Scotch, Scotch, Scotch


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Michael Couvreur - Overaged

Mr. Couvreur was a Belgian man who bought whiskey distilled in Scotland, put it in Spanish sherry casks, then aged it in some caves in France. The Overaged is a blend of 12-17 y/o single malts. It comes out with a light peat/smoke, lots of the usual whiskey flavors (burnt sugar, vanilla, caramel, leather). Good nose, good finish. All around, a very pleasant whiskey (it's basically a scotch, but not being aged in Scotland...). It's peaty without being overpowering.

It can be a bit pricey ($85-95), and is not easy to track down. Also, not many people have heard of it. Once in a while, you'll find a liquor store owner who's had a couple bottles for several years, but no one has bought them so he's putting them on sale. Or you'll find someone who does know what they have and marks it up.

Occasionally you can find old bottles from this producer as well. Basically, if you see something from Michael Couvreur in a store, look it up on your phone. There's a potential of a rare find (or one that will become rare in a few years), because he died in 2013 (though his apprentice took over the business).


So I am getting a cocktail aging kit in the mail soon. Has anyone tried this sort of thing yet? I am interested in trying this and see how it works. Once I get it and then do it I will report back. Basically they send you a bottle and pair of charred honeycomb white oak barrel staves then wait 8-10 days. It is supposed make the cocktail smoother. Will be interesting to see how it works.


Now that Mrs Gersen has gone back to work, I decided to bite the bullet and joined the Houston Bourbon Society. That's spurred me tasting a lot of them I hadn't tried:

  • Bowman Brothers - Not really "Virginia" bourbon but merely bottled there; it's reminiscent of Buffalo Trace (I suspect it's sourced from there), but it's got some nice, summery flavors and turned out to be a really pleasant surprise.
  • Maker's 46 - Far superior to the standard Maker's Mark. A decent wheated bourbon, far superior to Weller's SR, but in no way comparable to Weller's 12.
  • Old Grand-Dad 114 - It really surprised me how much I liked this! It's a high-rye expression, same mash bill as Basil Hayden's but a bit younger. This might be a go-to once I drink all the stuff in my cabinet. For comparison, I splurged on a bottle of Basil Hayden's, but haven't opened it yet.
  • Stagg, Jr. - At 130 or so proof, it's like drinking fire, but once you get past that, there's a lot of complex flavor going on. This really makes me want to try the George Stagg, but that unfortunately will likely never happen.
  • Woodford Reserve - People love this stuff, but I thought it was nasty; limgeing almost medicinal flavor (reminiscent of cough syrup) ruins it for me.

    Also when I heard about the Barton's warehouse collapse, I grabbed a bottle of the 1792 and one of the single barrel, but haven't tried them yet.


  • When my brother got married in Scotland, my mother brought me home a bottle of Old Pulteney, long since gone. :)


    Belle Meade bourbon turns out to be quite tasty. It's super-high rye (30%) and sourced from who-knows-where*, but the results are good.

    * EDIT: From MGP, in Indiana, where seemingly half the rye whiskeys on the market are distilled.


    Kirth Gersen wrote:

    Belle Meade bourbon turns out to be quite tasty. It's super-high rye (30%) and sourced from who-knows-where*, but the results are good.

    * EDIT: From MGP, in Indiana, where seemingly half the rye whiskeys on the market are distilled.

    There's a place in town where I can get flights of Belle Meade. I've thought about doing it, just hadn't pulled the trigger on that yet.


    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    Kirth Gersen wrote:


  • Woodford Reserve - People love this stuff, but I thought it was nasty; limgeing almost medicinal flavor (reminiscent of cough syrup) ruins it for me.
  • I agree, and yet disagree. I think Woodford get's overhyped a lot, but when I find a cheap bottle, it's not a bad choice for cocktails. It packs a lot of flavor, but it needs to be tempered with other substances.

    If you can't stand their normal whiskey, I do not recommend bothering with their Double Oaked. It is better, but still has a bit of medicinal taste. It's mostly softened by sweetness, but not actually any smoother. I think the core problem is that their whiskey's are not very old, they bottle them pretty young. They would benefit a lot from 2-3 more years in the barrel.

