Practical Whisky?
Practical (prak-ti-kuhl) Adjective: Having the virtue of being realistic and useful, a decision based in pragmatism.

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.
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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.

Salude!
-- Brian --



Recent Updates (last 30 days)     RSS feed
Review Link» Damnation 4 of 5: Ginger Whiskey?15-DEC-2014
While I like Ginger Ale, I despise ginger beer and anything with ginger as a main ingredient, so take that into account here.
#629  Damnation Alley 6 Month Whiskey with Ginger NAS Liqueur American
This cost is what I found the likely shelf price for a 750ml bottle to be, based on an average of costs throughout the USA. Your price may differ significantly. This is not an advertisement of sale, this bottle is likely empty by now anyway Cost$7500Bottle Image. Image is © Practical Whisky. Bottle, logo and other trademarked imagery are © their respective owners.
00-09:Horrid
10-19:Awful
20-29:Unpleasant
30-39:Poor
40-49:Below Average
50-59:Average
60-69:Recommendable
70-79:Very Good
80-89:Excellent
90-99:Fantastic
Taste Score
          54           
The whisky's score as weighed against the cost of a bottle. Adj. Score
      30               
ABV38%
Misc:Batch 15 Bottle 7
AwardsNo Medals Awarded
Tasting # 708
1st
Impression
Same bottles, same thoughts: Bare bones but workable.
SmellGinger. Ginger. Ginger. Its ginger and ginger ale and probably some other notes that I can't possibly get to
TasteDry and odd. Like a flat ginger ale and vodka drink. Almost flat diet ginger ale plus some wood notes that don't quite gel. Curious stuff, an interesting novelty but not my idea of a good dram and thus far my least favorite. Credit for trying something new, hope someone loves it but barely palatable. My only consolation is that it doesn't taste like it smells. 54.
Tasting Score54


Review Link» Damnation 3 of 5: Three Months times Two08-DEC-2014
And what will those next three months bring us?
#628  Damnation Alley 6 Month Whiskey NAS Blended American
This cost is what I found the likely shelf price for a 750ml bottle to be, based on an average of costs throughout the USA. Your price may differ significantly. This is not an advertisement of sale, this bottle is likely empty by now anyway Cost$7500Bottle Image. Image is © Practical Whisky. Bottle, logo and other trademarked imagery are © their respective owners.
00-09:Horrid
10-19:Awful
20-29:Unpleasant
30-39:Poor
40-49:Below Average
50-59:Average
60-69:Recommendable
70-79:Very Good
80-89:Excellent
90-99:Fantastic
Taste Score
              70       
The whisky's score as weighed against the cost of a bottle. Adj. Score
         48            
ABV40%
Misc:Batch 13 Bottle 2
AwardsTaste Award: Bronze
Tasting # 707
1st
Impression
The bottles are simple and straightforward. Almost without any branding.
SmellMore wood and less sweetness than the 3 month. There's still that strange herbal note that has shifted from garlic to something more earthy, almost mushrooms.
TasteRaw cane sugar and cream, very sweet! I guess all that sweeness moved from the nose to the taste in 3 months. Barley and wheat crackers in the build and some oak (finally) appearing in the fade. Adds pepper, corn and a bit of vanilla. A bit erratic and still young but the age is working. Moving on up beyond just recommendable!
Tasting Score70


Review Link» Damnation 2 of 5: Three Months01-DEC-2014
Three Months? That's barely a baby! Here's hoping that those were good months.
#627  Damnation Alley 3 Month Whiskey NAS Blended American
This cost is what I found the likely shelf price for a 750ml bottle to be, based on an average of costs throughout the USA. Your price may differ significantly. This is not an advertisement of sale, this bottle is likely empty by now anyway Cost$7500Bottle Image. Image is © Practical Whisky. Bottle, logo and other trademarked imagery are © their respective owners.
00-09:Horrid
10-19:Awful
20-29:Unpleasant
30-39:Poor
40-49:Below Average
50-59:Average
60-69:Recommendable
70-79:Very Good
80-89:Excellent
90-99:Fantastic
Taste Score
             66        
The whisky's score as weighed against the cost of a bottle. Adj. Score
        44             
ABV42%
Misc:Batch 18 Bottle 38
AwardsNo Medals Awarded
Tasting # 706
1st
Impression
Again: Bottles are simple. Hopefully if the distillery takes off they'll have the time to build a brand.
SmellSpicy. Odd. Maple and garlic? Oats.
TasteWoah. Spicy is right, oregano and barley, tastes a tad like porridge with odd spices on it with a fairly big growl of alcohol under. Young grain notes build to thin wheat crackers and grass. Very fast fade, all those big notes die off and it rests back on corn and barley. 66
Tasting Score66


Review Link» Damnation 1 of 6: The House24-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.



Site Layout
  • 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
  • » 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?


Whisky Cred
  • 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.


Boring Notices
  • 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.