G’day guys, Malt Liquor Mitch here. And I am here enjoying this beautiful unusually cool day here in the Wide Bay. I managed to keep the air conditioning off all day today. I’m astonished. So lets celebrate this act of mercy on behalf of the sun and enjoy a nice whisky.
In the last post, I tested the basis of single malt whisky, and that it need not cost you an arm and a leg. I briefly touched on the subject of blended whiskies, and that they, though they are not the product of sole distilleries, are still more than adequate drams. There is a wealth of very prestigious labels and bottles on the shelves of many a bottle shop that easily pass the qualifications of a top shelf liquor. That do well to punch above their weight, and their pricetags.
Enter the Dimple – A blended bottle of scotch from the label, Haig. Haig, itself being one of the more successful and exalted labels in Scottish whisky, another label owned by the hugely successful Diageo Corporation. In a blurb, talking themselves up that they “may even be the oldest whisky in the world”. May, being the keyword here. Scotch of all things, may trace it’s roots back almost as ancient as beer and wine. But in the days of Scotland in the middle ages and the neighboring areas of the preexistent United Kingdom, all records are murky at best if not completely predated. Haig oversees the distillation of many bottles in it’s name. With such a number of bottles being pumped out, and in this case, different distilleries to take advantage of, it’s no surprise that the thought eventually crossed the minds of those in charge to blend together a combinations of their whiskies into a blended bottle. Especially in this moment in history, to compete with newly established, now famous blenders of whiskies – Chivas Regal, and Johnnie Walker among others. The Dimple itself, is a classic, and effective pawn in Haig’s campaign. The sales of the bottle, dates back over a hundred and twenty years, first introduced to the market back before the turn of the twentieth-century in eighteen-ninety-three. It’s popularity has held it over for over one hundred and twenty five years, and still exists to this day. It appears in popular culture, often bragging of it’s appearance and consumption in the T.V. series Breaking Bad by the character, Walter White. As well as by James Bond.
The bottle, named after the bottle itself that the malt comes in, the Dimple, for obvious reasons. Or to use it’s full name, the Dimple Pinch. American drinkers, often referring to it simply as the Pinch. The bottle itself, is a beauteous elegant item to behold. With graceful trim of gold and thin, neat labels of crimson. Adorned with a gracefully upturnt cork top, and gold wire wrapping, akin to a fine vintage bottle of Spanish Reserva Rioja. This is definitely one of those bottles you find an excuse to reuse, for purposes determined upon later requisition. You can definitely be forgiven for not wanting to throw this one away. The idea that this is one of those blended scotches that outgun some single malts is planted straight away by the beautifully crafted bottle. The case it comes in, in contrast is unremarkable. A simple cardboard case, albeit glossy. Although disposable without a second thought contrary to the bottle it encases. The liquor inside, in keeping with the inherit style of the bottle displayed so far, is a rich, pure gold-y brown colour. And so I move to taste.
I unwrap the foil and pull upwards. Surprisingly after all this buildup and it’s appearance, it isn’t a cork. Instead it’s a regular old screw cap, it’s even plastic instead of aluminum. A strange sidestep on this malt’s pedigree appearance, but we’ll gloss over this. Upon it’s removal it releases thick, syrupy, fruity noses of raisins, maple, chocolate, brown sugar and turkish delights, with a heat of malt. Extremely unexpected, no gruff or earthy aroma of peat smoke as expected of a scotch. I’m apprehensive that this scotch will be too fruity, and not so much smoky. I pour the scotch into a tumbler over an ice sphere, and the whisky releases new noses of chocolate biscuits; TimTams, and strawberries. So let’s taste to see what this is really like. Thankfully, there’s some peat. So I can relax. But this isn’t what you would call dominantly smokey. Certainly, there’s some earthiness, but it is also balanced with a generous sensation of sweetness that can only be compared to fresh, moist fruit. On the tip of the tongue, a taste of white sugar after a cool, refreshing wash of raspberry, with a foreboding background and an aftertaste of peat. A whisky of smoothness abound, with an ever present sting of spice and smoke to remind you you’re not drinking water. As a taste, we’ll sum it up as a fresh punnet of strawberries and a cigar.
To summarize: Don’t be fooled by the first impressions of fruitiness. This is still a genuine scotch. It tastes just as good as it looks. Smoothness that eases you in, and a soft low burn in your chest to soothe away your troubles. Cheers