High West Yippee Ki Yay Batch 19C20 56.9% ABV

yipee ki yay 19c20

A blend of straight whiskeys aged from 2 to 16 years BLEND Batches 19C20–19C27 

95% rye, 5% barley malt from MGP 53% rye, 37% corn, 10% barley from Barton 80% rye, 20% malted rye from High West Distillery 


Appearance

Again quite a deep gold in colour, the swirl line beads up into really thick teardrops and faint thick legs. #thewhiskeychaps

Nose

I’m getting eucalyptus and floral notes here, strawberry pastries, and definitely more of a subdued nose. There are vegetal aromas here now, wood polish, nettles. #thewhiskeychaps

swirl line becomes very thick on the glass now, with wall paper paste, more eucalyptus, green apple skins, and lots of wood treatments, but not wood #thewhiskeychaps

high west distillery

Palate

Mouthfeel is lighter than I expected, at the moment, and it’s another slow arriving dram. It is sweeter, with stoned fruits, I’m getting sweet tea too. I’m getting lemons, which is a new one in a bourbon for me. #thewhiskeychaps

Yes, turning into aniseed and cough candy, that strong cough syrup too tbh. 100% pontefract cakes, dark chocolate digestives, liquorice allsorts too, staying fruity, but also spicy #thewhiskeychaps

Finish

Long side of medium in length for me, and becoming fruit pastries, lots of apricots, with a dandelion and burdock dark under taste, they mix really well actually, creates a multi layered finish, another lovely @drinkhighwest #thewhiskeychaps

high west distillery

My thoughts

Having tasted the High West Double Rye before getting to this offering from them, i had high hopes for this bottling. I really enjoyed the Double Rye, it’s a lovely rye whiskey, and i was at this stage wondering if this bottle could be better. The answer is yes.

Again it has the slow arrival of the Double Rye, which is unique to me so far in that this is the only distillery to craft a whisk(e)y that does so. This alone will without doubt keep these bottles firmly in my memory. The nose and palate bring more that the Double Rye for me, there’s loads going on. To be honest i could have listed more notes, and if i try it again i will add them in brackets onto these original notes.

In my opinion, and of the others on this tasting, this is a great rye whiskey, i certainly can’t fault it at all, and i would relish tasting it again to be honest. I’d love a bottle in my whisk(e) cupboard.


A big thank you goes out to Duncan, Paul and Tony for joining us on the tasting this whiskey was a part of, they, along with us can be followed on twitter using the buttons below.

FEW Straight Bourbon Whiskey 46.5% ABV

A three grain bourbon from Chicago’s FEW distillery, combining the legally required corn majority with spicy rye and a bit of malt.


Appearance: Light oak with an orange hue. A thin film forms around the glass with a jagged beaded swirl mark. Some thin to medium legs form.

Nose: The typical bourbon notes of vanilla, oak, caramel and heaps of cherry. A damp woodland floor aroma also emanates from the glass: wet twigs and leaves. The caramel element is quite creamy and mellow, like butterscotch Angel Delight. The bourbon carries the ABV well, it’s not a high alcohol whiskey, but noses light even for 46%.

Palate: A nice mouthfeel. Not oily but not watery either. The caramel and cherry hit first, and hard. The palate is nowhere near as light on the ABV as the nose, there’s an immediate warming of the chest and throat. The general elements remain. That wet forest floor edge adds a nice balance to the cherry sweetness. Some Christmas spices and black pepper hum along in the background too.

Finish: Pepper dusted cherries and sodden twigs. The creamy butterscotch element is there too, albeit subtle.

Overall: A decent bourbon. Not sure it’s £50+ decent though.

High West A Midwinter Nights Dram Act 8 Scene 3 46% ABV

MidwinterNightsDramAct copy

A Midwinter Nights Dram act 8 scene 3 49.3%. A blend of straight rye whiskeys that have been finished in French oak Port barrels. This is their Rendezvous Rye which is the 95/5 (rye/malted barley) straight rye whiskey from MGP as well as an 80/20 (rye/malted rye) straight rye whiskey makeup from High West Distillery.


