Friday, November 29, 2013

Whisky Writer Circle Profile - Davin de Kergommeaux, bird of a different feather...

Years ago I did a training session at work where we discovered what our conflict management style was. Any guesses as to what mine is? Well it wasn't the wise owl that's for sure.  It is the woodpecker... :/

Woodpecker: "They are clear on what needs to be done to resolve the situation, are not afraid to say so and will hammer away at their point until the other person agrees. They don't waste time on niceties and their main concern is getting the other party to at least see things their way." Pretty accurate, in the event you've never seen my passionate banters on twitter... So I'm considered a bit bold, in your face and not scared to say: Listen here A _ _ Hole, you are pissing me off. (Insert embarassed face here)

So in walks Davin into my life about 2 years ago: Calm, collected and cool as a cucumber. The wise "owl" that is spectacled, well dressed, verbally cunning and always tactful. What does he do, he befriends me. He sees the potential in me (somewhere) and provides much needed advice and guidance - not only on whisky related things. He is a life coach as well as fantastic mentor to me and I've never met anyone who emulates what the #whiskyfabric means as much as he does. 

A bit about Davin: He actually started his path as a trained wine sommelier, surprised?  Don't be, much of the same techniques are used when it comes to scents, flavours and appreciating the complexities. How did he fall into whisky, well let's just say he's been surrounded by Canadian whisky since birth albeit didn't taste any until well into his 20's. Davin's probably tasted & created 100's of Scotch notes over the years but his passion and love truly lie in all things Canadian Whisky. He owns and runs the only non-commercial website in our country that is dedicated to Canadian Whisky and has made it a mission to elevate our national treasure by sharing his knowledge and passion. 

What drove Davin to write a book about it? He saw the beauty in the story, the history and how it moulded our country as well as its people. If you don't believe me when I say Davin is passionate and loyal, let me add that he spent close to 8 years crawling through old dusty archive rooms, thousands of hours researching every distillery across Canada and endless days writing to create Canadian Whisky, the Portable Expert.
It has won several prestigicious awards and has elevated the portfolio of Canadian Whisky into the international limelight. On the side (hehe) he is the contributing Canadian editor for Whisky Magazine as well as a regular contributor to other publications.  

Ladies and Gentlemen, I present my next whisky writer:  Certified Malt Maniac, Canadian Whisky Expert, Mentor and best of all my friend:  Davin de Kergommeaux. 

 Thanks for including me in this series and sorry if I wrote more about others than I did myself. (My note: Davin at his core!)

Q1: So how did you get “here”? When you were a little boy, I’m sure you didn’t say: “When I grow up I want to be a whisky writer”?

"No, but I did always have a keen interest in writing. I had a regular column (pop music) in the high school newspaper, at different times edited two entertainment monthlies, took a journalism course as an adult, and have been publishing on the whisky web since 1998.

Honestly, most publishing opportunities have come to me. My great mentor (though he may cringe to hear it) is Dave Broom, who every now and then sends me an encouraging note. He was the first serious writer to take me seriously and he even acquiesced to having me write the Canada chapter in his World Atlas of Whisky. That is one of the most authoritative and engaging whisky books on the market today. Dave is not a hack and does not write cut-and paste-books, so his including me gave me a real confidence boost and real credibility. Dave is a brilliant writer who has chosen to write about whisky. Check out his piece in the Michael Jackson tribute book. It is a real lesson in descriptive prose.

Dominic Roskrow has also been a huge support. He and I were talking about an article for Whisky Magazine, then he left as editor, and the piece didn’t happen. Not long after he invited me to contribute to his 1001 Whiskies book. What an honour (and a challenge) that was. He was just super at guiding me through the process of writing a book. He taught me to work quickly, focus on key information and keep to a strict word count. He’s a real pro. I guess he liked my work because he came back to me when he was writing The Whisky Opus and asked if I could cover Canada for him. That was more fun and again, a great learning experience. I see both of my Dominic books in bookstores all over the world."

Q2: What motivates you to be in this part of the industry? Sometimes it can be quite unkind and very few can make a living doing this?

"I enjoy being part of the community. I have made so many friends and we talk about a lot more than just whisky. I say that the best part of whisky is the people we drink it with. It’s a really convivial crowd. However, wherever I am, whatever I am doing, I will be writing – whisky or not. Still, whisky is so interesting and there is so much to learn and so many stories left to tell (and myths to bust)."

