<![CDATA[Whiskey Goddess - Whiskey Notes]]>Wed, 03 Feb 2016 16:47:20 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[Colorado Bourbon with Aspen Notes]]>Thu, 04 Feb 2016 00:09:25 GMThttp://www.whiskeygoddess.com/whiskey-notes/colorado-bourbon-with-aspen-notesPicture

​​291 Colorado Bourbon Whiskey works fine as an après ski. It’s young but not harsh, and despite begin 100 proof, it’s refreshing rather than a flavor punch.
 
Instead of a big ski lodge, however, this whiskey takes me straight to a bar stool out of a Western. The bottle is the same wine bottle shape as those nondescript ones bartenders pour from when offering a shot of liquid courage to the cowboy slumped over the bar as he contemplates his next move. A little something to take the edge off. 

​Every time I get out to Colorado, I find new whiskies popping up on the shelves that rarely make it out to the East Coast, but carry a flavor and style that speaks to life out on the ranch or on the slopes. Next to Oregon, it’s one of my favorite new spots for up and coming American whiskies.
 
What I knew: 100 proof, aged less than two years, finished with Aspen staves, distilled in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
What I discovered: At $75, it’s at a high price point for such a young whiskey. And it did taste young. I would be curious to try it after it aged a few more years and the flavors had a chance to mingle and mellow longer. The smell is earthy, woodsy, and herbal. It’s fairly light and just a little rough around the edges. It doesn’t linger for an especially long time, but does leave a little burn at the back the throat. It’s smooth, though, and did not taste overproofed. I don’t know that it’s worth shelling out the money—Colorado has some nice, solid bourbons at a much lower price. But I did want to keep drinking it while it was there. 
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<![CDATA[Night with Campbeltown Scotch]]>Sat, 30 Jan 2016 04:26:11 GMThttp://www.whiskeygoddess.com/whiskey-notes/night-with-campbeltown-scotchPicture
One sip of the whisky, and I knew it was a Scotch night. After a lot of interesting bourbons and other new whiskies, sometimes it’s nice to whiff the kind familiarity of a Scotch and think “hello.”
 
I chose to go for some Campbeltown whiskies since I wanted the friendlier side of Scotch, not necessarily the briny, sit-and-contemplate-a-storm, but the mild spice and vanilla and nostalgia that can come with Scotch.
 
I found such a nice connection with the whisky that even at a crowded bar with several conversations around me in a city with millions of people around me, I feel like a found a bit of my own space and solitude. That I shared with the whisky – but gladly. 

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Campbeltown interests me as a place in general. It is considered its own Scotch region and used to have over 30 distilleries, but now just three remain. I can’t help but think that will change with the sprouting of so many new distilleries and popularity of whisky worldwide.
 
But for now, there are three distilleries and I took a sip out of 2 of them – Springbank and Glen Scotia. The other is Glengyle.
 
Springbank Hazelburn
What I knew: 8 years old, single malt, 92 proof, triple distilled
What I discovered: Smelled sweet and had a nice caramel green apple taste to it. It reminded me of a fruitcake, but as it sat, it took on more vanilla.
 
As compared to…
 
Glen Scotia Signatory Vintage
What I knew: 14 years old, 86 proof, from used bourbon barrels
What I discovered: This one smelled more mossy and tasted clean like stainless steel. It also had some peaty aftertones. It did taste vintage – there was a nostalgia feel to it. Like sitting on an attic floor drinking whisky.

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<![CDATA[Tastings #11 and #12: Bourbon Blind Date´╗┐]]>Wed, 27 Jan 2016 13:20:34 GMThttp://www.whiskeygoddess.com/whiskey-notes/tastings-11-and-12-bourbon-blind-datePicture
​I got asked today if I was on a Tinder date with my whiskey. I probably was staring with desire at my bourbon on the bar, so the question is understandable. Best Tinder date ever, I would say. Swipe right.
 
I was with a couple of bourbons I hadn’t met before – Henry Du Yore’s out of Oregon (I can’t help it being drawn to Oregon!) and Bib and Tucker, which is suspiciously “bottled by” 35 Maple Street in Bardstown, Kentucky, and doesn’t specify where it is distilled. Wonder where it really came from. But if I was on a Tinder date with my whiskey, how much would I care? I might think I have more in common with the one from Oregon, but if it’s just to spend an hour together, does it matter where my Bardstown whiskey is really from if I’m having fun?
 
I digress. 

