View Post

Old Wm. Tarr Manchester Reserve Review

In Blended Whiskey Reviews by Thomas FondanoLeave a Comment

The nose says, “Whiskey;” the palate says, “Bourbon;” the finish says, “Rye.” I like whiskeys that take you on a journey from the nose through to the finish. As a blend, Manchester Reserve takes you on less of a journey and more around some sharp turns. The nose almost seems delicate for the proof, but the bourbon notes on the palate, followed by a strong rye finish, lacks the harmony I expect in a blend. If “surprising turns” is your whiskey style, you may like this. I think it’s certainly worth a try.

View Post

Little Book Chapter 4: “Lessons Honored” Review

In American Whiskey Reviews by Thomas Fondano and Steve CoomesLeave a Comment

Every Little Book release is, to my palate, unique and extraordinary. Fans will recognize they’re Beam whiskeys, but no standard Beam whiskeys. Hearing Noe talk about the effort required to make them adds to their complexity, and conversations about them reminds me just how hard mingling whiskey really is—especially when using a brown rice-accented bourbon. It’s that bourbon that Noe said, “that anchors the complexity of the blend but not the majority of the blend.” I agree. The sweet, round and

View Post

Riptide Cask Strength Rye Whiskey Review

In Rye Whiskey Reviews by Thomas Fondano2 Comments

There isn’t a glut of cask strength ryes out there and Riptide is an interesting addition to the category. You aren’t going to confuse it with Thomas H. Handy or Kentucky Owl. It tastes young, because it is. The intent was to showcase the rye flavor, not overwhelm it with oak. I generally find ryes seem to be drinkable at a younger age than bourbons, so I don’t mind this. It’s tasty and lightly oaked and the higher proof lends body. (Funny how I look for the grain flavor in a rye, but never say, “I love how the corn shines through!” about a bourbon.)

View Post

George Dickel Tabasco Brand Barrel Finish Whisky* Review

In Flavored Whiskey Reviews by Thomas Fondano6 Comments

If you’re looking for a rich, complex whiskey to sip from your Glencairn, this is not it. If you approach this as the novelty product it is, you’ll be less disappointed. It’s made for shots and the Dickel website says so: “Best enjoyed as a shot with celery salt on the rim, pickle juice, or an ice chaser.” (I’m not sure what an ice chaser is either.)

View Post

Old Forester Birthday Bourbon 2017 Review

In Bourbon Whiskey Reviews by Thomas FondanoLeave a Comment

While I don’t find this to be a bourbon that holds a lot of surprises, it delivers on all that it promises. The sugar on the nose sets you up nicely for the taste, and the sweetness on the finish that reminds me Bazooka bubble gum. “Sweet” isn’t usually a descriptor I attach to bourbons I really enjoy, but OFBB ‘17 balances it with big spice that brings winter holidays to mind.