George Dickel Rye

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Grade: B-

Type: American, Rye, Indiana

Age: N/A

ABV: 45.00%

Price: $23

Availability: Wide

This is the only expression by Dickel that is produced in Indiana. The nose of this is a typical pickle juice and light rye spice. The palate is a bit light for a rye, smooth, pepper, LDI spice. The finish is not very complex, mint and clove. If you are looking for what I call a big bad rye with a dominating complex flavor, then this isn’t it. If you are looking for a smooth and nicely balanced rye, then this may just be the expression for you. C+/B-

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Arran Sauternes Cask Finish

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Grade: B

Type: Scotland, Single Malt, Island

Age: N/A

ABV: 50.00%

Price: $75

Availability: Better Whiskey Stores

Yet another interesting expression by the Arran distillery. I am becoming a fan. This expression was aged for eight years in oak before being transfered into sauterne casks. I would say that it’s not quite as good as the sauterne cask by Glenmorangie. However, with it’s high ABV it may be a bit more interesting…you decide. The nose has a lot of fruit, apricots and honey. The palate is rich with spice and that familiar sauterne taste of Bordeaux sweet white wine. The finish is more fruit, orange and spice.

Johnnie Walker Green

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Grade: B

Type: Scotland, Vatted Blend

Age: 15 yrs

ABV: 43.00%

Price: $65

Availability: Discontinued

This expression has been discontinued. However, there are still a lot of retail stores that have it. For my money, this is the best of the Johnnie Walker Range, a vatted blend of Talisker and Caol Ila, Linkwood, Cragganmore to name a few.  The nose has some coffee and wood, smoked fruits. The palate is well balanced and rich, chocolate, nuts, very mild smoke. The finish is spicy and sweet, nice length here. This would be a good bottle to stash away before they are all gone.

Highland Park & Bowmore Double Barrel (Douglas Laing)

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Grade: B-

Type: Scotland, Vatted Blend

Age: 10 yrs

ABV: 46.00%

Price: $70

Availability: Rare/Limited Run

Another rare and interesting expression by Douglas Laing. Orkney meets Islay here. The nose has some soft peat and sweet honey, some floral aspects here. The palate is lightly peated with some spice that leads into what I consider to be a signature finish for Bowmore, medium with honey and heather with a very light but lingering smoke quality. if you are looking for something that is different and interesting, then you might like to give this a try…. if you can find it.

Dalmore 12

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Grade: B-

Type: Scotland, Single Malt, Highland

Age: 12 yrs

ABV: 40.00%

Price: $63

Availability: Better Whiskey Stores

The nose is chocolate and caramel. The palate is syrup/sweet brown sugar and more caramel, chocolate. As this dram goes into the finish, it starts to fade into a slight bitterness, though not really offensive it does make it less appealing. Overall this is a pretty good expression, nice dessert dram. The price on Dalmore seems to keep rising at a rapid pace. They are very high on their own whisky for sure.

Great King St. Artist’s Blend

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Grade: B

Type: Scotland, Blended

Age: N/A

ABV: 43.00%

Price: $43

Availability: Better Whiskey Stores

The nose of this has a lot of fruit and white wine, splendid nose. The palate has vanilla, oak, and lots of spice. There is even a touch of sherry here. The finish is short but very pleasant. This expression is made by Compass Box. Considering that this is a blend and with the price….this expression is a steal.

Balvenie 14 Year Caribbean Cask

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Grade: B

Type: Scotland, Single Malt, Speyside

Age: 14 Yrs

Abv: 43.00%

Price: $67

Availability: Better Whiskey Stores

The nose of this has a lot of fruit with almonds/amaretto and candy, toffee. The palate is very sweet and creamy (almost to sweet) lots of vanilla and sugar coated dried fruits. The finish lingers and is a bit syrupy. This is a great desert dram but I can’t handle it in large amounts, it’s just to sweet.