Orphan Barrel – Barterhouse Kentucky Bourbon

Orphan Barrel – Barterhouse Kentucky Bourbon
Aged 20 Years in KY
Bottled at 90.2 Proof at Orphan Barrel Whiskey Distilling Co (Berheim Distillery)., Tullahoma, TN.
Paid $64, but I’ve seen as high as $99 they call it a limited release so it can be hard to find MA.
Nose: Sweet, Fruity, Vanilla and Oak
Taste:  Some Corn comes through, Cherry, Brown Sugar, and Spices
Finish: Thin and Short, a bit of Spice and Oak stays with you
Value:  If you ignore the story Diageo put out about this “limited” release over 45k bottles and focus on the really cool design on the bottle and the juice that’s 20 years old I think it really comes pulls together if you can find it for under $99.

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Smooth Ambler – Contradiction- Blend of Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Smooth Ambler – Contradiction– Blend of Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Bottled at 100  Proof by Smooth Ambler Spirits, WV
This one is a blend of 2 bourbons.  First one is a 2 year wheat bourbon and the second one is a 9 year rye bourbon.
I haven’t seen this bottle in MA, but in my travels to San Fran was able to pick it up for $48.
Nose – Alcohol burn hits you right away, some dill spices
Taste – Refreshing, Good amount of oak, sweetness from the wheat comes through,a bit of spice from the rye and vanilla.
Finish – Long and a bit harsh, strong burn hits and stays with you, a bit of oak.
Value – This one’s a bit a rough to drink neat, but adding an ice cube really gets rid of the burn on the finish and makes this actually really tasty.

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Suntory Whisky – Toki

Suntory Whisky – Toki
Bottled at 86 Proof by Beam Suntory
This bottle is a blend from 3 different Suntory Distilleries.  Chita (produces grain whiskies,) Hakushu (produces malt whiskies,) and Yamazaki (produces malt whiskies.)
Just started seeing in locally the last 6 months pretty common now in MA for $38-$45
Nose – Fruity and Sweet, Green Apples and Honey
Taste – Sweet up front, Green Apples, Vanilla, Mint, Oak and Earthy Tones
Finish – Gentle, Smooth with a bite of Ginger at the end
Value – Went in with mixed feelings on what I heard about this one.  Mainly because they said they use it as a mixer for drinks, but I actually really enjoy this one neat.  Great Nightly Sipper!

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W. L. Weller Special Reserve Straight Bourbon Whiskey

W. L. Weller Special Reserve Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Bottled at 90 Proof Distilled by Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort, KY
Hard to find, but I have had a lot success lately with my local shops in MA for $18.99
Nose – Sweet Caramel, Vanilla, with a touch a Oak
Taste – Very Smooth, Honey, Vanilla, Little Oak comes through,
Finish – Warm, Sweet and then a quick Burn appears
Value – Can’t beat it for the price! One of the better values bourbons out there.  Great to sip neat or on ice. If you can find it on the shelf well worth to give it a try.

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The Pogues – Irish Whiskey

The Pogues – Irish Whiskey
A blend of 50% 10-year single malt Irish whiskey aged in sherry oak casks and seven year old single malt Irish whiskey aged in bourbon oak casks and 50% four year Irish grain whiskey aged in bourbon oak casks.
Bottled at 80 Proof Distilled by West Cork Distillers in Ireland
Pretty easy to find goes around $30-$40 in MA
Nose – Honey with a hint of Barley
Taste – Smooth, Thin and Sweet up Front, with some vanilla, malt and roasted nuts
Finish – Long, Malt and Dried Fruit
Value – Very solid pour.  Wasn’t expecting to really like this one, but it surprised me.  Worth money and could very well be a nightly sipper!

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5 Bourbons and 5 Rye Whiskies ~ Under $30 for the Holidays!

