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Sheep Dip Blended Malt

Quite Close To Actual Sheep Dip

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@MaltActivistReview by @MaltActivist

27th Feb 2014


  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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So here's a bit of background. Sheep Dip actually refers to a delousing pesticide used by farmers on their sheep back in the day. As was the practice during those times there was a lot of illicit whisky being made by these guys too.

So every once in a while when the excise officer would visit all the whisky would be hidden in barrels marked SD (Sheep Dip) to throw off said excise nuisance man. Quite a charming story I have to admit.

Richard Paterson, third generation Master Blender, has taken 16 single malts from all parts of Scotland and created this blend and paid homage to all those crafty farmers by naming it Sheep Dip.

Nose : Young and sprightly with a hint of dough and a squeeze of tropical fruits. The freshness continues with some nice cucumbers and celery sprinkled with rock salt. Based on the smell I could drizzle this over a salad as a midsummers' dressing.

Palate: This is where the promise is broken. Similar tropical fruits and some spice but overwhelmed by something unpleasantly bitter. I let it breathe for a while but it can't seem to shake that terrible taste.

Finish : Spicy short.

I'm used to being disappointed by Richard Paterson but I had heard decent things about this expression. I guess earlier batches had some good stock. This one, I suspect, has some actual sheep dip in it.

Oh well.

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Rigmorole commented

I have wondered about sulfur flavors in whisky. I can only assume that the flavor comes from anti-fungicide used to clean the barrels before the whisky is aged in them.

Fungicide can't be healthy for humans to drink, even in trace amounts.

Currently, I own a bottle of Springbank 14 Fino that has hints of sulfur in it. Water really brings it out. Bummer.

I know that shepherds actually used to eat sulfur to keep the ticks and the lice/insects off. Seems a little unhealthy, as well.

5 years ago 0

MaltActivist commented

Well, sulphur can invade the whisky in a couple of ways.

One - the wine/sherry itself has traces of sulphur in it. However, that is not strong enough to influence the whisky too much.

The other, far too prominent, method is to burn a sulphur candle inside the cask to prevent the growth of bacteria. This allows the smoke to settle in the wood and even a short finishing will have a strong sulphuric impact on the whisky.

I'm still unsure on where I stand on sulphur. Too much of anything will throw a whisky out of balance, I suppose. Do I accept it as a flavor profile? I don't know...

5 years ago 0

Victor commented

Sulphur? For my taste buds more than a tiny trace of sulphur ruins a whisky for me. Clean sherry has flavours of great beauty. Sulphured sherry, yuk!

5 years ago 0

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