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Reviews for 2017

September 2017 - World Whisky

September 2017 - World Whisky
This month's Spirits feature is World Whisky

World Whisky Reviews

Midleton Dair Ghaelach Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey
97 points
$200
Medium amber color. Complex aromas of vanilla-almond and dandelion, lime leaf, blackberry and currant, men’s cologne, and pottery with a glycerous, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity full body and a peppery, massive, endless butterscotch drenched cherries and cola, fresh new Orleans praline and resin, spearmint, baby’s breath and tobacco leaf, allspice, and clove and nutmeg-kissed pastry finish. A gentleman’s club of a dram dripping with mystery, richness, and a perfect balance of power and grace.
Awards: 2017 Best Irish Single Pot Still Whiskey
Old Pulteney Navigator Single Malt Scotch Whisky
96 points
$55
Clear gold color. Elegant, perfumed aromas of pear cobbler, honeysuckle, gardenia, and lychee and yellow cake with a silky, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a tingling, colossal, endless candied almonds, night-blooming jasmine, white tea and cola syrup, and candied tropical fruits with nutmeg finish. A dream of a whisky that dances into the senses and captivates with her seemingly endless finale.
Awards: 2017 Best Highland Single Malt Scotch
REDBREAST 12 Year Old Cask Strength Single Pot Still  Irish Whiskey
96 points
$85
Bright golden amber color. Fruity aromas and flavors of freshly sliced apple, browned shortbread pie crust and licorice candy, roses and pear skin, and pineapple and ripe sour cherry with a slightly chewy, lively, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a hot, complex, very long fluffy honey nougat and fruit cocktail syrup, milk chocolate with roasted nuts, apple crumble and burned orange peel, and sweet butterscotch and green peppercorn finish. A satisfying blend of nuance and indulgence.
West Cork 10 Year Single Malt Irish Whiskey
95 points
$39.99
Bright gold color. Elegant, tropical aromas of golden apple and malted milk ball, cinnamon crumble, starfruit and passionfruit, and marzipan and candied macadamia nut with a round, lively, fruity medium body and a peppery, complex, long graham cracker crust and white flowers, rosewood, white pepper, caramelized sweet onion, maraschino cherry pit and ginger candies, and Jordan almonds and tamarind-mint chutney finish. A delicious and sprightly single malt with bright tropicality and long, contemplative finish.
95 points $39.99
The Macallan Double Cask 12 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky
95 points
$65
Bright golden amber color. Inviting aromas and flavors of cinnamon and red apples, leather furniture, morning forest and maple-walnut, and sourdough and toasty oak with a lightly tannic, crisp, dryish medium body and a warming, interesting, medium-long plum fruit leather, menthol lozenge, caramel and chocolate fudge, and ginger-cinnamon candy finish. Big spice and drying leatheriness beacons the imbiber for another sip; a natural cigar pairing.
Highland Park Valkyrie Single Malt Scotch
95 points
$79.99
Light gold color. Smoky aromas of burning cigarette paper, freshly baked biscuits, sweet honey and burnt orange, and shoe shop with a round, vibrant, fruity medium-to-full body and a warming, very complex, very long cherry jam, luxury leather, warm wet sand, and mango chutney and mixed peppercorns finish. A tempestuous storm of a whiskey that brings with it several lifetimes of flavor and intrigue.
Awards: 2017 Best Island Single Malt Scotch
95 points $79.99
Bladnoch Adela 15 Year Old Lowland Single Malt Scotch Whisky
94 points
Medium golden amber color. Attractive, fruity aromas and flavors of rum and fruit cakes, pistachio gelato, and whipped cream with a silky, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a warming, intricate, long walnut brittle, chocolate citrus peels, and grassy leafy earth finish. A delicious lowland whisky with waves of flavor that make you want to dive in.
Speyburn Arranta Casks Single Malt Scotch Whisky
94 points
$40
Clear golden amber color. Candied aromas of bubblegum and violet candy, tropical fruit cocktail, candied apple pieces, and sweet granola with a satiny, vibrant, fruity medium body and a peppery, very complex, long peardrop, honeycomb and kumquat, breakfast cereal, and walnut and dill weed finish. A very candied whiskey that shines with ultra-bright fruit and floral notes.
