Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Glenrothes, Widow Jane (MGP), JD Barrel Proof, Samples rampancy control

I have somewhat of a glut of samples. Some are great some not so much. I’ll be rapidly reviewing some of them with to get it out of the way.

Glenrothes Reserve Sample Pack
Bourbon Cask Reserve
Bottle notes: Coconut and vanilla, rich and sweet.
My notes: Malt and sweet, oak, and bits of bourbon spice. Pleasant.
Sherry Cask Reserve
Bottle notes: Spicy ginger, Orange peel. Sherry oak.
My notes: In line with bottle notes. Spicy ginger sherry
Vintage Reserve
Bottle notes: Mellow, light fruits, citrus and honey.
My notes: Somewhat in-between of the first two. More mellow than sherry, spicier than the bourbon cask. Arguably the most interesting of the three.
I wish Glenrothes didn’t bottle just about everything at low proof. These samples are 40%, yet still plenty malty and flavor forward. Their old vintage bottles are 43%. Hardly anything is over 48%. That being said, I paid $10 for the 3 pack. No regrets, expectations met. Solid, drinkable, makes for a good present/intro into main scotch styles.
Score: B-

Widow Jane 12 Single Barrel 99 proof(MGP)
A solid MGP pick with nothing outstanding but nothing missing. Baking spices and wood in balance with MGP vanilla sweetness. Possibly too much wood as it becomes little bitter with oxygen. As a package, this is somewhat similar to K&L’s SAOS, reviewed here: https://www.aerin.or … y:entry200729-002755. Solid bourbon, way above the average, bordering on great.
Score: B+

Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Barrel Proof #18-8295; 128.9 proof
Fire! lots of fire, wood and spices. Boy this thing is alcohol forward! Then come tons and tons of wood and spice and sugar. It’s tasty but really alcohol forward and doesn’t make me reach for more than one pour by itself. Mostly a mix of generic bourbon flavors in this one. Nothing bad, nothing outstanding. If anything its almost better to be used to proof something up or on the rocks to cut that alcohol. Lovers of fiery Elijah Craig Barrel Proof releases will find this quite up their alley though. I’m glad I’ve tried it to cover tasting/distillery bases. Cheap Jack is not my cup of whiskey, but their barrel proof releases are reasonably drinkable, but I’m not going to be missing this particular profile. Is it drinkable? Yes. Is it one to instantly buy in the store? Not particularly. As a side note, with bourbon prices rising sharply this could be one of the few semi-available barrel proofs in its particular price bracket and of course with each bottle being a single cask your mileage may vary on the flavor and alcohol balance notes.
Score: B-

Scoring Breakdown: https://www.aerin.or … age=scores_breakdown