Whisky Review: Lagavulin 16yo Distillers Edition

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Tonight a good friend that I don't get to spend much time with due to geography came by to catch up, and we decided to sample a few whiskys while he was here.   

As a big scotch guy Lagavulin is one of his favorites, so when I pulled this off the shelf his eyes bugged out.  Labeled bottle 4/504 and distilled and barreled in 1998 this is a double matured Scotch that was sure to meet our expectations. 

As an "Islay" Single Malt Lagavulin is known for a strong smokey flavor, and this bottle did not disappoint.  Straight from the bottle the nose had notes of dried stone fruit and burnt sugar.  The taste started with smooth but strong smoke, which was quickly joined by leather and mild tobaccos before fading into smooth caramel and vanilla.

As my readers know by now I'm not typically a single malt fan, but this will stay in my cabinet for special occasions. 

On the Road: Distillery Tours Day Four

On our fourth and final day touring distilleries in Kentucky we visited two extremes as far as age.  We started at one of the newest and high-tech distilleries in the state, Town Branch, and ended at the oldest continuously operating distillery in the state, Buffalo Trace.  The contrast in methods is striking, but the process is the same.

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Review - Midnight Moon's Cherry Moonshine

With the rise of Whiskey in America, many people have renewed their family traditions in Moonshine.  In May of 2007, moonshine and racing legend Junior Johnson became part owner of Piedmont Distillers and together they introduced Junior Johnson’s Midnight Moon. It is based on the Johnson family’s generations-old moonshine recipe. It is also born in a copper still, made from corn, crafted in small batches and triple distilled.

Midnight Moon's Cherry Moonshine is a nice, smooth whiskey.  The strong cherry flavor comes from cherries not just being used in the distillation, but whole cherries being added to the finished bottling.  This combination brings the most fruit flavor to the drink, in addition to imparting great color.  The taste of cherry layers nicely under the slight carmel flavor of the corn whiskey made to the Johnson Family recipe.

This is a very nice whiskey.  It doesn't have the complexity of an aged bourbon or scotch, but moonshine has a solid place both in American folk lore and drinking history.  It will make a great addition to any liquor cabinet (and any bottle of cola).