Scotland Stephenson's Spirits Reviews

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In my work I am lucky enough to have the opportunity to taste many different spirits from all over the world. I have included this section of my spirits reviews on the site as a reference to anyone who may find them useful.

These notes are not meant as commercial reviews, nor do I include a point scoring system of any kind. They are my personal notes. As such, my only disclaimer is that I know they are not the most eloquent tasting notes in the world. My guarantee to you is that they are always honest.

If there is one thing that I have learned in the wine and spirits industry it is that matters of the taste buds are very subjective. There are also always bad days and bad bottles out there in the world, and I have those too. My palate is only one perspective. The most important lesson I ever learned about spirits and wines is that they are meant to be enjoyed. If you are tasting something and you enjoy it, that is the most important thing, no matter what anyone else thinks about it.


Some Random Reviews:

No. 209 Gin

No. 209 Gin

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Review Date: September 14, 2009
Category Info: Gin
Distilled From: Grain - Non-Specific
Retail Price: $$$ ($30-$40) per 750 ml Bottle
Strength: 46%
Origin: United States - San Francisco, California


Tasting Notes:
Winemaker Leslie Rudd restored an old building in Napa that was US registered sitillery number 209. This is a neutral grain base spirit, re-distilled in a pot still with botanicals in the neck.
Botanicals are: bergamont orange, lemon peel, cassia, cardamom, juniper, etc.
Clear with thick legs.
The nose is primarily juniper and citrus (prominently orange peel) On the palate the juniper is very present but not overly bitter. With water the nutmeg and cardamom start to show and the palate becomes far more earthy.
A nice gin in a dry style with some nice citrus notes and good complexity. Worth a try.

Scott's Selection Tullibody North of Scotland 1964 Single Grain

Scott's Selection Tullibody North of Scotland 1964 Single Grain

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Review Date: July 2, 2009
Category Info: Whiskey / Whisky :: Single Grain Whisky
Distilled From: Grain - Non-Specific
Retail Price: luxury ($200+) per 750 ml Bottle
Year Produced: 1964
Year Produced: 2009
Age: 45 year
Strength: 42.4%
Origin: Scotland


Tasting Notes:
Column-distilled single grain whisky.
Beautiful light brown color.
Lively sweet port notes up front lead into rich alcohol spice and a huge and nutty tawny port-like character. The finish is rich and spicy with a subtle note of sweet port.
Excellent whisky. Expensive, but very interesting and rare.

Smokehead

Smokehead

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Review Date: January 8, 2010
Category Info: Whiskey / Whisky :: Single Malt Scotch
Distilled From: Barley
Retail Price: $$$$$ ($50-$100) per 750 ml Bottle
Casking: Oak Non-Specific
Strength: 43%
Origin: Scotland - Islay


Tasting Notes:
Very light golden color. The nose is richly peated and there is a touch of sweetness as well. Relatively light bodied up front on the palate but then huge peat and smoke take over and the mid-palate gets big and heavy. There is enough sweet malt to stand up to the peat and balance well. Great whisky for the peaty/smoky folks with some fun, very-modern looking packaging as well.