Appearance: Vibrant auburn. A substantial swirl mark with many thick legs and a thick film around the glass. The most visibly viscous of the 3 drams tonight

Nose: Deep and rich blackberry jam, sweet spice and vanilla. Digestive biscuit wheat and icing sugar too. Lovely nose. Caramelised meat, vegetal notes and reduced port sauce.

Palate: Wow! Thick blackberry jam, gentle black pepper and chilli tingle that grows in the background. Bitter dark chocolate, golden syrup. Cream and tinned cherries, oak and vanilla ice cream.

Finish: Medium to long. Cherries, berries and chocolate last longest, there’s also the spice hum.

Overall: Awesome whiskey. The berry jam sweetness is delicious.

High West Double Rye Moscatel Finish 49.3% ABV

high west double rye

A lively, spicy double rye whiskey from High West distillery in Utah that is made with a blend of two high-rye whiskeys, one with a mashbill of 95% rye and 5% malted barley, the other 80% rye and 20% malted rye, both matured for at least three years, and finished for 1 year in a moscatel cask.


Appearance

Quite a deep gold in colour, it has a nice thick swirl line in my Glencairn, with slow thick legs and thick teardrops. #thewhiskeychaps

Nose

Oooooh, that’s higher ABV on the nose than I expected, greengages, a little bubblegum, definitely dusty, with quite a lot of dunnage, cigar leaves and black coffee. #thewhiskeychaps

Cont – It’s becoming sweeter now, tropical fruits, and a nuttiness is coming through too, hazelnuts I’d say. #thewhiskeychaps

high west distillery

Palate

Mouthfeel is medium thick, and the flavours come on slowly, instead of slapping your face. It’s slowly becoming spicy. Lots of vanilla, sponge cake, the nuttiness is coming through here too. There is some bitterness, cask char, espresso coffee. #thewhiskeychaps

Walnut cake, black liquorice, flat cola, and becoming spicier, it’s a grower that’s for sure. #thewhiskeychaps

Finish

Medium to long in length, staying spicy, leaning towards marmite on toast for me, definitely reminding me of a soaking rum cask too. Lots of dark fruits, chest warming too, it’s a lovely dram. #thewhiskeychaps

high west distillery

My thoughts

This wasn’t the first time i’d tried a whiskey from High West, i had tried one previously, and i remember enjoying it. So i had high hopes for this dram, how did it stand up to my expectation of it? I can happily report that it stood up rather well. I do enjoy rye whiskies, and this one sits firmly on my “very nice” list.

One thing i will remember about this whiskey is it’s arrival. This one isn’t a face slapper, it slowly builds up, not something iv’e come across before in all honesty, and i really enjoyed that aspect.

Overall i think this is a lovely rye whisky. I’d very happily have a bottle of my own, it’s one i’d really enjoy.


A big thank you goes out to Duncan, Paul and Tony for joining us on the tasting this whiskey was a part of, they, along with us can be followed on twitter using the buttons below.

High West Yippee Ki-Yay Batch 19C20 46% ABV

High West yippee ki-yay

Now discontinued & only seen in auctions for close to £200, this double rye is matured in oak barrels originally used to age two different types of wine. Californian Vermouth Barrels & Californian Qupé Syrah barrels.
The original Yippee Ki-Yay was a marriage of two straight rye whiskies aged from 2 to 16 years. Batches 19C20–19C27 95% rye, 5% barley malt from MGP 53% rye, 37% corn, 10% barley from Barton 80% rye, 20% malted rye from High West Distillery.


Appearance: A lovely oaky brown/orange. Many short medium legs quickly form from the thin to medium swirl mark. A pretty dense film clings to the glass.

Nose: A good ABV hit. Red berries, Christmas spices, orange peel and pepper-dusted cherries. Stewed forest fruit brown sugar sprinkled pie. Buttery pastry and rhubarb. A minty fresh aroma builds now, along with a slightly more vegetal note, which adds some balance.

