Teeling Small Batch Irish Whiskey Review

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Name: Teeling Small Batch Irish Whiskey

ABV: 46%

Proof: 92

Nose: Vanilla, Molasses, Nutmeg, and Oranges.

Palate: Rich molasses, caramel, vanilla, allspice, and deep smoky wood flavors.

Finish: Moderate and floral with light spice and wood tones.

Overall: This is a creamy whiskey that is perfect for those wanting an easy mellow sipper. The flavors are distinct and play well together. This is a whiskey that could definitely be enjoyed during a heavier dinner rather than after as the flavors compliment a variety of meal options. I really enjoyed the finish with this one; it was nearly perfect in my book. My final thoughts on Teeling Small Batch was that it is a great whiskey for those wanting something very smooth, simple, and light. Neat is the way to go with this whiskey.


Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Review

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Name: Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel

ABV: 47%

Proof: 94

Age: N/A

Notes: On the nose Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel has a smoky brown sugar and honey aroma. At first sip, I was greeted with a dry oak flavor with some slight notes of citrus, vanilla, sea salt, and sweet corn. The finish is rather long with lots of alcohol and a slight burn with notes of vanilla, corn, leather, and almonds. I enjoyed Jack Daniel’s single barrel. It has a very noticeable dry taste and I know a lot of folks that don’t like it because of that. There are some great flavors with this one but there is a strong alcohol taste that I didn’t enjoy all that much. I feel it took away from the other flavors a bit too much but I was able to mellow it a bit by adding a splash of water. Overall, this is a good whiskey and one that I would recommend to a friend. I tried Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel neat and with a splash and adding the splash mellowed the alcohol taste slightly and allowed me to focus more on the other flavors. Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel is available for around $50 a bottle a most places.


Dashfire Bitters Review

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I recently had the pleasure of trying a few products from Dashfire Bitters and I have to say they are quite impressive. I tried their Brandy Old Fashioned Bitters, Ancient Chinese Secret Bitters, and Vintage Orange Bitters.

The Brandy Old Fashioned Bitters (38% ABV) have a rich, sweet molasses flavor with some spicy notes of cinnamon and clove. I crafted an old fashioned with these using Bulleit Bourbon and it was delicious, the spicy flavors from the bitters really added to the spicy flavors of Bulleit Bourbon and the cocktail had a slight coffee cake flavor which I really enjoyed.

The Ancient Chinese Secret Bitters (43% ABV) had a noticeable licorice aroma but a mix of spicy and sweet flavors like anise, clove, cinnamon, ginger, apricot, and oranges. They added a great deal of spice flavor to the old fashioned I made and the flavors seemed authentic and not artificial.

Their signature product, Dashfire Vintage Orange No. 1 Bitters (45% ABV), are aged in a Minnesota-made white oak barrel and are Minnesota’s first and only barrel aged bitters. There is a burst of fresh orange flavor with some similar spice flavors of nutmeg, cinnamon, and anise. You definitely get a barrel aged taste with these and a great balance between sweet and spicy.

I really enjoyed all three of the bitters I tried from Dashfire’s line. There must have been a fair amount of trial and error that went into these to get them right but they indeed did just that. They are great products and surely deserve a spot on any home bar. The flavors are genuine and you can tell they are high quality. Dashfire’s mission was to create hand-crafted blends that can be used by everyone who appreciates a quality cocktail. Especially for folks like me who are still trying to perfect their cocktail skills. I highly recommend Dashfire Bitters not only for the great flavors they provide but for the quality of the products.

History: The force behind Dashfire, Lee Egbert, is driven by an unending curiosity coupled with an appetite for travel and a desire to learn all he can about the flavors and spices of different cultures.  Lee lived in China for a year and a half, and has also travelled extensively in Thailand, Malaysia, India, Sri Lanka, Morocco, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Mexico, Guatemala, and Belize, where he had the opportunity to learn first-hand about local herbs and spices as well as spirits and food.  The inspiration for all Dashfire products is drawn from these experiences and flavors, as can be clearly seen in Mr. Lee’s Ancient Chinese Secret Bitters and Dashfire’s unique line of Tinctures.  So imbibe with the peace of mind and knowledge that every effort was put into making our creations with the highest regard for the ingredients.

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Koval Single Barrel Bourbon Review

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Name: Koval Single Barrel Bourbon

ABV: 47%

Proof: 94

Notes: On the nose Koval single barrel bourbon has a very upfront and straightforward fruit scent to it. At first sip there is a burst of fresh fruit, most noticeably apricot, followed by more sweet flavors like caramel, vanilla, and maple syrup. Although sweet and with plenty of fruit flavors there are also some good spice flavors as well such as black pepper, tobacco, and leather. The finish is moderate with apricot flavors and some subtle earthy flavors and a slight burn. I really enjoyed this bourbon. It was definitely one that has unique flavors and is using some unique ingredients. The apricot flavor didn’t taste artificial and the tobacco and leather flavors added some complexity. Overall, I would definitely recommend this whiskey to a friend. In my opinion this one is best enjoyed neat.

History: Koval distillery uses Millet, which is a gluten-free ancient sustenance grain, and like corn, has a history of working in the spirits industry. Learn the full history of Koval Distillery here.

