A few years ago my wife and I went on a road trip through Scotland, passing through the picturesque highlands, glens, and, most memorably, the extinct supervolcano at Glen Coe. It was green, lush, mountainous and pristine, which was basically everything I imagined Scotland would be. One thing that reminds me of that Scottish road trip is the imagery and design on a bottle of Pure Scot scotch whisky. With its shades of green in the shape of mountains and mirroring a blue loch, the bottle design makes me thirsty for Scotch. Lucky for me I happen to have a few samples of Pure Scot on hand!
Pure Scot is a blended Scotch whisky which combines Bladnoch single malt with grain whiskies and a selection of island, highland and speyside malts. At its price, it is (surprisingly) very good and punches well above it weight. The whisky smells of toffee, tropical fruit, grain and cut grass. It tastes great, too – bitey, with a nice mix of sweet orchard fruit, syrupy caramel, vanilla, soft smoke and spice. The finish is chocolaty, mildly spicy, and warming. This sure is a sweet and syrupy Scotch.
Served neat the whisky is easy-drinking and enjoyable, but it is at its best on ice or mixed with cola. Pure Scot kindly sent me a pre-mixed drink of Pure Scot Virgin Oak and Smoked Cola, and this combination worked extremely well together. The mixer itself had a nice strong kick of Scotch, the smokiness was subtle and the cola was syrupy sweet, which complimented Pure Scot’s profile and the virgin oak influence (which tends to be sweet and “bourbony”). It is a fun mixer that is easy to drink and perfect with a barbecue.
Overall I think Pure Scot is a great value blended Scotch whisky which, befitting of its lovely bottle design, offers a nice tour of Scottish whisky with its mix of grain whisky and malts from the islands, highlands and speyside regions of Scotland. I would however love to see an age statement on the bottle, just so I know a little more about what I am drinking.
Compass Box are whiskymakers who craft whisky by blending whiskies from different distilleries and batches, thereby creating unique flavour profiles from what is essentially a concoction of “ingredient” whiskies. This is the art of whisky blending. Blending to create a whisky that matches the blue print in one’s mind is much harder than it sounds or looks (as I learned aboard the Glenfiddich Whisky Wanderer!). Trying to unpack a whisky blender’s creation is even harder. To help unravel their complex whiskies, though, Compass Box provide a break down of the “ingredients” that go into each of their whiskies. Trying to piece together the puzzle of a Compass Box whisky by smell and taste is, in my experience, a lot of fun.
The newly released trio of limited edition Compass Box whiskies that sit before me ready to be tasted are Compass Box The Circle, Compass Box Affinity, and Compass Box No Name No. 2.
Grant’s has recently announced that it is “refreshing” its brand with the introduction of new packaging and a new name for its signature blend. The fresh faced Grant’s “Triple Wood” is one of the whiskies in the Grant’s line up to receive a new face lift. Continue reading “Grant’s Triple Wood”→
On first nosing the whisky, it smells cheap. There are lots of vanillas and caramels, and that estery grain note that tends to develop as a distillation run gets into the tail end of hearts and into tails. It is a sweet, light and very well mannered dram. By no means impressive, though; and youngish. Truth be told, I get a lot of new make (newly distilled spirit) from the bouquet of this whisky – an estery grain, in particular.
Sharp, granular, jaggered and rough. The mouth-feel is not even worth mentioning, as the consistency of the whisky feels watery and thin on the palate. The alcohols are there, vaporous and lashing the palate. Behind the assault of alcohol, there is some apple, soft but noticeable peat and chocolate with hints of vanilla and caramel. It strikes me as a very chemical and medicinal tasting dram.
The apple notes remain, with burning alcohols and a deep breath of nail polish.
Don’t bother. This whisky goes from bad to worse; the nose seems to wreak of immaturity, the palate is rough and jaggered and whatever flavours are in the whisky hide behind a veil of sharp alcohol. I just don’t jive with this whisky.