Burning Chair is an interesting whiskey.
The head distiller, Dave Phinney, comes from a wine background and used that to influence this bourbon.
Burning Chair is a bourbon whiskey produced by Savage and Cooke out of the San Francisco Bay area of California.
While this expression is a sourced whiskey from 3 different sources*, it's then vatted together and finished for 8 months in Napa Valley wine barrels that we hand selected by Dave Phinney.
The color has a deep reddish hue so you can definitely see the wine influence.
It's bottled at 44% and comes in a beautiful matte black and triangular shaped bottle.
4% malted barley
*sourced locations are Kentucky, Indiana and Tennessee.
You can watch our full review below:
The Glendronach distillery is known for their non-peated whisky that usually has a sherry influence. This expression is their first time in recent years putting out a peated whisky.
While it is peated and matured in ex-bourbon barrels, they still finish it in both Oloroso and PX sherry casks.
It is then bottled at 46% abv.
Natural color and non-chill filtered.
At 25ppm this is not too heavy on the peat so it's not a smoke bomb in any sense of the word, but it's enough peat to make this an interesting dram. Both Mike and I enjoyed this one a lot. (neat) but DO NOT recommend this one on ice!
The nose is fantastic and the mild, yet clingy peat smoke makes this an enjoyable dram that lasts on the palate for an extended time.
You can watch the full review on our Youtube page or by clicking the video below:
Templeton Rye whiskey is an perfect example of everything wrong in the whiskey industry.
This is a company that is purposely deceiving the public. It starts with the bullshit story they feed us about them making a recipe that dates back to the days of Prohibition. They make sure to include some rubbish about it being Al Capones personal favorite whiskey as well. They bragged about it being made in Iowa too...that was until they lost their class action lawsuit a few years ago.
The lawsuit forced their label to take off the "Prohibition recipe" and they needed to indicated that it's sourced whiskey distilled in Indiana.
To this day though, they didn't learn their lesson and they still use tricky wording that makes people believe they're making the product themselves. No transparency, only deception. Their PR manager should be ashamed of themselves for what they put out together.
Anyway, let's get back to the swill. Why did they get sued? Well for one, Templeton gets their whiskey sourced from MGP (in Indiana)....and the "prohibition era recipe"?...yea, that turned out to be a engineered flavoring additive created by the Claredon chemical company.
Yep, one of the issues in the whiskey industry right now is that Rye whiskey has a legal loophole that allows up to 2.5% flavor additives in the recipe!
That means we're not tasting a master distillers hard work, we're tasting a bio-engineered byproduct that is inside of a whiskey base. I can't consider this a whiskey, it's a flavored whiskey in my opinion.
Note: I only have this bottle because a buddy brought this to a whiskey meetup based on a local shop owners suggestion. Afterwards he gave me the bottle to review.
It just so happened to be the old label that inevitably got the company sued, so it still shows "Prohibition Era Recipe" under Templeton Rye.
Final thoughts - I will say this: I will never give a dollar to Templeton.
I highly advise boycotting this brand, they don't deserve our money when there are so many hard working, honest and transparent companies that have earned our respect.
If you want to watch our review anyway, it's attached below:
We are taking a look at the whisky that was crafted as an ode to the father of Japanese whisky, Masataka Taketsuru.
This is Nikka Taketsuru Pure Malt. Pure Malt is a blend of 2 single malt whiskys, mostly from the Miyagikyo distillery and the rest being from Yoichi distillery.
Taketsuru Pure Malt is a no age statement whisky that is bottled at 43% abv. Partially finished in sherry casks. Very lightly peated.
Masataka Taketsuru took an apprenticeships in Scotland to learn the craft. Originally starting with Longmorn from Speyside and even Hazelburn in Campbeltown played roles in his education to becoming the master distiller he became.
Masataka Taketsuru aimed at replicating Scotch whisky in Japan and this definitely comes across as close to Scotch as you can get without being in Scotland.
This is a great homage to the man who brought the Scottish whiskey style to Japan.
Being priced at around $60 dollars, Nikka Taketsuru Pure Malt is a great buy.
Check out our full review below:
Are you up for a challenge?
Rather than telling you all about the whisky inside the bottle, Glenlivet Code wants you to try to decipher it. They don't give you any tasting notes to try to sway your opinion, they don't tell you anything about the casks it was finished in...this is just a mystery in a matte black bottle.
Bottled at 48% abv. No age statement.