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Gunpowder Rye Review

Gunpowder Rye

Name: Gunpowder Rye

Bottled By: New England Distillery

ABV: 43.5%

Proof: 87

Notes: On the nose there is a strong scent of fresh spearmint and roasted corn. On the palate there is a nice fiery burst of flavors such as black pepper, grains, mint, cloves, and some slight citrus flavors. The burn of this whiskey and strong flavors stand out in a good way. It has a burn but it’s not overpowering. The finish is surprisingly sweet with flavors of vanilla, mint, and caramel. I personally enjoy this whiskey best neat although it does fine with a small splash. This is a delicious whiskey and one that I have really been enjoying lately. I shared Gunpowder Rye with several friends and it was interesting to see the different flavors each of them detected. All found this to be a very enjoyable whiskey. At around $40 a bottle it is well worth it in my opinion. 



LA 1 Whiskey Review

La1 Whiskey

Name: LA 1 Whiskey

By: Donner-Peltier Distillers

ABV: 46%

Proof: 92

Age: About 10 months

Notes: On the nose LA 1 has a straight forward aroma of sweet corn. On the palate there is a great deal of rich and earthy flavors such as oak, corn, vanilla, cocoa, and dark roasted coffee. The flavors are full bodied and easily noticeable. This whiskey has some chocolate malted barley which adds a cocoa flavor to the whiskey. The finish is moderate with corn, cocoa, and vanilla flavors and has nice burn to it. The coffee and cocoa flavors are very noticeable and when I first tried this whiskey I wasn’t impressed, but I let the bottle open up a bit and tried this again and I really enjoyed it. I think the reason I didn’t enjoy it at first is because it was a flavor I wasn’t use to, but this is a good whiskey with a very unique flavor. I enjoyed LA 1 neat and with a splash and it was enjoyable both ways. I would definitely recommend LA 1 whiskey; it is full of great flavors and is definitely a stand out whiskey. For around $40.00 a bottle, it is definitely worth picking up if you haven’t tried it yet. 


White Whale Auntie’s Old Fashioned Mixer Review

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Name: White Whale Auntie’s Old Fashioned Mixer

Notes: I was in a Whole Foods recently and finally got my hands on White Whale Auntie’s Old Fashioned Mixer. I was very excited to give this a try since I have reviewed Old Fashioned mixers in the past and this is my favorite cocktail. I followed the nice instructions on the bottle and mixed my drink. I used Bulleit Bourbon with this cocktail mixer. I allowed the drink to sit for a few minutes before trying it. There was a nice sweet fruit taste that reminded me of an artificial berry flavor as well some fresh herbs such as basil and rosemary, and some spices. This is a good cocktail mixer and definitely has a unique flavor. I personally like a bit more of a bitter taste to my old fashioned but this was very enjoyable. I paid around $8 for a bottle and I thought that was a very fair price. If you haven’t had the chance to try this mixer yet, pick it up and give it a go, and let us know what you think.


Millbrook Distillery Barrel Strength Bourbon Whiskey Review

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Name: Millbrook Distillery Barrel Strength Bourbon Whiskey

Bottled By: Millbrook Distillery

ABV: 57.5%

Proof: 115

Age: 6 Years

Notes: On the nose Millbrook’s Barrel Strength Bourbon has a nice warm vanilla and nutmeg aroma. On the palate there are some spice flavors up front, most noticeably cinnamon and nutmeg and some roasted corn, warm vanilla, and sweet subtle fruit flavors. The finish is moderate with a slight burn and a lingering light corn flavor. The spice flavors in this bourbon are very noticeable and make the whiskey in my opinion. Millbrook Barrel Strength Bourbon is aged 6 years and is very smooth bourbon. I tried this neat and with a splash and enjoyed it both ways. Millbrook Distillery has two solid products with their Dutchess Private Reserve and Barrel Strength Whiskey. They will be adding a third product to the lineup, a rye whiskey, around Christmas 2014. 


Ranger Creek .44 Texas Rye Whiskey Review

.44 Rye

Name: Ranger Creek .44 Texas Rye Whiskey

ABV: 47%

Proof: 94

Age: 7 Months

Notes: On the nose this rye has a very strong aroma of black pepper and anise. On the palate there is a crisp apple flavor with smooth honey, vanilla, caramel, and toffee flavors. The finish is spicy with black pepper and cinnamon upfront with some familiar sweet flavors of honey and vanilla. I found this rye to be very smooth and mellow. The honey and apple flavors were the two most noticeable flavors for me and both were delicious. The spicy flavors of black pepper, cinnamon, and anise really played well with the sweet flavors in this rye. This is the third whiskey I tried from Ranger Creek and I was very impressed with all their products. I tried Ranger Creek .44 Rye neat and with a splash and I enjoyed it both ways.  Ranger Creek .44 Rye is priced at around $35 a bottle which I feel is a great price for the quality of the whiskey.

History:Ranger Creek’s Small Caliber Series is a line of creative, limited edition whiskeys aged in small barrels. They put these whiskeys in small bottles to represent the small barrels in which they have been matured. The small barrels accelerate the maturation process by increasing the wood to liquid ratio in the barrel. This imparts unique, interesting flavors and allows us to experiment with new products. In the spirit of being truly craft, they still use local ingredients and innovative ideas to release a new Small Caliber Series product each year. Each bottle is hand labeled with the batch number, bottle number, season, and maturation time.