Palate: Semi viscous but an immediate pleasing berry sweet fruit hit, like boiled sweets. There are some gentle Christmas spices and black pepper, but the sweetness is dominating. Cherry soothers and honey flavours are particularly lovely in this whiskey. The spice element slowly intensifies but doesn’t build to anything overpowering. Towards the finish, there are some classic bourbon flavours: oak, vanilla and honey.

Finish: The berry and spice linger for a short while, with a very faint tannic drying.

Overall: It’s a banger of a whiskey. Love the berry sweetness burst and the gentle spices. It’s a really friendly and satisfying dram.

High West Double Rye Moscatel finish Barrel 9596 Friends of Boston store pick 49.6% ABV

High West Double Rye

The standard Double Rye 46% is a blend of column & pot-still whiskies, a 2yo and a sweeter 16yo* made with a higher proportion of corn. Mash Bill: Straight Rye whiskeys: 95% rye, 5% barley malt from MGP; 80% Rye, 20% Malted Rye from High West. This particular bottling has been finished in Moscatel casks for 1 year


Appearance: Tizer orange/vibrant autumnal leaves. For me, at least, a solid film with no legs, beads or teardrops. Just that flawless film for an age. Eventually, a few teardrops do form and the tide mark very slowly beads a little.

Nose: Lively! All the classic bourbon aromas are there (cherry in spades, oak, corn, vanilla and honey) together with a zing of sharp berry sweetness. The ABV is really well balanced too, slightly more apparent than the standard, but not in any way overpowering or intrusive. The oak and more dusty leather notes emerge and grow as the glass matures, adding more layers to this bourbon. The more meaty, ham-flavoured crisps flavour wafts into the nose after a time too.
Sweet spices arrive after acclimatising to the sweeter notes, in the form of cinnamon and nutmeg.

Palate: A semi-viscous mouthfeel. Ooh, that’s a lovely fruity palate for a bourbon. Orange chocolate and those sweet spices warm the chest nicely, that ‘Kentucky Hug’! A touch drying and then confectionary sweetness and a touch of tropical Bubblicious.
The spices grow the most as the whiskey is consumed, it’s a nice balance of flavours.

Finish: Medium in length. The orange chocolate and spices linger the longest.

Overall: It’s a really interesting and pleasing variation of the standard whiskey. The Moscatel finish has definitely added a heap of sweetness and this marries well with the rye spice and higher ABV punch. It’s a little thin but that’s not the end of the world.

*Starting in 2018, the company started to substitute the 16-year sourced whiskey with the company’s own distillate that is aged up to 7 years. I believe this bottle is pre-2018 but I cannot be 100% sure

Bruichladdich 12yo 2009 Micro Provenance Israeli Caberbernet Sauvignon cask 12yo 62.4% ABV.

bruichladdich 12yo micro provenanace 2009

An exclusive release from Bruichladdich for the UK Aqua Laddie Crew. This 12 year old release was originally distilled in 2009. This was then laid down in Warehouse 14 where it matured for over a decade in a cask that previously held Cabernet Sauvignon wine from Israel. This cask choice imparts an sensational flavour profile and colour to the final liquid. As with all releases in the Micro Provenance series, this is a single cask specifically selected to highlight how Islay’s unique terroir, maturation conditions, wood and barley choices ultimately influence the final liquid. One of only 276 bottles.

Bruichladdich whisky

Appearance

Lighter than mid gold in colour, the medium thick swirl line drops several thick legs that beads up as they fall.

Nose

Now, this dram is 62.4% ABV, it sounds like a monster doesn’t it. Well it’s undoubtedly strong, but the nose isn’t slapping me ABV wise. Knowing the cask type I kind of expected certain aromas. Initially on pouring I didn’t get the expected aromas, but after 20 minutes I am.

Red fruits are now coming through, cereals are coming with them, raspberry or redcurrant tarts. As it develops it offers an earthiness, with evergreen boughs. Old style putty oil mixes nicely with the fruits, and smelling it with a mouth open I can taste it on my palate.

