Review: Whyte & Mackay Special Blended Scotch Whisky / by Jason Hambrey

Scottish Malt and Grain Whiskies
Distiller Multiple (Scotland)

This heart of this blended whisky is Dalmore (owned by the same company). It is called a “double marriage” because it and it is created first as a vatted malt (i.e. a blend of single malt whiskies), matured in sherry casks, before being blended with 6 different grain whiskies to be aged further in (different) sherry casks. It is sometimes known for being a bit more powerful than other blends.

Review (2014)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: ~2013

Nose: I find a mix of oak, vanilla, peaches, apricots, caramel, medicinal orange, some fresh green notes of celery, and a slight malty character. There is a bit of harshness in the nose that makes me wonder if there are some pretty young spirits in this blend – I don’t think the harshness helps the nose, but it doesn’t detract that much, all things considered. However, the balance of the oak and the soft fruits (peaches, apricots) is quite nice.

Taste: Light at first, before a kick of toasted oak and raisins followed by a giant kick of manuka honey at the end, with some darkly toasted bread notes and malt leading into the finish. Very nice sweetness level to it, and some slight earthiness as well, with quite a buttery character throughout. There is a flourish of spice at the end – cloves, and a bit of cinnamon and a slight accompanying bitterness – but it’s quite nice.

Finish: The spices die down, revealing baking bread, pears, malt, raisins, canned peaches, almond, and some lingering sweetness. All of it dies down relatively quickly. It’s not bad, but I would mind a bit more boldness and body to the finish.

Very enjoyable – I quite like the flavour profile, perhaps more than this rating suggests. There isn’t a huge amount going on relative to many other base level blends, which just explode with a dozen different flavours – but I don’t mind that. I think the profile would also mix very well in cocktails.

Value: Average, at $26. Not amazing stuff, but not bad and a sub-$30 Scotch which is hard to find in Ontario.