Old Pulteney 12 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky
94 points
$50
Brilliant golden amber color. Inviting aromas and flavors of graham cracker, key lime custard, honeycomb and gardenia, and apricot jelly and clementine with a round, lively, fruity medium-to-full body and a peppery, massive, very long candied figs and dates with saffron and cumin, white chocolate and kaffir lime leaf, galangal and oatmeal cookie, and sweet cigar wrapper and bubblegum taffy and lemon pepper finish. A multifaceted bright and complex whiskey made with finesse and soul.
Nikka Yoichi Single Malt Whisky
94 points
$79.99
Clear gold color. Aromas of green pear and coriander, cherry blossom, Jamon Iberico and melon skewer, and sea spray with a velvety, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a peppery, very complex, long toasted peanuts with coconut sugar, Carr’s wheat crackers, chrysanthemum tea, honeyed-smoked turkey, creme de cassis, ginger, sweet potato pie, and lemon balm and white pepper finish. A lovely and refined Japanese whiskey that displays its enormous character with poised restraint.
94 points $79.99
Kavalan Sherry Oak Single Malt Whisky
94 points
$149.99
Brilliant mahogany color. Aromas and flavors of stewed black fruits, ground peanuts, Swiss cheese, and pancake syrup with a lightly tannic, crisp, fruity sweet full body and a searing, thought-provoking, long chocolate covered caramel and peanut butter, molasses, candied peanuts, and dried pineapple finish. A super-rich and full bodied whiskey that will play well in high-end cocktails.
94 points $149.99
Highland Park Viking Honor 12 Year Old Single Malt Scotch
93 points
$54.99
Light golden amber color. Interesting, exotic aromas of fired rubber, durian, gooseberry, and nori with a round, vibrant, fruity full body and a peppery, layered, long toasted brown rice and fermented tea, ginger and lemongrass, gochujang and vanilla yogurt, and sweet soy sauce finish. An exotic, funky and intriguing single malt for adventure seekers.
93 points $54.99
Kavalan Concertmaster Port Cask Single Malt Whisky
93 points
$99.99
Clear dark amber color. Toasty, yeasty, nutty aromas and flavors of raisin, molasses, toasted cinnamon pastry, and cardamom with a velvety, vibrant, fruity full body and a warming, very complex, very long lychee and coconut cream, cafe latte and black pepper, salted peanut crisp and spun sugar, and mead and orange flower water finish. A rich and brooding whiskey with wide appeal and sophistication.
93 points $99.99
anCnoc 12 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky
92 points
$55
Bright golden yellow color. Fruity, herbal aromas of yellow peach drizzled with clover honey, eucalyptus and banana nectar, sarsaparilla and clay, and jasmine and sauternes with an oily, crisp, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a warming, interesting, medium-long licorice, vanilla yogurt, white pepper, and miso and purple heather finish. A gentle dram with a spicy kick.
The Macallan Rare Cask Single Malt Scotch Whisky
92 points
$300
Light mahogany color. Inviting, tropical, yeasty aromas and flavors of spiced raisin bread and cedar, caramelized papaya and stewed peach, starfruit, and molasses with a velvety, crisp, fruity full body and a tingling, involved, long dried fruit melange, mixed nut bar and root beer, preserved hibiscus, and allspice and mixed peppercorns finish. A lovable sherry-finished whisky complete with all the caramelly, fruity fix-ins.
Nikka Miyagikyo Single Malt Whisky
91 points
$79.99
Light gold color. Earthy aromas of autumn leaves, yuzu zest, ripe apple, starfruit skin, peach skin and persimmon, and campfire with a round, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a warming, prodigious, very long dried ginger, pu erh tea, luxury pipe tobacco, enoki mushroom and lemongrass, and orange peel and star anise finish. An elegant, nuanced journey of the senses.
