Showing posts with label Blended Whisky Review. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Blended Whisky Review. Show all posts

Huxley Blend Review


“A Missed Opportunity”

Country: Scotland/Canada/USA 
Brand: Huxley Rare Genus Whiskey
Type: Blended Whisky/Whiskey
Age: NAS
ABV: 42% 
Chill-Filtration: Yes 
Whisky Review # 601
Buying Advice:­čśĹ Indifferent. It's not expensive but it's boring and without any Wow factor.

Colour: Amber (Artificially Coloured) 

Nose: Young distillate. The Grain Alcohol is quite noticeable. Still, I have Nosed worse Whisky at this price level. Cereals, Hay and Toffee are the main drivers. I also find Buttered Toast, Yeast, Vanilla, Caramel, Wood Chips, Refill Oak, Dried Fruit (like Apples, Plums and Raisins), light Citrus, light Cinnamon, Mint, Resin and a very faint hint of Horse Saddles. It's not really bad but rather boring. I kind of expected more from this interesting experiment.

Palate: Slightly Thin and Harsh Delivery. On the Palate, the Huxley is Sugary Sweet with some Bitter, Spicy and Herbal elements. I find Toasted Cereals, Toast, Brown Sugar, Caramel, Toffee, Lemon, Grapefruit, Refill Oak, Sultanas, Pepper, Nutmeg, Ginger, Cinnamon, Dried Herbs and a hint of Bananas.

Finish: Short, Spicy and Hot with Toasted Cereals, Toast, Toffee, Brown Sugar, Caramel, light Vanilla light Salty Licorice, Ginger, Pepper, Nutmeg, Lemon Juice, Grapefruit Juice, light Cinnamon and a faint hint of Burned Bananas.

The Huxley does not improve with added Water except for the fact that you take out a bit of the Harsh Alcohol. It does get very Thin though.

Rating: 76

Nose: 20 - Taste: 19 - Finish: 18.8 - Overall: 18.5


General Remarks:

After Boxing Hares and Smoky Goat, Diageo's Whisky Union Team launched the Huxley Rare Genus Whiskey in July 2016. All three of these experimental Whiskies were designed to invite the consumers to "uncharted territory". This latest expression is named in honour of T.H. Huxley, a 19th century anatomist. The label features a "Mobsprey", a mythical hybrid beast that is part Moose, part Osprey and part Bobcat. This makes sense as the Huxley is a combination of Whisky/Whiskey from Scotland, Canada and the USA. The Scottish part in the mix contains both Malt - and Grain Whisky. The Huxley was primarily released in Austria and Germany to test the market. In the meantime it's available elsewhere as well. Prices are usually in the 25 to 30 US Dollar range (March 2017).

Drinking Experience Neat: Okay but no more than that!

Conclusion: On paper, the Huxley experiment sounds interesting enough. Indeed I believe it's the first time that somebody officially mixed some Scottish, Canadian and American Whisk(e)y and brought it to the market. Full kudos for the initiative! But the makers also wanted to keep the price as low as possible. And a quality Whisky at a low price is impossible considering today's market circumstances. The Huxley clearly shows this dilemma. I mainly detect Scottish Grain Alcohol and Canadian Whisky. It's almost impossible to clearly identify Malt Whisky and Bourbon. And the Refill ex-Bourbon casks used are of indifferent quality. The end result is not really bad but extremely boring, slightly harsh and overall disappointing. In my opinion, Diageo should review this idea and experiment with better ingredients and active casks. As it stands, Huxley is a good idea but also a missed opportunity!

Jan van den Ende                                                                    March 13, 2017

Old Orkney Review


Hi everyone, after a week holidays in the mountains I'm back with the first Review of the New Year. But first of all I would like to wish all my readers and their families a very Happy and Healthy 2015. Over the last 3 years you have supported Best Shot Whisky Reviews with your visits, questions and comments. I sincerely hope that you will continue to accompany my Journey through the Land of Single Malts and Blends from all over the world in 2015! The interest you have shown is a huge driver for me to try and improve with every new review. Please feel free to leave your comments, questions and suggestions. They are more than welcome! And now let's continue with the first Review of 2015!  


“A Weak Revival of an Old Name”

Country: Scotland
Region: Islands - Orkney
Brand: Old Orkney
Bottled by: Gordon & MacPhail, Elgin
Type: Blended Whisky
Age: 8 Years
ABV: 40%

Colour: Full Gold

Nose: A quick Floral brush is followed too rapidly by Caramel, Grains, Young Oak, Malt, light Peat, light Cold Smoke, lightly Buttered Toast, Peanuts, Dried Apricot, light Citrus, light Acetone and a sprinkle of Salt. The Alcohol stings a little. All in all, it doesn't seem to go in any specific direction and I miss a bit of balance and purpose. Still, at this Price Level I have nosed far worse.

