Review: Muckety-Muck 25-year-old Single Grain Scotch Whisky

Photo courtesy of Orphan Barrel Whisky Distilling Company

The Port Dundas distillery was demolished a little more than a decade ago, but the remaining stocks continue to age. Luckily, on occasion, we get to enjoy those aging stocks. Muckety-Muck 25-year-old, the latest Orphan Barrel release, is the follow-up release to a 24-year-old bottling. And my goodness, this single grain whisky just gets better with age.

Bottled at 95.5% abv, Muckety-Muck is comprised of American first-fill casks, allowing for the character of the distillate to shine through.

The nose is full of brown sugar, vanilla, and orchard fruits with a slight citrusy (orange) top note. Dessert-like on the palate, Muckety-Muck 25-year-old comes across like an apple pie – ripe apples, brown sugar, sweet dough. Caramel adds to the rich sweetness, which continues through to the finish. There’s a refreshing minty note that pops up on the end, sort of cleaning the palate for the next sip.

I’m a fan of great single grain whisky, especially when its well aged. Muckety-Muck 25 checks the boxes for me. It’s rich and sweet and delicious, making for a great after-dinner choice. But because it’s so rich and sweet, I wouldn’t drink this on a regular basis. Not a knock on the whisky, just my preference. I hope Muckety-Muck becomes the new Rhetoric, with additional releases being put out every year. With a $250 suggested retail price, Muckety-Muck 25 isn’t overpriced for what it offers.

Recommended!

Thanks to Diageo for the sample. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Review: Johnnie Walker Blue Label Ghost & Rare Pittyvaich

Photo courtesy of Johnnie Walker

Johnnie Walker Blue Label Ghost & Rare Pittyvaich is the fourth in the wonderful Ghost & Rare series. The Pittyvaich distillery was only operational for 19 years when it was shuttered in 1993. Whiskies from Pittyvaich and other “ghost” distilleries, Port Dundas and Carsebridge, make up the core of this blend. Rounding things out are malts from Mannachmore, Auchroisk, Cragganmore, Strathmill, and Royal Lochnagar.

Bottled at 43.8% abv, Johnnie Walker Blue Label Ghost & Rare Pittyvaich features a lovely bouquet full of crisp green apple, ripe pear, vanilla, and nutmeg. On the palate, hints of butterscotch and vanilla provide a creamy, sweet entry which gives way to dark fruit, orange peel, and oak spice. The finish is medium length, and carries over a fruity and honeyed sweetness and some baking spice.

Pittyvaich is known for its fruity character, and that’s certainly showcased here. It’s well rounded, with banking spice, vanilla, and honey adding some complexity to the fruit-filled base. I do wish this had a touch of smoke, but if wishes were fishes…

The $349.99 suggested retail price seems about right for what you’re getting – a luxurious, delicious blend from the ever-growing library of Johnnie Walker. Recommended.

Thanks to Johnnie Walker for the sample. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Review: Johnnie Walker High Rye

One of the newest blends from Johnnie Walker is a platform for rye grain to shine. High Rye is made from a mash bill of 60% rye blended with whiskies from Cardhu, Cameronbridge, Teaninich, Caol Ila, Clynelish, and Glenkinchie. The whisky was aged in first fill and refill American oak casks.

Essentially, in this day and age, it’s Johnnie Walker’s homage to American and Canadian rye whiskey. And there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s certainly a great place to start for the American whiskey consumer looking to branch out to other whiskies.

Bottled at 45% abv, Johnnie Walker High Rye features vanilla and oak spice on the nose. A sweet, toasted rye grain note comes into play slowly. Taste-wise, those vanilla and toffee notes hit the palate first, followed by buttered rye toast and oak spice. Some mild fruity notes peek through every now and then. The finish is medium short and carries over that sweet and spicy profile. Interestingly, the sweetness (in the form of maple syrup) fades first, leaving behind a nice peppery note.

Johnnie Walker High Rye is an easy sipping, sweet & spicy whisky. It makes for a great Manhattan, but holds its own neat in a glass. At an SRP of $34.99, this one’s a no-brainer.

Thanks to Johnnie Walker for the sample. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.