The Tweeddale: 14 Year Batch 5 (Scottish Blended Whisky: 14 year: 46% ABV)
Visual: Pale yellowed grain.
Viscosity: Fast streaks.
Nose: Light. Husked grains. Wholegrain cereal. Water does little to change.
Body: Very smooth. Honey. Light grapes. Very mild alcohol character. Smooth lime cordial. Water makes bigger toffee and bigger body. More water adds vanilla custard and slight lemon meringue.
Finish: Light malt drinks. White grapes. Key lime pie. Water makes more toffee character and chocolate eclair toffee sweets. Apples.
Conclusion: This is 46% abv? No way! The character actually reminded me of the Irish Whiskey style with its sweetness and lightness of drinking character – not a 46% abv blended scotch at that. I’m having my expectations kicked away a lot recently.
Oddly water actually gives it more body, not less, bringing out a big toffee and a more traditional whisky character. The world is topsy turvy today.
Aside from that I’m mainly getting gentle honey sweetness and soft lime and such green fruit flavours. The aroma does very little, with or without water – just slight grain and cream – so, generally, the body onwards is left to do all the heavy lifting and work.
Despite its light character water is vital for opening up the main body. Seemingly a too light Irish whiskey wannabe neat, as water comes in the toffee and green fruit become more present and more varied – going from toffee, to toffee eclair sweets, and from grapes to lime, apples and so on.
The description of this mentions that an Islay cask was used to add some smoke to it – I’m not really getting it myself – Having read it I can kind of apply it to the notes that exist, but that is kind of cheating. Before I read it they came across more like the grain whisky influence that any peat influence.
So, is it good, and from that, is it worth it? Erm,give me a mo to check how much this is going for and I will let you know. Ok, official price seems to be mid 40 quid, but available for mid to late 30s. I wouldn’t drop the official price on it, but at under 40 – yeah I would say it is worth that. It blends the easy drinking style akin to Irish whisky with a good solid Scotch weight of flavour. Not overly complex, more a general sipping whisky, but very well done as that – especially at getting such a smooth character at an above average abv, while still giving a satisfying flavour. So, sits well in the niche it has carved for itself.
Background: Bias Warning: This sample was given to me by Independent Spirit for doing notes on, they also kindly provided the photo of the bottle as I did not have my camera on me at the time. Many thanks. This is a blended whisky made with 50% grain and 50% malt – from 1 grain whisky and 8 malts. Drink while listening to more of Pulp. Yes I am on a Pulp kick at the moment. The bottle it came from is one of 1200 bottles.