91 points $79.99
Dewar’s Signature Blended Scotch Whisky
91 points
$180
Bright gold color. Aromas and flavors of cinnamon, mace, grass clippings, and sherry wood with a soft, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a smooth, carefree charred mixed nuts, bit-o-honey candy, and marzipan finish. A quiet whiskey for still moments.
Grand Royal Special Reserve Whisky
90 points
$9
Best Buy
Light golden amber color. Smoky aromas of charred corn silk, honey mesquite, caramel, and puffed cereal with a lean, crisp, dry-yet-fruity light body and a warming, captivating, medium-length perfectly charred corn elotes with all the fixins’, graham cracker, caramel corn, and barbecue brisket finish. A very appetizing, smoky whiskey for shooting and playful cocktails.
Awards: 2017 Best Corn Whiskey
90 points $9 Best Buy
John Barr Reserve Blended Scotch Whisky
90 points
$24.99
Medium golden amber color. Aromas of biscuit, honey, fresh lemons and lanolin, and Worcestershire with a round, crisp, fruity medium body and a tingling, medium-length muesli and seared fig, five alive, cinnamon candy, and molasses finish. An all-purpose, richly textured blended scotch.
90 points $24.99
Kilbeggan Single Grain Irish Whiskey
90 points
$29.99
Clear golden amber color. Aromas of pencil eraser, soy milk, and butterscotch with a satiny, crisp, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a peppery, delightful, medium-length toffee and candied banana-tapioca pudding, candied almond with orange blossom water, anise candy and fresh mixed melon balls, and sweet egg custard tart with honey finish. A whiskey that does a 180 from nose to palate with the latter being a deliciously bright study in rich confection.
90 points $29.99
Green Spot Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey
90 points
$35
Bright golden amber color. Attractive aromas of candied ginger and McIntosh apple skin, light caramel, fruit punch and tapioca pudding, and lily with a round, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a warming, stimulating, medium-long honeycomb and nut brittle, lemon poppyseed shortbread, chocolate malt milkshake, and triscuit cracker with marmite finish. A wholly satisfying pot still whiskey.
Shieldaig 14 Year Old Islay Single Malt
89 points
$59.99
Bright golden amber color. Malty, toasty aromas of toffee coated triscuit, lemon custard on graham cracker crust, kiln and cinnamon toothpick, and grilled corn husk with a glycerous, vibrant, fruity medium-full body and a sleek, engaging, medium-length smoked sage, cherry pie with mint, grilled pineapple and smoked ham skewer, and sea salt finish. A slightly peated, earthy and chewy single malt from Islay.
89 points $59.99
Grand Royal Double Gold Whisky
88 points
$18
Best Buy
Bright gold color. Aromas of roasted corn, brown butter, and caramel with a round, bright, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a tingling, medium-length rose petal, peaches and pears, flint, and almond oil and yellow curry finish. An approachable and fruity whiskey.
88 points $18 Best Buy
The Irishman Founders Reserve Irish Whiskey
88 points
$34.99
Bright golden amber color. Aromas and flavors of geranium and apricot, farina and green pepper, orange oil and almond cakes, and fruit cocktail and moss with a round, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a graceful, subtle, medium-long cherry pit, browned Irish butter, sprouted grain biscuit, and honey oat quickbread with ginger finish. A persistent whiskey with a spring garden of a nose and cake-like palate.
88 points $34.99
Glen Grant 18 Year Old Single Malt Speyside Scotch Whisky
88 points
$119.99
Dull straw yellow color. Spicy aromas and flavors of honey, tarragon, lanolin, and good and plenty with a round, vibrant, fruity light-to-medium body and a tingling, refreshing, medium-long ash, allium, nougat, and asian pear and cornichon relish finish. A savory single malt; a botanist’s whisky.