Q3: What sacrifices or tough decisions have you made to get to where you are now?

"The most important lesson I learned in grad school was to follow my nose. So, I really can’t call anything a sacrifice. If life hadn’t led me here, it would have led me somewhere else just as interesting. I will never be wealthy, but I don’t measure success in monetary terms. I try to take a positive attitude to life, I try to see the best in people, and that said, I do my best to avoid negative people and influences." 

Q4: If you could go back in time and talk to Davin de Kergommeaux in 1984, what would you want to tell him?

"Spend more time with your family."

Q5: Are you able to share some of your upcoming projects or plans with us?

"I have a new book in the works. I am very excited about it but it is premature to share the details. It is another piece that treads new ground and requires a lot of research, so it will be a few more years before it is finished."

Anything else you would like to share with everyone?

"I’ll end with my frequent advice to myself: Remember, it’s just whisky. Enjoy it and the people who you share it with. Don’t sweat it if you miss a great dram. There is always a better one coming. ALWAYS. Don’t let experts, self-proclaimed or otherwise, intimidate you. There is no correct way to taste or enjoy whisky. Or to put it the other way, there is no incorrect way to enjoy whisky, even if others might disagree. Question the received wisdom, it’s often wrong. Be open to new whisky experiences and don’t take your whisky or yourself too seriously."

End of interview...

One the things I've discovered about Davin as well as many of the other writers I admire is the way the handle the situations they are presented with. They are witty, smart and all have a sense of humor. I will certainly work on developing those characteristics. 

Davin recently appeared at our NB Spirits Festival and did a Master Class about World Whiskies: It was interesting, poignant and humorous.  A few participants told me afterwards it was one of the best classes they had ever attended and I know for a fact at least 5 of them went to buy the Red Breast 12 and Amrut Fusion he showcased. The man's got class, patience and carries a flask of Canadian whisky, what more could you really want in a mentor?

André Girard, myself & Davin = Canadian dream team #whiskyfabric

Our whisky roots and ancestors may come from Scotland, Ireland and England, but I assure you Canadian Whisky and Davin are quite unique and I for one am thankful for both.  

Tune into #DavinTT2 on Dec 1, 8, 15 and 22nd. Lots of fun, a grand prize and a chance to talk to Davin on Twitter.   

Cheers from the Canadian trail!


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Bye bye Bailey's... Here comes Forty Creek Whisky Cream Liquor...

This past weekend, Graham and I were experimenting with some new alcoholic products (Shelter Point Single Malt Vodka) so we could create signature cocktails for an upcoming Christmas party we are hosting. One of my favorites we created I named the Forty Mochatini which is made with Forty Creek Whisky Cream Liquor. I am embarassed to say that since discovering it last year Graham and I have gone through 5 bottles. It's not just great in your coffee. It's delicious on ice, it's fantastic on ice cream (YES ice cream) and now I can't wait to share it with friends at our party.  
Forty Mochatini recipe: In two martini glasses drizzle a bit of dark chocolate fudge sauce in a circular pattern. Set aside. Fill shaker with two ice cubes and add:
2 parts vodka (I used a single malt vodka), 2 parts Forty Creek Whisky Cream Liquor, 1 part White Crème de Cocoa & 1/4 cup chocolate milk  Shake and pour into martini glasses. Enjoy now, thank me later :)
So here is a reprint of the original review I did of Forty Creek Cream on November 26 2012.

Nobody panic!? There are only 29 shopping days left until Christmas 2012.  If you are going to be having an ugly Christmas sweater party or simply entertaining I highly recommend you run to your liquor store and get Forty Creek Whisky Cream which is available ACROSS CANADA, well except Quebec (sorry guys).   I love the story behind how this was created. A few Christmas's ago John Hall's wife of 40 years, Eileen, brought home a bottle of Bailey's Irish Cream Whisky for the holidays. John saw it in the liquor cabinet and could not believe his eyes. Mrs. Hall defended herself by commenting: "It's just not Christmas without a bottle of Irish Cream John". John, in his usual ability, decided he could do better. He made up his own homemade version and that's how Forty Creek Whisky Cream came to life. What is in the bottle today is a refined version of that original recipe. When you look at international whisky sales, Irish whiskey is dwarfed by the sales volume of Canadian whisky yet there wasn't one Canadian distillery making a whisky cream liquor. So yet again, John was an innovator and as a result created the first one made with Canadian whisky and fresh Ontario cream.

