Heatherlea Birdwatching: Wee Crestie (Scottish Blended Whisky: 8 Years: 40% ABV)

Visual: Darkened grain to gold.

Viscosity: Slow initial puckering then innumerable streaks forms quickly.

Nose: Vanilla. Some grain alcohol. Floral. Youthful fire. Waters adds musty grapes.

Body:  Very thin up front. Custard. Dried apricot. Peaches. Apple crumble. Even thinner if you add water and far less pleasant.

Finish: Liquorice. Toffee. Chocolate sweets with strawberry cream centres. Still that alcohol fire. Much more chocolaty with water.

Conclusion: Tourist independent bottling can be, eclectic, to say the least. They don’t have a particularly great reputation let’s just say.  Blended tourist independent whisky, even worse so.  It was thus with slight trepidation I approached this whisky.

An inoffensive aroma and thin front to the body didn’t really help the first impressions. Held on the tongue for a while tempted dessert flavours forth into a surprisingly sweet finish.  The quota of the blend is still obvious, but you feel that the base malt whisky was something, that if it had not been hammered into submission by grain, would have been quite pleasant.

It’s not a whisky I can recommend. It just can’t push enough flavour forth. It does however bode well for the base malt used for it, whichever malt it was.  The malt does have just enough presence to push forth the whiskies best aspect. The finish.

The finish is actually quite good. Yes I know, I sound shocked there. Solid chocolate and strawberry cream that lingers well.  This and all other aspects however are killed by the addition of water, it doesn’t even remove the grain fire as it does so.

This is not a good whisky, and the hint of what it could have been makes its lacklustre elements oh so much worse.

Background: Sometimes it’s useful having twitchers in the family. In this case because they brought back two miniatures of whisky for me to try, which were made to raise money for some bird watching thingy.  Drunk in a quite preposterous glass due to having nothing more suitable available. The glass actually worked a lot better than it had any right to.   So far I have not had much luck with tourist spot blended whisky, with one in particular picked up on our Scotland tour being one of the worst I have ever drank. Blended whisky is oft the poorer cousin of single malt, but there are excellent whiskies available under its banner so I try to remember not to write it off completely.  Thanks to mum and dad for the kind gift of this whisky.