88 points $119.99
Bladnoch Samsara Lowland Single Malt Scotch Whisky
87 points
Light golden amber color. Interesting, inviting aromas and flavors of peach marmalade on raisin toast, pencil in a pocket protector, cashew nougat, and strawberry-banana yogurt with a satiny, tangy, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a warming, stimulating, long sweet cream on honeyed peach granola, wet limestone, peppery spices and grassy herbs, and tobacco finish. A warm and inviting lowland malt with a strong spine of structure and flavor; this is a good choice for cigars.
Jura 10 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky
87 points
Medium golden amber color. Earthy, rustic aromas of horse barn, leather saddle, black licorice, and buttery sherry sauce with a velvety, vibrant, dry medium-to-full body and a warming, complex, medium-long dried rose petals, tar, balanced peat, sweet biscuit, burnt toffee, and golden raisin finish. A Marlborough Man of a single malt; dry, rugged, poised.
Pure Scot Blended Scotch Whisky
87 points
Medium golden amber color. Toasty aromas and flavors of buttery toasted fig bread and buttery roasted cashews with a supple, soft, dryish medium-to-full body and a tingling, interesting, medium-length caramel buttercream, maple toffee, and minerals finish. An attractive nutty, buttery blend with great flavor and an instant appeal.
Jamie Stewart Blended Scotch Whisky
87 points
$15.99
Medium golden amber color. Floral aromas of orange blossom rice candy, sweet ginger, magnolia, and Easter ham and olive oil with a round, crisp, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a tingling, medium-long poached apple with cinnamon, orange zest, panna cotta, and gingerbread and apricot finish. A light and nuanced blended scotch whisky with a great finish.
87 points $15.99
Highland Park Magnus Single Malt Scotch Whisky
87 points
$39.99
Medium gold color. Aromas of limeleaf, plum and cedar, wet beach, and orange blossom honey with a lightly tannic, crisp, dry medium body and a peppery, complex, medium-long dried fig, ginger and cinnamon candies, black tea, and chicory and black peppercorns finish. A drying and robust whiskey that will delight cigar smokers.
87 points $39.99
Glencadam The Re-awakening 13 year Old Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky
87 points
$40
Pale golden yellow color. Fruity aromas of dried apricot and turmeric with a supple, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a peppery, interesting, medium-length peach ginger tea, toasted baguette, ginseng gum, and dried pineapple finish. A light-on-its-feet, spicy and exotic single malt; a great daily dram.
Brenne Estate Cask Single Malt Whisky
87 points
$59.99
Clear gold color. Fruity aromas of violet and lilac candies, fruit snack and spumoni, clove cigarette, and vanilla cologne with a silky, crisp, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a smooth, complex, medium-long orange flower water, sweet almond and cashew, blueberry and hibiscus and white chocolate, and honey and dried white flowers finish. A feminine and exotic spirit; a cognac-lover’s transition to whisky.
87 points $59.99
Bellevoye French Whisky
86 points
$34.99
Bright gold color. Interesting aromas of grilled peach and beeswax, lavender and cantaloupe, Turkish delight, and honey drizzled graham cracker with a round, crisp, dry medium body and a warming, intriguing, long green malt, praline, dried tarragon, oregano, and bay leaf, and leather and bison grass finish. An pervasive herbal dram for those that like their whiskey on the younger side.
86 points $34.99
Royal Circle Whisky
85 points
$10
Medium golden amber color. Aroma of limestone with a soft, dry-yet-fruity thin body and a warming, brief creamed corn, vanilla nougat, burned toast with spinach, and starched shirt finish. A neutral-tasting grain whiskey for beginners.
Royal Raymondt Ultra Premium Whisky
85 points
$12
Pale slivery straw color. Candied aromas of chocolate covered malted milk ball, vanilla tootsie roll, jasmine tea, and cattails with a round, dry-yet-fruity light body and a tingling, captivating, medium-length caramelized pineapple, vanilla yogurt covered raisins, moss, and orange blossom water candy coated aniseed finish. A wholly enjoyable blended scotch whisky for a great highball.
Shackleton Blended Highland Malt Scotch Whisky
85 points
$34.99
Clear amber color. Aromas of cinnamon rooibos tea, clover flower and sliced apples, honey, and wet grain with a round, vibrant, fruity medium body and a warming, medium-length caramelized plum, tobacco and milk chocolate, lush field after the rain, and fruit cake finish. A rock-solid blended malt scotch that will make a super-satisfying highball.