Until this existed, I too had the proverbial bottle of Bailey's in our liquor cabinet. So when my Forty Creek arrived I opened it immediately: At work. It was my lunch hour and a Friday. I sit off in a corner by myself where most can't see me. I stared at the box for no more than 5 minutes before I broke down and opened it. I twisted the cap off and took a long whiff. My mouth watered because it smelled delicious and then I did something I had never done before: I went over to the water cooler, grabbed a Dixie cup and poured myself a small dram. Lovely I thought to myself as I sat at my desk with my feet up and that's when my co-worker Dave came around the corner.  

BUSTED! I giggled and tried explaining what I was doing (like it needed any explanation). He sat on the corner of my desk smiling and listened to me talk about Forty Creek. Then he did something that surprised me. He went and got a Dixie cup and came back to my desk?! I poured him some whisky cream and we sat sipping away together. He liked it so much he said he was going to buy some right after work to take home to his wife. I said, well it's coming to New Brunswick but not for a little while yet. "Where can I get it now?" he said as he pushed his Dixie cup forward without hesitation. "Ontario", I answered as I poured another couple of drams for both of us. He thanked me for the mid afternoon treat and went back to his desk. I put everything away and went back to work. (AND this is where I insert a disclaimer that no driving or operating of any heavy machinery took place within 4 hours of the 2 oz drams we ingested, :) 

About 20 minutes later he poked his head in my cubicle and said with a big Cheshire cat grin:  "I've got a case coming next week". I stared at him for a moment and said: "What?". "Yup, my brother lives in Mississauga. I just called him at work, told him to pick me up a case and bring it down when he comes home for a visit next week. Thanks again. I can't wait to surprise Barb" and off he went again.  

I laughed out loud for a moment but then it hit me: I loved it that much and so did Dave.  What would happen if I did a little bit of an experiment and put it head to head in a blind tasting against Bailey's Irish Cream? Graham and I had two upcoming parties we would be attending and I also had a few more ideas I wanted to try. I immediately began planning my social experiment. I called our hosts and explained what I was trying to accomplish; they thought it was a great idea. I also contacted a few fellow bloggers and sent them a sample to try as well. The first party we attended was a bunch of our friends that we sail with. I set up a table in their living room with 25 samples of the Forty Creek and the same for the Bailey's. I asked people to simply choose which of the two tasted the best, sample A or sample B and they could add comments if they liked.  After about an hour I went to check and all the samples were gone. I did the same at the next party I was at as well.  The three fellow bloggers also put on their own little experiment and got back to me with their results (UK, USA and Alberta). 

37 people total took the challenge and 29 preferred the Forty Creek. That's 78.4%.   4 of the 8 who chose Bailey's stated they liked it better because it didn't taste like coffee (something all 4 disliked in general), one said the Bailey's wasn't as harsh and 2 people stated they preferred the sweeter nature of Bailey's. The last person surveyed said they liked neither.  

Some of the comments on Forty Creek:  "Caramel macchiato yumminess, NOT my mom's Irish cream, Creamy with a kick at the end, Delicious and warming. After the reveal most were surprised and a few asked if it was more expensive then Bailey's.  "Nope, same price", I smiled.  My job here is done! 

My bottle made it home but barely as the host was convinced he should keep it. Graham and I have tried this several ways to the point my first bottle is almost empty (I bought two more at the NB Spirits Festival on the weekend). I have to say my most favorite way of enjoying the Forty Creek Cream is in my late afternoon or weekend coffees. It brings a satisfying feeling and warmth that makes it quite special.


Nose:  Rich, creamy chocolate covered coffee beans.  The distinctive Forty Creek butterscotch comes through but more like a caramel milk chocolate bar.  

Palate:  This is so creamy and has just the right amount of sweetness to it. You get chocolate, coffee and caramel and then the whisky appears!  Absolutely lovely.  Very smooth and enjoyable to drink.

My favorite coffee mug - Alison Gayton (

For those who read my blogs regularly you know I am a HUGE fan of Forty Creek and all they offer. This is yet another reason why. John manages to create something that doesn't currently exist on the market for whisky creams:  BALANCE. This is sweet but not sugary. It taste creamy yet not artificial. The best part which is where I think he's a master at his art is he finds a way to sneak in the Forty Creek signature whisky without it interfering or overwhelming the delicate nature of the cream and flavors. 

