Scallywag Cask Strength
£49.95 from The Whisky Exchange
On first pour I get lots of sticky sweet caramel, slightly salted and runny. A rich and milky chocolate. Some light cinnamon and vanilla. With some time more of a nuttiness comes forward, some clove and more fruit becomes present. Sticky boiled in caramel plums. The precursor to making a plum pudding. Some orange rind and some Christmas pudding mixture. Very Speyside.
Arrival is richly sweet and fruity. The quieter fruit notes on the nose are up front on the palate. Chewy and delightful. Develops more chocolate and nuts as the flavours progress. Waves of fruit, fruitcake, spicy chocolate, touches of oak, then back to chocolate fruit and nut. There is a lot of complexity here in the neat form. Intensely sweet and evolving experience.
Long length. Sweet sugars and boiled juicy fruits alongside the dryness of nuts and some dried fruits. With grated milk chocolate at the very end. Quite the experience. The finish lasts longer than the time it takes to eat an average chocolate/nut bar!
I personally wouldn’t normally add water to this. But a few drops anyway to see what happens. The nose is now more nut concentrated with added intensity on the spices. There is more wood noticeable, with pine wood most prominent. The palate still has a great fruity intensity, a little more oak throughout the development now. The finish is again, more intensive on the nuttiness, slightly shorter, less sweet and less chocolatey. Personally I prefer the sweetness, but if that isn’t your think then water will take that sweet edge of and give a nice variation.
A great dieters dram. If your craving some rich sugary delights this is it! I love it’s fattening feeling and there are some lovely sugary wonders to experience here. Comparing to the standard strength bottling I would go for the cask strength every time. It gives a great show of how just a few extra percent of alcohol can transport a wonderful world of additional flavour.
Thanks so much to Douglas Laing Co. for providing the sample.