Saturday, November 2, 2013

Running a little behind

As happens a couple times throughout the year, I get hammered by work and have pretty much no free time and that's where I'm at during this fall season.  The workload won't let up until Christmas.

As of yesterday, all the April barrel picks have arrived and I'm excited to share my thoughts.  The last run of Willett picks are downright stunning.  In addition to the private purchases, I've been actively trading picking up some great vintage and hard to find foreign whisk(e)y that includes Scotch and Japanese expressions.

As a recap, this years barrels picks included:

Jefferson Rye
Elmer T. Lee (didn't jump on this one)
Willett 12 year x 2
Willett 10 year x 2
Willett 9 year
Willett 9 year wheater
Old Weller Antique x 2
Four Roses SB Cask x 3

I'll do my best to get caught up in short order.


  1. I too have been busy and haven't checked in on any of my whiskey blogs to read up in awhile. Lo and behold, I check in here and you've got loads of barrel picks!

    I was in LA visiting my cousin who I'd just help advise on some bourbon picks. One was a 21yr Willett private bottling. We cracked the bottle and I really wasnt expecting to be blown away but I was floored. One of the best bourbons I've ever had. Had this fantastic Armagnac quality to it and as you would say "candy shop notes". Smooth as hell finish. He and I and another guy just about crushed the bottle. Could not stop sipping.

    I'm interested in your Japanese picks. I recently picked up 4 different Nikka bottles (12yr Taketsuru, 15yr Yoichi, 17yr Taketsuru, and their Coffey Grain Whiskey). While the Yoichi is still my favorite, I was really surprised by the Coffey Grain. Lots of bourbon-like qualities to it, nice sweetness, 90proof which is nice, and reallllllllllly easy to sip. I also picked up some Hibiki because I like that one too.

    Thanks for the updates!

    1. Steve,

      The W21 sounds awesome...I like many of the older KBD whiskies. As I said, the Japanese whiskies have really hit home with me....scotch like, but not....very different drinking overall. My favorite hands down is the cask strength Karuizawa which is an extremely bold and complex whisky.

  2. I havent tried that brand yet. Are you finding locally or sourcing? I have about 7 different Japanese bottles and want to keep expanding. I've never seen anything more than Sunitory and Nikka products available locally and online but maybe you've had better luck? Agree with you on the way they drink when you say scotch like, but not.

    1. Steve - unfortunately, the Karuizawa distillery is shuttered and that label made it to the U.S. earlier this year through K&L. They were able to purchase two barrels; one 13 year and one 31 year and sadly they sold out within a day. I managed to get two bottles of the 13 year and it's outstanding. I would say one of the most compelling whiskies I've ever had. A friend of mine is sending me a bottle of the 31 year to add to my Japanese collection and look forward to trying that.

      Locally, the Japanese expressions are hard to find. The local ABC carries the Yamazaki 12 year but the 18 year which I could find 2-3 years ago is not gone. My other lables span Kirin, Nikka, Hibiki and of course Karuizawa. I would love to find more but this whiskey is still fairly new to the U.S. The Kirin I have was a bottle I received from a Japan which at this point, is the only way to acquire those labels.