Uncorked-Wine and Spirits Appreciation

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Christmas Spirits Appreciation

Postby Belgian » Mon Nov 11, 2019 4:17 pm

MatttthewGeorge wrote:
portwood wrote:Anyone looking to "experiment" with Whisk(e)y?
This could be a good place to start:
https://www.lcbo.com/webapp/wcs/stores/ ... ciLl1c3kmR
(I'll update when I pick up my box)

Ordered. Thanks for the heads up.

I usually ignore spirits (that's just me) but this is a pretty nice 'educational' offer. Yes it's $8+ for each 30ml = 2/3 of a shot, but I doubt there's anywhere you could try this many diverse, quality products for close to the price. I owe it to myself to learn about these so I can follow the discussion.
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Re: Christmas Spirits Appreciation

Postby S. St. Jeb » Mon Nov 11, 2019 6:45 pm

Belgian wrote:I owe it to myself to learn about these so I can follow the discussion.

Sometimes ya just gotta do what ya gotta do. :lol:

(I should do the same, but don't think I can really justify the $200 right now).
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Re: Christmas Spirits Appreciation

Postby portwood » Mon Nov 11, 2019 8:51 pm

Belgian wrote:
MatttthewGeorge wrote:
portwood wrote:Anyone looking to "experiment" with Whisk(e)y?
This could be a good place to start:
https://www.lcbo.com/webapp/wcs/stores/ ... ciLl1c3kmR
(I'll update when I pick up my box)

Ordered. Thanks for the heads up.

I usually ignore spirits (that's just me) but this is a pretty nice 'educational' offer. Yes it's $8+ for each 30ml = 2/3 of a shot, but I doubt there's anywhere you could try this many diverse, quality products for close to the price. I owe it to myself to learn about these so I can follow the discussion.

A word of caution:
the samples are all independent bottlings (ie bottled by Master of Malt, not the distillery itself) and NONE of them are available at LCBO. So, if you really like one (or more) you will not be able to buy a full bottle in Ontario. The only place in Canada you can find extensive variety of independent bottlings is Alberta (there are some in Ontario/Quebec, but I've never seen any by Master of Malt).

However, this package is "educational" in the sense that you can sample different styles of whisky (Scotch single malt, Scotch single grain, Scotch blended malt) and whiskey (Bourbon and Irish) without committing to full 750ml bottles of any. If you do find something you like, you can always find similar products at the local KGBO.
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Re: Christmas Spirits Appreciation

Postby portwood » Sat Nov 16, 2019 3:34 pm

portwood wrote:However, this package is "educational" in the sense that you can sample different styles of whisky (Scotch single malt, Scotch single grain, Scotch blended malt) and whiskey (Bourbon and Irish) without committing to full 750ml bottles of any. If you do find something you like, you can always find similar products at the local KGBO.


Having seen the contents, my apologies for recommending this too soon. LCBO received a "poor man's version" of the calendar - recognizable distilleries are virtually missing and all 3 I was looking for are missing.
only one single grain
no blended malt
no Irish
very poor examples of American whiskey/Bourbon (craft whiskey is far from the quality of craft beer relative to the Macros)

I could be wrong (again) but given the number in stock (~1250 as of yesterday) and the fairly unknown distilleries represented, I highly doubt these will sell out before Christmas. If that's the case, 20-30% markdown is inevitable, so I'd wait.

As a whisky geek, given that I've never had a whisky from 5 of the distilleries represented, I'll probably keep the set at full price.
see the list here: https://twitter.com/MarkhamWhisky/statu ... 6628584448
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Vaucher P&F 2016 Fleurie Beauj

Postby Belgian » Sat Nov 16, 2019 10:23 pm

Belgian wrote:Vaucher Père & Fils Fleurie 2016
Here is a nice medium-intensity Cru de Beaujolais. ... - has attractive berry / cherry, sweet black plum, white pepper and violet florals and brush, some mineral and some acidity to give it lift. Gamay doesn't generally have a lot of tannins but this Vaucher has decent structure
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Had another of these, really great Gamay for $16.95 - they call Beauj the 'poor man's Burgundy' and this Cru wine is finer quality than some affordable Burgundy, with the pepper and mineral setting it apart from the Pinot Noir namesake red of the same general France region & terroir. Vaucher Fleurie has a lot of style and some decent depth. It's good stuff & also looks amazing in the glass. Try it slightly cooled down.
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Bila-Haut L'esquerda 2017

Postby Belgian » Sun Nov 17, 2019 12:51 am

Domaine de Bila-Haut L'esquerda 2017

Chapoutier makes some killer Languedoc-Roussillon (SE France) reds, including the lauded Bila-Haut Occultum Lapidem and this L'Esquerda seems equally stellar. Loads of crushed ripe blackberry with a cherry acidity, wild blueberry, Some complex herbal and leather overtones, cocoa and gentle rooty spice. Youthful and a bit round yet dry and structured. Reputed to be a good cellar wine for 6-8 years. Nice!

"Mainly Syrah, and then Grenache and Carignan varieties." I like what they do with Syrah, it's not overly heavy and rich.

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Re: Uncorked-Wine and Spirits Appreciation

Postby JaseWescott » Sun Nov 17, 2019 9:40 am

Whisky Empties
Maverick Rye - not overly complex
Pike Creek Double Barreled Canadian Whisky - I wanted this to be better :roll:
Woodford Reserve Distiller's Select
Dewar's White Label - probably my favourite bottom shelf blended scotch 8)
Grant's Blended Scotch: Sherry Cask Finish - not as good as Dewars? :-?

