Jeptha Creed Tastings- Bloody Butcher’s Creed 6- Month Whiskey and Jeptha Creed Original Vodka

Jeptha Creed have quite an array of products but the tastings here are going to concentrate on the vodka and whiskey that is just 6 months old. The whiskey gives a really good feel for the direction Jeptha are going in and the vodka gives a really good indication of the quality of product they are making.

Bloody Butcher’s Creed- Batch 3   46%abv

Appearance:

Light golden with a hint of orange to it.

Nose:

Quite quiet on the nose. I was expecting something more full on given the age but it’s actually very restrained. What you do get is slight green apple and pear drop and acetone type aromas. I also get a little cream soda in there as well.

Palate:

More complex than the nose with more of the expected raw spirit coming through. There is good vanilla and caramel notes and some lemon and orange/ orange blossom notes. There is a touch of white spice pepper.

Overall:

The finish has a slight edge to it with the spirit being so young but with vanilla and some of the fruit carrying through in a shortish finish.

 

Jeptha Creed Original Vodka 40%abv

 

Appearance:

Crystal clear

Nose:

Clean with a gentle cereal character- butter popcorn.

Palate:

Touch of fruit ester- slight apple – very delicate alongside the subtle popcorn note.

Overall:

Excellent clean short finish.

 

Peerless Tastings- Straight Rye and Rye Single Barrel Select Whiskies

Peerless has certainly had a flying start with it’s Straight Rye whiskey. The only craft producer in Whisky Advocate 2017 top 20 whiskies is certainly going some and I was lucky enough to try the this Straight Rye along with a Rye Single Barrel Select. The Rye barrel select tends to one of Peerless’s three pillars- oak and pepper, fruits and floral or caramel and vanilla. The expression here was on the caramel and vanilla side.

 

Pretty sure there bottles wouldn’t be lasting long in my house

 

Peerless Straight Rye Whiskey 54% abv

Appearance:

Really taken on the colour in quite a short period. Good rich golden hues and a bold look.

Nose:

Smooth- little or no harshness which in a product with comparatively little age on it is good going. There is an inviting mint note giving way to some lovely vanilla and a little maple. This is followed by a bit of fruit and some softer citrus notes.

Palate:

The spice comes more into play with black pepper, a touch of clove all being wrapped up in vanilla and oak. Great combination.

Overall:

Finish is very nice with the sweet notes of the maple, toffee and a touch of oak in a slightly drying finish- all in all a really well balanced drink.

 

 

Peerless Rye Single Barrel Select 54.8% abv

Appearance:

Again like it’s sister product above, a good degree of colour has been taken on in a fairly short space of time.

Nose:

Real candy shop in here. Lovely toffee, vanilla, custardy notes with a slight softer nut influence as well.

Palate:

Definitely on the sweeter end with the vanilla toffee and caramel but also some dried fruits, apricot and dates being there. There’s some sweeter spice with a touch of cinnamon and nutmeg coming through.

Overall:

Fairly short finish although the spice note becomes more pronounced on the end.

 

Both of these stand up amazingly well and hold there own over products that are much, much older. While the price tag had caused some discussion there is no doubt that the products are excellent and Peerless is a distillery to watch.

Bardstown Bourbon Company- Collabor&tion Mistelle Finish Tasting

Bardstown Bourbon Company (BBCo) teamed up with their friends over at Copper and Kings to create a couple of great products and highlight the benefits of drawing on each other’s strengths. I guess it really shows what the BBCo approach is all about.

Collabor&tion starts with 10 yr old straight bourbon that has been specifically selected and then finished over a further two years in a couple of ways. Steve Nally, BBCo Master Distiller oversaw the mingling of the bourbon with Brandon O’Daniel at C&K overseeing the maturation.

One variant is completed in C&K brandy barrels and the other, that I am focusing on here, is matured in Muscat Mistelle casks.

Muscat Mistelle casks are barrels that have held Muscat grape juice before having an un-aged brandy added to them (Musact eau-de-vie). The barrels unsurprisingly contain quite a high proportion of sugars and therefore provide a really interesting starting point for finishing.

Collabor&tion Muscat Mistelle Finish 47% abv

First things first, the bottle is very impressive although not really designed for export as it’s fairly weighty. It gives the appearance of a luxury perfume bottle and that is backed up by the product inside.