Taste: Thin, Edgy and slightly Bitter Arrival. The Alcohol is quite present. I find some Toffee, Caramel, Refill Oak, Wood Spice, Licorice and the Smoke of a cheap Menthol Cigarette.

Finish: Bitter-Sweet and Short with Grains, Alcohol, Spices, light Salty Peat, Sea Water, Sugar, Menthol, Refill Oak and a vague Floral note.

I added a few drops of Water and the Nose gets a little extra Fruit. It almost doesn't smell like Whisky anymore. It's more like a Banana-Rum Cocktail. Still, it's not bad. Try it out! Palate and Finish however do not accept the added Water. 

Rating: 72

Nose: 19 - Taste: 17.5 - Finish: 17.5 - Overall: 18

The Gordon & MacPhail Shop in Elgin

General Remarks: Gordon and MacPhail is an Independent Bottler and Distiller founded in Elgin in 1895. Currently the company bottles over 350 expressions from around 70 Distilleries as well as Blended Whiskies. Originally, Old Orkney or "OO" was a Single Malt produced in the 1920's at the Stromness Distillery on the Isle of Orkney. This Distillery closed in 1928 but "OO" remained available into the late 1930's, firstly as Single Malt and later on as Blended Whisky. The name Old Orkney was revived in the 1990's by Gordon & MacPhail. Next to the 8 Years you can find a 12 Years Blended Malt Whisky. Old Orkney 8 Years sells at an average 26 US Dollars. I bought the miniature on the spot at the Gordon & MacPhail shop in Elgin. The light Floral Smoke suggests the presence of young Highland Park in the Blend.

Drinking Experience Neat: The Nose is okay but the rest is below average.

Conclusion: The Label states that this Old Orkney is "The Islands Peedie (Small)
Dram". But if I lived on Orkney I would go for a Highland Park instead unless I would be totally out of cash. Because the "OO" is a simple bottom shelf Blend, be it with a reasonable Nose at this price level. Other than that there's not a lot to enjoy and if I was either Gordon or MacPhail I'm not sure I would want to commercialise this type of Blend as it does not seem to fit in their well known range of quality whiskies. In any case I won't dream of the Old Orkney 8 Years tonight!  

Jan van den Ende                                                             January 4, 2015

Seagram's Seven Crown Review



Country: USA
Brand: Seagram’s Seven Crown
Type: Blended American Whiskey
Age: NAS (Probably 3-4 years)
Alcohol: 40%

Colour: Golden

Nose: The harsh Alcohol does not come as a surprise anymore. Almost all young (grain) whiskies suffer from that. It’s difficult to get anything else at first. In this case unfortunately there hardly is anything of importance in the first place. After a while I get some (Charred) Wood, Vanilla, Rubber, Paint Thinner, Margarine, Maple Syrup and cheap Sweet Apricot Marmalade. You will have to Nose this dram from various angles, not forgetting the edge of the glass. In the middle of the glass you will mostly get young Wood and harsh Alcohol.

Taste: Thin and Sugary Sweet with an immediate Alcohol Attack. It tastes more like rubbing Alcohol or cheap Gin than Whiskey. In the background some toast with Margarine and the Apricot Marmalade from the Nose.

Finish: Harsh, Sugary Sweet and not at all pleasant. Thank God it’s very short!

I added a couple of drops of Water and that helps suppressing the harsh Alcohol. The Apricot and Margarine become a bit more present. The Nose certainly benefits from a few drops. On the Palate it all mellows down a bit as well. The Finish remains non-existent and off-putting. If you must drink this neat, than I advise you to add a few drops of water.

Rating: 68 

Nose: 18 – Taste: 17 – Finish: 16 – Overall: 17

General Remarks: Seagram’s Seven Crown was originally a Canadian Whisky Brand that was very popular all around the world in the late Sixties and Seventies until Vodka and Rum took over. The American Soldiers in Vietnam mixed it with Seven-Up and called it 7&7. Seagram’s beverage division was bought in 2000 by Diageo, Pernod-Ricard and Coca Cola. Today, the Seven Crown or Seven as it’s also called is blended and bottled by the Seven Crown Distilling Company, Norwalk (CT), part of the Diageo Group. It’s a Blend of American Whiskeys, a spirit produced by law in the USA from a fermented mash of Cereal Grain(s). The whiskies used in this Blend aged in new – and used charred White Oak Barrels. Oh yes, it costs around US$ 13 a bottle and the name Seven Crown refers to the seven crowns on the label!

Drinking Experience Neat: Below Average

Conclusion: Although the Nose is not really horrible once you are able to trick out the wafts of Alcohol, this whiskey is not good enough to drink neat. It does not provide any pleasure whatsoever. The American soldiers in Vietnam were right about this stuff. The only thing sensible to do is to drown it in 7-Up. Or something like that!

Jan van den Ende                                                              October 11, 2012