Sean Hallman is a Navy veteran who is now the owner and head distiller over at Shadow Ridge Spirits Company in Oceanside, CA. Sean is one of the most genuinely nice people I've had the pleasure of meeting. I met Sean at the Meet the Distillers event that was held at Proof 101 a few weeks back and he invited me for a private tour of his facility. I've been a fan ever since.
You may have seen our review video we recorded for Shadow Ridge single malt, if not click here: Shadow Ridge Single Malt review
Sean is putting out phenomenal whiskies and deserves the recognition for such a quality product. I would highly encourage checking them out when you can. You can look him up on Instagram and follow him on Facebook: Shadow Ridge Facebook
Support the local companies by buying their bottles and taking tours of their distilleries.
You can listen to our interview here:
We just uploaded our newest review featuring Westland Distillery Garryana.
Based in Seattle, Washington this variety uses a special wood called Garry Oak that is native only to the Pacific Northwest.
This is a limited release of only 2,600 bottles and it has quite the story behind it, if you care to read about it you can check it out on their website: Westland Garryana
The full review can be watched below.
We tasted and scored this one 3 ways: Neat, diluted, and over ice.
At the end of the review we make an announcement of something stupid we're going to be doing soon. Make sure to subscribe to the channel so you don't miss it!
If you want to do the challenge with us, buy these seeds to grow your own Red Savina plant and these are the noodles we'll be eating as well.
The latest review Mike and I did was on another Jameson Irish whiskey, this time being, Black Barrel.
We toughed it out for you guys while a swarm of bees were all around us. We do it for you.
Black Barrel is re-charred used Bourbon and Sherry casks that are vatted together before bottling.
It comes in at the usual 40% ABV for Jameson.
On the nose: It has a very cola like smell, but what about the taste?
Watch the video review below to hear our thoughts.
It needed to be brought up, I finally had enough when I saw a local shop selling Weller C.Y.P.B. for $400! Are you kidding me bro?? It's a $45 bottle!
So down below this text you can hear my rant about shady store owners. I'm all for capitalism and having the right to make a living in this country, but there's a big difference between having a mark up and just being a douche bag.
Maybe you're waiting on that perfect sucker to walk in that will listen to your "suggestion" that Weller is worth that price....or maybe that bottle collects dust for months on end....either way, you're alienating your local community members who would have been your regular customers. I know of plenty of whiskey groups who private message each other and have a list of stores they boycott for this exact reason. These boycotters are costing these store owners thousands of dollars a month in potential sales...so while you wait to make a couple hundred dollars off 1 sucker, you lose dozens of big whiskey purchasers. Basic economics folks, price your bottles fairly and whiskey enthusiasts will be your regulars. Hopefully listening to the rant will make a few store owners reconsider. I doubt it though, that's fine. Our business will go to the ones who are fair.
Listen to the audio below for the full rant.
(If it pauses during transitions from intro to the podcast, hit play again)
Update: I added a follow up to the first rant underneath (Part 2 if you will)
We're going full strength for this review. We taste test and review Bulleit Bourbon barrel strength, batch #2 which has an ABV of 62.7%!
This is by far the highest proof whiskey that Just Mike has had in his whiskey journey thus far. How did he fair? Watch the video.
Bulleit has an interesting back story that I tell in the video.
This packs a wallop like you'd expect from something with so much alcohol content, but through that we get hints of caramel, vanilla, and even cola?
In the video we tested this one neat vs diluted with water vs over ice.
Watch the video below:
My most suggested book for all things whiskey:
Shadow Ridge is a veteran owned, craft distillery based in North County San Diego in the city of Oceanside, California.
The owner and head distiller, Sean Hallman, is a Navy veteran and he has an extensive background in brewing beer, which he uses that experience to experiment with his whiskies to bring out a phenomenal product.
We received an advanced bottle to sample which is the one we reviewed.
Due to release in August 2018, Shadow Ridge will be releasing 3 varieties. This single malt we just reviewed, in addition to a Bourbon and another one they're calling their "Special Release."
Between small stills and unique shapes, he uses unique yeast strains and varying temperatures to give his whiskey a uniquely creamy texture, especially noticeable in the single malt.
The single malt uses 60% peated or cherry wood smoked barley, with the other 40% comprising of vienna and crystal malts.
For a young whiskey, it's surprisingly complex and not "green" at all. He ages his whiskey in 5 gallon barrels.