    One of the few looks into the MGP distillery.


    I've got a bottle of Woodford at home. It's ok. I've had far worse, and I've had far better. It's not something I would seek out, let alone actively choose over other similarly-priced options, but it's far and away not the worst thing I've ever had.


    I've seen prices for Woodford Reserve from $22 to $45. At $45, it's a bad buy. At $22 it's compares just fine to it's price-point neighbors, and is just a matter of preference. I do think that because of marketing, you see it way more often at the $45 price though.

    I personally like Woodford enough that in a pinch, I'll sip it, though usually I buy it for weekends where I want to make "fancier" cocktails, and I can rely on it's marketing to help impress my guests. But only at $22 a bottle.

    Sovereign Court

    Woodford is usually around 22 bucks at Total wine and 28-30 most other places. I have never seen it at 45 bucks anywhere, but I guess I can believe it in small towns.

    Im wondering how much 1792 is going to skyrocket after their warehouse collapsed...

    I had some Glenlivet 18 year recently and it was pretty good.


    I usually see it in the 28-33 range.


    Stopping at a liquor store in Menominee it was about $45. I was only grabbing some New Glarus, but I checked their whiskey prices out of curiosity.


    Pan wrote:
    I'm wondering how much 1792 is going to skyrocket after their warehouse collapsed...

    Since my purchase, I realized that was only one of many of their warehouses, and recovery efforts are underway, so I don't think there will be a run on it or anything. I opened my bottle and am enjoying it -- it tastes like someone intentionally set out to replicate Eagle Rare, although the young age makes it also somewhat reminiscent of the standard Buffalo Trace. It's very decent stuff, but not worth worrying about in terms of price or availability.


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    More tastings:

    • Buffalo Trace: (speaking of which...) As the eponymous brand of such a distinguished distillery, and as the younger brother of the excellent Eagle Rare, I expected to like this a lot more than I did. Mostly it tastes to me like cherry-flavored cough syrup.
    • Old Forester: Tastes a lot like Woodford. No surprise, I guess, given that it's also a Brown-Forman product (so is JD, for that matter, which I also don't like).
    • Rebel Yell Single Barrel: Once you tame the heat a bit, this is a fairly nice wheated bourbon, although Larceny and Maker's are a lot more readily available if that's your thing. Mostly cool because it's what Billy Idol's song is actually named for.
    • Heaven Hill Bottled in Bond: This stuff is good, especially once I added a splash of water. The tingling on the taste buds fooled me into thinking the rye content was a lot higher than is actually the case.
    • Old Grand-Dad: Well, yeah, the 114 is way superior, but you can buy a big jug of the standard stuff for less money (even factoring in dilution to proof), so it's hard to go wrong for something you want to be able to swill.
    • George Dickel's Barrel Select: The Dickel's #12 brand is a favorite of mine, and the barrel select I opened is even better. The price is higher enough that it won't occupy the same frequency in my rotation, but the stuff is very good.
    • Winchester: DO NOT BUY THIS EVER. Thankfully, I was properly skeptical and spent a total of $1 on an airline bottle. That's probably the right price point for a gallon. They claim to have some kind of magical rapid aging technology, but one sip is enough to tell you that that technology clearly does not work.
    • Mars Iwai: This is Japan's attempt at a bourbon-like whiskey. Unlike their sublime malt whiskys, this foray into Western spirits was not successful. Almost cloyingly sweet, it lacks any noticeable bourbon flavor.

    More to come.


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    Aberlour 18 year old .... way too tasty.


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    OK, someone needs to keep this thread alive!

    • Henry McKenna Single Barrel: This is as good as I remember it. Great value for the price.
    • Evan Williams White Label: Best value for the money in the entire world of bourbon; only Very Old Barton comes close.
    • Basil Hayden: This high rye expression is good stuff, but at the end of the day, it's Old Grand-Dad 114 at a lower proof in a fancier bottle, for $10 more.