It's the perfect balanced whisky cream:  Sweet, caramel creamy with hints of chocolate and coffee, then a surprising little whisky zing just when you are not expecting it.  

It's exclusive to Canada and not available anywhere else. 

Santa, if you are reading this, I've been an extra good Whisky Lassie this year and would love 8, hmmm... no a case of this in my stocking please :)
Enjoying my whisky trail finds, happy Christmas shopping everyone!

Whisky Lassie 

PS -> I have a few bottles of Bailey's Irish Cream to give away. FOR FREE! I won't be needing them anymore. 
My Forty Creek Whisky Cream is here to stay.   

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Whisky Writer Circle - Profile Martine Nouet - the breath of whisky...

Demeter, Goddess of Grain
Years ago when I started to amass literature about whisky it was quite apparent there were very few female writers, well except one. I mostly saw her articles and whisky ratings in a few magazines that my father in law bought. Then I went "looking" and found a book Martine wrote entitled:  Les routes du Malt. The book was impossible to find in North America but 75 euros in UK, plus shipping.. Hmmph! I settled on the fact that I would keep looking. Since then, I have had the pleasure of meeting Martine several times and participated in her tastings or whisky/food pairings. She is a delight to watch in action and one of the best presenters I have come across. She is truly passionate about what she does and there is no doubt in my mind the woman is an artist and lover of all things whisky. Her palate is refined, her honesty quite startling; having once described the flavor of a whisky as a piece of wood rotting in the woods (not an exact quote but something like that). She is respected by her peers and loved by many enthusiasts. I for one ensure I see her every year at our Spirits Festival in New Brunswick (longest running whisky show in Canada):  

Martine is also the only woman that has been invited and accepted as a Certified Malt Maniac. 

I've had the pleasure of meeting 10 of these fantastic people in the last year alone and so I asked a few why they thought Martine was the only female and the answer simply put:  Because there isn't that many women in the world involved in whisky and for those who are none, to date, have a nose/palate like she does. She truly is the "Goddess" amongst the giants in my mind and I can only aspire to being as good as she is one day.

Messieurs & mesdames je vous présente:  Martine Nouet.

Q1:  So how did you get “here”?  When you were a little girl, I’m sure you didn’t say:  “When I grow up I want to be a whisky expert or writer”?

"When I was a little girl, I wanted to be… an explorer! Maybe I have achieved this goal in a way! Where I was born and lived, in Normandy, whisky was a totally unknown territory. I suppose the word itself did not say anything to the adults. Though some may have had a wee dram of a blend offered by the “liberators” in 1944 on the Day D landing beaches. This is when blended whisky started to be drunk in France.

Even though I had no idea I would become a whisky writer, I have always had a passion for writing. I studied literature and languages at university and I have always wanted to become a journalist. I started in politics (I was quite a radical in my teenage years… not sure I have changed that much) then I shifted to gourmet food. I had dedicated pages in a professional magazine where I presented chefs and covered the best of French gastronomy. About twenty years ago, I visited Scotland and that’s where the magic started. I loved Scotland so much that I wanted to know more about the culture, the history and whisky. The first distillery I visited was Tamdhu in Speyside. I found the making of whisky fascinating. And here I am now."

Q2:  What motivates you to stay in this part of the industry?  Sometimes it can be quite unkind and very few can make a living doing this?

"Unkind? I have never experienced that. On the opposite, I have always been warmly welcomed. I won’t say it was always easy in the beginning as a woman but I gained respect and esteem from whisky-makers, whisky lovers and whisky writers. At least this is how I feel! I love my professional life, even if it gets really exhausting at times. I have been lucky to find wonderful people on my way. One of them is my dear friend Michael Jackson, whom I miss so much. He helped me and encouraged me constantly. I am glad my enthusiasm still stirs up my passion. If I lost it, I would immediately move to something else. I am not a career person. I have many interests in life other than spirits. As I said previously, writing is as important as breathing! It seems I am lucky to make a living of my whisky and food writer job then."

Q3:  What sacrifices or tough decisions have you made to get to where you are now?

