Thursday, April 5, 2012

There's no such thing as bad scotch: Whyte $ Mackay Glasgow Special

This post is not going to make me look like a scotch connaisseuse.  However, I have never claimed to be one.  To the contrary, what I have to offer you is the lay-chick's opinion on the spirits I consume.  Nevertheless, sometimes I might appear to have good taste and reasonable sense when it comes to scotch.  This is not one of those posts, and for good reason.  I'm suffering from PMS-related anxiety and insomnia.

If you're looking for high-brow fancy-schmancy scotch reviews, go fart poop I suggest you look elsewhere.

Before we get to the review, let us first consider the facts:

1.  a number of governmental budget cuts are coming down the line, and my partner and I are both government employees;
2.  our household members' unions will soon be entering contract negotiations with little optimism;
3.  I just got a surprise tuition bill equivalent to roughly two paycheques;
4.  I have set out to try a wide variety of scotches and report back to you, and;
5.  I did not pick this scotch.  He did.  He thinks maybe we (I) should start drinking more blends.

I have never hidden the fact that my scotch-drinking days began with a good few bottles of Chivas Regal as I worked my way through my undergrad degree.  And while I generally agree with this reviewer, I also think that blends are not all bad by definition.  They're just not nearly as good as single malts.  But I will sometimes drink them.

I still sometimes make grilled cheese with Kraft Singles, too.

This is what my mate brought me, and this is how I'm drinking it tonight, after a day of too many people (especially sales people), too many places, too many choices to make, and not nearly enough progesterone or chocolate:

I was drinking tea out of this mug earlier.  "Earlier" as in... yesterday.  With this scotch, it really doesn't matter much if a trace of dried stale milk mixes in.  I did want to keep it classy by not drinking straight out of the bottle, however.
This is Whyte & Mackay Special Blended Scotch Whisky. It is called the "Double Marriage Blend" because it is aged, then blended, then aged some more.  Apparently even the distillers couldn't stand the original blend and locked it back up.  There is no age on this scotch.

My initial impression of this scotch was that it smells and tastes rather a lot like apple cider vinegar with a touch of clover honey, diluted with rubbing alcohol.  My more considered opinion is much the same.

To be fair, I am about half-way through the bottle, so it is drinkable.  It improves a bit when let to sit and breathe a bit.  It is most definitely improved by a generous portion of water -- I poured a glass about 1 part water and 2 parts scotch and it made for a reasonably pleasant and refreshing tipple.  This is a great scotch for those who prefer their scotch "on the rocks" -- it likes to be cold and diluted.

In short, this is just the scotch I needed tonight, when the last thing I wanted was yet something else to make me feel less elegant and sophisticated in comparison.  I wanted a drink.  I wanted to feel a bit of warm softness for my eyeballs to settle into.  I wanted an easy nightcap that would cause me no emotional reaction one way or another.  This did the job just fine.

As a bonus, reflecting on the good-in-the-bad, it helped me to remember that, earlier in my relatively crappy today, my mate also found my car (parked where I was having lunch with a friend), and left me a bunch of pink tulips on the passenger seat.  See?  Even inelegant scotch has it's purpose.

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