Cider Empties
Sarah Cole Whip
Farmed & Dangerous
West Avenue Cherry Funk
West Avenue Carlisle Gold
West Avenue Autumn
Niagara No.1 Dry Apple Cider
No Boats On Sunday Cranberry Rosé - cranberry is concentrate?
Brickworks The Burgundy Effect - too much Blackcurrant Juice
Last edited by JaseWescott on Fri Nov 22, 2019 2:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Hidden Bench 2017 Pinot Noir

Postby Belgian » Tue Nov 19, 2019 7:33 pm

Hidden Bench Estate Organic Pinot Noir 2017 vintage now current

Unfiltered for good bottle ageing + organically grown vinestocks. These folks go about making reds like they really want to matter in the big world of wine. This quasi-Burgundian from Beamsville, Ontario has amazing lifted dark sweet cherry notes and long, wild-strawberry compote flavors. It's old-world and a bit of new-world together, doing its very own thing.

There is a tease of fresher ‘vanilla’ new oak combined with the older oak they also use, very light and correct to let the delicate PN flavors shine. There’s an almost minty light herb dryness at first, balancing the fruit. Really nicely put together, I would think this slightly young red would age well - aeration balances it out. Good acid and mineral. An Ontario wine to be truly proud of - for three bucks off through to Dec 01, and should keep another 3-4 years.

Next up, Crema 2016 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir, also $3 off right now but probably not nearly as likeable for my taste.

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Last edited by Belgian on Thu Nov 21, 2019 3:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
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La Crema 2016 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

Postby Belgian » Tue Nov 19, 2019 7:56 pm

La Crema 2016 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

This is OK - maybe needs aeration? - but it's a sweetish, excessively soft and slightly simplistic wine and for my purposes I don't know if it's all that good for even about half its price point.

There is nice smooth berry and cherry, a little balancing acidity, however in striving for that California 'fullness' I feel this red loses out on the complexity that Pinot Noir can express. I believe this wine is determined by a regional style and targeted market that wants these qualities - a different Pinot drinker might prefer a more interesting and layered, dry style from Burgundy France or from one of our better vintners like Hidden Bench, Beamsville (Niagara On The Lake.)

By contrast to the simple sweetness of La Crema, the Hidden Bench 2017 was a little bit challenging and herbal at first, making it ultimately a lot more layered, fun and exciting to drink - day 1 and especially day 2. I will let the La Crema 2016 gain some aeration and see if this alleviates some of the apparent flatness of the presentation (it's only fair.) Otherwise I'd hardly revisit it. Maybe get the delicous and far less expensive Meiomi Pinot Noirinstead to get the 'full style' Cali Pinot experience.

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Époque Terroir 2016 Bergerac Merlot/CabFranc

Postby Belgian » Wed Nov 20, 2019 6:22 pm

Époque Collection Terroir 2016 Bergerac Merlot/Cabernet Franc

Here is basically a Bordeaux red really that isn't one. It's from the Southwest, it borders the region, and it shares both Bordelais grape types and often overlapping Terroir (clay-limestone soils.) The Merlot seems to dominate with an overall cherry-fruity sweetness (rescued by well-tamed tannins and the 'cherry' acidiy) and the Cab Franc seems to lend both herbality and cedary notes. There is mineral. It's maybe a little soft where it could be drier and firmer, but I could be hyercritical as the wine still opens up. The hint of wooliness is not bad.

Don't know if this alleged 92-score wine is 'great' value but it's certainly well on point for a 'drink it now or even stash a few' Bordeaux type everyday wine. Chateau La Brie was the last Bergerac here I really liked. It sold very fast. These can be great wines but quality varies.

Day 2: The profile does dry up with some aeration, still far from an incredible red but at least acceptable, you just want to decant it for oxygen exposure. (The La Crema did not get any better in my opinion, but ehh people seem to like it.)
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Teyssier 2016 Montagne-St-Émilion

Postby Belgian » Thu Nov 21, 2019 8:59 pm

Château Teyssier 2016 Montagne-St-Émilion (Merlot Blend)

Here is a nice Right Bank Bordeaux with of course mostly Merlot in the blend and, in this case a bit of Cab Sauv and/or Cab Franc.. Very taut and stylish right when we open it, this can only get better with some air as there are dense, dark complex fruits and enough tannins and acids to keep the overall structure dry enough.

Sandalwoody spice and licorice. Merlot lushness of blueberry/blackberry against attractive herbality. Worth getting one or three. Roger Voss might say keep this another year or so to soften the tannins. So good!

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Re: Uncorked-Wine and Spirits Appreciation

Postby sofakingdrunk » Sun Nov 24, 2019 3:38 pm

Writers tears Copper Pot.
I was in the store looking for a cheap single malt scotch for around 50$ but couldn’t really find anything that I wanted. I’m not usually an Irish whisky guy as I find them a bit too sweet, but I took a Punt on this as it was coming with two nice glasses and I needed some everyday whisky glasses.
This whisky far exceeded my expectations. Not overly sweet, yet still with a soft silky honey body. Some citrus vanilla and even a little bit of warm baking spices. I’m getting a touch of smokiness in it as well, and just a hint of oak. Super smooth finish. Unlike any other Irish whisky I’ve had(not many, to be fair) top notch.
I’m thinking of making my own blend, taking some of this and mixing it with the bottle of Ardbeg 10 I’ve been drinking.

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