After a break from writing, I now obtain reviews. The scripture has not stopped me from tasting new whiskeys, so here is what has come to me over the last few months. Where yesterday’s tour covered more expensive releases, these are much more accessible, and some even stand up to the much more expensive fare at friendlier prices.
Here is my usual disclaimer. These reviews reflect my personal views about the whiskey and that these are not in any way requested or considered official by Forbes. Often, but not always, I get sent a sample or have a chance to try it at a tasting, but opinions are always my own.
A quick note on my (loosely applied) criteria. When I choose whiskey for review, I do not have much requirement other than that the whiskey should ideally have been released within the last few months and that the bottles can be purchased for the public, preferably to a global market. Also keep in mind that the prices I include here may not be the same elsewhere where you might find the bottle.
I will also include some links at the bottom of this article for my previous review rounds.
Here is a guide to my scoring system. I rate whiskey out of 10 to the nearest half point:
0-4-Avoid this bottle
5 / 5.5 – Hardly passable
6 / 6.5 – Decent enough, not really for me, but you might like it.
7 / 7.5 – Good
8 / 8.5 – Extremely good
The whiskeys are listed in alphabetical order:
Bushmills American Oak Cask Finish, $ 35, 40% ABV
Description: Earlier this year, Bushmills announced its new series Original Cask Finish, and the bottle is the second in the series (the first is below). To be released early next month and the malt component is finished in double-charred American oak barrels.
Nose: Clean, with pears and butter. However, there is a rawness that does not suit me very well.
Taste: Gorse flowers, cashew butter and vanilla give the texture a nice creaminess, but the raw seaweed is not shaken off.
Overall: I would probably use this for mixers and cocktails, it’s not necessarily a bad thing. 6
Bushmills Caribbean Rum Cask Finish, $ 36, 40% ABV
Description: The first of Bushmill’s new original Cask Finish series. The malt component of this budget-friendly blend is finished in Caribbean rum dishes.
Nose: Rum rosinis are subject to aromatic herbs, such as rosemary and thyme.
Taste: Slightly tannic, with a rooibos -te tongs, with white chocolate and coconut coming in to give the creamy consistency typical of major Irish whiskey brands.
Overall: A light sip and the room element is gentle but present. 7
Clynelish 16 The Four Corners Of Scotland, $ 270, 49.3% ABV
Description: As part of a major promotional push for Johnnie Walker, the distilleries contributing to the iconic blend have had their visitor centers renovated, and new limited-edition whiskeys released to celebrate the push. This new Clynelish, up in the highlands, is part of the campaign.
Nose: Classic Clynelish waxy dough comes through but quickly turns green, with coriander, green onions and raw soaked lentils leading the way before settling on softer fruit notes, including plums and cantaloupe.
Taste: Summery. Hay, lavender and oregano all in the mix here, enhanced by the thick waxy texture. As with the nose, fruity sweetness comes in to add a different angle.
Overall: The soft sweetness helps emphasize and enhance the herbal and muscular profile. 8
Glen Moray 2005 Tokaji Finish, $ 102, 53.6% ABV
Description: Glen Moray has released a range of powerful whiskeys with odd barrels. The latest of this bunch is finished in ex-Tokaji wine barrels.
Nose: Aromatic. Rose water blends nicely with oranges and tangerines. Freshly cut tomatoes also add another nice layer.
Taste: Tangy, with both Fisherman’s Friends candy and mint. Raspberries and blueberries occupy the fruit element present here.
Overall: Really alive. 8
Gladstone Ax The Black Ax, $ 38, 41% ABV
Description: A new brand of blended whiskey inspired by former British Prime Minister William Gladstone, this whiskey is a blend of casks sourced from distilleries in the Highlands and Islay.
Nose: Toffee and black tea do not save the nose, there is a lacquer-like off-note here.
Taste: While a light carbolic smoke comes through along with fudge, the flavor profile is clumsy and the varnish is still there.
Overall: Doesn’t really work for me, unfortunately. 4
Kilbeggan Black, $ 41.50, 40% ABV
Description: Keep an eye out for this new whiskey in the core area of airports, it can sometimes be found for as little as $ 25.
Nose: A light mineral and herbal nose opens up to vanilla and marzipan.
Taste: Soft and smooth, with many of the typical characteristics of Irish whiskey such as almonds, marshmallows, vanilla and coconut.
Overall: If you find it for $ 25, you’ll definitely get a good deal for your money. 7.5
Lindores MCDXCIV, $ 64, 46% ABV
Description: This is the first publicly available single malt from the new Lindores Distillery, located in the convent of the same name, referenced in 1494 (or MCDXCIV) as part of the first written record ever mentioning whiskey.
Nose: Thick and buttery, like an apple pie, also stuffed with ginger and lemon zest.
Taste: Thick, rich and chocolatey. The Christmas-style spices pour in and help apply a tanned finish.
Overall: Extremely good for something so young. Keep an eye out for Lindores, a great whiskey coming from here. 7.5
Paul John Mithuna, $ 292, 58% ABV
Description: This Indian single malt is matured on virgin oak barrels before being finished in ex-Bourbon barrels. Mithuna is named after the Indian equivalent of the zodiac sign Gemini.
Nose: Very rich. Fried okra, raisins and cloves imply a dark very heavy profile.
Taste: Heavy but soft for its strength. Grapes and coronation chicken open up for something much more creamy.
Overall: A really busy whiskey, but what a nice sequence of contrasts. 9
Tomatin The Monbazillac Edition, $ 90, 46% ABV
Description: Highland Distillery has released a limited range of 12 year old whiskeys finished in a range of French wine barrels. In this case, it has Monbazillac casks.
Nose: Caramel apples are transformed into bay leaves, which are then further lowered into curry spices and licorice.
Taste: Well rounded and rich, the apples are paired with pears, black sesame seeds and end with a lovely sweet bitterness in mocha style.
Overall: Very beautiful. 7.5
Tomatin The Sauternes Edition, $ 90, 46% ABV
Description: Another wine-finished whiskey from Tomatin’s French collection, this one is in Sauternes casks.
Nose: The nose starts off a bit rubbery, but not necessarily a bad thing here. It is complemented with grapefruit and roasted sweet potatoes.
Taste: The rubber is gone and the profile lights up nicely with kiwi fruit, peanuts and lots of caramel.
Overall: I like. 7.5
Tomatin The Rivesaltes Edition, $ 90, 46% ABV
Description: The last of the wine-ready tomatoes in the French collection (although a cognac is coming soon), now in Rivesaltes casks.
Nose: The nose packs more caramel than it is from the French Collection, although there are also grapefruits here, as well as strawberries. Coca-cola gummy candy also comes to mind.
Taste: Tanned excessive black tea, although balanced with a slightly creamy consistency. Orange jam also lights up the profile.
Overall: Charming. 7.5
Previous reviews: July 2021 luxury whiskey, May 2021, April 2021