[We reviewed this one back in 2014–and Bill wrote up those tasting notes as well. We didn’t get a full bottle back then, so we gave it a longer taste this time around, and below are the results. If you’re interested to compare, you can find Bill’s original notes here.]
The Scallywag has slurred sherry notes, like a legato articulation written by a paralegal who was also a cornet aficionado. Delicate and tangy, like aromas stirred up by little dust devils; spritely and impish, but not devilish nor dusty. It’s clean and bright, like a beef burgundy stew in a stainless steel pot, sitting on an ivory countertop in the midday sun. A rich creamy Gruyère soufflé with really strong egg whites is hidden within the stew.
The mouth has a full-tang, like a 21” chef’s knife with a black walnut and rosewood handle, dwarfed by Andre the Giant’s huge hand. It’s got a beautiful molasses mouth, dark dried cherries, red rose petals, and the hot blood from a sacrificed holy boar speared by a virgin Greek goddess. Vanilla and cinnamon pop rocks. It’s a beautifully constructed mouth, as smooth, balanced, full, and evocative as Samuel T. Coleridge’s Rime of the Ancient Mariner as read by Samuel L. Jackson.
The finish is straightforward and finds my sweet spot as surely as crack scouts on an orienteering mission pick off their objectives. It’s a crusty New Hampshire straight shooter who’s always called ‘em as he’s seen ‘em. It’s smooth, guileless, and peppery, like a caramel cream curry made by an eclectic pastry chef hoping to become the subject of an episode of Chef’s Table.
–On the scale of classic literary scamps and rascals–
The Scallywag from Douglas Laing is Tom Sawyer–He’s rambunctious, energetic, and drawn to trouble, yet he has a sweet soul and a heart of gold. He creates problems out of nothing much and solves them effortlessly with panache. He’s a prankster, a trickster, a Coyote caught up in a boy.
–Our thanks to Mark Tucker and Vision Wine & Spirits/Classic Imports for the sample!