We have a new segment to our show called the Brown Bag Special!
Just Mike gets full credit for the creation of this one.
With each Brown Bag Special, it will be a complete mystery whiskey for me.
Just Mike will go out and purchase a whiskey, which can be from any price point. Any where from bottom shelf and upwards. He won't tell me anything about the whiskey and he wants me to critique the whiskey and guess a price.
In some cases, he won't even know what he's buying as he tells the store clerk a price point and to bag it without giving him any information, which is what happened for the first installment.
You will then watch us do our normal review process (3 way tastings), giving notes on the nose and taste before scoring it and moving on to the other two tasting methods.
For the first episode we reviewed a bourbon.
Shockingly it tasted so much better with a drop of water, which may be a first for us. It was a huge difference (for the better) over the other two methods.
The eventual reveal of the bottle was McAfee's Benchmark no 8! Which is something I never seen or heard of prior to the video, but the label told us it's bottled, distilled and aged by Buffalo Trace!
Bottled at 40% abv.
Price: Mike bought this from Village Bonsall Market for $12!
I called the first Brown Bag Special a success.
You can watch the full review below:
Flaviar is basically your online speak easy.
It is a members only club that has tons of benefits for any fan of liquor (not just whiskey).
Just a small list of perks include:
*Quarterly tasting boxes delivered to your house for free
*Access to purchase more sample tasting boxes or full sized bottles
*Access to the members-only vault that opens monthly giving access to hard to get bottles
*Free shipping on purchases once a month
*Private labels and bottlings for members only
The members website also has a section to keep track of your home bar, which helps them curate suggestions based off of your preferences and ratings you give.
Usually there's a waiting list to get into the club.
Instead of you having to wait for a spot to free up, I was able to get Flaviar to allow my readers and viewers instant access!
You have to use this link to skip the wait list:
Get instant access to Flaviar
On top of instant access to the club...let me save you some money too.
Use promo code: BROLIC
This will save you 10% off your annual club dues!
Once you're in the club, let me know.
BTW: I'll be recording my open box reaction and review for the Welcome Box next week.
You can watch the video explanation 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 are on day 3 of our Travel Exclusives Week.
This time we feature a travel retail exclusive from The Macallan distillery. This is a no age state single malt Scotch whisky called Terra, from their Quest Collection.
Terra is aged in first fill sherry seasoned oak casks, both European and American oak barrels.
No color added and bottled at 43.8% abv.
Immediately the color stands out with a darker, almost reddish hue that clearly comes from the sherry influence.
Mike and I had completely different opinions on this one so I'd love to hear from you as to what you think of Terra. My preferred way to enjoy this is neat.
Color: Dark with a red hue
Taste: A little peppery on the front end that makes way for waves of sweetened fruits. Cherry, dark berries, a little caramel towards the back end.
Finish: Silky mouth feel with a lingering medium/long finish that remains sweet
One of my favorite whiskys we've reviewed, but is it really worth the $170 retail? That's a whole different debate.
You can hear our opposing views (and my NY accent slip out) in the video review below:
For day 2 of Travel Exclusives Week we are taking a trip to the Netherlands!
Millstone 10 is a Dutch single malt whisky aged for a total of 10 years.
9 years being is re-fill American Oak and 1 year in new French Oak and then bottled at 40% abv.
The French Oak is going to pull out some spice notes, similar to when we reviewed the Glenlivet 15 French Oak.
Something unique about this whisky is that they use a windmill to slowly grind the barley. Which, according to Millstone, there's no increase in temperature so it preserves the aroma. They also use a longer fermentation period than most others, 5-7 days.
Watch the video review below to see what we think of this Dutch single malt.
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:
Starting tomorrow we will be uploading a review every day this week.
All the whiskies this week will be either a Travel retail exclusive or a whisky that isn't currently being exported to the U.S.
Make sure you subscribe to Brolic Whiskey on Youtube and hit that little bell icon so you can get notified of all video uploads.
Audio podcast announcement below. (If it stops playing between transitions, just hit the play button again):
The Springbank distillery is one of only 3 distilleries operating in the Campbeltown region of Scotland. It's owned by the Mitchell family and happens to be the oldest family-owned distillery in Scotland.
They still do every part of the process in-house. Craft distillery style yet producing enough to be distributed world wide. Respect for that. Springbank 10 was aged for 10 years and partially matured in ex-sherry casks.
This Springbank 10 single malt was actually my first Campbeltown Scotch I've ever tried. I was nervous to try it as I've heard many people refer to something called the "Springbank funk" but after trying it I didn't find anything funky about it. Granted, this was a bottle that was opened for many months before it was donated to the channel so oxidation could have played a factor in to what we were tasting.
While neither Mike or I were impressed with this bottle, we want to hear from you. Is there another Springbank whisky we should review sometime soon?
You can watch our video review of Springbank 10 below:
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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