Appearance:

Dark, dark, caramel with a beautiful russet tone to it. It plays in light but contains an almost hazelnut colour that moves to a lovely orange hued tinge as the liquid thins. Gorgeous long legs persist.

Nose:

Wonderful candy shop aroma I found dominated by vanilla. As more of a background aroma I had some orange peel notes that gave way to a cinnamon and some soft spice.

Palate:

Vanilla is the first thing to hit you carrying through from the nose. The fruit is there mid palette with the orange more rounded in character, moving from orange peel on the nose to marmalade on taste, and joined by a slight tropical note. Then the spice is delivered with cinnamon and a touch of pepper on the finish.

Overall:

Good long finish- great over ice on a summer evening. Would work really well with banana muffin or maybe even Crepe Suzette.

Nelson’s Green Brier- Tasting Notes

I’m going to focus in on a couple of the Nelson’s products as I hope this shows a bit of both the classic and the innovative side of their products.

Nelson’s Belle Meade Classic Bourbon 45.2% abv

First up is Nelson’s Belle Meade Classic Bourbon. This is a blend of just four barrels per batch and is characterised by a pretty high (30%) portion of rye in the mash bill. It is also made from 2 yeast strains working in tandem and is matured for 6-8 years.

Appearance:

There is gorgeous darker caramel shade to the bourbon- a strong golden hue coming through visually.

Nose:

Wow- a wonderful strong hit of sweet vanilla, caramel and syrup. There is a touch of orange and burnt orange in the background.

Palate:

The caramel and vanilla persist wonderfully onto the palate giving a strong base to the whiskey. Then the rye takes over providing a fantastic touch of heat and spice. Cinnamon and pepper are present in a lovely complimentary offset to the sweetness.

Overall:

Quite a long finish with the orange citrus note back alongside the sweet and spice.

Well balanced bourbon, full of strong character points and gives great interest.

Availability- Check www.greenbrierdistillery.com/products

for states in which it’s distributed.

 

Nelson’s First 108 Tennessee Whiskey Limited Release 45% abv

Distilled using the Lincoln County process (filtering through sugar maple charcoal) and commemorating 108 yrs since production ceased at Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery this limited release is a glimpse into what the guys are trying to create for the future. To assist with aging smaller casks are used initially before a final finishing in the more standard 53 gallon cask and then bottling at 45% abv or 90 proof.

Appearance:

Good looking whiskey for it’s age. Darker than I’d expect and a nice amber note to it.

Nose:

Vanilla and caramel are present but not in any overpowering way. Demerara sugar notes are there alongside cinnamon.

Palate:

Again a good base of brown sugar and vanilla alongside a slight toffee popcorn on which cinnamon and pepper notes are built on.

Finish:

Slightly alcoholic burn on the finish but showing really good potential.

 

Availability- from the distillery- get yourself to Nashville!

 

 

World Scotch Day- Arran 14 Yr Old- A Craft Success Story

On world Scotch day I think it’s important to focus on the success of the industry and for me, here, it’s really important to focus on success in the craft sector.

Way back in 1994, when there was a series of mergers and takeovers occurring in the industry and bigger was better, Arran distillery was being set up. Now 24 years later the distillery has created a fantastic blueprint for how success can be achieved, a second distillery on the island is being built and it has created a formidable array of products. So with all this in mind it is fitting to celebrate this particular success story with one of their drams.

The Arran 14 Year Old 46% abv:

Appearance:

Quite a light dram for one with quite a bit of age on it but a nice hue of soft gold.

Nose:

Vanilla stands out- the bourbon barrels clearly doing their work. This is followed up by some apple, dried fruit, honey and cinnamon notes which reminds me of strudel.

Palate:

The fruit notes become a bit bolder with the apples becoming more cooked and toasted and some lemon and orange citrus coming through. A slightly oily feel in the mouth there is a delightful salt note which helps to heighten the vanilla and caramel flavours as well as a more person malt character. The spice is still there acting as a fantastic supporting structure to the whisky.

Overall:

A slightly grassy note with spices to finish – very more-ish.

This may have been out for a fair few years but it’s absolutely worth returning to!

