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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Dalwhinnie Distillers Edition 1992 14 YO $7000
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Laphroaig 18 YO $10000
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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.
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Welcome!

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» Oh Mr. Courvreur.01-SEP-2014
Both Michel Courvreur whiskies I've tasted prior (and both provided, not coincidentally, by my brother) were borderline excellent. I'm going to spoiler this review by saying the third time was not the charm. This is a sherry monster that has some good qualities but fails to bring anything to the table other than casks of sherry.
#614  Michel Courvreur Overaged 12 YO Single Malt Scotch (No Region)
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$5500Bottle 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
             67        
The whisky's score as weighed against the cost of a bottle. Adj. Score
          54           
ABV43%
AwardsNo Medals Awarded
Tasting # 693
1st
Impression
Love the MC bottles. The offset label, the info, the quality, the odd wax top, all good things.
SmellVery mild... bordering on weak. Some oak and orange marmalade. Give it some water and the orange becomes creamsicle and it pulls in a lot of sherry and vanilla.
TasteWow... sherry, sherry and more sherry. Really overly one sided. Water helps bring some oak and fig into the midst but ultimately its sadly a one trick pony. A tasty note to be sure, the sherry is quite smooth and sweet, but not much more than passably recommendable.
Tasting Score67


Review Link» Balcones #225-AUG-2014
If my autocorrect can stop trying to say "Balconies" for a moment I will regale you with an epic tale of how I very much enjoyed the odd Link to another review Baby Blue. Actually that pretty well covers it. Another wonderful gift from my well and truly converted brother, who should have a page of his own.
#613  Balcones Special Reserve NAS Single Malt American (No Region)
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$9500Bottle 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
                 88    
The whisky's score as weighed against the cost of a bottle. Adj. Score
               76      
ABV53%
AwardsTaste Award: Silver
Tasting # 692
1st
Impression
Interesting. It has some nice visual features but a p.o.s. stopper.
SmellWhew! That is a monster at full tilt. A fire breathing dragon of maple syrup and cedar. Raging. Vicious. With water it... well not tames. It seethes. It lurks. It threatens. Gods I'm enjoying it. Minty. Cedar. Pear. Spicey. Oak and oooooak.
TasteAt 53% there's no point, so I'm gingerly adding water. Cedar. Malty. Wood and more wood and wood behind that. Gods it needs water. Ah. There you are. Its like a negotiation. A ... cease fire where we can agree that the wood rage and oily fire are tamed just enough to bring the fruit and honeycomb out. Worlds away from anything I've had. The mint ice cream... how? Delicious. Slippery and woody. Fruity and hard. Luscious. 88
Tasting Score88


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!

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.



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.