A fairly unknown blended Scotch that may pleasantly surprise you.
Notes: One of the few blended scotches that actually carry any kind of age statement .By law the age of the youngest whisky is used – there are no weighted/average age calculations allowed. A blend of Island (which can include Islay, Orkney, and Skye) and Speyside (almost all the scotches you have heard of come from that area). This is the youngest expression of their line which also includes a 12, 21, and 50 year old version.
Appearance: Nice honey gold in the bottle, nice edge line on the glass when you swirl it; a smooth layer of whiskey on swirling and very few legs at first, then thin interrupted legs form.
First Impression: Toffee, heather, orange, some floral notes, dark fruit smells all coming from the Speysides, along with a very nice underpinning of iodine, brine and peat from the Islands, with some aromatic smoke, leather, vanilla and barrel char notes developing.
Taste: Medium to light weight mouthfeel (for a scotch). Sweet start with a lot of charcoal and peat notes coming on fast, then it settles down a bit with malt, dark fruits, vanilla, and candied fruit notes wrapped around heather and peat. Addition of some water (bottled or filtered, no chlorine!) knocks down the alcohol and opens up the bouquet nicely, although at 86 proof already you don’t need much.
Drinks: A great scotch for drinks, has the peat for a nice backbone but not enough to overwhelm, and a nice blend of spiciness, sweetness and charm to make it a multilayered, mutlitextured scotch that won’t break the bank to make an excellent cocktail with. Cheap enough to have as an “around the house” scotch whisky, quality enough to not feel ashamed about it (unlike a number of others that come to mind).
Cigars: Something mild in a natural or cameroon wrapper- Cuesta Rey, Herrencia, or El Sol, torpedo or corona size would do nicely .
Bottle: Similar to the classic single malt bottle shape you see a lot of. Clear glass shows the whisky’s color nicely. Slightly generic paper label (very similar to others) and screwcap closure.
Final Thoughts: Nicely done, thoughtful expression and blending of two classic types of scotch combining the best qualities of each. At $29 a bottle it is competitive with many other blends and a lot more value for the money.
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