 

Wolfburn Tastings- 3 Cracking Offerings- 3 Different Styles

Don’t get me wrong – visits are great and a real privilege – contributing greatly to the understanding of the ethos, technical set up and spirit that exists with these fantastic craft producers. However, in the end, what is in the bottle is going to be the key to a successful and prosperous distillery. In our three tastings from Wolfburn there is a considerable show of skill to both reflect different styles, the pick of some exceptional casks and product showing so strong at an early age.

Wolfburn Aurora 46%abv

On the Nose:

Slight gentle nuttiness on the nose and a notable sherry note.

Palate:

A good solid malty cereal character which blends beautifully with fruit and dry fruit notes. Hint of pepper and gentle spice but very soft.

Finish:

The slight spice character is a little more present but lovely harmonious whisky.

 

Wolfburn Northland 46%abv

On the Nose:

Beautifully soft gentle peat note, slight smokiness and maltiness with cooked fruit.

Palate:

Gorgeous honeyed feel on the palate with  the fruit and the gentle smoke still there, slight malty character as well as soft spice.

Finish:

Long smokey peatiness and the lovely malty honey is a real treat.

 

Wolfburn Batch 128 46%abv

On the Nose:

A heathery smokiness greets you along with vanilla tones and some subtle citrus.

Palate:

The vanilla stays with you and gives a great base on which the smokiness, slight malt and pepper notes sit.

Finish:

Great sweetness that is beautifully integrated with the spice and smoke. Grab it while you can!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sacred Distillery Tastings- Gins

My tasting follow up from the Sacred Distillery visit  below.

It was a pleasure to try some really interesting and different products and to experience how a innovative production method really can influence flavour.

 

Sacred Gin 40%abv

On the Nose:

Backbone of slight woody earthy note with pine and juniper to the fore. Hints of citrus but more as a supporting note.

Palate:

Sort of orchestral with flavours taking over from each other, citrus- led by grapefruit gives way to juniper and then spice notes with a hint of pepper and floral toward the end.

Finish:

Long, very long, with the pepper and floral giving a great balance- mouth coating and full.

Overall:

Different waves of flavours- delicious.

 

Sacred Pink Grapefruit Gin  43.8%abv

On the Nose:

Grapefruit to the fore but not overpowering with piney juniper and further citrus in the background.

Palate:

Nice and full on the palate- good structure provided by juniper and soft spice with the pink grapefruit and citrus giving lovely high notes before the grapefruit dominates.

Finish:

Moderately long

Overall:

Nice way to showcase the technique through a single flavour.

 

Sacred Cardamom Gin 43.8%above

On the Nose:

The Guatemalan Cardamom is to the fore with juniper and slight citrus playing a supportive role.

Palate:

Spiced and exotic- warming a little on the palate but lovely aromatic and soft spice notes.

Finish:

A touch of astringency on the finish.

Overall:

Again great expression of a single flavour- useful in cocktails or possibly even taken long with a curry.

 

All available from :

www.sacredspiritscompany.com

www.masterofmalt.com

Bimber Distillery – Tastings Part 2 – In process and new make

Dariusz was exceptionally kind on my visit and I got a chance to sample a number of in process new makes. I’ve commented on the London Single Malt Spirit first as this is available,  – albeit a very limited release showing the real potential that exists in Bimber. Maybe get the miniature for a nice stocking filler!

After that are in process samples which again show a great potential – pink whisky who knew!

 

London Single Malt Spirit 46%abv 6 months

This is blended from PX Sherry, Virgin and Bourbon casks and is showing some really great signs already.

Appearance: Picked up a significant amount of colour in a very short space of time- quite a golden hue.

Nose: Quite closed at first but on adding water opens to give raisins, dried apricot and vanilla, slight spice is there in the background.

Palate: Some malty graininess on the palate but good dried fruit alongside custurdy vanilla note.

Finish: Sl tobacco and vanilla and very smooth.

Fine start and look forward to seeing the development.

 

In Process Sampling:

46% Virgin US Oak Cask (200l cask) 1 yr old:

Smooth tasting for something so young but still has grain note from the wash through it.  Unsurprisingly big vanilla comes through with a great caramel sweetness and ripe tropical fruits. Glorious large mouthfeel and a little burn on the finish.

46% Ex- PX- Sherry (250l cask) 1 yr old:

Nose is still quite estery and new with little of the sherry but on the palate spice notes of pepper and cardamon lead the way and the wine is in the background.

