Summer is coming so i'm on the lookout for entry level light unpeated whiskies. This is pt1 of a head to head with Glenmorangie 10. This will be a pretty short review as I didn't find many good things to say about this one.
Nose: Not much here. Some grapes, green pear, something resembling unsalted saltine crackers. And bitter.
Palate: Bitter. Not a coffee bitter. Vinegar bitter. Very bitter. Takes over everything. Some sweetness there but you can't focus on it because of the sour bitterness. Like soaking sour skittles in vinegar.
Finish: Short. Bitter.
Overall: If rubbing alcohol is a 50, then this isn't much higher. Maybe the worst single malt whisky I have ever had. Or whisky for that matter. Only can go up from here so bring on the Glenmorangie tomorrow night.
If it's from a store you've haven't gotten a ton of stuff from previously, you might want to place more suspicion on them instead of the bottler—as already noted. Many stores that don't specialize in this stuff store it wrong, especially by putting the bottles on their sides like wine.
One store by me does this all the time, and I've stopped trying to get the staff there to care. Sadly, they do it most often with the high-end bottles that they keep behind the counter instead of on the regular shelf. (The one that stands out in my mind was a huge pile of Laphroaig Lore all piled up on their sides.) I'm careful of what I buy there.