I was lucky enough to visit Jamaica during the pandemic. The resort we booked was closed due to low volume (thanks Covid) so they put is in a sister resort nearby. The sister resort was Iberostar Rose Hall Suites. It was surreal and a once in a lifetime opportunity at the same time. Unless I hit the lotto I can’t imagine I’m going to have a swim up resort bar basically to myself. There were literally like three other couples in the whole place.
My go to drink after settling into vacation in the Rose Hall Suites was this Appleton Reserve Blend Jamaican Rum. It was the “top shelf” at the all inclusive, and I wasn’t going to spend more money for bottle service.
The nose was ripe fruit that ended with just a touch of sharpness. The sharpness on the nose is hard to describe. It’s a bit metallic but also chemically. Like I said, its hard to describe.
The Score – Appleton Estate Reserve Blend Rum
The palate light and smooth. There isn’t a lot of depth to this rum, but it is perfect for sipping by the edge of the pool. Overall, this Appleton Reserve Blend scored a 70/100. That makes it Sip Worthy!
The more I drank the more they refilled my glass. (I drank this while on vacation at the all inclusive resort Iberostar Rose Hall Suites.)
Mr. Whiskey is a blended Irish offering that is matured in IPA Casks. At $22 this is what I’d describe as a budget offering, but don’t let that scare you off, this dram punches way above its price point.
I poured an oversized dram into a Glencairn Whisky Glass and swirled it gently before putting my nose to the glass. The nose is floral with hints of malt. This is a gentle, subdued nose which is perfect for the beginner.
The mouth feel is light and watery and opens with sweet vanilla that turns to malt as it reaches the mid tongue. The finish is more malt mixed with just a hint of butter cookies that ends with just a flash of roughness.
The Score – Mr. Whiskey
Mr. Whiskey scored a 70/100, making it Sip Worthy, but more importantly, this whiskey also made into my Whiskey Safe. At this price to value, I plan to keep a bottle on my shelf at all times.
Light straw color.
Classic Irish notes.
Amazing price to value.
Incredibly affordable as anywhere close to $22 bucks.
While it is an easy sipper, there isn’t a lot of depth here.
There is a little roughness on the finish, its not overbearing, but it is there.
Our first stop of our trip was the Cadillac Ranch. We were walking along Fleet Street and decided their menu looked the best. The Public House and the Brass Tap menu’s looked too bar food heavy for us.
We had a full meal, and multiple drinks at Cadillac Ranch. Our favorite item was on the appetizer list as they had some amazing taco choices. We also had fried pickles and the tater tots with everything.
We originally thought we’d just get some appetizers and then order some entrees. Once the apps got there we realized there was more than enough food for all four of us.
As we ate and caught up, we tried a bunch of different drinks.
My first drink at Cadillac Ranch was the Blue Suede Shoes. It is a mixture made with Elijah Craig Small Batch Bourbon and black cherry purée:
I took a sip through the straw and my blood sugar spiked. It was almost too sweet. I could barely take another sip. My son (he’s an adult) sipped from the edge of the glass and said it wasn’t too sweet. At first I thought it was just his sugared up generation. Then I realized the drink wasn’t mixed yet. It was still sweet, but after I stirred it I was able to drink it. Just remember that I don’t really like Old Fashioned for the same reason. They are just too sweet and I can’t appreciate the whiskey when there is too much sugar.
My second drink was a Blood Orange Bourbon Sour made with Elijah Craig Small Batch Bourbon. If you want to make your own you will need this Blood Orange Sour mix. It was very sweet, and moderately sour. Yes, I drank it, but I wouldn’t order it again.
My son’s girlfriend (all adults) got a Black Cherry Rye Cola. She didn’t like it. The rest of us finished it off for her. For me, it was very much lick a Jack and Coke, and I honestly wouldn’t waste good whiskey in Pepsi.
I tried to order the Sazerac Soda with Redemption Rye Whiskey, but they were out of Absinthe. I choose the classic Craig Small Batch Bourbon Manhattan for my final drink of the night instead:
This Craig Small Batch Bourbon Manhattan was the perfect way to end the night. It is a classic bourbon in a drink that lets the bourbon really shine.
Overall we had a lot of fun at Cadillac Ranch. The staff were friendly, incredibly attentive even though it was crazy busy, and the food was really tasty.
Cadillac Ranch Scoring
Cadillac Ranch is coming in the Moderate Cost Per Person range. Its the National Harbor and everything is pretty expensive though, so keep that in mind. I’m giving them an overall 70/00, mostly driven by the fact that most of the bourbon drinks I tried were just a bit too sweet for me.
Paddy’s Old Irish Whiskey is distilled by Irish Distillers, at the Midleton distillery in County Cork. It is a blended offering that is just about as affordable as Irish Whiskey should get. I can routinely find Paddy’s Old Irish Whiskey for $20 if I’m willing to drive to the big liquor store a few towns away. At $20 bucks, it might just make you wonder how good could it be?
The nose is really subtle. It’s a little malty and a little sweet that blends with a bit of alcohol.
The sip is just about as subtle. This is a thin whiskey. The mouth feel is watery, but its also beautifully simple. I’d say this is perfect for those times when the friends or the food is the focus, and the whiskey is going to flow freely, which is perfect as this Paddy’s Irish Whiskey is just about as affordable as it gets.
It is also an award winner. When it comes to value, you really can’t beat Paddy’s Old Irish Whiskey.
The finish is a little spice that overpowers the malt, but not in a bad way.
I find it amazing that a $20 bottle is also packaged so well.
Paddy’s Old Irish Whiskey scored a 70/100, putting it just into the Sip Worthy category. Don’t let that score scare you off. At this price, that score is really impressive. There are times when I just crave Paddy’s Old Irish Whiskey, and since its a few bucks cheaper than Jameson, it is also easy on the wallet.
Light to medium amber.
For $20 bucks this is a great buy.
Great budget whiskey.
Affordable whiskey for new drinkers.
Amazing value Irish Whiskey with tons of awards.
Not a lot of complexity. Will underwhelm a more appreciative pallet.
Not a lot of anything on the nose.
After a dram, the next dram goes down easier, which is nice, but also dangerous.