46% Ex- Bourbon (200l cask) 1 yr old:

Very fruity nose followed up on the palate with great sweetness. Molasses and treacle with a spicy tail of white and black pepper.

46% Ex- Port (205l cask) 1 yr old:

Stunning pink colour- fantastic looking dram, bold and different. Great plummy nose and taste- cooked red fruit on the palate – strawberries and raspberries. Lovely linger on the finish. Loads of possibilities with this.

 

 

 

Bimber Distillery Tastings- Part 1 London Dry Gin, Oak Aged and Summer Fruit Vodka

The tastings this week are split into two. Firstly we have a great selection of award winning gin and vodka.

Then in part 2,  and on the back of my visit, I have some notes of some of the in process new make spirit samples that Dariusz shared. Hopefully this will give a really good idea of what Bimber is doing. I’ll also focus on the commercially available new make spirit.

 

Bimber London Dry Gin 42%abv

In appearance absolutely crystal clear.

On the Nose:

I found this to be quite a piney juniper led gin. Notes of citrus and lemon in the background.

Palate:

The piney juniper comes through on alongside some lovely candied fruit and spice notes. Pepper and coriander with a hint of ginger are all there but not overpowering in any way. What is fantastic is the glorious mouthfeel which is full and warm.

Finish:

Moderate with with lovely juniper and pepper notes.

Overall:

Great classic gin with good full flavour.

Bimber Oak Aged Vodka 42%

The quadruple distilled grain spirit has been aged in bourbon barrels and has taken on a light golden straw colour that’s inviting.

On the Nose:

Quite gentle and mellow on the nose- some oak, caramel and  vanilla notes.

Palate:

Like the gin it gives a fantastic full mouthfeel. There are notes of cinnamon, ripe banana, oak and toasted vanilla. For such a short time in cask it has really picked up a lot of character.

Finish:

Smooth and lovely lingering caramel sweetness with the cinnamon hint still there too.

Overall:

Great drink straight up on ice, or maybe while the leave piles are burning outside.

Bimber Summer Fruits Vodka

In the last days of summer I thought I’d try to sneak in this award winner. The summer fruits vodka looks the part with a deep raspberry and red cherry bold colour to it.

On the Nose:

Lots of red fruit on the nose- cheery, strawberry and raspberry. Touch of mint in the background.

Palate:

There are now deeper red fruits with blackcurrant and blackberry coming through on top of the first red fruits. The mint is slightly stronger and accompanied by some pepper.

Finish:

Slightly tannic note on a shortish refreshing finish.

Overall:

Multi layered, great depth to it and again really interesting.

 

All available from :

www.bimberdistillery.co.uk

www.masterofmalt.com

 

Going International Amrut – Intermediate Sherry Cask Whisky

To paraphrase from Star Trek- It’s Whisky Jim but not as we know it. I was really looking forward to trying the Amrut having managed to get a few Euros off it coming through Schipol in Amsterdam. From the moment it was opened- wow- just wow. The higher temperatures for maturing whisky in India can make young spirit mature that much faster and combined with some really great wood this has produced a real cracker. Deep, intense, lively interesting what a great way to set up the weekend.

 

Amrit- Intermediate Sherry Cask Whisky 57.1%

In appearance we have something that is rich, dark golden caramel- I’m thinking serious builders tea (pre milk of course) and so enticing. The legs on the glass have depth and  are lasting. A really great looking dram.

On the Nose:

I think this is the equivalent of being tangoed by a whisky. The aroma is so intense and uplifting. There is spice with mainly pepper, cardamon and cinnamon, inviting oak, red fruit  and a fantastic baked character. They mix superbly and are led really well by the wood combination.

Palate:

A lovely sugary treacle-ness on the palate. There’s raisin notes and the spices hold up well all again working in concert with the wood. There is a lovely hard nut character and the red fruits are still there too all combining in a gorgeous mouthfeel.

Finish:

Caramel and spice giving a long succulent finish.

 

The beautiful dark depth of colour in the Amrut

 

Stunning- simply stunning. If there is one slight criticism it’s the bottle which is very lightweight but feels a little cheap- however the box it comes in is beautiful.

 

Available from:

www.houseofmalt.co.uk

www.drinksupermarket.com

www.masterofmalt.com

 

At around the £85 mark