Tullamore Dew Phoenix 55%

tullamore_phoenixNose: Candied oranges, milk chocolate, oak, slight acetone. With water lightly perfumed wood, cedar, peraps. (Bitter) almonds.

Palate: Orange marmalade, cinnamon, oak. WIth water it turns somewhat sharper and aquires black pepper and a little honey.

Comments: Quite a pleasant thing. Session whisky, really. Not a ten out of ten, but at just under 500 SEK at Systembolaget it’s definitely a winner for cosy evenings at the cabin or sociable evenings with non-whiskynerd friends.

Knob Creek Kentucky Straight Bourbon 50%

According to Edrington’s representative in Östersund, Knob Creek is made from the same mash as Jim Beam White, but it has been matured for 9 years (as opposed to Jim Beam’s four).

IMG_4235Nose: Vanilla, oak planks and slightly tart mango chutney. With water it acquires an unfortunate sour note that reminds me too much of vomit to be pleasant. It’s also got the dry icing sugar note, though.

Palate: Oak, a whiff of perfume and more oak. Icing sugar and oak with water, bitterness from the cask and, uhm, almonds, I think.

Comments: I’m not exactly convinced, and I actually prefer the younger version, if we can call the Jim Beam a version. This has too much cask and not enough of anything else for my palate.

Jim Beam White Label 40%

White in the background, in case you wondered.
White in the background, in case you wondered.

Nose: Vanilla and fresh birch twigs, some peppery herbs. With water the spice turns towards cinnamon and I also get a slightly metallic note and dry icing sugar.

Palate: Oak and vanillin. More spice with a bit of water.

Comments: Quite a good nose, and the taste is ok, though nothing to write home about. There is hardly any of the perfumy character which I normally dislike in bourbons, so this is a bourbon I could actually drink.

Bushmills 21 years 40%

I had to order a bottle of Bushmills 21 years old, as there is reason to wonder if the importer has been in the sun too long or something. The price in Norway is 599,90  NOK (around 60 GBP) – which is cheap for a 21-year old in any case, but seems like the sale of the century compared to prices in the UK where the RRP is 137 GBP. But is it worth it? That, obviously, is the salient point, because if it’s undrinkable it’s money out the window whatever the price.

Fancy boks får du i alle fall for penga
You get a fancy box for your money, at least.

Nose: Clear bourbony notes, oak and vanilla. Plums in Madeira, lemon peel, toffee and spice; curry, in fact. Water brings out more fresh fruits.

Palate: Oak and vanilla. A somewhat bitter oakiness. I was hoping water would open it up and bring out more flavours, but was disappointed.

Comments: Very lovely nose, pretty bland taste. Nothing wrong with it, though, and certainly worth the 60 pounds, but not the 137, I don’t think.

Utsiden av boksen
The outside of the box

Eagle Rare 10 år Single Barrel 45 %

Nose: Dark chocolate, cardamum and oaky perfume. Water brings out citrus, especially orange, some lilacs and lemon curd. Somehow I end up thinking about old fashioned ladies’ soap.

Palate: Wet, warm wood (as in a wet sauna) with a vague rotting note (an old sauna, obviously). With water I get soap, citrus and perfume.

Comments: The nose is quite nice, though perhaps a bit too perfumey. On the palate I can choose between rotting wood without water and soap with water and my answer has to be “I’ll pass”. Not undrinkable, but teetering on the edge.

Thanks to Daniel for the sample.