Rabble Review, 2014 September

Rabble Review, 2014 September


Willett Single Barrel Rye Whiskey

GatoMaxx, Rating: 5.0

Peppery rye spice dominates, but with light citrus notes coming through and a light vanilla overlay, which tames the alcohol bite to a fair degree. Better then Thomas Handy, in my view. In short, its smooth and quite delicious, which is not something I say about most ryes that I have tried. It does taste a little young, but its amazing what the distiller was able to do with only four years of age. The five star rating is based on value, in part.

Stagg Jr Barrel Proof Bourbon

jaketaz, Rating: 4.0

I love high proof ryes and bourbons, and to my taste this is smoother and spicier than Booker's. It will test your tolerance at almost 70% alcohol, but surprisingly it's still very agreeable even as a mixer. Rather than drinking it with water, I would recommend it as a nice ingredient in the highest-proof Manhattan you've ever had. I personally don't notice the high proof by taste alone, I had to look at the bottle to know. A versatile ingredient with tons of punch.

Tullamore Dew Irish Whiskey

For cheap Irish whiskey this is not bad! Very drinkable, VERY light compared to its competitors with just enough flavor. Shared a bottle of it with me brotha the night before he married his bonnie lass so it'll always have a dear place in me heart.

Talisker 18yr Single Malt Scotch

Muncher, Rating: 5.0

Another example of the non-perfect Proof66 scoring system. Whisky Advocate and Connosr both rate this very highly, and for good reason. It's a master piece of a single malt. Has the qualities that I like about the 10 year (salt, peat, smoke), but is richer and has a caramel/toffee like sweetness added to the profile. The balance is really phenomenal too. After having the Laphroaig 10 and 18's (10 is better) I didn't have high hopes for this one, but I was very pleasantly surprised.
[Editor's Note: this is actually a good example of a label that once scored very well with the critics but hasn't submitted for review since 2008... 6 years ago at the time of this writing. So imperfect or not, our philosophy is to credit more recent scores over older, potentially unwarranted scores. It does have the adverse consequence of hurting those spirits that don't submit with any regularity to the critics.]

Beam Signature Craft 12yr Bourbon

Muncher, Rating: 5.0

I'm starting to lose faith in Proof66's scoring system. This awesome bourbon has a superior collection of accolades when compared to it's brandy infused sibling, but it scores 80 points lower. Every other reputable site I frequent also sees the 12 year as the better of the two so perhaps some adjusting of the formula is in order. Anyways, the bourbon is fantastic. Entry is sweet, spicy, and balanced. The finish is oaky, full of cinnamon, and pleasantly lingers. I'm reminded of my bottle of Blanton's, but I think I might like the Beam better. I'll have to do a side by side to be sure.
[Editor's Note: and in the same vein, it's important to remember that our algorithm shows a snapshot of critical consensus at a given time. We try hard to be transparent about this but if a spirit is newer or hasn't submitted to many competitions, then it's score may look odd compared to the general consensus. We might find that the Beam Signature Craft will score very well next year and leap in the rankings... until then, it plays with the scores it has, which is inevitably a partial view..]

Bushmills 10yr Irish Whiskey

jaketax, Rating: 4.0

It's not got the Jameson sweetness of the standard bottle, and has more maturity and smoothness than the Black Bush, and the 16-year is disproportionately expensive for how good it is. A good middle ground. $40 in my area, and though I tend to prefer blends this did me just fine with one ice cube and a little sitting. I taste granny smith apples, smoke, a slight mellow burn and a bit of lemon peel.

Glenkinchie 12yr Single Malt Scotch

I found this to be a very enjoyable single malt. Honeyed sweetness on the nose and at first sip, this had a pleasingly sweet finish with nice spice. I did not pick up any bitter or tannic notes. This was my first Lowland Scotch and it had a rich sweetness that exceeded my expectation. This would seem to me to be a great Scotch for a Bourbon lover.

Wild Turkey 14yr Bourbon

Not sure why the low rating on this. It was very well reviewed and sought after during it's 2009 release. Is pretty hard to find now, and has a great taste. Though 14 years is a little over the usual preferred age range for jimmy Russel, this meets his high standards without a doubt. Drinking-wise, it's another fantastic product from WT. Collectibility-wise, it will only become more and more hard to come by now that he's talking retirement after 60 years. A real gem.


