Feb 1, 2014

Blend Project #13 Whyte & Mackay Special...

Whyte & Mackay Special (40.0%): 14th candidate of tire-bouchon's Blend Project is Whyte & Mackay's entry level blend, "Special". Lately Whyte & Mackay's name has been on headlines on many whisky related websites and blogs because of its cloudy future. Nobody knows yet how things will move forward for them. After Dieageo's purchase of India's United Spirits it is still unknown if they are going to be able to keep Whyte & Mackay in their portfolio in spite of strict trading and fair competition laws or is Suntory going to have another chance to make another bold move. But regardless of business news anybody who is a little interested in whisk(e)y is familiar with the name of Richard Paterson. Richard Paterson a.k.a "The Nose" has been the master blender and the face of Whyte & Mackay for many decades. He proved in many occasions in the past that he can steer the brand in rough seas and he will do it again without a doubt  if necessary. Let's focus to what's inside the bottle. Color: Polished copper, medium amber. Nose: Walking into a pub on an early Saturday morning: Spilled alcohol on the wooden floor from the night before which is quickly swept with Ajax floor cleaner and the smell of the blue urinal blocks through the bathrooms doors. Weirdly sour and chemical, some cheap cream sherry and old wood. Palate: Very young grain whisky... It tastes more like wood and sherry flavored grain alcohol. Impossible to separate the layers if they are any, everything comes as one big ball of taste. There are some wood notes but more like artificially added. Very odd... Finish: Alcohol burn on the sides of the tongue and again some chemical after taste. Overall: Yeah, that happened... At least it was quick. I wasn't expecting a strong contender but it's a major letdown. Ok, let's try to imagine myself in a position where I have to choose between this and Johnnie Walker Red Label and there are no other possibilities of any kind of spirit on the table and my life or the life of my loved one is at stake: Maybe, maybe at that moment I might make a move towards it... Otherwise you should just avoid it. Thanks again to Stephen Mathis for the sample and for trying to warn me in advance. Obviously I didn't listen...