    • Fistful of Bourbon: I appreciate what they're trying to do -- blend five different bourbons to try and make an end product superior to all of them, at an affordable price -- but the experiment seems to me to have been a failure. It's affordable ($25), but not all that good.
    • Ezra Brooks black label: Like drinking battery acid.


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    Knob Creek Rye. Just wow. Been trying different store pick barrels, and the one from the local WB Liquors is sublime.


    Someone gave me a bottle of Little Book. I don't like it. It's like bad gasoline. I can handle a spirit with heat, but that's all it has. The ABV is pretty high, and when I try it with ice or water, there's nothing redeeming hiding under the heat.

    Sovereign Court

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    Kirth Gersen wrote:

    More tastings:

  • Winchester: DO NOT BUY THIS EVER. Thankfully, I was properly skeptical and spent a total of $1 on an airline bottle. That's probably the right price point for a gallon. They claim to have some kind of magical rapid aging technology, but one sip is enough to tell you that that technology clearly does not work.

  • OMG, I wish someone would have slapped the bottle out of my hand when I picked it up a few weeks ago.


    Shackleton Blended Malt

    Not too expensive (I paid about $31+tax). It's certainly gimmicky, but it really is decent. Nice light flavors, on the sweeter side, and fairly balanced heat. There is a good amount of flavor, but it isn't very deep (it is a blend after all). It you read up on the story it makes for a decent conversation item as well.

    I get very light amounts of honey, some vanilla, and sugar cookie. It doesn't have "legs", either in the glass or the mouth. It lingers a little, but the flavors fade fast. The typical "scotch harshness" is there, but it isn't strong.

    I'm filing it away under the "buy again" side of things. I don't think I'll keep it stocked all the time, but every now and again, especially for cold-weather gatherings where a bottle of scotch is appropriate.


    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

    I opened a bottle of McKenzie Rye Whiskey last week.

    I really liked it: It had the expexted spiciness of a rye, with nice rounded notes of cherry, oak, and vanilla.

    Good for sipping, and also makes an excellent Manhattan.


    I like Laphroaig quarter cask. I really enjoy a good peaty scotch.

    Sovereign Court

    Irontruth wrote:

    Shackleton Blended Malt

    Not too expensive (I paid about $31+tax). It's certainly gimmicky, but it really is decent. Nice light flavors, on the sweeter side, and fairly balanced heat. There is a good amount of flavor, but it isn't very deep (it is a blend after all). It you read up on the story it makes for a decent conversation item as well.

    I get very light amounts of honey, some vanilla, and sugar cookie. It doesn't have "legs", either in the glass or the mouth. It lingers a little, but the flavors fade fast. The typical "scotch harshness" is there, but it isn't strong.

    I'm filing it away under the "buy again" side of things. I don't think I'll keep it stocked all the time, but every now and again, especially for cold-weather gatherings where a bottle of scotch is appropriate.

    I can agree to all of this. My own experience was that Shackleton was easy drinking for folks who dont typically like whisky or scotch. Though blends tend to get that reaction.


    One of my players forgot a bottle of Islay Mist (aged 8 years) at my house last Friday. The back of the bottle mentioned it's a blend of aged malt and grain whiskies from the Speyside and Islay regions. The most 'distinctive' of which being a smokey one from the Laphroaig distillery.

    Anyone here with an idea as to which one they are referring to, should I be interested in buying this one 'uncut', so to speak?


    All I know this year I bought a bottle of Glenfiddich aged 12 years because the 15 year one was 105 dollars... And I don't feel like spending that much.


    Thomas Seitz wrote:
    All I know this year I bought a bottle of Glenfiddich aged 12 years because the 15 year one was 105 dollars... And I don't feel like spending that much.

    Are you sure it was a 15 year old one? I just checked the prices here in Old Europe. The only Glenfiddich that approached that price was the 19-year-old. The two 15-year-olds cost between €35 and €40.

    Sovereign Court

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    My friend came over with his family during the holiday weekend. We finished off my Middleton and now I want more...

