Author: Bobby

Hello. My name's Bobby, and I'm no whiskey expert. I'm here to share my thoughts as a novice whiskey enthusiast. So, when I try new whiskies (mostly bourbons), I'll tell you about them here.

Review: Heaven Hill 7-Year-Old Bottled-In-Bond

Saying goodbye to an old friend is hard. Heaven Hill 6-year-old bottled-in-bond was discontinued months ago. At it’s $15ish price tag, it was considered by many bourbon enthusiasts to be not only a steal, but THE steal.

Its replacement was to be a new $40 7-year-old bottled-in-bond. Judging by a lot of social media reaction, the new expression was the equivalent of Yoko breaking up the band (I’m listening to Abbey Road as I write this review)

The truth of the matter is that 6-year-old BIB bourbon was a Kentucky-only release, which put it out of the reach of many folks. Second, it was underpriced by today’s standards. The $39.99 asking price of the new expression isn’t nuts. It’s actually more in line with the 2019 bourbon market.

Additionally, the new expression is available in more states than its predecessor, first launching in California, Texas, New York, Georgia, Florida, Illinois, South Carolina, and Colorado. Notably missing is Kentucky. But, those large markets put the whiskey in the hands of more thirsty customers. A lot more.

So, how is it? In the words of Mr. Harrison, “Here comes the sun.”

The nose carries hints of grilled sweet corn, vanilla, caramel, and some spice. Taste-wise, initial notes of toffee and peanut brittle meet baking spice, stewed orchard fruit, and baking spice. The long finish features lingering notes of salted caramel, freshly baked brioche, and a touch of oak spice.

Heaven Hill 7-year-old bottled-in-bond is a bourbon you’ll want to add to your collection. It’s big and bold and full of flavor. Heaven Hill knows its bonded whiskey – it makes more than any other distillery. Final verdict: I Want You (She’s So Heavy). Well said, Mr. Lennon. 8.5/10

Heavenhilldistillery.com

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

Review: Mortlach Core Range (12-yr, 16-yr, and 20-yr)

Ah, the Beast of Dufftown. Mortlach, the Speyside distillery known for its rich sherried whiskies, has recently updated their core lineup to include 12-, 16-, and 20-year-old expressions.

All whiskies are bottled at 43.4% ABV. They all have something else in common – none of these expressions feature lightly peated malt.

MORTLACH 12-YEAR-OLD WEE WITCHIE

The entry level expression is a 12-year-old single malt called the Wee Witchie. Available for $50, this whisky is rich and fruity on the nose with hints of overly-ripe apricot, oak spice, and sweet malt. The palate bears creamy vanilla notes as well as toffee, ripe pear, sweet malt, and a sprinkling of baking spices. The medium length finish leaves sweet malt, toasted oak, and candied citrus. This whisky is big and oily. The sweet malt is slightly dominant at first, but some airtime allows other flavors and aromas to shine. 7.5/10

MORTLACH 16-YEAR-OLD DISTILLER’S DRAM

In the middle of the new lineup lies Mortlach 16-year-old ($110). The nose is big and aromatic; much heavier than its younger sibling. It’s also much darker, with loads of dried fruit and a heavier helping of baking spices, especially cloves. Those spices carry over onto the palate. Waves of cinnamon and cloves hit first, followed by waves of stewed fruit and astringent oak. Dark toffee and tea tannins lead us into the long, sweet, earthy finish. Big and meaty, this 16-year-old expression might just be my favorite of the bunch. 9/10

MORTLACH 20-YEAR-OLD COWIE’S BLUE SEAL

Finally, we have Mortlach 20-year-old, available for $250. The nose is slightly subdued but starts to come alive with a splash of water and some airtime. There is a lot going on here. Hints of stewed stone fruit concentrate, spice, and aromatic wood lead to fermented tobacco leaves and dark toffee. This is an oily whisky. It’s palate coating, for sure. An initial earthiness leads to big caramel and stone fruit notes. Cocoa and honey give way to old oak and dried figs. The finish is long and features lingering notes of licorice and dried fruit… the official tasting notes are on the money for that last part. Mortlach 20-year-old is a fine whisky, but might be too heavy and meaty for regular drinking. Call it a special occasion whisky. 8.5/10

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

Review: Crown Royal Noble Collection: French Oak Cask Finished

The fourth entry in Crown Royal’s Noble Collection line is this French Oak finished whisky. The previous three expressions in this series have been hits in my household.

As the name suggests, Crown Royal Noble Collection French Oak Cask Finished sees the brand’s famous whisky, Crown Royal Fine De Luxe, experience secondary aging in new French Oak casks. Simple concept. How does it fare?

Bottled at 40% ABV, this expression prominently features toasted marshmallows and vanilla on the nose. Dark caramel and spice also shine. The French Oak casks have ramped up the spice notes from the standard Crown Royal Fine De Luxe expression. There is more of the same on the palate – dark caramel, creamy vanilla, some sweet fruit, and a seasoning of baking spice. The finish sees the development of toasted oak and slightly burnt caramel.

Overall, this new whisky from Crown Royal is nice, if a bit underwhelming. With the French Oak cask finish, I was expecting a spicier, drier whisky. What we end up with is a Crown Royal Fine De Luxe with a touch more spice and a slightly dark edge. At a price tag of $59.99, it’s not a major investment for a slightly more interesting version Crown Royal Fine De Luxe. 7.5/10

Crownroyal.com

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