Friday, 30 December 2011

Whisky Discovery #29

Sheep Dip (40% abv, Blended Malt, 2011, 5cl)
Blended Malt Whisky
Circa £25 for 70cl

Just a miniature to sample
One from Ian Buxton's 101 Whiskies to Try Before you Die, and so had to be investigated.

Back in the 1980's this was the best selling whisky in Harrods. Eccentrically named, but with a great story behind it. British farmers apparently referred to whisky as sheep dip, and long ago farmers distilled their own 'home-made' whisky In order to avoid paying taxes, they hid their whisky in barrels marked 'Sheep Dip' or simply 'SD'.

Then in the 1980's Sheep Dip whisky was being ordered in case-loads through farmers wholesalers, their customers were putting it through their business expenses as insecticide. Not all of them thought it through completely, as many didn't even have sheep and so were caught and fined for tax evasion.

The whisky previously called a 'vatted malt' and now classed as a 'blended malt' by the Scotch Whisky Association is a blend of sixteen different single malts aged between eight and twenty years, in specially selected first fill oak casks.

Rich and golden in colour, the nose is quite delicate. Soft floral notes accompanied with fruit and nuts. Definitely melon and pear and a little almond too. Lot's going on, and with 16 different malts included in the blend you would expect so. Soft dry fruits, apricot ? and an essence of vanilla. Spices and oak flavours, very rich and sweeter towards the end. Onto the finish and the Isaly malts finally come through with the peaty smoke and lingering spices. 

I'm very pleased that I have tried it - and would certainly try it again, but with so many whiskies and too little time must move on.

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