Tag Archives: White chocolate

Passover booze 2011 – Chateau du Tariquet Bas Armagnac – “Classique” 40%ABV

France – 40%ABV – $35 | £22 | €25

WARNING & DISCLAIMER – For those who keep, this armagnac is not certified as “Kosher” or “Kosher for Passover” (I am no rabbi but I think, being that this is nothing more than distilled wine matured in European oak casks, that this may be “Kosher by Nature”, not to be confused with “Naughty by Nature“)

It’s that Passover time of year where I (and millions of Jews around the world) abstain from any food or drink that is grain-based.  That means, you guessed it: No whisky (in any form be it Scotch, Japanese, Irish, Bourbon, Rye, corn… nothing!).

So, what are my options?

Wine? Yes.  Tequila? Yes!  Calvados? Yes.  Beer? No.  Rum/Rhum?  I think so…  Cognac? Yes!!  Armagnac? YES!!!

My first choice for Armagnac this Passover is Chateau du Tariquet “Classique” which is an Armagnac aged at least three years but is also a blend of different vintages and made up of two grape varietals: Baco 40% Ugni-blanc 60%.  For more information on what Armagnac is, check out this wiki-page.

On the nose Vanilla and honey right up front like they’re the teacher’s pet.  Simmer down guys, I’m a student here too…

Spicy here too and, get this, corn tortilla (let’s hope they didn’t slip any corn in the one or I’d have done messed up Passover right here and now).

White chocolate and crushed dried fruits (dates & raisins).

It actually noses like a lightly sherried whisky…

On the mouth Oh, good G-d!  Delicious!  Truth be told, I don’t know what to expect from an armagnac so what I’m tasting may not what people look for in one.  But I’ll tell you this, what I look for in Scotch whisky is what Im tasting here and now: Warm and slightly toasted flavors of  vanilla and honeyed almonds.

A thread of smokiness, wood and a fruity compote.

The mouthfeel is not too thick, not too thin.

Finish Dessert-like, scrumptious (think french vanilla bean ice cream and caramel topping).

In sum I could easily sip on this in place of your every day whisky.  Very easy going, full-flavored, sweet and perfect for an after dinner treat.

To all of those who celebrate and observe Passover, Chag Sameach (Happy Holiday)!

Arran Amarone Cask finished 50% ABV

Islands region – 50%ABV – £38 | €45

Week #2 of my Arran reviews.  To view all of the Arran Malt whiskies I’ve tried so far, click here.

As the holiday season is about us, I’m reminded of just how thankful I am for all of the little things I’ve got.  For me, the holidays are all about getting together with friends and family.  In my family, because we are so spread out, this time of the year is about the only time I get to see some of my family.

So, forget the presents.  Nothing can replace that little conversation you get to have with the uncle you’ve not seen in 355 days.  Or being able to see your cousins, nephews or nieces grow up to be strong men and women…  Or sharing in some nice wine with everyone as your aunt demands you eat more food (even though you’ve already had to unbutton your pants to make room for the 3rd course).

One thing I do not have in my family, believe it or not, is a whisky drinker!  Yeah, my dad will dip into some Dewar’s from time to time and basically any single malt I throw in front of him but he’s not passionate about it like some of my other family members are about their wine.  For that camaraderie, I’ve got my society, fellow whisky bloggers and you – the readers of my blog.  So,while I am thankful for a great many things in my life, I am most thankful for you all.  I really appreciate you coming to the blog and continuing to return for more.  Todah Rabah (Thank you very much – Hebrew).

Oh, I’m also very thankful to Andy Hogan for the samlpe of this whisky!

Color An interesting pink hue to this whisky!

On the nose Lite-Brite nose chockfull of dry wine and pomegranate or perhaps cranberry juice.

Dry Rose champagne.

Grapefruit jolly ranchers.

Real apples with a leaning toward apple Fruit Roll-ups.

Sweet grass and morning dew.

Hints of RC cola.

On the mouth Thin-ish mouthfeel.

More notes of Rose champagne.

Paper lunch bags.

Star fruits and golden raisins.

Some hints of cumin spice.

My mouth is now watering which, joining schwartzes with the whisky, is now giving this a much more chewy mouthfeel.

Finish White pepper and white chocolate.  A touch more cumin.  Medium in length.

In sum The influence of the Amarone wine on this whisky is big.  I loved just starting at the pinkish hue of this whisky in between sips.  Sweet & dry – a nice one for early fall time.  Actually, a perfect Sukkot whisky.