I think this is a cool concept, when done right and from a trust worthy distillery. The Glenlivet knocked it out of the park with this one, granted the original retail price of close to $150 should turn most people off, it is a great whisky at the $80 price this was picked up for at Costco.
The Glenlivet even has a website that you can take a "test" to see how close you are to figuring out what the distiller was aiming for. You can take the test here:
The Glenlivet Code game
While Mike and I didn't have the same opinions, the blog will always reflect my personal tastes. You can watch the video review to hear what we both thought.
So on the color alone I'm guessing there is some sherry influence.
Nose: On the nose it reminded me of a Japanese whisky. Floral bouquet with some citrus and pear notes, sweet vanilla like notes and hints of light peat smoke.
Taste: In a word, complex. It's balanced with waves of flavors that change through out the mouth and the finish. Lovely whisky with definite sweetness and I'm swearing, this is lightly peated :)
Finish: It clings for a while, it's medium-long fruits (apple, pear)and my brain still picks up an oiliness and flavor of peat. (Whether lightly peated in the malt or from a finished barrel that previously held a peated whisky)
Overall I think this is a great tasting whisky that might just be prices a bit too high, but sadly that's the trend whisky is taking these days. I think it should be priced closer to the $80 range to fly off the shelves. Triple digit priced whiskies are always a hard sell.
Have you tried The Code yet? If so, what did you think?
Watch the full review, and sometimes opposing views, in the video below.
So as much as it pains us to have to do so, we are revisiting Conor McGregor's Irish whiskey, Proper Twelve.
Reason being, in all my years of drinking whiskey, I've never seen a whiskey go south so quickly after being opened. There's just something not right about this one. Everything about this company and this whiskey seems really shady.
I can't let my viewers (or readers) go about spending their money on something without knowing what seems off about the company, in my own opinion.
First of all, I was "somewhat" lenient in my initial review when I was mistakenly giving lee-way to what I thought was a new distillery. But Proper Twelve is not a new distillery as Conor McGregor leads us to believe. This whiskey is sourced. From whom? We still don't have definitive answers. Most people tend to believe it's made by Bushmills. I was also told by someone who claims to work for Slane, that they make it.
Either way, Conor McGregor is trying to trick people into thinking he created a new distillery for this whiskey.
Moving on to the company itself and why I believe they are shady.
First, they never talk about the whiskey, they only talk about Conor McGregor in all of their social media posts. Most importantly, they are flat out refusing interviews from people in the whiskey press. That's a HUGE red flag. Their own PR manager said she would answer questions via email after declining interview attempts.
I asked 2 simple questions (while I had many more) to start:
1- Does Conor Mcgregor own a distillery?
2- Where is this whiskey being sourced from. Common rumor is it's made at Bushmills.
Each follow up was met with a similar response of "We're really busy but I'll give a proper answer asap" This has been since a week after my first review went live. So what is that, a month and a half and she can't answer a straight forward question?
The company lacks any transparency and I will never respect a company that isn't transparent.
More shady practices? Let's talk about the green bottle.
Did you know that even the green bottle is fake?? Yes, that's right. They are using a cheap green film over clear glass.
I have never seen this anywhere else in the whiskey world. Just one more fake facade this company is putting up.
Let's get back to the flavor. So I gave it a 4.5 after the bottle was opened for about an hour...well I tried it again 2 days after the review was recorded and it was horrible! I thought maybe I ate something that messed with my palate so I tried it again and nope, it's just BAD!
I even brought the bottle to not 1 but 2 separate whiskey meetup groups to try, and the over-whelming consensus and cringed faces told the story...this whiskey is rancid.
I will say, this is the worst tasting whiskey I ever had. My new score is the lowest score I can give it. It is a 1 out of 10.
The only people buying it (blindly) are Conor McGregor's fans.
My final thoughts: This is a flash in the pan. Conor McGregor and Proper Twelve don't have long term plans for this company. They're just trying to make as much money as they can while his star is still shining in a sport that spits people out and fans turn their back as soon as you start losing fights. I don't believe this company will make it through 2020.
See my "emotional" response in the video below (and watch Mike's initial reaction to the taste):
Audio Podcast below:
"The Ultimate Islay Single Malt Scotch" It says so right on the label :)
Arbeg has quite the cult following, and for good reason. This peat bomb of a whisky is non-chill filtered and bottled at 46% abv. It comes in at 55ppm while Laphroaig is 40ppm (peat parts per million) while also also 3% higher proof over Laphroaig. It comes with a heavier price tag, but I personally feel the flavors are different enough that both bottles belong on everyone's shelves if they like peated whisky.