    We also opened some Oban little bay. This was pretty affordable alternative to regular Oban, and worth having on the shelf in my opinion. Like a better version of Shackleton for just a few bucks more.


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    Fabius Maximus wrote:
    Thomas Seitz wrote:
    All I know this year I bought a bottle of Glenfiddich aged 12 years because the 15 year one was 105 dollars... And I don't feel like spending that much.
    Are you sure it was a 15 year old one? I just checked the prices here in Old Europe. The only Glenfiddich that approached that price was the 19-year-old. The two 15-year-olds cost between €35 and €40.

    In the US it greatly depends on where you're shopping - I'm seeing prices for Glenfiddich 15 from anywhere between $48 and $98, which is a *really* wide price gap.


    In a small town like Morgantown, I'm pretty sure we get shafted on how much our Scotch costs. :p That and being a college town...


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    I got suckered into the whole Game of Thrones Scotch and the House Stark which is a Dalwhinnie scotch was pretty good. I was pleasantly surprised and I would buy it again. I may try some of the other house scotches.

    Game of Thrones House Tully – Singleton of Glendullan Select; SRP: $29.99 for 750ml; ABV 40%

    Game of Thrones House Stark – Dalwhinnie Winter’s Frost; SRP: $39.99 for 750ml; ABV 43%

    Game of Thrones House Targaryen – Cardhu Gold Reserve; SRP: $39.99 for 750ml; ABV 40%

    Game of Thrones House Lannister – Lagavulin 9 Year Old; SRP: $64.99 for 750ml; ABV 46%

    Game of Thrones The Night’s Watch – Oban Bay Reserve; SRP: $62.99 for 750ml; ABV 43%

    Game of Thrones House Greyjoy – Talisker Select Reserve; SRP: $44.99 for 750ml; ABV 45.8%

    Game of Thrones House Baratheon – Royal Lochnagar 12 Year Old; SRP: $64.99 for 750ml; ABV 40%

    Game of Thrones House Tyrell – Clynelish Reserve; SRP: $59.99 for 750ml; ABV 51.2%

    Might go with the Targaryen next.


    More rye:

    Willett 4-year Family Estate tastes like shoe leather until you add a dash of water, at which point the rye flavors really come out nicely. This is not a bad bottle.

    I also tried High West's Midwinter Night's Dram, a blend of MGP ryes plus High West's own stuff, and finished in port barrels. Some of the higher-age MGP stuff is really quite good (as a tasting of Belle Meade can attest), but the port finish kind of ruins it for me; I'm more of a purist, I guess. At $100 a bottle retail (I traded for an opened one) I'd leave it on the store shelf.


    Anyone else tried the Kavalan single malt from Taiwan?
    Opinions?


    Haladir wrote:
    I opened a bottle of McKenzie Rye Whiskey last week.

    Glad they got their label into compliance; it used to say "Straight Rye Whiskey," which is illegal for an 18-month product. Their "bourbon" is also arguably not legally bourbon, because of the sherry finish. Then again, with the government shut down, TTB isn't approving labels, so who knows what will go on!


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    Well, they can say "straight bourbon finished in..." as long as it was straight bourbon before it went into the second barrel.


    Kirth Gersen wrote:

    Anyone else tried the Kavalan single malt from Taiwan?

    Opinions?

    I have not tried that.

    I have tried some of the Japanese Whiskeys Suntory: Hibiki and Toki Hibiki being a higher end product I was very impressed and didn't think I would be. It has some great history behind it. I would recommend both products.


    The better Japanese malts are so delicately awesome that they're in class by themselves.

    The Kavalan is to those what 2-year-old Texas-made bourbon is to the fine old Kentucky ones. The hot climate rapid-ages the stuff, but it doesn't, in my opinion, do it any favors in terms of integration and complexity. It just comes across to me as overly-aggressive and forced, like you're being waterboarded through a charred oak mesh.

    The Indian malts are similarly young, but I've heard good things about some of them.


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    Hibiki is great, and im not a big scotch man.


