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BrewDog is an innovative, rebellious brewery in Scotland since 2007. They even have a bar in Brussels by now. They asked three whisky producers to create a whisky for a boilermaker. That’s the combination of whisky and beer – side by side. Duncan Taylor gave them Skeleton Key, the Dutch Zuidam delivered a 100% rye whisky Torpedo Tulip and Compass Box came up with this Transistor. It is created to be savored alongside the Punk IPA from BrewDog. The whisky is a blend of Cameronbridge grain with the following malts: Linkwood, Teaninich, Dailuaine and Clynelish. Parts of the whisky were matured on French oak from the Vosges.
The nose starts very closed. It needs quite a bit of hand warmth before it starts to reveal its secrets. I get garden herbs, paprika powder, oregano and white pepper on a soft bed of mango, pineapple and bergamot. It then turns a bit creamy on coconut milk and banana. Breakfast cereals. But if I’m perfectly honest, it is not very outspoken. Rather flat and uninteresting. Blind I would consider this a bottom shelf blend, in fact. Imagine that.
It becomes a lot more interesting on the palate. A nice spiciness (same as the nose but much louder with the emphasis on nutmeg), a woody bitterness, some citrusfruit and caramel. Vanilla in the distance. Much better, but still not a top dram, it has to be said.
The finish is nice, though. Milk chocolate, coconut milk, vanilla and lingering spices.
A rather boring whisky in itself, if you ask me. But then again, it was created as a means to an end…
I tried it together with the beer for which it was created and then it becomes a whole different story. The sweet notes of the whisky soften up the very bitter, but delicious hop notes of the BrewDog Punk IPA, while the beer also allows the whisky to shine. I this case, the sum is definitely more than its parts. Good.