Customer Reviews - The Distilled Spiritualist


Laphroaig 18 year old, Islay Single Malt Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 04-05-2010
I had read mixed reviews about the Laphroaig 18 Year Old, so I had to just try it for myself to form an opinion. Boy, was I ever pleasantly surprised! First thing that comes to mind for me is the salty vanilla creaminess in the nose-- a bit like the Laphroaig Quarter Cask in that sense. Of course, it does have the usual aromatic suspects for which Laphroaig is known, such as some iodine and bold peat smoke, but it also has some fried ripe banana drizzled with honey and almonds. On the palate, I was transported back to memories of hot summer days spent visiting Cape Cod, smelling the pungent seaweed in the sticky air while eating fresh, locally-made salted toffee. Fond memories indeed, and this malt brings it all back. True, it isn't quite as superb as the 25 year old; especially if, like me, you enjoy the influence of sherry butts, but certainly much more affordable.
Price: $115.99 Add To Waiting List
WA 90

Laphroaig 25 Year Old Cask Strength Islay Single Malt Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 04-05-2010
Wow! For those of us out there that are peat-lovers, this one certainly does not disappoint! Upon first pass of nosing the Laphroaig 25 Year Old, I found hints of apple crisp, vanilla bean, heather, dried apricot and fig, floral honey, coconut, ginger snap cookie, and blanched almond. Of course, there are the usual peaty smokiness and maritime atmosphere notes. For those of you familiar with the briny, kippery, seaweed-y aromas along the Atlantic coast on a warm summer day, you can find these notes in this dram (we don't get those strong odors along the Pacific coast, unfortunately!). All of these aromas translate well onto the palate, and with a nice, smooth finish. This is perhaps my favorite dram of all time (for now), since all the wonderful notes that Laphroaig is known for come together with lots of dried fruit and soft vanilla. It gets a score of "5" easily.
Price: $499.99 Add To Waiting List

Ron Zacapa 23 Year Old "Centenario" Guatemalan Solera Rum (750ml)
Review Date: 04-01-2010
First thing I noticed about this rum were the viscous, honeyed legs gently cascading down the side of the glass into the mahogany body, as I swirled the liquid. Aromas of English Christmas pudding, dried fig and black currant, and chocolate covered cherries are followed by cardamom, cherries, and bourbon-flavored pecan pie on the palate. I do get some harsh tannins from the oak, but overall, I really enjoy this unique rum.
Price: $42.99 Add To Cart

Delord 25 Year Old Bas Armagnac (750ml)
Review Date: 04-01-2010
Hands down, the Delord 25 is one of my all time favorite Armagnacs. First thing I get on the nose are dried dates, dark raisins, apricots, followed by a little toffee and creamy caramel sauce. The palate promises all of the notes on the nose, plus a little potpourri, cedar chest spice, and toasted almond- rancio perhaps? I've hosted a number of armagnac tastings at home, and even when the Delord 25 year old competes with vintage armagnacs from top producers, it is almost always voted the favorite.
Price: $69.99 Add To Waiting List
WE 96 - 100

Kuchan Indian Blood Peach Eau De Vie 375ml
Review Date: 03-19-2010
I grew up in the outer suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia. On an oppressively humid, sticky summer day after playing outside, nothing seemed to replenish the body and quench thirst like a big, hearty, ripe peach. Bit into it and the bold flavors of the flesh strike your palate as the sticky juice trickles down the sides of your mouth. Kuchan Indian Blood Peach eau de vie reminds me of those delicious peaches....maybe the "peachiness" is even more intense and focused with the eau de vie! There is so much ripe, juicy fruit on the nose and palate, it's hard not to be transported back to sweet childhood memories. No heat in this spirit either. It glides smoothly down the gullet. A masterpiece!
Price: $38.99 Add To Waiting List

Pierre Ferrand Selection Des Anges Grande Champagne 1er Cru du Cognac (750ml)
Review Date: 03-19-2010
As a consummate brandy, cognac and armagnac lover, I wanted to purchase something very special for my 40ieth birthday-- a spirit with finesse, depth, and class, yet wouldn't require engaging in bank robbery or some other nefarious activity. After much research and deliberation, I settled upon purchasing the 30 year old Ferrand Selection Des Anges. And boy, did that bet ever pay off! This multi-layered cognac offers up a nose of spring fruit blossoms, lightly grilled almonds, flan drizzled with a little caramel, fresh pear slices, and a little clove spice thrown in for good measure. Along with a light, rounded mouthfeel, the palate is reminiscent of lemon blossoms, rose petals, more fresh pear and apricot, golden raisin, with a touch of brown spice. No astringency or dryness, but just enough oak tannins to provide good structure and balance. A truly fantastic cognac.
Price: $139.99 Add To Waiting List
WE 94

