Thursday, December 30, 2010

Whisky review: Cutty Black

I'm sitting in the open air on a balcony overlooking the beach at Isla Verde in San Juan, Puerto Rico. I bought this bottle of Cutty Black at the supermarket yesterday for $24, as I had never heard of it before (only the regular Cutty Sark, which is all over the mainland U.S.) but read online that it was supposed to be a peated version of the regular Cutty. I figured that, for this price, it was worth a try.

Cutty Sark is owned by Berry Brothers and Rudd and, though Cutty Sark is a popular brand with worldwide distribution, Cutty Black is not available in the continental United States.

Cutty Black, 40% ABV
Blended Scotch whisky

Appearance: Gold.

Nose: Brown sugar, raisins, tart plums, honey, dried apricots. A symphony of dark fruit and sugar-related scents, plus a hint of light wood.

Palate: Rock crystal sugar candy, apricots, very ripe red apples, and butterscotch. So smooth I almost didn't know it was in my mouth yet. Reminds me a bit of the Bunnahabhain 18 and Highland Park 12/18 (without the peat).

Finish: Some salt with lingering mellow and well-balanced sweetness.

Overall (of 100): 94. Damn. I think this is the best value whisky I have ever tried. Though it doesn't really come through with any peat for me, that's fine - there are a lot of great fruit and sugary notes that, even though I tend not to like the really sweet whiskies, do not seem cloying. This whisky just begs to be drunk all night. I believe I will have to oblige.

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