    Kirth, I have not tried any of the Indian malts yet either I have heard second hand that some might be pretty good ... no one has yet tried one that they either remember or could recommend. If you will be my guinnea pig I would appreciate it. :)


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    Kirth Gersen wrote:

    The better Japanese malts are so delicately awesome that they're in class by themselves.

    The Kavalan is to those what 2-year-old Texas-made bourbon is to the fine old Kentucky ones. The hot climate rapid-ages the stuff, but it doesn't, in my opinion, do it any favors in terms of integration and complexity. It just comes across to me as overly-aggressive and forced, like you're being waterboarded through a charred oak mesh.

    The Indian malts are similarly young, but I've heard good things about some of them.

    I feel like climate plays a big role. I've had some Texas bourbon that was fine, but you're right it doesn't compare that great with most of the Kentucky batches of the same price.

    There are numerous distilleries springing up here in Minnesota, and I've stopped trying their whiskies. Some good gin and vodka though (and one place makes a coffee-cream rum that's delightful). I think one, Minnesota's climate isn't quite right, and two, people are trying to rush their product to market.

    Winter can't be too cold, and summer can't be too hot. Plus fall and spring with lots of up and down.

    Sovereign Court

    yeap, MN whiskies are no good.


    Neither are IL whiskies, for largely the same reasons.


    MB Roland -- at 108 proof and NAS (no age statement -- and it tastes young!) is harsh and unappealing neat. Adding a splash of water, though, turned it into a massive toffee/butterscotch bomb that just wouldn't quit.


    Kirth Gersen wrote:
    MB Roland -- at 108 proof and NAS (no age statement -- and it tastes young!) is harsh and unappealing neat. Adding a splash of water, though, turned it into a massive toffee/butterscotch bomb that just wouldn't quit.

    So I am not sure ... does that mean you liked it or not?


    I did, but others with an aversion to that sort of taste profile may not


    Just picked up a bottle of Auchentoshan Three Wood. Probably break into it this weekend. No idea what this is going to be like.


    Vanykrye wrote:
    Just picked up a bottle of Auchentoshan Three Wood. Probably break into it this weekend. No idea what this is going to be like.

    Well Auchentoshan original is tasty. We expect a full report.


    Oh...it's good. Aiymi doesn't like scotch. She really doesn't like bourbon. There's only one scotch that she's tried that she will actually ask for (so far), and that's a Belvanie 17 Doublewood. She now has two that she likes.

    It's sweet smelling but not nearly as much in the taste. I pick up a touch of chocolate, vanilla, and dried fruit with it.

    I had it neat and loved it. I did not try it with water. Right now what I'm reading says that it's still good with water - apparently brings out more of the oak and nut in it - but is better without.


    Colonel EH Taylor Small batch -good stuff has become my go to during my keto diet. No sugars or carbs but I can drink bourbon and scotch since during fermentation it kills the sugars and carbs. Anytime I drink I get knocked out of ketosis but worth it for those tasty beverages. FYI I have lost 20 lbs.


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    Gruumash wrote:
    Colonel EH Taylor Small batch -good stuff has become my go to during my keto diet. No sugars or carbs but I can drink bourbon and scotch since during fermentation it kills the sugars and carbs. Anytime I drink I get knocked out of ketosis but worth it for those tasty beverages. FYI I have lost 20 lbs.

    All I'm taking away from this is that you're on a bourbon and scotch diet.

    And that it's working.


    Andostre wrote:
    Gruumash wrote:
    Colonel EH Taylor Small batch -good stuff has become my go to during my keto diet. No sugars or carbs but I can drink bourbon and scotch since during fermentation it kills the sugars and carbs. Anytime I drink I get knocked out of ketosis but worth it for those tasty beverages. FYI I have lost 20 lbs.

    All I'm taking away from this is that you're on a bourbon and scotch diet.

    And that it's working.

    Hmm, thats what you are taking away from the thread or my current keto diet? Seeing how this is a scotch/bourbon thread I was talking about that. But if you want to know about the diet no sugars no carbs ... good stuff. Borbon and Scotch I have always enjoyed them and even more knowing i can enjoy on this diet.

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