Balcones – Texas Single Malt Whiskey

Texas Single Malt Whiskey 
Balcones Distilling

Proof: 106
ABV: 53%
Style: Single Malt
State: TX
Price: $$

Peggy Noe Stevens – 8.3 

Nose: Fresh and clean nose of Bing cherry and black pepper. Delicious smoke and leather. Earthy malt and cereal.  Nice caramelized wood sugar aroma.

Palate: Great mouthfeel and texture.  The cherry-sherry combo works well and a great spice backing of cinnamon and clove. Well rounded.

Finish: Long baked fruit compote and spice kick.

Comments: Truly a reliable “go to” on the bar shelf and would pour for any occasion.

Susan Reigler – 8.0 

Nose: Malty with some vanilla, green apples, hint of honey and
some oak. 

Palate: Like roasted almonds. The barest flavor of anise is a welcome addition. Caramel appears and intensifies as it sits in the glass.  

Finish: Malt becomes honeyed. The oak tannins at the end are very soft.  

Comments: Water almost completely changes it. Chocolate covered cherries and cinnamon take over and there’s plenty of caramel. 

Dry Fly – Straight Wheat Whiskey

Dry Fly 
Straight Wheat Whiskey 
Dry Fly Distilling

Proof: 92
ABV: 46%
Style: Wheat
State: WA
Price: $$$

Peggy Noe Stevens – 8.0

Nose: Dig in deep with this soft wheat. Feathery citrus and honey light.Slight maple syrup and biscuits.

Palate: Allspice and golden raisin to eventually shine through. Seasoned breadcrumbs. Touch of mint and pineapple.

Finish: Tannins that develop immediately and ease up to a warm and alluring finish.

Comments: The nose will fool you with the “wheaty” softness and then the first sip sings.

Susan Reigler – 7.7 

Nose: Vanilla wafers and hard candy with a little cinnamon and wheat toast. 

Palate: Clean and not overly sweet with more vanilla and some milk chocolate. Ripe apples dusted with cinnamon and just a tiny bit of ginger. 

Finish: Stays sweet for a while before ending with a touch of oak. 

Comments: While not an overly complex sip, it is quite enjoyable and might pare will with pre-diner mixed nuts. 


Dry Fly – Straight Bourbon 101

Dry Fly 
Straight Bourbon 101
Dry Fly Distilling

Proof: 101
ABV: 50.5%
Style: Bourbon
State: WA 
Price: $$$

Peggy Noe Stevens – 8.5

Nose: Traditional nose of vanilla and caramel. Paprika and smokey barbecue. Rich pecan. Blood oranges with cinnamon sprinkle.

Palate: Shaved horseradish that fades into a grainy goodness. Modest celery seed.  Fresh baked apples and candy corn. 

Finish: Bing cherry flavor with splinters of caramelized wood and char.

Comments: For 100 proof, a silky texture and complexity without adding water, exciting to drink.

Susan Reigler – 8.1 

Nose: Corn and oak with some vanilla and crisp apple. 

Palate: White pepper spice notes. Not much fruit to speak of, but there’s enough of the  caramel/vanilla to keep it balanced, when the tannins emerge. 

Finish: Light and dry, with just enough caramel on the end to give it a good sweet to dry ratio. 

Comments: Water allows almonds and pecans to surface. Lacks the black pepper often encountered on the finish.


Great Lakes – Still & Oak Straight Rye Whiskey

Great Lakes 
Still & Oak Straight Rye Whiskey
Great Lakes Distillery

Proof: 90
ABV: 45%
Style: Rye
State: WI
Price: $$

Peggy Noe Stevens – 7.6

Nose: Fresh baked rye bread and clove.  Perfumy sage and rosemary. Chocolate when you look deeply.

Palate: Herbaceous flavors  jump to spice notes of clove and peppercorn. Vibrant heat and structure.

Finish: Lingering spice rides steady and sharp alongside of cedar
wood notes.

Comments: Curious flavors with the herbaceous notes that lead you to keep testing with continuous sips.  Hide and seek with chocolate notes.  

Susan Reigler – 8.0 

Nose: Rye grass and some green corn husk. Sweet mint and ripe apple as well.

Palate: Very sweet, in contrast with the herbal nose. Sweetness is from the mint, and a touch of honey accompanying the vanilla.

Finish: Oak is soft and sweet, like a newly sawn two by four. The finish is medium long and well balance between sweet and dry. 

Comments: Vanilla and caramel ice cream, but the herbal elements make it resemble salted caramel.

Stranahan’s – Sherry Cask

Sherry Cask
Proximo Spirits

Proof: 93.8
ABV: 46.9%
Style: Single Malt
State: CO 
Price: $$

Peggy Noe Stevens – 8.5

Nose: Lush sherry nose that expresses huge overtures of sweetness and bonfire toffee.

Palate: Nice mouthfeel that speaks to cherry and a pleasing spine of wood sugars.  Bites of astringency that even out and reveal the underlayer of chipotle and juicy plum.

Finish: Sense of polish on the finish, long, sweet and dry.  Pipe smoke and baked crust.

Comments: Assertive personality and admirable texture, perfect for a chilly evening as well.

Susan Reigler – 8.2

Nose: Very floral. Light vanilla is accompanied by sweet maltiness, very much like that in a fine English ale. 

Palate: Prunes, figs, and dates. Vanilla is now burnt caramel and there’s an element of root beer flavor. Virtually no spice at all. 

Finish: Sweet oak tannins arrive at the finish, which dries nicely in the end. 

Comments: Mixture of flavors that make this whiskey atypical. Well worth a taste. It’s also warm without being at all hot.