The first annual Jacksonville Whisky Affair was part food and part whisky. Coastal Wine and Spirits provided the whisky and ‘tasting hosts.’ The food, with four stations serving freshly prepared/cooked tapas portions, cheese and dessert tables, was delicious, though difficult to eat while standing or waiting for the few bar tables. Lacking was a true tasting host able to educate not only on the individual expressions, but also in the way to taste and truly experience the flavors of the whiskies. At $75 per person I fear that most paid to drink the same whisky in the same way and tasted some nice food. This was hardly an experience to bring someone back next year.
My tasting impressions for the evening do not include the Glenmorangies since we all like those and have tasted them. Ardbeg 10 year is always good. Glenkinchie, Cragganmore and Johnnie Walker Green are also nice whiskies we’ve sampled/drunk/tasted/imbibed…. I did not try the Buchanan’s bourbon since I don’t like bourbon and the Irish Bulleit Rye.
[I should note when it comes to tasting for me, I do not attempt to learn anything about the whisky/spirit I am tasting for the first time before I drink. I prefer to taste first, note the flavors and learn about it later.]
Crown Royal Black No age statement (nobody there knew either)
Aged in double charred barrel.
Sweet smell. Sweet taste at first, almost peppermint candy. Fades quickly with little aftertaste.
Crown Royal Cask No. 16 (No. 16 signifies the area code where the wood for the Hennessey barrels was obtained)
Slight Cognac smell/taste. Smooth with little alcohol burn and not much flavor.
This is a far cry from regular Crown Royal because of the Cognac. Someone who dislikes Hennessey or something else along those lines would not like this whisky.
Bushmills 16 Year (aged in bourbon, Spanish Oloroso and then port wine casks)
Slightly earthy smell, almost grass. Moves to peppery in the middle. Trails with a hint of something I cannot place, but sweet. Has a beginning, middle and end flavor. There is no raw alcohol explosion that is found in younger, simpler Irish whiskies.