June Whiskey Tasting

29 Jun


Disclaimer: I don’t enjoy straight whiskey. However, my guy does, and he has a much better ability to discern the different flavours in whiskey than I can. I’ve found that the better a whiskey is, the more it burns my throat. Because we were bored at home on a Friday night, we decided to do a whiskey tasting. Separately, we rated each whiskey on a scale of 1 through 5, before checking the price of each bottle. And now, so you can sip vicariously through us, the results are below. You’ll see that we have wildly different comments on the smell and taste of each. I sipped mine over rocks, while he had his neat. Whiskies are listed in the order that we tasted them.

1) Old Overholt Straight Rye Whiskey (Kentucky, 40% ABV, aged 3 years, $14 – 750 ml)

She: Smells a bit sweet, like flowers or honey. Relatively smooth and easy to sip, with a vanilla aftertaste. The bottle looks cheap – it’s just a cap and has no cork.  3/5

He: Smells slightly of mint, almost like gin because it reminds me of Christmas trees, but is mostly odorless. It’s relatively easy to sip. It would probably mix well with Coke or in a Whiskey Sour. Notes of oak. 3/5

2) Knob Creek Small Batch Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey (Clermont, KY, 50% ABV, aged 9 years)

She: Has a richer smell than the previous whiskey, and it also burns more. It’s sweet, warm, thicker, heavier, and has a vanilla aftertaste. Made my ice cubes taste smokey. The bottle looks fancier with the wax over the cork. 3/5

He: First taste and smell is like caramel. There is a very slight, pleasant hint of oak. Sharp burn – it’s not very smooth. I would not recommend this for sipping, but if you must, have it on the rocks instead of neat.  I don’t think it would mix well with soda either – I’m not sure what it would go well with! It tastes like an extinguished campfire! 2/5

3) Rowan’s Creek Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey (Bardstown, KY, 50% ABV, aged in charred oak barrels, $36 – 750 ml)

She: Smells sharp. Tastes like burning. It made the tip of my tongue numb. But its colour looks pretty in the bottle – it’s a bit pink!

He: Has a new wood smell, like cedar, or sweet-smelling sawdust. Smooth, a slight delicious warm sensation in your throat afterwards…notes of honey. 3.5/5

4) Jack Daniels Old No. 7 Brand Tennessee Sour Mash Whiskey (Lynchburg, TN, 40% ABV, $40 – 1.75L)

We only included this because JD seems to be a well-known bar to use as a comparison.

He: Smells like paint thinner. A warm feeling with medium burn. It has a “funky” aftertaste – like paint thinner, actually. There is a obvious lack of smokiness when compared to the previous whiskies – but it’s not a bourbon. 1/5

She: I agree, it smells like paint thinner. I’m done…. don’t make me drink this.

5) George Dickel Tennesse Sour Mash Whiskey No. 8 (Tullahoma, TN, 40% ABV, $23 – 750 ml)

He: Light smell, warm and somewhat sharp. Tastes a little like turpentine with a very light oak flavour. The aftertaste lingers a bit. 3/5

6) James E. Pepper 1776 Straight Rye Whiskey (Bardstown, KY, 50% ABV, $28 – 750 ml)

She: Warm and full bodied, compared to the George Dickel, which was sweeter. 3.5/5

He: Very light smokey flavour with subtle chocolate notes. A hint of sweetness. 3.5/5

The Final Word: There are many better alternatives to the plain old “JD” out there. Since our tasting, my guy has purchased two more bottles of the Old Overholt because it represents the best value out of the bunch.

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