I’m not enamored of the nose right away. Wet socks on a truculent seal. California Singing Raisins, but performing the Sigur Rós songbook. Lamb vindaloo stew but with glycerin in place of ghee. But quickly enough I reorient myself and the nose comes into focus. I get the interior of a fantastic car. There’s even a little peat; it’s still wet and gives off more smoke than heat, but it draws me right into the Scottish countryside. Being stuck in an old attic for hours and whiling the time away by reading the wartime love letters of your grandparents. Then finding a dusty bottle of their favorite plum liqueur as the lesser angel of your nature nudges you to open it. “Go on,” you hear in your head, “you know you want to do it.”
I move to the mouth and really like what I find. Peppery, but with more peppermint than I’d expect. Exuberantly pepperminty. With the peat notes on the nose it’s like a menthol cigar. No, a Roman candle firing rounded parsnips as musket balls. This is great to drink fireside on a cold wet day. Peat lends a nutty, acorny dimension. [Bill: “John, by “acorny,” do you mean “sans corn”?] Humongous herb sachets used as aquatic fenders. Ah, we are safely moored, snug in the harbor as the storm clouds thicken and winds pick up.
The finish is freshly tanned boots, kept in a tennis ball can for freshness. Thwock! Mmmmm… Really pleasing heritage boots with that leathery richness and tang. We agree that this is not for whisky virgins. Not that they wouldn’t enjoy it. They just wouldn’t understand the invitation that, we think, is best enjoyed by whisky lovers who delight in the whole spectrum of whisky. Which is to say, this offers something distinctive to the mature palette.
The Cutty Sark Prohibition Edition is unlock your car–Wait, what? Yes, that’s right. You can drill a hole in the ball, position the hole over the lock, and then by pressing hard against the ball, force air in to pop the lock. That is surprising, no? And the Cutty Sark is equally multidimensional and useful.
–Our thanks to Jackie Connetti and the Edrington Group for the sample!