Familia Partida Blanco Tequila

jaketaz, Rating: 5.0

Total absence of any sourness or "stink", flavorful and heavy body but still very clean taste. A bit on the expensive side, I lucked out with a random 50% off bottle, a very lucky find. Sweet mineral taste, hints of lime and white grape. Made some wicked margaritas, was also great in fruit salsa and lovely neat as well. I would not recommend shooting this, it's too good for that. Tastiest tequila I've had.

Corazon Anejo Tequila

craigr, Rating: 5.0

Simply my favorite tequila at any price, I usually buy at least thee bottles every time I go to the liquor store. Incredibly smooth and full flavored. Similar to Herradura Anejo, but smoother and with more flavor. The best there is.


Deep Eddy Vodka

BDanner, Rating: 3.0

I have wanted to try this vodka for a while given my affinity for that other Austin Vodka, Tito's. When I was checking out at the ABC store the other day I noticed they had these in 50ml bottles for $1 (15 of these make a 750ml bottle and saves you $5, by the way) so I picked up a few. I totally agree with derkerderr. Nothing special. Absolutely nothing to separate it from the crowded pack of ho-hum vodkas. I will continue to buy the 50ml bottles in case I need to "mix on the sly", but for the same price Tito's is the far superior product. I will give the flavored versions a try as they also stocked the 50ml's in those.


Jim Beam Maple Bourbon

bigZZmoney, Rating: 5.0

This particular brand of spirit caught my eye as I was pondering the numerous bottles of bad decisions that lie before me. I picked this along with maybe something familiar in case I was wrong and this turned out horridly; but that was never the case. As soon as this thicker than liquid wonder graced my lips I knew it was a winner. The sweet overtones of maple bring back memories of childhood breakfast, and boy does it go down smooth. The sweetness of the spirit really lends a hand to how smoothly the drink does go down. Not a lot of bad taste on the back end, just a slight flare that tells you this is a bourbon. All in all, this stole the show for me upon first taste, try it with Dr. Pepper for a game changer.

Travis Hasse Apple Pie Liqueur

dbmkt1, Rating: 1.0

This had gotten excellent reviews from tastings.com. I enjoyed their cherry liqueur but the apple product was undrinkable. It was like Mr. Rogers hit you over the head with a candy cane. Way too sweet to drink straight. I'm not sure what you would mix it with. I threw it away.

Travis Hasse Apple Pie Liqueur

jaketaz, Rating: 3.0

fulfills all the same functions as Cointreau for way less money. real orange taste, maybe too sweet for some, but no chemical aftertaste, clear with a thick body, goes well in a margarita or cosmo or many other drinks. good value.

Cardinal Gin

dbmkt1, Rating: 3.0

It's a 3.5 because of the price. Downsides: Can be replaced by Gran Gala as a mixer. Orange flavor is somewhat hidden. Upside: Can be enjoyed straight. The cognac base makes it very smooth. I mix it with brandy or bourbon and it tastes great. But when I run out, I'll stick with Gran Gala at a lower price because it's just not that much better as a mixer.


Cardinal Gin

BDanner, Rating: 4.0

A distinctive gin for when I want something a little different. And it's made right here in my home state! Great gin that brings the juniper, but with a heavy dose of spearmint. I like it in a gin and tonic with a sprig of mint, although I've found that it takes an extra wedge of lime to balance out the flavors. Attractive bottle and label design looks great on the bar. A high quality, small batch spirit.


James Wray Overproof Rum

Jamesthebrit, Rating: 2.0

On the nose... Acetone. Pepper. Cinnamon. Rubber. Molasses. Fresh tennis ball. Almost like a boggy peaty decaying leaves. Taste is rubbery. Peppery. Acetone. Yeah rubber. Plastic. On the palate it is insanely aggressive. Should be either chilled or mixed. As a mixed drink the palate is still relatively aggressive. Needs to be chilled. Overall maybe I will revisit this after checking some other white rums but as a standalone I would not get this again. It's good for rough days after work and that's about it.

Bacardi Anejo Rum

jaketaz, Rating: 3.0

In general, I tend to view Puerto Rican rums as the lowest quality of the rum locations (Jamaica, Barbados, Carribean, Virgin Islands, Haiti etc) and they always taste like burnt plastic to me. This however is probably the most drinkable of the Bacardis, and does just fine neat, in coffee, with pineapple juice, and I assume in a colada or a punch drink. A nice vegetal flavor that actually has some flavor, though unfortunately there is still some remaining burnt plastic at the very end of the finish. Not bad, but for half as much you could have any of several superior Cruzan rums.

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