More time and the red fruits become stronger. Cranberries and cherries, with almonds and marzipan.

bruichladdich logo

Palate

Straight away it’s spicy, and the ABV much more prominent here. The mouthfeel is of medium viscosity, and the red berries are all here like the nose. It does come across like new make spirit actually, I’m finding it very fruity, with some drying and tannins.

Waiting longer and everything from the start of the palate is elevated in strength. Red liquorice brings more sweetness, black coffee and slightly over toasted bread with the tannins bring some bitterness towards the end. I’m finding it easily drinkable to be honest, but may add a drop of water to see what happens.

With a few drops of water added it becomes even spicier. I’d say we’re headed into raspberry pavlova, cola cubes, and a floral sort of direction. It’s all red fruits and light bitterness.

Finish

It’s still spicy and is quite long in length. The red berries turn towards cough candy/ aniseed twists. The sides of my tongue are tingling now, pop tarts come to mind, and cinnamon.

bruichladdich distillery

My thoughts

We have a whisky with a very high ABV from a very reputable Islay distillery. One iv’e had sitting in my sample drawer for some time, and i was in the mood for rooting around right at the back of said drawer, and it came to see the light of day, at last.

All the signs we positive in my mind for this dram, as much as i needed to stay neutral, it comes with an expectation. I can very happily report that those expectations were surpassed in my humble opinion. This bottle has everything i expected and more. The ABV is very quaffable, it’s not an atomic dram, though don’t get me wrong, it’s no lightweight either. I enjoyed it from the first smell to the dying of the finish, both the nose and palate are very nice indeed.

The only thing i will say is that i don’t think it’s for someone new to whisky, sensory overload could easily ensue. For the more experienced whisky this could very well be a hidden gem, at a price though. Id imagine it’s largely all gone now, and i think it was available for around £110, it offers a lot for the money, and it’s one i’d very happily enjoy another dram of.


Finn Thomson Inchgower 13 Year Old 58.8% ABV

finn thomson inchgower 13

This Inchgower was the first to be re-racked and, having monitored it closely over the past 18 months, it is perhaps one of the most unique whiskies I’ve ever tried. The red wine comes through strongly with an abundance of strawberry and cream notes. Its quirky contrasts will undoubtedly split opinion, but that’s what independent bottling should be about.

Producers notes

Appearance: Err….pink! It’s a really odd and not hugely pleasant colour if I’m honest. it looks like someone’s mixed a passion fruit J2O with a whisky. The red wine cask has obviously influenced more than just the flavour and smell of this one!
A chaotic beaded swirl line forms above a semi-viscous film. Many thin to medium legs form, along with some tear drops.

Nose: The high ABV is immediately obvious. Red berries, dried fruit, spring water and a minerality appear first. As my senses acclimatise to the high ABV, the berry sweetness intensifies and becomes stewed and rich.
Raspberry ripple ice cream, vanilla panna cotta and sweet spices are the next waves of aromas to hit the nose.
It smells slightly dry and rye-like too.

Palate: Not an overly viscous texture and mouthfeel, nice though. Immediately chest warming and a touch spicy, mostly sweet spices and a touch of black pepper.
Blackberry and forest fruits are in abundance, there’s definitely a big cask influence here. It’s a touch drying at the back of the throat.
It’s a pretty friendly palate, for a cask-strength whisky, and would make a great introduction dram for CS.
The spice tingle builds the more I sip, but never dominates that intense berry fruitiness.

Finish: Long, full of those blackberries dusted with spice. The dryness does get a little more obvious than I’d like, but that’s the only critique I have really.

Overall: Another FT banger. This one has a great balance of that blackberry fruitiness and the gently building spice. VERY nice.

Slyrs Champions Malt 40% ABV

slyrs champions malt

Connected by our common homeland, our passion and the pursuit of perfection to be the best in our trade, we created the CHAMPIONS MALT.