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Henry Du Yore’s
What I knew: 91.3 proof, older than 4 years, but no age statement, out of Sheridan, Oregon
What I discovered: Notes of cherries, real ones—not the maraschino kind, the kind you would actually find in Oregon. And oranges, which you would not find in Oregon. This was spicy with a sweet smell and well rounded flavor. Then I had the third sip and it gave me a shot of that wood taste. Which made me think of woods and my grandparents’ backyard in Portland. So I would say this whiskey goes with Pendleton wool flannel shirts and whittling in a beer garden.
 
As compared to:
 
Bib and Tucker
What I knew: 6 years old, 92 proof
What I discovered: This one had more of a charred, meaty taste, like a perfect BBQ whiskey – BBQ in a barn to be more specific. It was well balanced for a bourbon – my tongue kind of hovered somewhere between sweet and spicy and wood and is just left with the general impression of “ahhh” (sigh). After a while this one went a little nutty (I wrote down chestnuts) but don’t we all.
 
So would I take either one on a second date? Sure.

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<![CDATA[The Calm After the Storm: Japanese Tasting]]>Mon, 25 Jan 2016 13:30:39 GMThttp://www.whiskeygoddess.com/whiskey-notes/the-calm-after-the-storm-japanese-tastingPicture
For my day-after-the-snowstorm whiskies, I chose the peaceful balance of Japanese whisky. Although Japanese whisky started out in the Scotch tradition, they can play around within the whisky rules, and I have had several unique whiskies from there. As a whole, they tend to be  delicate and well balanced.
 
I went for a lesser known distillery, White Oak, against one of Japan’s whisky giants, the Nikka Distillery. For Japanese whiskies, these are very affordable  - the Akashi from White Oak comes in at less than $40, although production is small, and the Taketsuru from Nikka is considered an entry level whisky for Japan at under $70. While the Taketsuru is richer, I think they both offer a harmonious whisky, where no one flavor takes over the others. 

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The White Oak Distillery mainly produces sake and barley shochu (Japan’s national drink), but started making whisky in 1984 and now devotes one to two months a year to the good stuff. It's a small production, but seems like they get enough practice.
 
Akashi Whisky
What I knew: blended whisky, 80 proof
What I discovered:  Of the two whiskies, this was lighter, very grassy and earthy on the nose. It had a woodsy, mossy, meadow type taste mingled with honey, lemon, orange, and floral.  With a hint of smoke to it, I taste the Scotch tradition, but still feel it has its own flavor. A refreshing walk in the woods. 

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​The Taketsuru is named in honor of Masataka Taketsuru, who established the Nikka Distillery in 1934 and is credited with bringing the Scottish-style of making whisky over to Japan. This bottle has no age statement, a recent development on several of the Japanese whiskies (and bourbon, for that matter due to a high demand that makes it tough to age the whisky as long.
 
What I knew: Malt whisky blended from several different distilleries, 86 proof
What I discovered: This had a heavier taste, with a hint of smoke, but something else – like coal. If the Akashi is more like licking wood or moss, this is more like licking rocks. In all the complimentary ways I mean by that. The sips had a charming way of opening up on the tongue like a bouquet of soft flavors- sweet, floral, lemon, and faint smoke.

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<![CDATA[Blizzard Whisky? The Feisty French Armorik]]>Sun, 24 Jan 2016 15:11:58 GMThttp://www.whiskeygoddess.com/whiskey-notes/blizzard-whisky-the-feisty-french-armorikPicture
​Something about drinking a smoky whisky with a snowstorm swirling outside is fitting.  As New York’s first snow of the year wailed outside my window, I decided to go for something entirely unknown to me – Armorik out of Breton, France – for my tasting.
 
I was thinking a curl-up-by-the-fire whisky would suit the situation, but instead I got something fierce, feisty, and energizing, which mirrored the storm nicely. Like a whisky/sound pairing. This whisky packs some good heat and spice, and leaves the mouth full of cinnamon in its wake.
 
What I knew: 92 proof, single malt, distilled in Breton, France
What I discovered: This one had a sweet smell at first, but smells can be deceiving. On the tongue, it was smoke and spice. With a little water, it revealed its seaside, briny flavors. And after a while, it even let out some citrus. I was searching for more, though - I felt like some sweetness was hiding somewhere after that initial sniff. Once I sat with it long enough, it softened around the edges and displayed a little sweetness, a little floral. The storm died down a bit, and things were quieter and more peaceful. On my tongue. Outside, that wind was still howling – no snow all year and this storm intended to make up for it. A good excuse to stay inside with some whisky. 

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