Tis the season to try new Whisk(e)y

I received a bottle of Kurayoshi 8yr as a gift today. A gently peaty flavor with a surprisingly light color. Very easy to drink. Worth hunting down if you like collecting experiences with unusual scotch whisky.

There’s a redundancy there. :blush:

This thread, on my screen at least, has been peppered with ads for Heaven’s Door, the whisky that Bob Dylan promotes. You drink and you die.

Kilchoman, a relatively new-ish smaller Islay distillery, has also been making some pretty great peat-y expressions. The Kilchoman Sanaig is one of my go-to whiskies for peat.

I got a little bonus from work this year, and invested part of it in a bottle of Kilchoman Auburn, a single-cask sherry-finished bottling I’m planning to crack open after the last second of 2020 has ticked away.

I bought a bottle of Yamazaki 12 as a gift for a friend. He’s going to crack it open tomorrow, so looking forward to my first Japanese Whisky experience. For some reason, high-quality Japanese brands are ridiculously expensive around here. I’ll generally drop $100 - $150 for a decent single-malt Scotch. The Yamazaki 12 was the cheapest bottle they had, and it was $160. The guy assured me that it was about the lowest price I’d find.

When discussing Japanese whisky made in the style the Scottish use for their whisky I don’t know a better term. Do you?

IMO you can’t properly call a Japanese product “Scotch”. And yes, I know about whisky vs. whiskey or whiskies. But that’s ambiguous too, and frequently misunderstood by the non-connoisseurs.

I ended up with two new whiskeys this Christmas. Balcones’ Texas Blue Corn Burboun and Williett Family Estate 4 year Rye.

The Balcones is pretty amazing, like the rest of their blue corn whiskeys. It’s sweet and a little smoky. Whoever bottled mine didn’t write the proof on it, so I’m not sure what it is, but it is potent. I have to have it with ice, so it’s probably over 100 proof. Aged 37 months, which seems to be a long time for a whiskey aged in Texas, it has a lot of wood notes compared to the other blue corn whiskeys I’ve had from them.

I’m not sure if Willett is distilling this Rye itself or just buying from MGP and aging it, but it is very tasty. It’s 106 proof, so ice is necessary for me as well. Sweet and spicy as all get-out. It was a Christmas gift, and I’m flattered that they gave it to me.

Really, a nice damn Christmas, whiskey-wise.

Great thread, and it’s motivated me to branch out from my usual Irish and Scotch and try American whiskies again. Haven’t had a bourbon in decades.

But one thing – I see a fair amount of appreciation here for what I’d call “overproofed” whiskies. Seems to be mostly American whiskies.

For me, that much alcohol in a drink overwhelms the flavor. Are American whiskies different? Do they handle the additional (over and above the usual 80 proof) alcohol better? Does the extra alcohol actually add to the flavor?

I believe the idea with cask strength or overproof whiskies is that a dash of water is required to unlock a lot of the aromatics. Otherwise, they are too strong as you noted.

Yeah, that’s what the ice is for in the over 100 proof whiskeys mentioned above. Let it melt into the drink a little, and it’s perfect.

Really appreciating the Red Breast now. It did take some time to reprogram my brain to do so, but it is almost certainly going to be in my permanent-supplies-of category. I’ve been greedily eying the RedBreast Lustau mentioned earlier. Sounds very good, but my Whisky self right now is very heavily Sherry-finish biased right now, over half of my Scotches are, at the moment.

I’m enjoying a bottle of Amador Double Barrel. It’s 86 proof which is about the strongest I enjoy before the flavor and sting of raw ethanol overwhelms the desirable flavors.

Can you tell us?