cash.

As is custom I let my wife have first dibs on my Madeira Wood.

She grins and then hands the whisky back to me.

Oranges, hints of chocolate, demerara sugar, dust, peaches, and hints of smoke make this a very cool complex nose.

This is a much better nose then the Hakushu 18 yr old!

I hand the glass back to my wife to taste and wait to see the verdict.

She takes a sip and then grins again.

She hands the glass back to me and I'm very eager to see what this whisky holds in store for me!

Right across from us my brother and sister in law are enjoying the Claret Wood finish just as much
as we are the Madeira Wood.

Spice! Smoke! Fruits! Yum!

Smoke is the first thing to hit me, then chocolate oranges, apricots, spices, salt!

In short very big whisky.

Very awesome whisky.

Long dry finish that starts of with a lot of smoke, then a big salty finish with fruits hidden inside it all.


Just wow.

AWESOME Campbeltown whisky!

I then hand my brother in law my glass to try as he hands us the Claret Wood to try.

But more on those later!

The Madeira Wood Cask Strength is a BIG whisky and of the Campbeltown whiskies that I've tried so far, is by far the most approachable for someone new to whisky. The wine barrel finishing really eases back alot of the acetone, chemical flavors that quite a few of the Campbeltown whiskies I've tried in the past were full of, making it a much less frighting whisky, but keeping the intensity that I love.

Now I've never seen this whisky in any bottle shop, but from looking around online it is available in Australia for around $150 AUS which considering that I've heard that it's limited to about 19 to 20 thousand bottles, is a really good price for such as awesome full strength whisky!

If you're interested in trying a Campbeltown whisky and you see this bad boy.

Grab it!

Nose:         22/25
Taste:        22/25
Finish:        21/25
Balance:     22/25

Overall       87/100

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Whisky Exploration At Helvetica


Whisky: Hakushu 18 Year Old



Suntory Hakushu


Suntory Hakushu 18 Year old









My wife and I recently went to Helvetica with her sister and brother in law.   Being whisky lovers spending some time at the local whisky bar is just a few short steps from heaven.

Heaven being time spent in Kentucky, Scotland or Japan visiting distilleries.

I'd cruised their drinks menu before heading in and two whiskies that had caught my eye were two Springbanks, an 11 yr old cask strength aged in Madeira wood and a 12 yr old cask strength aged in Claret wood.

They'd caught my eye because the Campbeltown region is probably the region I've had the least amount experience with when it comes to the whisky regions of Scotland.

However while we're going over the menu and I'm getting ready to order the Springbank Madeira Wood to start with I see something that looks so bloody good.

The Hakushu 18 year old.

I show it to my wife and we both grin. Hakushu 12 year old is hands down our favorite Japanese whisky.

We can't wait to get our hands on the 18 year old!

Even if is three times the price of the Springbanks.

I come back and hand my wife the glass of Hakushu.  It's only fitting that she get to try it first.

She noses the glass, looks over at me as her face drops then decides to take a drink.  Her face completely falls at that point as she hands me the glass.

She is not a happy wife.

She looks at me and goes "boring, bland, lame."

I decide to nose the whisky and I'll be honest, I've been more impressed.

Floral with oak and hints of apple and vanilla. But so much more mellow and boring compared to the 12 year old.

Time for a taste, hopefully it's better.

Little bit of spice, mainly cinnamon, apples, and lots and lots of toffee.

Pretty much just toffee.

Finish is long and dry with oak.

What the hell?!

Where is the Japanese whisky that I know and love.

This is boring and unbalanced.  No peat, no great deal of complexity.

And the price point!

A pain to find and it'll run you a measily $250 AUS as compared to the reasonable price of the
Hakushu 12 years old $120 to $150 AUS.

Avoid this whisky.  Go for the 12 year old.  It's by far a better whisky.

Nose:           20/25
Taste:          18/25
Finish:          19/25
Balance:        18/25

Overall:        75/100

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

The Chicken Nosed Whisky!



Whisky: Mortlach 76.82 Gunpowder Green and Lava Rock




76.82 Gunpowder Green and lava rock







I've been working my way through my Society sample bottles that I received when I joined The Scotch Malt Whisky Society.

I'd started with the Campbeltown, then the Islay.

That left me with two Speysides. A fifteen year old and a twenty-one year old.

The Speyside I decided to crack open was the fifteen year old.

I pulled up the Society's handy dandy guide to figure out which distillery had produced it and discovered that it was Mortlach, which was pretty cool considering that I've NEVER had a whisky from this distillery.

As many of my friends know I'm ALWAYS interested in trying whiskies and distilleries that I've never had before.

The name of this specific bottling is Gunpowder Green and lava rock.

The label states that it has a rich and complex nose involving many different elements, but the ones that caught my eye were chicken in cream and tarragon and balsamic onions.

