Whisky (hwis-kee) Noun: A liquor distilled from a fermented mash of grain (barley, rye, or corn) containing at least 40% ethyl alcohol. Also: Whiskey, Rye, Scotch, Bourbon. From: Uisge Beatha, Aqua Vitae, Eau de Vie.
Last May, it was Chardonnay! Wait... what?
Visit the Event Page to see all previous taste events.
→ You can click on a number of things to take you to detailed reviews. For example:
Balvenie 12yo Doublewood Single Malt Scotch
Each of the above colors will take you to a different set of reviews. One (Balvenie) takes you to all the Balvenies (including the 12yo) The second second link takes you directly to the 12yo review. The type of whisky, Single Malt, will take you to a list of Single's and Scotland will take you to every whisky from that country.
There are dozens of excellent web sites out there that extol the virtues of fantastic whisky. Fantastic in taste, fantastic in character and sadly, often fantastic in price. I have no lack of respect for the whisky aficionados who can dedicate the time, energy and money to tasting all the whiskies that I can't afford, and I salute them with glass held high. That salute will just have to employ a dram of practical whisky.
Practical Whisky, this site, contains my reviews of whiskies that I've sampled, from Scotches , Irishes and Canadians to Single Malts, Bourbons and Blends and how “practical” I think they are. I make recommendations like those found in the Random Dram widget to the left, check the lower review for whiskies that score well in both the taste and cost departments. There will also be news and updates on the goings on in the practical whisky market as I become aware of them. Look for new whiskies every Monday plus whatever else I can squeeze in on Fridays. Be sure and come back and see what's new.
I hope the site is entertaining and useful, or at least one of the two.
-- Brian --
|» Damnation 1 of 6: The House||24-NOV-2014|
|Damnation Alley distillery is jumping into the Massachusetts distilling revival. With the state allowing small distilleries to make and sell spirits, I've seen a host of new whiskies from the state including Bully Boy and Berkshire. Now, I have the chance to review 6 whiskies (or nearly whiskies due to age) from Damnation Alley.|
|» Brought to you by the founder herself.||17-NOV-2014|
|SIA whisky is a storied bottle: kickstarter campaign by a woman with a dream, finding her passion and sharing it with the world. SIA has taken a modern, 21st century approach to Scotch, avoiding the typical marketing hype and make believe historicity that has often left me cynical and tired. Will this be a breath of fresh air in my glass?|
|» I love beer, beer beer beer.||10-NOV-2014|
|I love Sam Adams. In some alternate universe I have a practical beer dot net review site because I never fell into anything incredible like a Springbank or Ardbeg that blew my mind and trumps my love for beer. And on that list of loved beer is the Boston Beer Company, which happens to sit somewhere in relatively close distance to my most amazing whisky patron Joe. There are amazing local brews that I love as much or more, but Sam Adams has been a fave for longer than I can remember. This, amazingly, is an awesome intersection between the two. May the whisky gods bless you well, Mr. Jim Koch. Odd aside, I almost forgot I had this in stock and had to hold back from killing the bottle very recently. Today, I fix all that... and hopefully recover from my most recent (cough) unpleasantness.|
|» Fixes and more fixes||10-NOV-2014|
|Not sure how I broke the database (again? Good grief Brian!) but it's fixed. Normal reviews will resume and the missed reviews are now up and running.|
|» And here ends the streak...||03-NOV-2014|
|Three months of great whisky. Three. Were you paying attention? Three solid months and only 2 were below 70! Add to that a slew of 80s and even a few 90s and this has been a streak! But streaks end. Spoiler alert, Hochstadter R&R is not for the weak of heart or weak of sweet tooth. It is a beast, and not in the good flavor department. This was a birthday gift from my brothers, who picked it up hoping it would be awful or awesome. Mission accomplished.|
|» Halloween Dreams of Japanese Peat||27-OCT-2014|
|A donation from the key sponsor of PW, my brother Joe. Japanese whiskies are making noise on the international scene, winning accolades and awards over Scotch rivals. How will Hakushu stand up? Stay tuned! or ... y'know, read on.|
- Index: The page you are on. Right now. Presently even.
- Reviews: The raison d'etre of the site where the reviews go to congregate and establish pecking orders. This is important, get moving
- » Brand Listing: A breakdown of brands for ease of location or general interest
- » Events: A subsection of reviews, with a ranked list of whiskies for each taste event.
- » About Whisky: Start your education here.
- » About PW: Info about how this site works and what some things mean.
- » Stats: Lies, damn lies and statistics.
- Tops: The top (and bottom) 5% of the list and the tops of each style. If you want to know the best of the best, go here.
- History: Will eventually contain everything I've ever done. Ever. For now it's just the history of this site. Sanitized for your protection.
- My 2¢: Rants and raves about ... well, whisky related topics mostly. Gripping stuff.
- Links: Places to go when you're tired of being here. I refuse to make this one a link because I don't want you to leave. See how much I care?
Member of the Ardbeg Committee
One of the finest Islays, and the 10YO is legendary.
Ambassador of Maker's Mark
Don't be put off by the hype as I was. MM is a fine bourbon and a perfectly Practical Whisky.
Companion of Aberlour
Speysiders that will warm your heart without draining your wallet.
Balvenie Club Member
One of my first, and I've yet to find a Balvenie I haven't liked.
Compass Box Hedonists Society
Master mixers and Lords of variety. Expand your horizons here.
Striding Man Society
If all you know is the Red Label, you don't know Johnnie.
Glenmorangie Kindred Spirits
They once made the perfect 10YO, I still love them despite changing her.
Member of the Springbank Society
My first true Scotch and the bar by which all others have been measured.
Jim Beam Brotherhood of Bourbon
Beam Black is nearly the definition of Practical Whisky in Bourbon.
Glenfarclas Friend of the Family
Glenfarclas is a wonder and impossible to find locally outside the 10 and 12. Luckily a buddy loves the 21 and so I get a taste reminder once in a while.
- This site is not offering anything for sale. Should I ever decide to offer anything for sale it will not include anything produced or trademarked by a whisky company.
- I receive no compensation for doing reviews, linking to manufacturers web sites or for doing anything else in relation to this page.
The images on this site are eiter:
- Original works created by me
- Photographs of bottles taken by me for purposes of review
- Images taken from official sources for identification under Fair Use provision of the Copyright Act for purposes of Review and Criticism.
- The links on the links page and distillery data pages lead to the companies that produce the whiskies and are provided explicitly without agreeing to any "Linking Policy" presented by the company in question. The proliferation of these unenforceable policies is ridiculous and I refuse to be a party to it. The company web pages are public information, I am presenting them clearly as addresses to be visited for further information, I am linking only to the top level entry page of the site with no framing and I offer no option to deep link. Should the company in question complain, I'll just add a link to a Google search for their name and let Google's lawyers fight it out. The content of those pages is outside of my control, such links do not represent any endorsement by myself or the linked company and should you choose to follow those links, I am no longer in control of your internet destiny.
- The images of bottles clearly include copyrighted works, and are presented under the Fair Use Statute of the Copyright Act for purposes of review and criticism. All trademarks and copyrights are held by the companies represented.
- It sucks that I should have to even consider posting this legaleese here, but that's the world we live in.
- Isn't this text TINY! Man, you could get a migrane reading this.