I love beer and drink more than my fair share but Scotch is my first love. Perhaps it’s by baptism into pipe band culture or perhaps it’s the little bit of Scottish blood that runs in these veins (I am a Blair after all; adopted mind you ;-)) and let’s face it; nothing goes better with a cigar than a good single-malt Scotch. Of course, as with everything food and drink wise, I like bold flavors so naturally I prefer cask strength Scotches (i.e. Scotch straight from cask to bottle without the addition of distilled water to bring it down to a specified proof/ABV).
This particular batch came out to 58.8% ABV (note cask strength Scotches vary a lot) so it has the pedigree of a good cask but does it have the flavor?
The appearance is a beautiful dark copper color. The nose is greeted with a wonderful bouquet of butterscotch, banana, vanilla and a hint of floral esters. As is to be expected, a fair bit of astringency as well. The initial flavor is a smooth medium bodied caramel and banana with a touch of brown sugar. This gives way into a full bodied finish of a balanced peppery and smoky note (but not like peat – just general smokiness) while the butterscotch and vanilla enter back into the mix. The finish is long and warm, lasting well until the next sip.
Honestly, I didn’t know what to expect for the price point (I paid $75 from a place called Spec’s here in Dallas). I’m honestly quite impressed. It’s a unique Scotch for sure; never experienced this flavor combination but I dig it. I’d describe it as dessert-like for sure – definitely something to have after dinner. For suggested cigar pairings, go for something smooth and rich like a Rocky Patel Royale, Padron 1964 Natural, CO Final Third or an All Out Kings.
This is definitely one I’ll be keeping in my liquor cabinet. Rating: 4.5/5.