85 points $34.99
Writers Tears Copper Pot Irish Whiskey
85 points
$44.99
Bright amber color. Grainy aromas and flavors of candied cherry and dandelion, gingerbread cookie, marmalade, and pineapple upside down cake with a round, vibrant, dryish medium body and a peppery, interesting, cheery rice cake, oregano and gochujang, honey and schechuan peppercorn, and lip balm finish. A spicy Irish whiskey with an eastern sensibility.
85 points $44.99
Pure Scot Virgin Oak 43 Blended Scotch Whiskey
84 points
Medium amber color. Rubbery, roasted aromas and flavors of rubber eraser, roasted whole banana, cedar closet and saw dust, and singed fabric with a lightly tannic, bright, dryish medium body and a peppery, crisp pencil shavings, honeyed biscuit, campfire logs and leaves, and pepper finish. A very oak-forward smoky blend with a careening balance; serve with a bit a of water.
Grand Royal Whisky
84 points
$4
Best Buy
Clear golden yellow color. Aromas and flavors of corn bread, peach pie, powdered sugar, and lemon rind with a glycerous, bright, dryish light body and a warming, short pencil eraser, cucumber rind, and margarine finish. A mild whiskey for mixing.
84 points $4 Best Buy
Grand Royal Signature Whisky
84 points
$6
Best Buy
Clear gold color. Grainy, smoky aromas and flavors of smoked almonds, green malt, limoncello, and banana leaf with a soft, dryish light-to-medium body and a polished, medium-length mole and tapenade finish. A smoky, savory whiskey for craft cocktails.
84 points $6 Best Buy
Carlyle Blended Scotch Whisky
84 points
$17.99
Medium amber color. Aromas of green apple, sugared corn flakes, bananas foster, and Murphy’s wood soap with a lean, soft, dryish thin body and a silky, breezy pear taffy, graham cracker crust, allspice, and squash finish. An approachable blended scotch for a crowd.
84 points $17.99
Knockmore Blended Irish Whiskey
84 points
$28.99
Light golden yellow color. Aromas of honey butter on wheat biscuit, fresh grass, steel cut oats, and grilled red apple with a supple, crisp, dry-yet-fruity light body and a warming, brisk molasses, pear chutney, and fresh cigarette finish. An Irish whiskey for shots and mixing.
84 points $28.99
West Cork Bourbon Cask Blended Irish Whiskey
82 points
$27.99
Clear gold color. Aromas and flavors of pear drop, petrol, cherry pit, and apricot with a thin body and a quick honeyed biscuit, wheat toast, golden raisin, and green wood and minerals finish. A mixed-drink-ready whiskey.
82 points $27.99
Hyde Single Grain Irish Whiskey
82 points
$49
Bright gold color. Aroma of new car with a soft, dry light body and a hot, brief black pepper and bay leaf finish. A college-party-worthy Irish whiskey.
Eagle Whisky
81 points
$4
Bright gold color. Aromas of root beer, horse hair comb, bananas flambé and gingerbread, and grilled veggies with a glycerous, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a tingling, crisp green plantain, sweet potato pie, strawberry sauce, and island flowers finish. A banana split sundae of a whiskey that will appeal to rum drinkers.
Grand Royal ID Whisky
81 points
$6
Clear light gold color. Aromas of powdered sugar, swimming pool, underripe banana, and marzipan with an oily, crisp, dryish watery body and a warming, fleeting lemon slushie and jalapeño and pineapple salsa finish. A mineral-forward whiskey for mixing.
Grand Royal Smooth Whisky
80 points
$4
Clear gold color. Grainy aromas of green grain and chrysanthemum with a glycerous, bright, dryish light-to-medium body and a tingling, breezy wheat cracker with molasses, whole grain toast, orange marmalade, and underripe peach finish. A green and chewy whiskey for craft spirit lovers.
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