Thursday, January 9, 2014

008 - Single Grain Whisky - North of Scotland

Yesterday's post was delayed by circumstances. Will do 2 today but have to slow down. Will run out of Scotch soon. :-)

The distillery for today (like most grain distilleries) has an unfamiliar name: "North of Scotland." Yes, that's the name of a grain whisky distillery.

It is rare to find single-grain Scotch whisky, or I should say "it's rare for me." I got really lucky when I found this one for two reasons: 1) You never see these in stores, and 2) It was priced way to low -- I got it for less than $200 (it should have been twice that...a price that I would not have paid). 

Unlike single-malts that have well-publicized Glenlivet, Macallan, Dalmore, etc., but grain distilleries mostly operate behind the scenes in the Scotch world. They are huge factories with names you have never heard of: Cameronbridge, Girvan, and this one (there aren't a lot of them).

I wrote about Scotch Grain Whisky on my old Wordpress blog and I even have a list of the distilleries I could find.

You might hear grain distilleries categorized as Lowland or Highland, etc., but these appellations indicate purely geographical, not stylistic, aspects. In reality there are far too few of these facilities to categorize their products meaningfully. First, they are rarely sold, and second they don't have much flavor. Just kidding. :-)

What's this taste like?

Dark color you would expect from a sherry cask
Honey on the nose
Fruitcake on the tongue
Older than me (distilled in 1964; bottled when 40 years old in 2005)
45.5% abv (91 proof) -- cask strength
Astringency (tart fruits)
Indep. Bottler: "Scott's Selection"
Serious wood notes underneath -- not vanilla-y -- like old maple-coated cedar planks

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