The Shadow Ridge Single Malt whiskey is one of my personal favorite whiskies. I love the creamy texture and taste this brings out with a touch of smoke.
It actually currently holds my highest rated score for the channel yet!
I highly encourage you check them out if you're local and take a tour. Sean loves to talk whiskey and will gladly give you a personal tour when available. Hit them up at: Shadow Ridge Facebook
Or on their website: Shadow Ridge Website
Check out our full review below:
Update 8/10/18: I was able to interview Sean for the podcast and you can hear that below:
Maybe you've heard the term infinity bottle used in a video or on a forum but didn't know what it actually meant?
Maybe this is the first time you've ever heard of an infinity bottle?
Either way, I got you covered.
I've heard some people call it a solera bottle or even a living bottle. Infinity bottle is a lot more common.
I like to tell people an infinity bottle is your living, breathing journal of your whiskey journey.
It's an experiment and should be treated as such.
So there's a few ways to get started and that's totally up to you on how you want to do your own.
You can start in a small bottle and progressively increase in size as you fill it up. You can start with an empty bottle and add equal amounts of whiskies, or you can start with a base of a whiskey and add to that instead.
Basically what you're going to do is add your whiskies in small amounts to create your own blended whiskey. When you add to it is up to you, the first pour, the last pour or a random pour. (I do a random pour after opening the bottle)
Then there's the everything bottle (which is what I do) where you pour something from everything you have or some people will do 3 separate bottles for: Bourbon + Smokey/Islay whiskies + Everything else, or simply 2 bottles for: Smokey whiskies vs Everything else.
My only rule for my personal bottle (and the Brolic Whiskey bottle) is that I only add from full size bottles I own and that aren't sample sized bottles.
Whichever way you decide to go, the bottle will evolve constantly as you add whiskies. There will be times the bottle tastes amazing, while other times it's not going to be enjoyable....just keep going. Taste it randomly (small amounts) or at certain milestones. Ex: For the Brolic Whiskey blend we won't taste from it until we hit 100 subscribers on Youtube.
So help us reach that goal by subscribing and sharing our videos.
Do you have your own infinity bottle?
Will you now be starting your own infinity bottle?
Leave a comment.
Video below for a verbal explanation:
A while back I did a 2 minute review on this one for the podcast, but we finally got around to doing a full review for our Youtube channel, Brolic Whiskey.
One of my favorites, Wolfburn Northland.
This is one of my go-to bottles for when I try to convince people that age alone shouldn't be a deciding factor when judging a whiskey. This is a no-age statement single malt whisky from a newly re-opened distillery.
Based in Thurso, Scotland it makes Wolfburn the northern most distillery on the mainland, and just like Highland Park on the Orkney islands, this has direct lineage to Vikings.
Aged in quarter casks and matured in used Laphroaig casks, this one hides it's age very well. Bottled at 46% ABV and hand crafted in small batches using smaller than average stills, gives this a craft feel.
I'm looking forward to trying other varieties coming out of Wolfburn in the future.
Check out the full video review down below:
"For a relaxing time, make it Suntory time."
Yes, we know Bill Murray wasn't referring to Toki when he used this line in the movie, "Lost in Translation"...he was actually advertising for the now discontinued, Hibiki 17. Same parent company.
Toki means time in Japanese.
Why name something "time" when it's a no age statement bottling is something I don't get, but hey, I'm not the marketing guy.
This is a blended Japanese whisky using a blend from Hakushu, Yamazaki and Chita distilleries. With such amazing distilleries involved in this, it has to be a dope whiskey right? Weeeeellllll....watch the review to hear what we think of this one. We are in agreement once again. But is that a good thing?
I also present Just Mike with our very own Infinity Bottle and a challenge for when we will crack it open to drink. Watch the video to see how you can help us hit that goal.
You can buy your own Glencairn glasses, while also supporting this channel, by using this link.
We reviewed the widely popular Classic Laddie from the Bruichladdich distillery. Coming from Islay, you would expect it to be a smoke bomb, but you won't find that here as this is an unpeated Islay Scotch whisky. It's the predecessor to the Laddie 10, while this one is a NAS (No Age Statement) variant it is distilled and blended to taste similar and has the same packaging and teal colored bottle that the discontinued Laddie 10 had. This uses 100% Scottish barley and is bottled at 50% ABV.
We say this all the time, taste is subjective and in this review Mike and I had very opposing views. Who do you agree with more on this debate?
