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Cutty Sark 12 Year Old

Average score from 4 reviews and 12 ratings 79

Cutty Sark 12 Year Old

Product details

  • Brand: Cutty Sark
  • Bottler: Unknown
  • ABV: 40.0%
  • Age: 12 year old

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Cutty Sark 12 Year Old

Cutty Sark is probably more known as a cocktail whisky and one of the first light-coloured blended whiskys. The legendary name comes from the Cutty Sark ship, which had recently been retired to England for naval training.

Cutty Sark 12 yrs is surprisingly good for a blended whisky. Round and light, refreshing and as complex as a blend can be. This is no Titanic, except it sinks well down my throat.

Don't know much about this 12YO drams reputation but when it comes to price, I'd say it is very underrated. 30 euros even in Finland(!) for this stuff is like a heist.

Nose: Light but buttery, salty with fresh hay and pears.

Taste: Tropical fruits and vanilla are the main characters. Like perfume, everything is very light. Hints of citrus and honey.

Finish: Nice length. Oak and fruity, sweet notes.

Balance: Well in balance, an okay dram. And for blended whisky, very fine. Real "bang for the buck" whisky.

Clarification: Finland is probably the most expensive country, when it comes to liquor prices.

Is this 12y/o's taste a long shot from the regular cutty sark (no age)?


Well, I should preface this review by admitting I am somewhat prejudiced against the Sark. I nipped at a bottle of Cutty Sark as a teen and stayed away from scotch for while after due to what I perceived then as "rot gut."

I wasn't all wrong. The nose is indeed rotty, so to speak. It reminds me of the mulch that my gardeners use in springtime on the landscaping. Along with a slightly nutty undertone, but a sweet sort of nut such as the cashew.

The taste is better than the smell and certainly better than the nearly nonexistent finish, but that's not exactly high praise. I taste a bit of butterscotch mixed in with alcohol-y overtones that tend to dominate. Some more cashews and salt.

The finish is short and bitter.

I ordered a Cutty Sark at a bar to see if it was as bad as I remembered from my youth. It was not, but I will probably not order it again any time soon. Down two or three shots of the Sark in a row, and it's "chunder watch under," over the wall, or, more likely, in the chunder box.

Plus marks for no artificial coloring. Owned by the same blokes that own Famous Grouse, Macallan, and Highland Park. I'm puzzled why it doesn't taste any better other than the fact that it's so inexpensive. I suppose you get what you pay for. This said, I liked Highland Park better when it was in the dumpy bottle. I do like Cutty Sark better now than in 1984. Is it me or the scotch? Probably a little of both, Berry Bros aside. I appreciate the owner of all three bottlings.


Cutty Sark is name of the British clipper, as it has been depicted on the label since 1955. The blend was designed originally by Berry Brothers & Rudd on the 20th of March 1923. We are trying the 12 Year Old, but from a 1989 bottling at 43% (as opposed to today’s 40%). So this has been in the bottle for a quarter of a century almost. Even then Glenrothes was the signature malt in this blend.

The nose is light and fruity, but expressive. Malt, toffee, apples and oranges, supported by vanilla a mildly toasted oak. Touches of grass and even freesias.

The attack is soft, with grains and loads of sweetness in the form of caramel and vanilla. A bit zesty too, like lime peel. Hints of nuts. Softly peppered too. Quite nice!

The finish is somewhat short, but nutty and spicy. Mildly drying.

Well, this works well as an aperitif in summer. Clearly underrated blend if you ask me (although I cannot Judge current bottlings).


Now we’re moving on to something more interesting and with a bit more finesse and complexity.

Nose: Sweet with honey and soft fruit. Buttery feeling to it, Stewed apples and dried apricot

Palate : Honey sweetness. Dark chocolate. Sherry goodness. Creamy and fresh at the same time.

Finish: Chocolate & fruit cake.

All in all a very decent blend, on the sweet side, Just what you would expect from a 12 year old blend. rounded. If you are looking for some smoke or peat, look elsewhere. this blend is not playing this game.

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