That is a very pretty bottle…but it makes me wonder if its possible for a scotch to look a bit too Scottish.
Nope, not in this case at least. A marvelous (and affordable) 16 year old single malt scotch whiskey. The bottle is embellished with a silver seal (I see what they did there) over a plaid ribbon, printed with a longsword in front of text reading “Auxilio Dei”, which according to the distillery translates to: “By the help of God”. So clearly right off the bat this scotch has a lot of wankery to live up to. Many times when we see the bottle setting the bar this high, its to disguise a mediocre product…this time, however, I am pleased to say that is not the case. For all of the flash and boastfulness on the bottle, the liquid inside turned out to be a gentle, soft and well crafted malt, with a surprising degree of complexity.
What they say: “The name Muirhead means: “Head of the Moor” or “Highest point of the Moor” in Gaelic. The Muirhead Clan has a long and colourful history. In 1513 the Clan was the Royal Bodyguard of King James IV at the battle of Flodden Field which opposed the Scots against the English. The King along with thousands of Scots perished including John Muirhead the Laird of the Clan and 200 of the Clansmen.
To Uisge Beatha (The Water of Life)
From storm clad highland precipices and craggy granite brakes if falls. Over stock, rocks, through misty moorland, peated nooks and burns it rolls. Then into casks, to mature in guarded, whispery stone clad chambers to rest while mystically mingling and consorting with aged woods and times. For never moor fragrant dew was ever drawing into glass.”
So the distillers descend from guardians of the king, and the followed the history with a poem about scotch. I’m liking the presentation more and more; this is who we are. This is what the Scots sing of scotch. End of bottle. Also for those that don’t know, Uisge Beatha (pronounced sort of like Oh-isk-eh Bahaa) is the Scottish Gaelic word for scotch. Now, enough foreplay, how was the scotch?!
Taste: 6.0 – “Light, floral and very subtle, not much there unless your looking for it at first.”
Aftertaste: 6.5 – “Much more pronounced once it sits with you for a couple seconds”
Burn/Smooth: 8.5 – Smooth as God’s Jazz. The end.
Aroma: 5.5– Very subtle, barely there unless you get your nose in there. What you do pick up is pleasant and a bit fruity though.
Manliness: 7.5 – This scotch has a little of both the manly worlds, Gentlemanly in its taste and refinement, and the poetry on the bottle. And Manly in the traditional sense, with its’ Clan’s warrior heritage and with the plaid seal and sword emblazoned on the bottle.
On the Rocks: 8 – This scotch needs rocks to shine. Not something you want to add too much ice too, maybe once small cube per ounce, but once that little bit of water melts into it…the flavour really blooms, suddenly this quiet scotch is silky and crisp. It makes me think of a cold foggy morning in the mountains.
Value: 7.5 – Now I should mention I bought this scotch for only $25 (which is the steal of the century). Google Shop had the price ranging from $30 up to $50 so there seems to be a wide price gap between sellers. Still if you can get it on the low end, DIF.
Google Shop Average: $37
Metric Score: 49.50/70 |+| Metric Average: 7.07 |+| Reviewer Average: 8.00
While I am a fan of Scotch in all its many shapes, flavours and colours, I do tend to gravitate towards the darker malts: Those filled with peat smoke and old wood. That being said this scotch thoroughly impressed me. I was a fan from the moment I tasted a glass with just one cube of ice. Its quality lies in its subtlety; it will not overwhelm you, it will not pull you in…but should you stop by, it will leave you with a most satisfied grin.