Rock & Rye

A Drink On The Rocks…..


December 2013

Spirit Review: Hakushu Heavily Peated Whisky


If the question is “What do the Japanese not do well?”, the answer is for sure not whisky. Every single malt spirit that I have tried from this country has been unique and of the utmost quality. One of the newest releases out there is the Hakushu Heavily Peated Whisky (2013 bottling), which hails from the Hakushu Distillery, located deep in the forests of the Southern Japanese Alps, where it seeks to take advantage of the clear air and cool, humid climate of Hakushu’s vast forests.

Nose: Gentle smokiness, a slight brininess mixed with pepper and sweet lemon.

Palate: An understated but bold hit of wood smoke, with a brown-sugar sweetness. Salt and pepper, sweet grain and roasted pear. Really clean and dry flavors.

Finish: Salted barley with just a really gently smoked flavor that is super subtle and expertly balanced.

Limited to just 3000 bottles, this is a whisky worth seeking out for fans of Japanese Whisky, as well as scotch lovers.

[rating: 4.5/5]


Spirit Review: Angels Envy Rye

Angels_Envy_Rye If you don’t know who Lincoln Henderson was, you’re soon going to find out. Formerly the Master Distiller for Brown-Forman and responsible for the creation of the Jack Daniels Single Barrel, Gentleman Jack, and Woodford Reserve Bourbons, Mr Henderson retired from the profession in 2004, only to reemerge in 2010 with Angels Envy Bourbon.

Now, with the release of the Angels Envy Rye, Mr Henderson has created an altogether unique spirit out of something otherwise ordinary. Starting out with a MGP sourced 95% rye whiskey, (Bulleit Rye, Dickel Rye, Templeton, High West, James E. Pepper, etc) Angels Envy manages to create something altogether delicious by finishing their rye whiskey in small-batch French cognac barrels formerly used to finish Plantation XO Rum. This uncommon finishing process yields a whiskey that has huge notes of maple, vanilla, caramel and spice.

Unfortunately Lincoln Henderson passed away this past fall, but his legacy will be remembered through his contributions to the distilling world, and the unique products that he envisioned and brought to life.

Nose: Huge nose of sweet vanilla, brown sugar, deep caramel, caribbean spices, honey.

Palate: Nice and creamy mouthfeel with clove spiced honey, raisins, cinnamon. The intensely sweet opening notes fade to a really rich and warming flavor with notes of pepper, allspice and cloves.

Finish: The finish is long, drawn out with hints of coconut, grapefruit, and a lingering dry spice that is really pleasant.

All in all, if you can find it, and bite the bullet on the higher price tag ($75-$85) you will not be sorry to invest in a great whiskey to sip neat and enjoy in the company of friends. Cheers!

[rating: 5/5]

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