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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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94

Scotch Malt Whisky Society Hunting Hound on Holiday 4.180 24 year old 1989, 51.3% Price: $225.00

Brand: Scotch Malt Whisky Society
Category: Single Malt Scotch

From the nose you can tell this is a special whisky, with old, dark, lacquered wood, dusty cigar box, and sea salt combined with dark sweet cherry and a hint of rancio. On the palate it gets even better, with lush, dark cherry perfectly balanced and integrated with oak spice, salt, and peat smoke. There’s clear rancio in the center of it all that's utterly delicious. This stunner finishes with a long, slightly spicy, and entirely lovely finish. (Park Avenue Liquor only)
(Winter 2014) Reviewed by: Geoffrey Kleinman

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93

Exclusive Malts Speyside 25 year old 1989 Cask #3,942, 48.8% Price: $200.00

Brand: Exclusive Malts
Category: Single Malt Scotch

Exclusive Malts doesn't disclose the source distillery, which doesn't matter when you’ve got a whisky that’s a gem. Apple cider defines the nose and is complemented by ginger and iris. On the palate this whisky is lush but well balanced, with honeyed apple cider, gingerbread cookie, and baked apple. In the center of all this is rancio. Ginger spice and baked apple define the finish, which is long and flavorful. Great balance, integration, and flavor. What more can you ask for? (U.S. only)
(Winter 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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90

Scotch Malt Whisky Society Berber Whiskey With a Hint of Smoke 53.199 12 year old, 57.5% Price: $130.00

Brand: Scotch Malt Whisky Society
Category: Single Malt Scotch

Much of Caol Ila’s malt goes into Johnnie Walker blends, so it’s a rare treat to see a cask strength offering. This release is Caol Ila on steroids, featuring a deeply smoky and meaty nose with bacon, campfire, leather, sea salt, and iodine. On the palate, the smoky fire continues to burn with intense smoke and salt combined with sweet honey malt.  An extremely long finish will have you exhaling smoke long after the dram is gone. (Julio’s Liquors only)
(Winter 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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