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95

Compass Box The Peat Monster 10th Anniversary Special Cask Strength Bottling, 54.7% Price: $120.00

Brand: Compass Box
Category: Blended Scotch Whisky

As you’d expect, solid peat is the first thing out of the glass, but this isn’t just a peat beast. Underneath are honey, dried fruit, and malt. The palate is all about balance, with honeyed malt, raisin, and oak spice all complementing smoky peat. A lush mouthfeel makes you forget it’s cask strength. A pure love note in a glass from Compass Box to Park Avenue Liquor.  (Park Avenue Liquor only)
(Summer 2014) Reviewed by: Geoffrey Kleinman

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92

Orangerie, 40% Price: $45.00

Brand: Compass Box
Category: Flavored Whisky & Liqueurs

Compass Box takes a fresh approach to flavored whisky by infusing Navalino oranges and spices into a blend of Highland single malt and single grain whisky. Bright and slightly bitter orange peel combines with vanilla, honey, and malt. The grain whisky gives nice support and structure along with black pepper, cinnamon, and clove spice. Great balance between the whisky and flavoring in a flavored whisky that is much more dry than sweet. Finally, a flavored whisky to get really excited about.
(Summer 2014) Reviewed by: Geoffrey Kleinman

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92

Benjamin Prichard’s Tennessee Whiskey, 40% Price: $45.00

Brand: Prichard's
Category: Craft Whiskey

Although the Prichard distillery is located in Lincoln County, it has a special exemption from using the Lincoln County Process and isn’t charcoal filtered.  The nose reflects that with bright aromas including caramel, cinnamon, and oak. The entry is sweet caramel corn followed by soft cinnamon and black pepper with a boost from some oak. A medium, slightly dry finish completes a very flavorful but still extremely easy-drinking Tennessee whiskey. This is the crown jewel of the Prichard distillery line.
(Fall 2014) Reviewed by: Geoffrey Kleinman

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91

Benjamin Prichard’s Double Barreled Bourbon, 45% Price: $65.00

Brand: Prichard's
Category: Craft Whiskey

Many distilleries have released bourbon finished in a second barrel, but it’s Prichard’s who was savvy enough to copyright the term “double barreled.”  As you’d expect, the nose is big oak, blending darker, more seasoned oak with lighter, new oak. The palate is unexpectedly balanced, with lush, sweet caramel in perfect sync with spicy oak, black pepper, clove, and cinnamon. That wonderful balance follows through to a medium finish that doesn’t leave you feeling like you’ve been chewing on a barrel.
(Fall 2014) Reviewed by: Geoffrey Kleinman

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90

Bushmills Rum Cask #10623, 43% Price: $125.00

Brand: Bushmills
Category: Irish Single Pot Still

Irish whiskey and rum aren't a common combination, but Bushmills makes a strong case for it with a 19 year old whiskey finished in a rum cask. The rum's influence is clearly present on the nose, with brown sugar that supports Bushmills’ toasted malt. On the palate the rum's dark molasses complements Bushmills’ chocolate malty goodness. Everything balances out in the mid-palate with the addition of oak, which carries through to a semi-dry finish. Superb integration of unlikely cask mates.  (Park Avenue Liquor only)
(Summer 2014) Reviewed by: Geoffrey Kleinman

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90

Edgefield Distillery Hogshead, 46% Price: $40.00

Brand: Edgefield
Category: Craft Whiskey

An American single malt whiskey that brings together the sensibilities of American craft with traditional Scottish and Irish styles with great result. Hogshead’s nose is bright and acidic, with pear, apple, maple, cinnamon, and malted grain. The palate is much spicier than expected, but enjoyably so, with black pepper, oak, cinnamon, and clove mixing well with honeyed malt and pear. The finish is long and slightly dry with a dash of heat. An impressive entry in the craft category.
(Fall 2014) Reviewed by: Geoffrey Kleinman

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89

Exclusive Malts (distilled at Linkwood) 14 year old 1999 Cask # 978, 55.8% Price: $105.00

Brand: Linkwood
Category: Single Malt Scotch

From a Speyside distillery whose malt is more commonly found in blends. An enticing and complex nose balances sweet honey, acidic dried orange, rich walnut, and light smoke. On the palate these elements come together well with complexity and balance. Things get spicy in the mid-palate, with black pepper, salt, ginger, and a bump in smoke. A long finish rounds everything off, showcasing smoke and orange. Lots of character and flavor for an uncommon malt. (U.S. only)
(Fall 2014) Reviewed by: Geoffrey Kleinman

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89

The Exceptional Grain, 43% Price: $100.00

Brand: The Exceptional
Category: Grain Scotch Whisky

The debut release from Don Sutcliffe's Sutcliffe & Sons, this small-batch blend of grain whiskies comes from several different distilleries including Loch Lomond, North British, and a 30 year old whisky from Carsebridge. The blend is married in first-fill sherry casks, which brings bright fruit to a fairly light whisky with notes of blackberry, vanilla, honey, light oak, and iris. Quite good for a grain whisky blend, but falls just short of being exceptional. (U.S. only)
(Summer 2014) Reviewed by: Geoffrey Kleinman

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88

Breaker Bourbon, 45% Price: $50.00

Brand: Breaker
Category: Craft Whiskey

This bourbon is a blend of whiskeys aged a minimum of 5 years, with part of that time spent in California's Central Coastal hills. Breaker leads with a strong oak nose supported by cinnamon and caramel. On the palate, the maritime impact is there: it’s softer and less oaky, with a good balance of cinnamon, caramel, and a touch of clove. Breaker is a very restrained and understated bourbon, but that’s also what makes it so damn likable. Sourced whiskey.
(Fall 2014) Reviewed by: Geoffrey Kleinman

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88

Virgil Kaine Ginger Infused Bourbon, 40% Price: $27.00

Brand: Virgil Kaine
Category: Flavored Whisky & Liqueurs

Ginger may not be the first flavor that leaps to mind when you think flavored whiskey, but then you realize how common the combination is: Jack and Ginger, Jameson and Ginger, and now Virgil Kaine. Fresh ginger is unmistakable on the nose and the secret to this whiskey’s success. On the palate, fresh ginger seamlessly integrates with oak, black pepper, and clove spice. Underneath is sweet vanilla that helps keep everything in balance. A well-executed and savvy flavored whiskey.
(Fall 2014) Reviewed by: Geoffrey Kleinman

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