This bottle is a wheated bourbon, which means that wheat is added instead of rye in the mashbill. This offers a different flavour profile – still distinctly bourbon, yet quite softer and creamier in general than the spicier rye bourbons, which, in terms of numbers, are the major players in bourbon. The first time I took a sip of this bottle I thought I had made a mistake, as I didn’t actually like it. I put it on my shelf, and then a few weeks later had another sip – and this time it grew on me. By the third sip, I was sold. Odd. Another brilliant bottle from Buffalo Trace Distillery down in Kentucky. .
I saw a line of Cragganmore whiskies in a store window and I thought maybe I’d get out my tasting notes from some time ago when I reviewed the whisky.
My corn whisky has now been in the barrel for 15 weeks, and it is still quite raw, but is starting to develop and take shape in some of the direction I thought it might. I am taking smaller and smaller samples so as not to drink it all up before it is done! So I sample every 2 weeks or so now, and often just a good nose is enough to know where it is. However, I can see this staying in the cask for some time yet.
nose: still quite yeasty, and heavy on dried corn and vanilla; it’s a touch creamy, and some other flavours are starting to develop – a touch of fresh apricot and a bit of a stewed fruits character is beginning. It’s a bit sour and has an aroma reminiscent of hay as well, but is certainly starting to be quite interesting. The apricot is certainly starting to come out.
taste: warm, with big fruit chocolate overtones and a wave of heat as the spices settle in – cinnamon largely. It still tastes much more like the new make than bourbon but in the middle there is a wave of flavour of the bourbon profile, so it is starting to look like it may actually develop a bit of that flavour profile. the profile quite has the flavour of hard taco shells.
finish: long, with corn, vanilla, and light oak; the tannins come on lightly at the end and dry out the mouth.
It’s interesting, I wouldn’t call it fantastic stuff but it is not bad for sure. It’s certainly still improving…
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Another classic blend, which originally supplied the Royal Household in Scotland with whisky, and hence the name “Regal” along with Chivas, the last name of the brothers (who were grocers like many of the early blenders) who originally blended the whisky. This whisky originated in Aberdeen, and, like the original blends – was suited to the palate in its market – light, in this case, on the eastern coast unlike the bolder whiskies (and blends such as Johnnie Walker) which came on from the west.