"I don’t like the word “sacrifice”. I can’t see any. I prefer efforts. I have had my dark times which made me doubt of myself, especially when I began working on food and whisky pairing twenty years ago and when everyone said I was crazy, that it would never happen and that whisky would never come to the table. See where we are now? Maybe I have made mine that famous quote of Pascal: "I doubt therefore I am"

I know I am stubborn and that has often played tricks on me. But it can be rewarding at times too. I would not call my decision to come and live on Islay “tough”. It certainly implied a lot of problems to solve when I moved from Paris to Islay but this is the best thing I have ever done in my life. Travelling extensively does not help to have a balanced private life but I think I live in harmony (with myself at least!)"

Q4:  What have you been working on lately? Care to share what some of your upcoming plans are?  Anything big coming out soon?

"I have extended my sensory work to other fields than food; I have done art and whisky pairings, music and whisky pairings, dance and whisky pairings. To me the sensory approach to whisky is a whole and there are more emotional connections than just food pairings.

2013 was my travelling year, I went to Australia, including Tasmania and Asia. These were enriching trips; I tasted different cuisines, met different cultures. In Tasmania I visited two fascinating distilleries, Nant and Hellyers Road. In China, Hong Kong and Taipei, I was challenged with pairing single malts or blends with Asian cuisine.
I got wonderful experiences to feed into my blog/website launched in 2013.   

I was also delighted to take part in Jean Lenoir’s Nez du Whisky. A wonderful educational tool which trains people to identify and memorize the aromatic profile of whisky through nosing 54 aromas encapsulated in small bottles. It was recently launched in Paris and London.

I still have a big trip before Christmas. I will host a dinner and seminars at the New Brunswick Spirits the third week of November (20/22nd November). I love that festival. People are curious, warm and open. Yes I have projects in the pipeline. My big challenge for 2014 will be to write my cooking book. Disclosing it here confirms the commitment. You are trapped Martine Nouet!

I have another big project for 2014 but it would be too premature to comment it now."

Q5:  If you could go back in time and talk to Martine Nouet in 1984, what would you want to tell her?

"Don’t waste your time caring for those who don’t care for you. Divorce now! I did but later!! And I would encourage myself to live along the line I do now: Live the life you love and love the life you live."

Martine added the following to our interview and I'd love to share it here:  "I am amazed at how global whisky has become. I have especially appreciated it this year as I have travelled to new destinations. I am always interested in the different ways of consuming whisky but I am also appalled at the excesses of some people. Alcoholic drinks are to be handled carefully. I won’t make any allowance for drunkenness. It is intolerable. Hence our important part to play in recommending moderation. I think I am an extreme person but certainly moderate on this matter.

I can see a new trend coming in the whisky and food sector with spectacular experiments supposedly based on scientific research on sensory evaluation and resulting in theatrical performances. Impressive maybe but most often shallow. I remember that phrase in one of Dylan’s songs: you don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows. 

I don’t need molecular gastronomy to make me find harmonious pairings!"

End of interview...

There are people I meet in my travels and I call them WYSIWYG (wizzy-whigs...hehe)  Acronym means:  What You See Is What You Get.  This happens a lot with many of the writers I have been blessed to meet over the last 5 years and truly there isn't one of them that hasn't fell in that category.  Grounded, smart, dedicated and passionate about what they do, but above all REAL. They are truly amazing people to talk to, and not just about whisky.  

Martine has been nicknamed the Queen of the Stills and there's a reason for that. She is graceful, regal and above all conducts herself in a manner that you can't be anything else but "in awe" about.  

In passing, if anyone ever finds a copy of her book:  Les routes du malt", please let me know. It's still on my bucket list of whisky books to try and get for my bookcase.

In the meantime, I remain the lovely lassie in waiting who some day wants to grow up and be like the lovely Martine.  


Monday, November 18, 2013

anCnoc 16 - The enigma dram I love so....

Since I've been profiling the men of Knockdhu these past few weeks, I thought it would be nice to revisit another post I did in 2012. 
AnCnoc 16 was one of those rare finds in a little liquor store that I was elated to buy. As a matter of fact I bought the last two bottles in eastern Canada. It has since become one of the staples of my collection and I really enjoy it a lot. 
Original blog, April 2012: I spend a lot of time researching, reading and combing the liquor store product lists across Canada and the US (It's like whisky porn!?). Living in Canada sometimes has its disadvantages as far as getting to sample new products as they become available on the world market because we often seem to be about 6 months behind. Canadian importation laws still date back to 1867 it seems and we can't purchase whiskies from overseas. I am fortunate that my “day job” takes me in many directions throughout our great BIG country and so when I know I’m travelling I will really scour the websites ahead of time in the event I might get my hands on something special. 
Case in point, recently I was scheduled to go to Halifax Nova Scotia for a few days so as always I did my homework ahead of time and discovered that one liquor store had the last two bottles, east of Alberta, of AnCnoc 16 (pronounced A-nock).  That’s 5042 km (3132 miles), our country is massive!
I had never had this particular whisky so I thought heck why not!?  

