So now I'm back with some free time and some new bottles. One bottle I picked up recently is sold exclusively by Total Wine and More, a large chain that wasn't in Boston. This particular whisky is an independent bottling done just for Total by "Shieldaig." It's a no-name single malt, just given the title "Speyside," and we're told it's an 18-year-old. Price? $40. And due to an error by the check-out clerk (which I only realized when I looked at the receipt some time later), the bottle was charged to me as a 12-pack of beer, so it cost about $13.
I tried to pin the salespeople at Total down regarding the distillery the whisky comes from, but they apparently couldn't remember or find it; I don't think they were trying to hide it from me, because one woman I asked spent some time trying to figure it out. So it's quite the mystery, and I was excited to try the whisky, though I didn't have huge expectations.
$13 for an 18-year-old single malt scotch. A good deal? We'll see...
Shieldaig Speyside 18 Year, 40% ABV
Single malt scotch whisky (Speyside)
Nose: A butterscotch sweetness and some sherry.
Palate: Light sherry, ripe fruit (red apples, plums) and some less-than-optimal wood.
Finish: Sort of ok (fruit again) at first and then...ghastly. *gag* The aftertaste of this whisky haunted me the first few times I tried it. It tastes like bubble gum that you've been chewing for two hours and only has a kind of nasty, rubbery taste left to it. Plus a little wood.
Rating (of 100): 31. The nose is really the only appealing part of this whisky. The lingering finish makes me want to dump this bottle, but I think I'll keep it around for any uninvited and exceptionally annoying guests.
This bottle actually decreased my interest in whisky the first few times I drank it, to the point where I got to wondering whether I really was still very interested in whisky. Some Old Pulteney brought me back to my senses.
If you buy this whisky, be prepared to have wasted between $13 and $40. I wouldn't even give this away to someone because I fear what it could do in the wrong hands.