Balvenie Doublewood 17- The world seems mad for anything hand crafted these days….well here is a prime example for your holiday season. The extremely patient distillers grow their own barley, use traditional floor malting, employ artisan barrel coopers, and have honest to goodness coppersmiths tending to the stills, and what century is this again? All of these elements drive home their point like a well placed tranquilizer dart. The Whisky is aged first in traditional oak and then sleeps in Sherry oak casks until its 17th birthday. Rich amber in color with a woody citrus flavor, this jewel of a Scotch is a stellar achievement with a spicy and luxuriously lingering finish. Saint Nick would be well advised to pack the sleigh full and leave this Speyside under my tree…..highly recommended and rated an 8.5.
The Black Grouse-Sacrilege! ….how could the Snob possibly drink , much less review , a blend ? A good friend once called me an uncomplimentary name because I brought a single malt to a mass gathering of automotive sporting types. Predictably, the whisky disappeared in a wink and I was left empty handed. Now for people with unlimited beverage budgets that might be fine, but JT introduced me to the concept of an everyday scotch. The Black Grouse is one notch up in character from a common blend and has a wonderful peaty finish to boot. A silky smooth blend with notes of smoky caramel that deserves a spot on the starting grid and is a great value. This flavorful game bird has a lingering powerful finish. Fortunately the 80 proof whiskey is feather free . I would rate this blend at 6.5, unremarkable but solid.