Saturday, August 19, 2017

Whisky Review: The Famous Grouse "Smoky Black"

Scotch Whisky Review

The Famous Grouse "Smoky Black"

Blended Scotch Whisky


Widely Available

Bottle Format
750 ml

Metal Twist off Cap

Artificial Color
Yes E150a.

Chill Filtration

Nose (undiluted)
I detect a sweet nose of sherry that is a distinct signature of this blend.  With the sherry sweetness is also some peat, wood smoke and anise.

Palate (undiluted)
Sherry red fruits, sweet grains that meld with fennel, anise and hickory wood smoke.

Finish (undiluted)
Spiced smoke, oak, mackerel, kippers and bacon wrapped scallops.

General Impressions
In this category, I am impressed.  The grain whiskies are not bitter or overly sweet.  They are counter-balanced by the peated malt of the Glenturret Distillery.  Nothing offensive here and the smoky backbone underneath the sherry body keeps reeling you in for another sip!

Highly recommended!


Jason Debly

Monday, August 7, 2017

Whisky Review: Johnnie Walker Green Label

Johnnie Walker Green Label

Blended Malt.

Age Statement
15 years


750 ml

Cork stopper.

Nose (undiluted)
Splendid!  Luxuriant!  Floral!  Bouquet of apple and cherrie blossoms.  Nice honey sweetness.

Palate (undiluted)
Honey, peanut brittle, marzipan and baklava with a swirl of peat, dark red sherry and a flourish of smoke. Delightful briny water and peat (Talisker and Caol Ila for sure!) flourishes against the honey background.

Finish (undiluted)
Long.  Lingering subtle waves of sweet peat that mingle with Swiss milk chocolate.  Nice accents of black pepper, Kosher salt and bergamot teas.

Green Label, a blend of four great single malts, is superior to a lot of 10 and 12 year old single malts out there on the market.  Do not fear the 'blended malt' moniker somehow being inferior to 'single malt.'  Cragganmore and Linkwood are honey and syrup like malts that pair with the peat, lemon zest and surf brine of Caol Ila and Talisker.  These are all great single malts on their own, and when combined together here, deliver a complex and delightful taste.

When they relaunched Green Label in 2016, the bottling I had was rather flat in taste.  Just a boring honey Speyside style.  Now, a year later, it appears the Master Blender and team have spiced things up with what I suspect is a lot more Talisker and Caol Ila in the mix.  Vast improvement.

Highly recommended!


Jason Debly

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Cognac Review: Hennessy XO - Extra Old

Cognac Review: Hennessy XO

Rum cake, raisins, cinnamon, spices and nutmeg.

Red licorice, cinnamon, cloves, milk chocolate and hazelnuts.

Long, black pepper accented red fruits like strawberries, currants adorn a backbone of Swiss milk chocolate.

Highly recommended cognac.  I like this better than Remy Martin XO or Courvoisier XO.

PS. In this review I state the age of the eau de vie used in this cognac range from 10 to 70 years and the average age of eau de vie is 45 years.  I am not sure that claim is legit anymore.  Here is the website where I saw that claim:

I have left a comment asking them to advise.

This is the downfall of my unscripted and unedited reviews.

All the best,