Octomore "Ochdamh-Mor" 5 year old Release 2.1 Islay Single Malt Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 03-19-2010
The Octomore is a bronco of a dram that will excite all the phenolic philanderers out there-- you know you are in for a wild ride from the very first wafts of smoke! Before even nosing it, I noticed that the legs were almost two-tiered, sort of like a Roman aqueduct. The initial nosing hits like a strong, salty maritime hurricane-force wind, followed by charred wood, peat, and cookie dough. If you manage to push past the smoke, you might find a trace of vanilla even. Initial palate entry offers ash from the embers of last night's campfire or chimney stack smoke notes, immediately followed by a healthy dose of cayenne pepper to flesh out the spicy mouthfeel. Perhaps even a little white pepper? Because of the intense peat and smoke, you do have to look hard for other flavors, but they are there to be found. And the finish is a lot like inertia-- it will stay in motion forever until disturbed by an external force. It isn't for everyone I know, but totally worth it for those who love big, bold peaty flavors. Keep your seat belts on for this ride, folks. It's going to be wild!
Price: $134.99 Add To Waiting List

Arette Artesanal Blanco Suave Tequila (750ml)
Review Date: 03-19-2010
Arette Artesanal Blanco tequila has become my new "everyday" tequila-- and not because of the very reasonable price! Whether I'm waxing contemplative while sipping it neat, or leisurely drinking margaritas with friends, this blanco fits the bill. There is a nice, sweet agave and white pepper on the nose, while palate entry promises more all that plus a little oil of lemon peel. The finish is pleasant and peppery. Ola!
Price: $42.99 Add To Cart
WE 90

Cragganmore 12 Year Old Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 03-18-2010
The Cragganmore 12 Year Old is one of the most floral and fruity malts I've had to date. With wild aromas of ripe pear, quince, golden honey and oatmeal raisin cookie (malt), it is a very accessible dram. Flavors of cinnamon roll, candied coconut, ripe fruit and flowers roll over the tongue in complicated symphony. A great everyday malt, as well as a special treat!
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart
WE 92

1985 Glenrothes Distillery Bottle Single Malt Whisky
Review Date: 03-18-2010
One of the things I enjoy so much about this malt is the buttery, "cream-cheese with fig jam on a lightly toasted bagel" nose. The creaminess is carried over on the palate. Think vanilla pudding with a touch of candied orange: warm and familiar like home, but wonderful all the same. Slight oakiness without the drying tannins.
Price: $99.99 Add To Waiting List

Charbay II Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 03-18-2010
As whiskeys go, this was certainly one of the most unusual-- and creative-- whiskeys I've had the pleasure to taste. The first sniff (or two) offers up lots of wildflower honey and hops, followed by rye bread dough, dark chocolate nibs, aromatic eucalyptus leaves, maybe even a touch of bergamot oil. The palate entry is slightly bitter from the hops, but is quickly masked by florals, vanilla custard, cedar chest, rye spiciness, candied ginger and fresh orange zest. Worth it? Absolutely. Not your everyday whiskey, mind you, but certainly one to enjoy for a long time.
Price: $349.99 Add To Waiting List
WE 93

Bowmore 15 Year Old "Darkest" Sherry Cask Islay Single Malt Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 03-18-2010
When I think of Bowmore 15 year old Darkest, I think of a great marriage. Some things were just meant to be together: Rogers and Hammerstein, Laural and Hardy, vanilla ice cream and chocolate syrup, sherry and peat. And what a harmonious marriage this sherry and peat coupling makes! The nose whisks me back to memories of my grandmother's famous icebox fruitcake, packed with dark raisins, dried figs, and cherries. Oh, perhaps even memories of my Boston years, smelling salty sea spray during my afternoon beach walks. The blend of these elements lands well on the palate, offering a well-balanced, rounded dram. Bowmore Darkest is one of my all-time favorites-- it is an absolute must have whisky for any sherry and peat lover, and at a very reasonable price.
Price: $74.99 Add To Cart
WE 95 WA 90