Laphroaig 18 Year Old Islay Single Malt Scotch

Everyone knows Laphroaig is famous for bold taste and high quality. This 18 year old Islay single malt scotch is no different. Unlike the quarter cask it’s much smoother, but still has that distinct Laphroaig taste. If you are looking for boldness and smoothness at the same time, look no further than this 96 proof bottle of deliciousness. The taste is sweet, spicy, oaky and very mature. This scotch is almost creamy yet somehow crisp. I really don’t know how they do it.

Excellent bottle for it's bold yet smooth taste.

Excellent bottle for it's bold yet smooth taste.

Foppiano Estate Petite Sirah 2008

I just finished taste testing this Russian River valley wine. Honestly it was just OK. For $19.49 this wine is a bit overpriced, not because $19.49 is a lot of money, but because I felt like I got about $12 worth of quality. I would steer clear of this wine unless you really want a petite sirah and your choices are limited. It wasn’t bad by any means. You will find hints of spices, flowers, blueberry, sour cherry, cinnamon and vanilla. It’s a smooth wine, but it just didn’t deliver a $19.49 performance in my opinion.

A Russian River valley wine that disappointed me.

A Russian River valley wine that disappointed me.

The Glenrothes 1994 Vintage

I purchased this speyside single malt scotch for $71 US dollars at my local liquor store in 2012. The unconventional bottle caught my attention and I wanted to be adventurous so I gave this 18 year old drink a shot. Surprisingly I found this scotch whiskey to be very average in it’s class, nothing particularly special about it. Don’t get me wrong, it was great in terms of being a smooth finish and crisp dry. The aftertaste is pleasant and it’s a very gentle drink.

Beyond being a little bit cheaper than most 18 year old scotches, it was really unremarkable when compared with the other common scotches around this price point. If you want a good scotch and this is available, grab it. It will be a great scotch. However if you want to be adventurous, there is no adventure to be found here. The bottle is different, but the scotch isn’t.

A solid speyside single malt scotch, but nothing special within it's class.

A solid speyside single malt scotch, but nothing special within it's class.

Bodegas Beronia Rioja Reserva 2006

According to the winery this particular Spanish Red is aged 18 months in French and American oak barrels. This wine is made in La Rioja, Spain from Tempranillo, Mazuelo and Graciano grapes from the 2006 harvest. Nice cherry color and lots of aroma and a smooth finish. It’s a very cheap wine at just $12.79 at the time of purchase in 2012, but I would rate it up there with some of the $18 and $20 bottles of the region. I think it’s a good buy and you should drink it upon purchase. I was unable to see a benefit from decanting.

A tasty wine at a $12.79 US dollar price point.

A tasty wine at a $12.79 US dollar price point.

Lagavulin 16 Year Single Malt Islay Scotch Wiskey

I purchased this scotch locally for about $83 and I think it’s a great deal. This is a solid single malt islay scotch whiskey. It’s very smooth, yet rich, smokey, has a very pleasant color and aroma. It leaves no significant aftertaste and is easy to sip. I liked mine with a cube of ice. Will it replace my standard Glenlivet 18 year as an every day drink? Maybe! So far it’s a very good drink at a very good, similar price point, so who knows. I’ll be doing a blind taste test later for the site, check back later to see the results.

A tasty drink that may soon be an every day favorite.

A tasty drink that may soon be an every day favorite.

2008 Marques de Caceres Crianza Rioja

As you may have already read, I love wines from Spain. This particular bottle is my go-to bottle when I want a cheap yet tasty Spanish red. This is a great example of a wine from La Rioja from northern Spain at just $13-15 dollars at time of purchase. There is plenty of cherry taste and the wine is exceptionally smooth. It also has mild tones of oak, smoke and herbal flavor.

A good and value priced example of a Rioja.

A good and value priced example of a Rioja.