Looking for a inexpensive, but good bottle of Bourbon or Rye to give as a Christmas gift or use as grab gift this holiday and don’t want to break the bank?  Here are a few bourbons and rye whiskies between $20-$30 price range that should be easily available that I would highly suggest purchasing!


Evan Williams Single Barrel (86.6 Proof) – $24*

Makers Mark (90 Proof) ~ $26

Four Roses Small Batch (90 Proof) ~ $28

Elijah Craig Small Batch (94 Proof) – $27

Larceny (92 Proof) ~ $22


Sazerac Rye (90 Proof)~ $24

Rittenhouse Rye Bottled in Bond (100 Proof) ~ $23*

Bulliet Rye (90 Proof) ~ $28

Redemption Rye (92 Proof) ~ $29

Jim Beam Rye (90 Proof) ~ $22

* = My opinion out of these 5 best bang for the buck


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Pendleton 1910 – 12 Year Canadian Rye Whisky

pendleton-1910-12-year-canadian-ryePendleton 1910 – 12 Year Canadian Rye Whisky
Bottled at 80 Proof
Aged for 12 Years
Distilled by Hood River Distillers located in Hood River, OR
Seen this in a few stores in MA, but not often. Ranges $35-$45
Nose – Sweet Cherries and Oak
Taste – Smooth, Creamy, Sweet, Maple, Butterscotch, Cherries and a bit of Spice from the Rye
Finish – Short, Vanilla and Oak
Value – Wasn’t expecting this one to be as good as it was.  Smooth Creamy with just the right amount of spice.  Well worth it to give it a try if you see it on the shelf.

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Smooth Ambler Old Scout – 7 Year Old Rye Whiskey

smooth-ambler-old-scout-7-year-old-rye-whiskeySmooth Ambler Old Scout 7 Year Old Rye Whiskey
Bottled at 99 Proof
Aged for 7 Years
Sourced from MGP and Distilled at Smooth Ambler Distillery at Greenbrier Valley, West Virginia
Have only seen this bottle once in MA for around $45.  Smooth Ambler discontinued their Old Scout line so if you see this one grab it while you still can!
Nose – Sweet, Fruity and Apples
Taste – Sweet, Butterscotch, Black Pepper
Finish – Full, Big Spice from the High Rye, Warm  with some Vanilla that lingers
Value – This is a really good Rye done right! Sweet and Spicy!

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Hochstadter’s Slow & Low Rock and Rye

hochstadters-slow-low-rock-and-ryeHochstadter’s Slow & Low Rock and Rye
This one isn’t a straight Rye Whiskey.  It’s more of flavored whiskey made with straight Rye Whiskey. They consider it a premixed cocktail in a bottle
No Age Statement on the bottle just says “made with aged rye,”  Hochstadter’s Rye Whiskey is normally blended with Rye Whiskey aged between 4-15 years.
Bottled at 84 Proof in Pennsylvania
I see this one here and there (usually on the bottom shelf) in liquor stores in MA runs from $15-$20
Nose: Very Potent Orange Zest
Taste: Sweet, Smooth, Honey and Citrus over powers your mouth
Finish: Medium lots of Orange Zest still lingers with some Spice from the Rye
Value:  Is it something to go out of your way to get? I’d say no, but if your looking for something sweet drink over ice I’d say you can’t go wrong for the price point on this one.

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Hibiki – Japanese Harmony – Suntory Whisky

hibiki-harmony-japanese-whiskyHibiki – Japanese Harmony – Suntory Whisky
This is a blend of Yamazaki, Hakushu  and Chita whisky
Bottled at 86 Proof by Suntory in Japan
Pretty common in MA, but I’ve seen prices vary drastically from $52-$85
Nose – Floral, Oaky, Rosemary and Honey
Taste – Smooth, Sweet, Fresh, Honey, Citrus, Vanilla, and Smoke
Finish – Long, Sweet and Soothing with some  Orange Zest
Value –  This one is pretty smooth and refreshing!  Makes a great sipper to enjoy on Summer nights.

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