Color: Very pale and light
Nose: Smoked BBQ meats and medicinal iodine-like tones
Palate: Smoke hits immediately, making way for sweet tones, finishes with more smoke by way of BBQ like burnt meats (I swear I mean this in a good way haha)
Finish: LOOOOONG! You can probably still taste it next week
For me, Arbeg 10, just like Laphroaig 10 is a must own bottle.
View our video review below:
Spirits Advent Calendar 2018
I was given a spirits advent calendar from Heritage Distilling Co to review, so to get you guys ready for the Christmas season I'm going to review one a day for the next 11 days starting tomorrow.
Inside the Advent Calendar is 24 mini bottles of alcohol made by Heritage Distilling Co from Washington.
Although I wish it were all whiskey, there are other spirits as well. So some bottles will be vodka and gin.
If you like what you see you can order one directly here:
Spirits Advent Calendar
(It is not an affiliate link but if you purchase one I'd appreciate if you left a comment stating you heard about it from us)
We're starting ours early so if you like what you see you can have yours delivered before December.
There are 24 bottles in the box, with a surprise bottle of alcohol behind each numbered door.
Since there are many repeats, I'm only going to review each variety one time, hence why it's for the next 11 days. The videos are going to be short and to the point.
Rather than creating a new blog post for each day, I will be updating this post.
So make sure to bookmark this blog entry for daily updates.
Watch the video review on our Brolic Whiskey Youtube page.
Vanilla flavored vodka:
Rye Whiskey aged in Orange Extract barrels:
Coffee flavored vodka
Blood Orange flavored vodka
Elk Rider Rye Whiskey
Elk Rider Crisp Gin
BSB Brown Sugar Bourbon
Bourbon whiskey finished in Orange Extract barrels
Days 9 & 10
Vodka & BSB 103 Brown Sugar Bourbon
Travel Exclusive Week: Day 6
We have a bonus episode and a great whisky to end with.
The Yamazaki Distiller's Reserve is a single malt Japanese whisky exclusive to Japan (I believe?). It's a no age statement whisky aged in Bordeaux wine and sherry casks. The malt is matured in Japanese Mizunara oak as well. Bottled at 43% abv.
Let me just say, this is like a masterful work of art. It's so beautifully balanced and complex, regardless of it not showing an age statement, it is a treat to experience!
I'm hoping my friends can help me track down a full sized bottle of this as it currently ranks as my favorite Japanese whisky.
Color: Medium with hues of red from the wine casks.
Nose: Sweetened fruits followed by floral bouquet
Palate: Definitely sweetened fruits and berry which slowly evolves across the tongue that finishes with dark chocolate
This is a dream dram. If you ever have the chance to buy this one, don't think twice. Buy it!
BTW: Thank you to Blackout Coffee for helping me get through this long week of videos. Seriously appreciative of the great coffee and company they have.
Watch my solo review of The Yamazaki Distillers Reserve below:
To close out Travel Exclusive Week (day 5) we are visiting one of my favorite distilleries in Scotland, from the Islay region, Laphroaig.
The Laphroaig PX cask is a travel retail exclusive Scotch whisky. A peated Islay whisky that is triple matured and bottled at 48% abv. First matured in used American Oak, then Quarter Casks and finally, Pedro Ximenez (PX) sherry casks.
Color: Deep and rich with a red hue
Nose: Amazing! Typical Laphroaig, smokey and reminiscent of BBQ but then through the smoke hints of sweetened fruits appear.
Palate: Smokey but not as deep as the 10 or QC, the PX cask mutes some of the smoke but I struggled to find the hints of sweet from the PX finish.
Watch our review below:
For Travel Exclusives Week, day 4 we are taking a journey to Japan.
From the Suntory group and Chita distillery we are reviewing a Japanese single grain whisky called The Chita.
The Chita is a Japan exclusive, normally reserved for the distillery visitors.
The Chita is aged in a combination of used bourbon, sherry, and wine casks. It's bottled at 43% abv.
There's not a whole lot to say about this one, so just watch the review for our opinions:
We're kicking off Travel Exclusive Week with a review of a whisky from Taiwan.
Kavalan Ex-Bourbon Oak, bottled at 54% abv.
This one came from a friend who brought it back from Japan. Since it was only a small 50ml sample size, I recorded this review solo.
