Category Archives: It’s not too bad. Nothing to cry home about though.

Rest and Be Thankful Whisky Co.’s single Sauternes cask Octomore, Cask # 16746


Region – Islay – ABV – 63.8% – now sold out but was $228.

A bit of a rarity here – an independently bottled single cask of Octomore which was bottled at 6 years of age at the nice ABV of 63.8%.

Being that Comus 4.2 (Bruichladdich’s 5yo Sauternes cask matured Octomore) was easily my favorite Octomore (still to this date), when I saw this bottling released, I had to have one.

The difficult part for me was in purchasing a bottling from an independent bottler I was not familiar with.  The packaging seemed nice enough and, hey, single cask Octomore? I had to give them a go, right?!

What was the result you may ask?:

On the nose — A fair amount of peat on this one (it is peated to 167 ppm). Not too overwhelming though.  Some bicycle inner-tubes come across at first but this is backed crushed almonds as well as raw filberts.

Rest and Be Thankful Octomore SauternesPear drops, too. Proper English scones. Sun dried water balloons. With water I detect some hot cinnamon, too.

In the mouth — Without water it’s incredibly hot and tight with obvious pear and more sun dried water balloon notes.

Water is needed with this one.

Rest and Be Thankful Octomore Sauternes

With water it’s got a great and oily mouthfeel. Quite sweety and peaty with more focus on the peaty. It’s quite phenolic. Think burning o-rings (viton as well as silicon), and new nitrile gloves.

Some tropical fruits here, too. Think passion fruit and persimmon, and a touch of papaya and even a little guava.

Finish — Long and peaty with hints of marzipan, lemons and even a little slivovitz.

In sum — Not sure if it could have used less or more time in the cask.  I never do score but if I were to compare this to Octomore Comus, and Comus were a 10 (on a scale of 1 to 10), this would be a 7. Defo one for colder weather and one to share with friends.


Whistling Andy Montana Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Whistling Andy Bourbon


State of Montana – 40% ABV – you can find this whiskey at these locations.

Just the name alone, Whistling Andy, brings back memories of watching Andy Griffith reruns when I was just a wee boy.  Remember the whistling theme song?

Now that I’ve put that in your head, it’ll be stuck with you for the next 2-5 days.

You’re welcome.

Ok, ok.  If you want that out of your head, try some Zappa on for size…

The chance to sample this bourbon came to me out of the blue.  The brand, Whistling Andy, was new to me and therefore, I was excited to give it a try.  Not much is known about this whiskey or detailed on their website. Here’s what we do know:

  • The bottle is from Batch 1.
  • It’s labeled as a “Straight Bourbon” yet has not age statement on the label so, according to the law as I read it, this bourbon should be 4 years of age or older and was, of course, aged in new charred or toasted barrels.
    • (Bourbon has no minimum specified duration for its aging period.[6] Products aged for as little as three months are sold as bourbon.[7] The exception is straight bourbon, which has a minimum aging requirement of two years. In addition, any straight bourbon aged less than 4 years must state the age of the spirit on the bottle.[8])   
  • The mash bill is at least 51% corn but the bottle label also states that there is Rye, Wheat and Barley.
  • The grain is 100% Montana grown grain (I dig the state pride!).
  • It’s bottled at 40% ABV (chill-filtered, too? not sure)

Let’s nose/taste/swallow (we’re not spitters here at the HQ)


On the nose —  From the get-go there is a cinnamon gum note and scent of freshly ground grains/cereals.

Apple Porridge and creamed corn.  It’s not overly sweet.

Whistling-Andy-Bourbon-4Wait, baked pears are popping up with a side of Wasa crackers.  An interesting melange of notes.


On the mouth — Feels hot for 40% ABV (80 proof for my American readers).  It’s also much lighter and fruitier in taste than the nose lead on about.

Whistling-Andy-Bourbon-2Lots of chewy red candies and, get this, Honey Comb cereal.  The heat goes away after the first sip but some of that cinnamon from the nose remains.

The mouthfeel is a little thin (maybe a higher-ABV could have helped that?).  Black and green ground pepper corns bring us to the finish…

Finish — Drying and grassy with some good length to it!

In sum — Overall, it was a pretty good experience.  The nose to mouth experience was a little off-balance but I did enjoy the surprise of it.  You can’t judge all whisk(e)ys by their noses.  While I did enjoy this (and plan to share with others), I’d *love* to see a cask strength version of this whiskey.  I’ve found few whisk(e)ys that didn’t benefit from being experienced at cask strength!

Special thanks to Lisa and all at the Whistling Andy Distillery for the ample sample!

Speed dating… with whisk(e)y! Episode 2: Koval Bourbon


koval_bourbon_largeChicago, IL – 47% ABV – $53

Yet another date with a Koval whiskey.

This time it’s Koval Four Grain‘s (seemingly younger) sister, Koval Bourbon.

The mash bill is corn and millet.  Organic grains, of course.

Koval-Bourbon-1On the nose (Date # 1) –  Upfront spirity yet spicy sweetness that is reminiscent of Big Red gum.

Touches of dill weed and surprisingly enough, lithium grease.

Quite interesting for a bourbon with the industrial component.

On the mouth (Date # 2, a bit unsure about how this relationship is going however, I am hopeful) – That spice component is first and foremost.  She’s getting fresh with me.  I can dig that.

Koval-Bourbon-2Woody, for sure (the flavor, not my reaction to the spiciness) but the spirit is there as well.

Hmmm, bubble gummy and a nice little mouth feel to it.

Finish (Date # 3: The deciding factor) – Oatcakes and a touch more cinnamon.  Medium in length.

In sum (The decision) – This whiskey would hold up well in a tasting as it tells it’s own story.  And if you enjoy younger whiskeys this is right up your alley.

For me, it’s a little too young.  Some extra time in the barrel would marry well with what I can tell is a fine spirit.  Is that always the way?! Someone in a relationship is always acting a little immature – usually it’s me!

While I don’t think we’ll become malt-friend and boy-friend, we *will* remain friends.