Whisky and Words Number 76: Woodford Reserve vs. Knob Creek

Woodford Reserve is the premium bourbon from Brown Forman

Woodford Reserve is the premium whisky from the folks at Brown-Forman, famous for Jack Daniels (as well as some Scotch labels such as BenRiach). Oddly enough Jack Daniels was the favorite tipple of Keith Richards (until he went dry in 2018). He could afford better, and the distillery does make a better whisky. With Woodford, Brown-Forman are going for a higher price and more refined flavor. And to one-up our valiant competitor Knob Creek, Brown-Forman even include a pot still in the Woodford Reserve production, whereas Knob Creek is all column-distilled. But there’s more to whisky than the still.

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Whisky and Words Number 75: Auchentoshan Three Wood

Auchentoshan Three Wood: bourbon, Oloroso, and PX casks

Auchentoshan, uncommon for being a lowland whisky, is also unique for using triple distillation. (Springbank’s Hazelburn line uses the same technique, but no other Scottish distilleries triple-distill routinely.)  Triple distillation used to be more common, since with a mix of grains, you should get a smoother whisky with a third distillation. Over time, the rationale has become moot, as single-malt Scotch has been codified to use only barley malt for the grain, so the expensive extra step for a third distillation isn’t seen as necessary. Auchentoshan continues with the practice to produce a light whisky with fewer heavier oils and proteins from the mash. Since the mash uses only unpeated barley, we’re anticipating a delicate flavor.

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Whisky and Words Number 74: Hudson Whiskey Baby Bourbon

Hudson Baby, a craft Bourbon style from New York.

And now I come to the end of my short stint on American Whiskies. I have a backlog of Scotch I’ll get to work on next. But meanwhile, in their American survey, the Whisky Wafflers tried a Hudson single malt (which did not impress but intrigued anyway). This time we’ve got a more typical American-styled spirit from Hudson. I received this ‘Baby Bourbon’ as a gift and thought we’d put it through its paces. Along the way I’ll compare to the other whiskies tried in this series. I don’t have a lot of craft whiskeys to compare yet so we’ll use the Rogue Dead Guy, recently reviewed, as a benchmark as well as the Knob Creek, which has a more traditional mashbill.

The Hudson Baby Bourbon is a product of Tuthilltown Spirits Distillery, which, as they explain on their website, was founded in 2003 by Ralph Erenzo. Ralph is a pioneering distiller (he predated Rogue’s distillation efforts by about a decade) who helped push through legislation to establish craft distilleries as a legal concerns in New York. So you could say he’s an OG craft distiller. The Hudson brand was sold to William Grant and Sons in 2010. Tuthilltown makes the whiskey, Grant distributes it. This is the Grant of Glenfiddich and Balvenie, among other brands, and have proven to be good stewards of their product.

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Book Review: The Red: First Light

I read a lot of books, and most don’t get reviewed here on the blog. The ones I spend the time to review are ones I find significant (or wacky) in some way. I don’t need to say Linda Nagata’s The Red: First Light is an excellent Sci-Fi novel, as it’s been reviewed many times and nearly captured a brace of prestigious awards. It’s cracking good adventure, has excellent character depth, a delightfully high stakes Alistair MacLean plot and even a believable and heartbreaking love story woven in–the latter not something usually found done well in a Sci-Fi book. I’m not the first to say it’s a worthy carrier of Haldeman’s The Forever War torch in theme, character and tone (yes, many f-bombs).

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Brexit – what’s up with Scotch?

Just a quick hit today as Brexit has happened. For the US-based Scotch drinker, this does not change anything (we’re still paying the Trump Tariffs, grr) but if you are in the EU or UK, you might be wondering what’s in the deal. iLaddie has a post where he’s begun to examine the effects of the Brexit deal on Scotch (and other drinks) HERE.