Watch the video below and leave us a comment with your opinion of The Classic Laddie.
We wanted to do Mr. Ron Swanson proud by reviewing the only whiskey good enough to be his exclusive drink. A drink he has called, "Mothers Milk".
This is a peated Islay Scotch whisky, aged 16 years.
For comparison purposes, we review a freshly opened bottle to one that has been sitting around for a few months. Does it make a big difference? Find out in the video below.
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I had the pleasure of interviewing another one of my heroes in the whiskey world, Daniel Whittington. Daniel is the Vice Chancellor of The Wizard Academy and Founder of Whisky Marketing School which offers the only whiskey sommelier program in the world. He also hosts The Whiskey Vault, a whiskey review channel on Youtube that has a new video Monday-Friday. In addition to The Whiskey Tribe channel which uploads on Saturday for more whiskey shenanigans with co-host, Rex. The Whiskey Vault channel just surpassed 100K subscribers this week, making it the fastest whiskey channel to ever do so. Daniel and Rex have done an amazing job of building a community, so there is also a Facebook group under the Whiskey Tribe name that is currently at around 8,700 members as well. If you've watched their videos, you know they are genuine, down to Earth guys with a great passion for whiskey and bringing together a community of whiskey fans. The most admirable thing is the fact that there is no snobbery here, and a genuine interest in education while trying to introduce new people to enjoy whiskey as well. The channels are fun, the FB group is fun but The Somm knows his stuff. Whether the details are correct enough or not is irrelevant. :)
You can listen to the full audio podcast below:
Please show some love for our own channel by subscribing to: Brolic Whiskey.
You can also support this blog by using the links to products found around the website. We appreciate you more than you realize.
Just Mike is back to review Wild Turkey 101 bourbon!
Bottom Shelf Matters. #bottomshelfmatters
This is America's top selling bourbon. Coming in at 50.5% ABV this can pack a punch.
Distilled the same way for over 60 years by head distiller, Jimmy Russell.
Watch our side by side review to hear what we think.
So, Just Mike wasn't available to record this week. Instead, my editor aka my wife, stepped in to take on co-host duties. What's special about this, is that she doesn't like whiskey or any other strong tasting alcohol. She's a sweetened cocktail kind of gal. Looking at my lineup I grabbed what I thought would be the most friendly of whiskies to help ease the inevitable pain she's going to endure. I took my bottle of The Balvenie 14 Caribbean Cask Scotch whisky down off my shelf and get everything ready for us to start the recording. I don't have a bar height table like Mike, so we had to sit, which I always feels looks weird on videos and made me feel uncomfortable while recording this one. Lisett aka Wonder Woman, knows the format already since, as I mentioned, she edits the videos so she already knew how things were going to play out.
The bottle was donated to me by one of my friends from the SoCal MBs, Jonathan.
I'm going to include the video at the bottom of this post.
Spoiler alert: We found a scotch that she likes!
Nose: Light, vanilla, toffee (Lisett said banana)
Palate: Sweet, light peppery spice, oily
Finish: Medium-long, lingers
She enjoyed this one so much we may have hopes to convert her into a whiskey lover!
Later that night, we had a private tour of a local distillery that's not open to the public yet and we had the honor to sample some of their offerings. All of which are super unique and damn good. We will be reviewing some sample bottles for Youtube soon and I'll be interviewing the owner/distiller for the podcast later this week so stay tuned for those.
Anyway, check out the debut of Wonder Woman on Brolic Whiskey here:
In our latest Youtube review we feature Jameson Caskmates Stout edition.
As always we use our Glencairn glasses to pick up nosing notes.
This is regular Jameson Irish Whiskey that has then been aged in barrels that were previously used in barrel aged Irish Stout beer.
Nose: Light, floral, some chocolate
Palate: Crisp, chocolate, cream
Finish: Medium. I would love to see this at a higher proof.
Watch the full side by side comparison of neat vs with water vs on ice (and hear Just Mike's opinion too)
As a fan of scotch and other whiskeys I was tired of looking up reviews for new whiskeys that just oozed of snobbery. I wanted to create an outlet for average Joe's who don't have a sommelier palate. Born and raised in Long Island, New York, I moved to San Diego, California in 2010 with my wife. I'm also a fan of MMA, pro-wrestling, comic books, video games and strongman. All subjects are topic for discussion on the podcast.
Glencairn Glass set
Angels Share dropper set
A Must-Own Book
Whiskey Advocate Magazine