A barrel full of bourbon

A daily slice of Malt is a popular start to the day for many out there. Those quiet few moments with a hot cuppa and a slice of toast. The calm, before the storm of daily life knocks at your door and carries away with it any sense of spare time, or leisure.

People’s generosity continues to amaze. Whether it is via Patreon, or just providing samples to review when we can. The essence is very much on when we can in my mind and the daily routine. Recently, I’ve been inundated with samples from supporters, friends or random strangers. The average sized Munro that was forming in my office was severely eroded earlier this year thanks to some concentrated effort. However, now, it is back with a vengeance and I have a great deal of bourbon to explore. So much so, that I’m taking a leaf out of Mark’s battered old book and giving you a dump. In essence, a dumping of bourbon from a variety of sources and styles.

I’m not sidestepping any responsibility here, or attempting a Whiskyfun approach to proceedings – because those guys do it best. Instead, several of these releases, as you’ll see, have been reviewed already by the team here. Where applicable, I’ve linked, so you can venture off and discover more about the bottles themselves. Others have failed to grasp the imagination. A fertile thing that is required to stroke the keyboard in a fashion that underlines your attention. Such oddities are collated here as well for completeness.

This should be a lot of fun; I’m also including a very infamous bottle that friends of mine will be all too aware of. The Plainsman, is a UK imported release that I’ve been unable to find anything information about – perhaps this is a good thing in reality. Basically, I presume it is a bargain basement release imported into the UK and on a very small scale. As Alexandra keeps on telling me; we send you the rubbish bourbon and keep the good stuff for ourselves. On my part, this was a random purchase at auction for a bit of fun, I never expected this bottle to have such an impact. In terms of placing the Plainsman, there is no UK alcohol duty sticker on the label, which suggests it is pre-2010. Perhaps somethings are best left to the imagination?

Blanton’s Single Barrel Bourbon- review

Dumped on 10th June 2006 into barrel 205, in warehouse 11 on Rick No 53, before being bottled at 80% proof. Thanks to Just Whisky Auctions for the sample.

Color: honeycomb.

On the nose: very faint it must be said, withered vanilla, cheap caramel and well-worn varnish. Spent tea leaves, pencil shavings, a decliate minty aspect, then milk chocolate and synethic cinnamon.

In the mouth: ever stumbled in the woods? This is it. A mouthful of decaying wood, autumnal vegetation and moss. Some pepper, woody and a challenger to the Plainsman.


Ever heard the Bowie mix of the Stooges album Raw Power? Then you’ll know, it was missing its guts compared to the mix Iggy Pop did decades later. Something didn’t feel right. The same issue applies here to this Blanton’s. The power has been erased by watering it down to a ridiculous 80 proof, or 40% strength.

The bonus laugh comes from the bottle which proudly displays a best whiskey in the world sticker. Even if this was in the realm of Fallout and you stumbled across an old bottle of this in the rubble and decay of our once marketing and consumer-mad society; it wouldn’t be the best whiskey in the world. Leave this one to the bottle top chasers, because the contents are depressingly way off the mark.

Score: 2/10

Catocin Creek Roundstone Rye Cask Proof – review

Bottled at 58% ABV, this is a 100% rye and was previously reviewed by Mark in 2016.

Color: honey.

On the nose: wood sap and honey plus a withered cinnamon. Sunflower oil, milk chocolate, mint leaf and a tinny aspect followed by a vanilla caramel. Water reveals a wet sponge, peanuts, chamomile and raspberries.

In the mouth: a nice oily texture that lingers. Black peppercorns, ginger, cinder toffee and malty. Brass rubbing, honeycomb and with water more wood, cloves and liquorice on the finish.


This is an admirable attempt at a rye whiskey and I’d put it on the same level as the hyped New Riff release. There are evident limitations and not a huge amount of development, or layers. But for something to reach out to and enjoy on a regular basis it ticks the box.

Score: 6/10

Old Forester 1920 Prohibtion Style – review

Bottled at 115 proof (57.5%), from Louisville Kentucky, I have 2 samples of this, thanks to @fromwhereidram and Academy Drinks for these. Adam has also reviewed this previously.

Color: copper.

On the nose: burnt orange, honeycomb, toffee and brown sugar. Hazelnuts, pumpkin spices, furniture polish, Werther’s Originals and cornflakes. Brown bread and glazed cherries, water reveals elements of sage and charred oak.

In the mouth: nice mouthfeel with bananas, almonds, fudge and caramels. Not hugely expansive or thought provoking, but certainly tasty. The wood comes through on the finish and vanilla lingers throughout, but neither are intrusive. Brown sugar, a little tobacco and water showcases fruits and then oak spices.


Impressive and very drinkable. Far from a whiskey intent on showboating, this does all the right things and offers balance and flavour. Ultimately, there’s very little here to grumble about whatsoever. The only thing that springs to mind is why we cannot get it in the UK.

Score: 7/10

Oppidan Smoke + Sea Batch #1 – review

Bottled at 46%, Taylor has reviewed this previously and thanks to Beks from the Los Angeles Whisky Club for my sample.

Color: toffee.

On the nose: walnuts, wood chips, orange peel, a touch of salt and cherrywood. There’s fudge, cinnamon, vanilla, red apples and brown sugar. Later on, ginger and a little smoke.

In the mouth: cardboard, chocolate, caramel, some dill and a touch of smoke. A peppery finish, nougat and a tin-like nature.


I struggled to really connect with and enjoy this whiskey. There’s something about it. A sum of its parts, scattered and without a manual to piece things together again. Far from bad, but nothing to thrill, or stir my cold heart.

Score: 5/10

Plainsman straight bourbon whiskey – review

Bottled at 40% strength and a sour mash, this 4 year old was selected and bottled by Plainsman Distilling Co., Weston, Missouri and imported by Craven Vinters in Leeds, UK.

Color: ginger loaf.

On the nose: damp wood, blood orange and dark chocolate. Sawdust, glazed cherries, sour vanilla and musty clothes.

In the mouth: more musty wood, decaying vegetation, corrosion, rust on the finish and banana skins.


The nose sets you up for a fall, but you don’t realise how far you’ll drop off the edge of the world. Awful stuff that almost has me reaching for a Jura.

Score: 2/10

My thanks to @fromwhereidram for the lead image.

    1. Avatar
      Aaron says:

      Hey Jason, first time commenter, long time reader. The 1920 was everything Adam and yourself said it was. This 750 mL beauty set me back $89 CDN (with taxes, it was just under $100). Considering Adams pricing notes bringing in at around $80 CDN (using today’s exchange rate) 3 years ago, it is a steal and still a great buy today. If you don’t have this, you are missing something great. Thanks to you and the team for shooting straight from hip and pushing the limits of our spirit journeys. Cheers.

  1. Avatar
    Michael says:

    I was at the Weston distillery a bit back and tried the new make. It was horrendous. They were planning a huge celebration when it was released. Never heard a thing. I always wondered what happened to it… LOL shipped the trash across the pond.

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