The price was really good, $65/bottle or roughly £40, so I called the store, asked them to reserve both bottles for me and that I'd be picking them up next day. On time and as planned bottles in hand we head to our hotel room. I’m a true whisky geek and love to open most of my bottles right away so we had an impromptu nosing/tasting. Whisky nosing in bed! Don’t knock it, it is important to try everything, at least once I always say. We had lots of fun taking pictures and then we got down to serious business (Whisky! Get your minds out of the gutter people!). 

I have to admit writing notes on hotel stationary was hilarious but we managed to get a good nosing/tasting accomplished, no distractions, I swear! 

As always, Graham and I do not discuss anything while we are nosing/tasting. It’s completely independent of each other and mostly in silence. 

A bit about AnCnoc -> Situated in the north east corner of Scotland, in the village of Knock, Aberdeenshire. The distillery name is actually Knockdhu. Silent at times (In the 30's, World War II and then in the 80's), it was acquired by United Distillers in 1983 with production resuming in 89' under new management. Inver House was encouraged to name their malt AnCnoc, which is Gaelic for "the hill" mostly to ensure that whisky imbibers did not confuse it with another Speyside distillery: Knockando.  

So in the mid 1990's with a new name, new packaging and new expressions, AnCnoc was launched.  

It's not the traditional whisky you see in every corner bar or restaurant and I gage most people new to whiskies wouldn't have a clue it even exists. I have to say although I had read about it, I had never tasted any AnCnoc or Knockdhu's, not even at whisky events. Was it because they were not showcased or because I didn't pay attention? I'll never know. What I can say is upon having tasted it and enjoyed a few drams for the shear pleasure, I was having a hard time putting it in a category that I could clearly describe to other whisky imbibers. Is it a Speyside: By the difference in nose and then palate I would say yes. Is it a Glenlivet, Macallan or a Glenfiddich: By no means, NOT EVEN CLOSE. Is it considered a highland? If it is, then it's quite distinctive in nature there too... So, who would I recommend this to?  

Hence the enigma... Knowing someone's preferences for whiskies is a very personal thing. In our whisky society there are 40 members, most of which I could probably guestimate where their "favorites" lie so this kooky whisky really had me stumped because of all the people I currently know that really love to drink whiskies there were only three I could think of that I thought might try this whisky and love it. And that's when the realization hit me: Maybe there is no true definition for this one? Maybe it's simply one of those whiskies that I could recommend based on the fact that it's meant to make people think out of the proverbial Speyside box? I know I certainly did for the better part of three or four days mulling it about in my head. 

So there, this is what AnCnoc 16 is: It's the whisky that simply seems to march to its own drum.  It makes you think and feel like you are tasting something quite different from the typical Speysides. I like that! 

If you are looking to go on a small whisky adventure and treat yourself to something completely different, I think you will find AnCnoc 16 will deliver and satisfy that itch.   
AnCnoc 16, 46%AVB, Non-chill filtered and no color added.  

Color: Pale yellow, like a lager beer. Legs are plentiful, very close together and stringy. Slightly viscous, runs slowly.

Nose: LARGE vanilla, clean "green fruit" like pears, green grapes. Oak, being outdoors like in a meadow. Very aromatic.  Sweet smell of summer, really.

Palate: Took time to coax the flavors out but once I did more pears, pungent spicy and a hint of plasticine (I must have eaten playdoh as a child?). Once I added water I got the flavor of delicious creamy lemon pudding. Very rich with a mouthwatering effect.  

Finish: Fairly long with more vanilla, clean cereal followed by spice.  

Empty glass: Now I can really smell the bourbon influence, still very aromatic and sweet.

I'd rate this quite highly as an affordable whisky that I would recommend or share with friends. ere's to thinking outside the box and enigmas!

Happy on the whisky trail!