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.
Tasting Schedule
New tastings every Monday.
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Balvenie 12yo Doublewood Single Malt Scotch
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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» Its pure. Its Japanese. Its other things.18-AUG-2014
A gift from my brother, who a key patron for my cause. I know nothing of this bottle that you can't learn from the picture. My research is limited to what's in my glass.
#612  Nikka Taketsuru 12 YO Pure Malt Vatted Japanese
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$9000Bottle 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
                81     
The whisky's score as weighed against the cost of a bottle. Adj. Score
           57          
ABV40%
AwardsTaste Award: Silver
Tasting # 691
1st
Impression
The label looks like money. Seriously. Theres a face and strange characters and lots of numbers. This should be currency.
SmellOddly herbal. Anise and Basil. Some wood I don't know from anything that people probably used to make ships out of or something equally exotic. Lets say teak. Do you know what it smells like? Me either, but this is an odd wood so go with that. Maple syrup. Mangoes. I swear I could keep going. Its a wall of smells.
TasteOk. Well whiskyteers, this is a unique beast. All that confusion in the nose is gone, like an orchestra tuning up, and now we we have a symphony. The opening is clean in flavor but slippery in feel. It starts almonds and a faint malt and finds cooked green apples and cinnamon. The end is a slippery slide into sweet cream and pine nuts and a dusty malted milk goodness. Odd but delicious. A lady in the glass but a monster in the nose. Delicious. 81
Tasting Score81


Review Link» The UnMothballed11-AUG-2014
Glenglassblower came back from the dead in 2008 thanks to an upswing in demand I'm thrilled to see a new distillery open, but young whisky is often harsh or uneven. Lets see!
#611  Glenglassaugh Revival NAS Single Malt Scotch (Speyside)
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$6500Bottle Image. Image is © Practical Whisky. Bottle, logo and other trademarked imagery are © their respective owners.
BottlerOfficial Bottling
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
              71       
The whisky's score as weighed against the cost of a bottle. Adj. Score
           56          
ABV46%
AwardsTaste Award: Bronze
Tasting # 690
1st
Impression
The bottle is nice, but it looks like most of the other bottles on my shelf.
SmellFloral and minerals. Big and flowery and woof... that is potent. Its approaching mouthwash and white pepper. Unripe pears. Necco waiters.
TasteIts.. remarkably tame given that monster nose. Obviously a bit young. Tastes like pinot gris and mineral water. Goes through some nice wood and salted caramel flavors then slips quietly into orange saltwater taffy. Odd nose meets reserved upstarted. 71
Tasting Score71


Review Link» Sample-fest: Talisker04-AUG-2014
So my new favorite tradition is my younger brother bringing me the last bits of his bottles. Maybe its payback for introducing him to Scotch or gratitude for room & board. Regardless, free awesome drinks.
#610  Talisker Storm NAS Single Malt Scotch (Islands)
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$6500Bottle Image. Image is © Practical Whisky. Bottle, logo and other trademarked imagery are © their respective owners.
BottlerOfficial Bottling
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
               77      
The whisky's score as weighed against the cost of a bottle. Adj. Score
            64         
ABV45%
AwardsTaste Award: Bronze
Tasting # 688
1st
Impression
Love this bottle. Beautiful and inviting.
SmellSalty. Buttery. Tiny bit flowery. Big honey. Its very much an islander with a solid brine and hard wood growl. Big and expressive.
TasteObviously needs water, 45% has some bite. Still it carries a big salty wave of oak with a floral top. Big heat though, on to the water. Its really a balancing act with the water. The brine goes from beautiful to weak salty nothing. The floral top can vanish. The honey and spice get muddy. Against all that you have to tamethat burn. But there is a wonderful, delicious glass if you can find it. It builds to a slight sweetness that pulls smoke and a light peat and all that salt in at the end.
Tasting Score77


Review Link» First Kilchoman28-JUL-2014
Kilchoman is officially the youngest distillery on Islay. I've avoided the early offerings because they were very limited, very young, and very expensive. This is alleged to be around 7 years old. Now I will definitely be on the lookout for more!

Review Link» Seven EVSBVs and none were less than recommendable21-JUL-2014
I love the Ev, the singles are a new experience every year and are almost always wonderful glasses, so there's a lot lot lot to live up to here.



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.