The rest of the week I'll have my co-host back :)
Make sure you subscribe to the channel and hit the little bell icon to get notified of new uploads as we will be uploading a new video every day this week.
You can watch the Kavalan review below:
Monkey Shoulder is a blended malt Scotch whiskey consisting of 3 single malts from the Speyside region of Scotland.
These include: Balvenie, Glenfiddich and Kininvie which are are then vatted together and aged for up to 6 months before bottling.
One of it's selling points is the price. It can often be found for around $30 making it very budget friendly. Bottled at 43% abv it is often thought of as an "intro" or "beginner" Scotch whisky.
I always feel these terms are misnomers as taste is subjective, and also because I feel that lesser flavorful whisky shouldn't be thought of as a "beginner" whisky because it can turn people away if they don't like it making them think "well I tried a "intro" whisky and didn't like it so Scotch must not be for me". <Spoiler alert> This isn't one of my favorite whiskys so for me, if this was my first introduction to Scotch I may not have gotten into whiskey the way I have.
The name comes from an ailment that was prevalent during the old times of distilling, before automation and technology came about. Basically the old way of turning the barley was done by hand and the leaned over position caused the shoulder to be pained and sag, which people called "Monkey Shoulder". This is paying homage to the distillers of yesteryear.
Color: Honey like (colored with e150)
Nose: Sweet, vanilla
Taste: Mild but lightly sweet
Finish: Light mouthfeel and short in duration
My personal recommendation is to let it rest in your glass, preferably a Glencairn glass, for at least 10 minutes before drinking. It really brings out more flavor notes and makes this much sweeter and more palatable. Banana nut bread?
I reached out to Monkey Shoulder for an answer regarding the "Batch 27" but they have not given me an answer. If they ever decide to answer, which I doubt at this point, I'll update the post.
If you know the answer, please let me know.
You can view the video review below:
Game of Thrones and Diageo teamed up to release 9 different whiskies to represent one of the feuding families in the HBO series.
So far only one has been released: Johnnie Walker White Walker.
Thank you to Top Shelf Liquor in San Marcos for donating the bottle for us to review!
They should have a new online store going live pretty soon:
Top Shelf Liquor Online
This is a special blend put together for this release using 2 of Diageo's northern most distilleries: Cardhu and Clynellish for the bulk of the blend. This is chill filtered and bottled at 41.7% abv. The distiller aimed for this one to taste best when chilled in the freezer.
The bottle features a thermochromic ink that reveals a special message when it's ice cold. "Winter is here" It also reveals a lot more of the blue lines to show a shattered ice effect. The iconic Walking Man is donning the White Walker armor which I think looks pretty bad ass.
The other GoT whiskys to be released starting in November 2018 are:
House Tully - Singleton of Glendullan Select
House Stark - Dalwhinnie Winter's Frost
House Targaryen - Cardhu Gold Reserve
House Lannister - Lagavulin 9 year old <---OMG yes!
House Greyjoy - Talisker Select Reserve
House Baratheon - Royal Lochnagar 12 year old
House Tyrell - Clynellish Reserve
Night's Watch - Oban Bay reserve
For this video review of White Walker I was joined by the beautiful Wonder Woman.
We reviewed this four ways. Neat at room temperature, neat out of the freezer, diluted with a few drops of water and then finally over ice in a rocks glass.
You can watch the video below:
(If it freezes after the intro, press play again and it'll play the episode correctly)
We recently uploaded our video review for Johnnie Walker Green label. Blended Malt Scotch whisky.
I have said on many occasions that I believe this to be the most under-rated and the best whisky in the Johnnie Walker core line-up.
Johnnie Walker Green is a blended malt whisky. Which means it's a blend of multiple single malts, in this case it's 4 whiskies that make up the bulk of this blend: Coal Ila, Cragganmore, Linkwood and Talisker.
It's bottled at 43% abv which is higher than the typical 40% most of the other Johnnie Walker whiskies.
For us we can often find it for under $50 so it's a great buy at this price range.
We'd love to hear from you. What is your opinion of Johnnie Walker Green?
As a fan of scotch and other whiskeys I was tired of looking up reviews for new whiskeys that just oozed of snobbery. I wanted to create an outlet for average Joe's who don't have a sommelier palate. Born and raised in Long Island, New York, I moved to San Diego, California in 2010 with my wife. I'm also a fan of MMA, pro-wrestling, comic books, video games and strongman. All subjects are topic for discussion on the podcast.
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