Yoichi 15 Year Old (Nikka)

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Grade: B+

Type: Japan, Single Malt

Age: 15 yrs

ABV: 45.00%

Price $125

Availability: Better Whiskey Stores

The nose is creamy with some oak. The palate is sweet, light peat, extremely rich and spicy. The finish is more spice, fruity, apricots. With Japanese whisky I usually see them as being really smooth but without complexity. This expression is very different, the richness of it was a lovely shock to my taste buds. I love the sweet spicy oak on this. A must try!

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Amrut Portonova

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Grade: B

Type: Indian, Single Malt

Age: N/A

ABV: 62.10%

Price: $115

Availability: Better Whiskey Stores/Limited

The nose is fuity with chocolate and spice. The palate has a lot of fruit, spice, cinnamon, hot and intense. It has a nice port taste on the finish with some more red berries. This stuff really packs a punch but it’s still a pleasant enough dram. B/B-

Sullivan’s Cove French Oak Cask

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Grade: B-

Type: Australia, Single Malt, Tazmania

Age: N/A

ABV: 47.50

Price: $140

Availability: Better Whiskey Stores

Soaked in French oak port casks, the nose is fruity and chocolaty. The palate is a bit floral, peppper, semi sweet red wine. The finish is a big fruit bomb, plums, dark berries, finishes fast. Prohibition against distilling in the region was just lifted in the 1990’s. As a result, this is a new distillery started in 1994, I would expect some great expressions from this region soon. My current reservation here is cost to quality. This is a decent dram that is worth trying, but owning at $140 plus….I’m not so sure.

Amrut

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Grade: D

Type: India, Single Malt

Age: N/A

ABV: 46.00%

Price: $55

Availability: Better Whiskey Stores

(Batch 14 Jan 2010) I almost didn’t want to write this review because Amrut does make some fatastic single malts with the Fusion, Sherry, and Peated expressions. But this stuff here was horrific. The first sip wasn’t so bad. However, by the third sip I had Dumped out my sample. I will revisit this stuff in a newer batch as I refuse to believe that it really is this bad. The nose smells like perfume and floor cleaner mixed together. On the palate it is very bitter and floral, tastes like whisky mixed with cheap gin. The finish (if you have not spit it out) is long and hot…..just when you wish it had gone away. Atrocious

Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky

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Grade: C-

Type: South Africa, Grain Whisky

Age: N/A

ABV: 46.00%

Price: $40-50

Availability: Hard To Find

Despite all of the awards, I just can’t get into this whisky. I actually find it borderline offensive on the taste buds. The nose is similar to a bathroom cleaner that had some artificial vanilla added to it. On the palate there is some oak, but the oak tastes rotten or moldy. The finish was without any┬ádistinct character. Admittedly, I was ready to start spitting it out at this point.

Yamazaki 18

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Grade: B+

Type: Japan, Single Malt

Age: 18 yrs

ABV: 43.00%

Price: $155

Availability: Better Whiskey Stores

This stuff is a fruit bomb. There is so much interesting fruit on the nose with a nice spice and wood. The nose is so good that it begs the question…can you stop nosing it enough to actually take a sip? The palate is sweet with a lot of spice, exotic fruit which linger into the finish where you will get some really nice wood and a faint bit of smoke. This expression is fantastic, unfortunately it just keeps rising in price.

Amorik Breton

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Grade: B

Type: France, Single Malt

Age: N/A

ABV: 46.00%

Price: $50

Availability: Better Whiskey Store (though usually sold out)

Can the French make a quality single malt?? Yes! The nose on this is floral with a lot of citrus. On the palate there is a really nice spice and wood taste that coats your tongue along with some honey. The finish is light but very well ballanced. Keep an eye out on this distillery for some exciting future releases.