When I first read that I have to be honest that my first thought was "What are they smoking over there!?"

I pour this lovely pale gold nectar of the gods into my glencairn and decide to start nosing to see what I can see.

First off is the burnt toffee on the label. Check

Next is vanilla, check, then orange peel, check, jasmine, check, brown sugar, check.

But no chicken and no onions.

However I on the sofa watching the TV as I nose this glass and over the course of twenty minutes my eyes bug out of my head.





Awesomely weird complex nose.

Triple Check!

Time for a drink!

Boom! The 56.7 ABV punches my tongue and sets my taste buds on fire.


Let's go with the check list they gave me.

Aniseed, liquorice, lemons, white peppers, Cointreau and chocolate limes.

All checked!

Holy snot!

The finish is fairly intense with the white peppers and chocolate limes burning their way down my throat to explode in my stomach.

Intense! And unlike ANY other Speyside that I've ever had before.

Actually I do believe it in some ways reminds me of Talisker with the white peppers.

I don't think I would have pegged this whisky as a Speyside if I hadn't been informed of that, thinking it would more likely be an Island whisky or possibly Northern Highlands.

But it is good!

And considering at times some of the mehishness from so many Speysides of the simple apple, pears, fruits, honey, flowers, vanilla that I so often see, it was VERY cool to see something that stood out.

I've never seen a Mortlach for sell in any bottleshop that I've ever visited, considering that I've heard a large part of their stock goes into the Johnnie Walker blends, not sure which ones, however if I were too, I do believe I'd be interested in giving one of their expressions a shot to see what I could see.

Once again though this bottle can only be picked up if you're a member of the Society in Australia and odds are you're looking at something like $200 to maybe $250 bucks, but for something quite a bit different and pretty cool I think it's worth it!

Nose:          24/25
Taste:         22/25
Finish:        21/25
Balance:     21/25

Overall       88/100

Sunday, 9 September 2012

My First Moonshine.....?






















Whisky: Knight's Kentucky Knight Moonshine



Knight's Distillery


Kentucky Knight Moonshine







I work with a guy at work who fancies himself a bit of a whisky man.  Amusingly enough his favorite whisky is Wild Turkey American Honey.

He says that it's so delicious that he can drink it straight.

Mind you this guy is a pretty damn good guy, but he'll buy an $80 bottle of bourbon and then pour it into his coke.

The nice thing is that he admits he knows nothing about whisky.  He knows the really good stuff is wasted on him.

Now my friend has just come back from a holiday down South where he visited a distillery that he's been talking about weeks, about how they do this awesome brilliant super whisky that I'm sure to love.  It's delicious and it only runs for $40 he informs me.

For weeks before his trip he has been offering to bring me back a bottle to try, but since his return he was disappointed.

He informed me that he bought the distillery out of their whisky, and he wasn't able to wait around the rest of the day for the distillation to be complete in order to pick me up a bottle.

But he promised that he'd bring one of his bottles in for me to try.

This Saturday he came into work and he'd brought with him this whisky for me to try.

The bottle states that it's Kentucky Moonshine.  However it's bottled at 37% ABV which is common for quite a few of the lower end bourbons in Australia.

Pale yellow in color we decide to crack open the bottle and pour a couple drams into some sample glasses.

The glasses aren't glencairns, but are almost like a small hefeweizen glass.

Aroma is alcohol and fruity permanent markers.  Just the faintest hints of apples and pears.

My wife and I sit there for about ten minutes analyzing the aroma while my friend laughs and informs us that he can see we're in our element.

Whisky snobs I do believe he calls us as he pours his dram into a can of Coke Zero.

Finally I decide to take a taste.


Most whiskies bottled at 40%ABV often feel weak and watery to me.

Not this one.

However that being said the taste leaves much to be desired.

Alcohol, permanent marker and again those very very small hints of hints of apples and pears.   But
it's mainly like drinking rubbing alcohol.


Very unpleasant.

Finish is short with lots of rubbing alcohol and permanent marker.  Enough so that I immediately take a drink of water to wash the flavor out of my mouth.

I decide to finish my whisky/moonshine in a glass of coke and BAM!

A majority of the rubbing alcohol and permanent marker flavors dissipate and pears and apples are
popping up and down in the coke.

Not a bad mixer, but absolutely foul as a straight whisky.

However even though this whisky is only $40 AUS you're going to have a hard time finding it anywhere else other then the distillery and the owner is a pain to reach by email.

Question is why would you?!

Much better whiskies can be had for $40 AUS, such as Jim Beam, Makers Mark, Jack Daniels, etc are all MUCH more enjoyable for the same price.

Nose:            12/25
Taste:           12/25
Finish:           12/25
Balance:        12/25

Overall:        48/100