As a Whisky-Pioneer sets SLYRS since 1999 standards in things Whisky-Competence. Made from the best Bavarian grain, mountain spring water and a love of craftsmanship. Founded in 1900, FC Bayern Munich is both the German record champion and record cup winner. Together we stand for Bavarian success and the highest quality. This is how the joint idea for CHAMPIONS MALT came about. Our exclusive MALT Whisky first matured for 3 years in barrels made of new American white oak and was then stored in selected wheat beer barrels for a further 6 months. An absolutely extraordinary Whisky-Finish!

Slyrs whisky

Appearance

Light gold in colour, damp straw is pretty close. It leaves quite a thick swirl line in my Glencairn glass, and drops several thick legs.

Nose

The nose is initially a little vegetal, wood is evident but not overpowering, and there’s a sweetness, vanilla crown pastries. 

More time and sweet red berries start to make an appearance, tropical muesli and apricot flapjack too. A faint perfume not also comes through.

slyrs whisky logo

Palate

The mouthfeel initially is a little on the thin side, but the palate is quite flavourful. It’s spicier than I expected, vanilla and cinnamon, white pepper are the main reason, and I can’t help feeling I’m getting a meatiness too.

More time and a minty freshness comes to the fore, and it’s still spicy. A rum and raisin type flavour then develops, leading into milk chocolate and dates.

Finish

The finish is short to medium, and it gives me hazelnuts, with vanilla syrup in black coffee. The spices are still hanging around to be honest. Eventually it does become drying, with a touch of grapefruit pith and bitter lemon.

slyrs distillery

My thoughts

Slyrs whisky is something iv’e been aware of for a little while, i’d seen their bottles posted by fellow whisky lovers on social media a few times. They are a distillery that intrigues me, so when my whisky friend Phil said he’d send me a sample i was rather excited. It would be the first whisky i’d tasted from them, and only the second whisky i’d have tasted from Germany.

I knew that i’d be tasting a very much entry level ish whisky, at 40% ABV, but the maturation was new to me, being finished in wheat beer barrels. I wasn’t expecting a “banger” of a whisky, i don’t suppose it’s marketed as so, so what did i make of it?

Well i found a whisky that as expected was thin where mouthfeel is concerned for me, but i have to say that it was rather flavourful compared to other 40% ABV single malt whiskies that iv’e tasted. In all honesty i couldn’t help get the feeling that at high ABV Slyrs whisky could be very good indeed. Another whisky friend confirmed that he has a bottle from Slyrs bottled by That Boutique Whisky Company, and that it’s a great whisky.

This particular bottle isn’t one i’d personally purchase, more because of its presentation and where i am on my whisky trail to be honest. If i see a high ABV bottle at a good price some time in the future i would be extremely tempted to buy one. Slyrs are now firmly on my whisky radar.


This very generous sample was sent to me by my good whisky friend Phil, he, along with Slyrs whisky, and us, can be followed on Twitter using the buttons below.

Finn Thomson Blair Athol 9yo 59.6% ABV

finn thomson blair athol 9

Appearance: Flat rose wine. A nice viscous film form and clings to the glass. The film soon starts to ripple and form a corrugated effect around d the glass. A few medium legs start to seep from the average tide mark.

Nose: Porridge, berries and vanilla hit first. The dram carries the ABV well, it’s not overwhelming at all, on the nose.
There’s a definite confectionary side to this. Sweet shop sugars and fruit salad chews/tropical fruits, mango and honeydew melon.
A mellow chocolate-like aroma also floats in and out of the senses. It’s a nicely balanced nose and one that definitely creates a want to try the whisky.

Palate: For a 9-year-old, this has a lovely mouthfeel, quite syrupy. It immediately tastes and feels luxurious. The spice from the ABV hits first: chilli and white pepper. Balancing the heat there is a deep and rich dark fruit flavour, adding sweetness, along with roasted nuts and tobacco leaf.
The palate reflects the high abv more than the nose, not a bad thing though. The vanilla shows up after a while, along with semi-bitter dark chocolate and a touch of orange.

Finish: Medium to long. Filled with those deep and rich fruits and the vanilla.

Overall: Banger. Love it.