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Sheep Dip Blended Malt

Average score from 6 reviews and 6 ratings 77

Sheep Dip Blended Malt

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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.

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...

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.


My grampa used to have a saying. "Fool Me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me". It won't happen again with this dram. Richard Patterson apparently designed this malt blend from 16 different malts. I have a similar bottle here at my place in which I pour heels of not so favorite drams. My bottle tastes better than this. Catchy name which really reflects the quality of the spirit. I actually think real sheep dip may taste better than this.I will not go into nose,palate etc. as it is merely a conflagration which adds up to an offputting taste and nose. I cannot believe Richard Patterson would let his reputation be reduced to this level. The really bad part is that I actually paid $2 more for a bottle of this tripe than a bottle of Laphroaig QC at the same store. Shame on me!

Actually meant "Hodge Podge" rather than "conflagration". In any event please save your money.


Nose: Needs to open. Something like tequila, and fermenting(rotting) strawberries. Later, something like refried beans; and if I had to pick the closest herb, it would be oregano.

Palate: Smooth entry, and then grassy, with notes of hay and bitter peels. The nose's tequila and strawberry return, along with some steamed broccoli juice.

Finish: Like straw-- vaguely sweet but flat.

This blended malt was rumoured as decent for the price. This might be true for those shopping in the price range, but for me it just passes the mark as drinkable: it is smooth, but it is flat.

The nose is strange and reminds me a of... Isle of Jura 10! So I was not too surprised to read that Jura was among the 16 Scotches used to concoct this. My recommendation is to get the Jura 10 instead, which seems to be less expensive anyway. In lieu of "character", it is a little sweeter (e.g. apricot, caramel, tobacco) and overall more pleasant.

Did Sheep Dip issue new bottling with the retro label? I’ve only seen Sheep Dip with the angry looking sheep on the label. However I was in a store last week and saw one bottle with the label showing the sheep farmers with herd moving them to the sheep dipping station (the yellow label). I googled to see if this was really an old bottle and could only find that this label was from 1980s sheep dip bottlings. Just wondering if this is really an older bottle or a new bottle with a retro label. Anyone know?

@vanPelt Thanks for your response. It was just an odd find considering the store is a somewhat large spirit chain but only 1 bottle with the yellow label was in with the others (for the same price). I did a search while standing there and also noticed the auction price low. And because of that I would have used it for a side by side comparison tasting to see if there is a difference to older Sheep Dip as compared to today's bottling. I didn't buy it; it's still sitting there. Unfortunately or fortunately, we have no investment bottles because they all or will all eventually get opened and enjoyed.


Sheep Dip was an insesticide used to delouse sheep prior to sheering. When farmers decided to make some "home made" whisky without the intention to pay taxes, they'd hide it in barrels marked SD. So there's a great story behind this whisky but the greatness stops there. Even though the ingredients for this one are intriguing. Sheep Dip contains 16 different single malts the Lowland, Highland, Speyside and Islay (between ages of 8 and 21 years).

None of the flavors overpowers in Sheep Dip, which makes it lack in personality. For me this was too flat, yet smooth. But the smoothness itself isn't enough. Maybe the Sheep Dip "Old Hebridean" 1990 might have some character (vatting of Ardbeg, Dalmore and Fettercairn single malts matured separately for 10 years and then married together and matured for another 10 years).

For the lack of personality I'll name Sheep Dip the official "Richard Gere whisky". Sorry for all the Gere fans. Actually I have to admit that I haven't seen the movie Bee Season. I just used it in the title because Gere is in it and the word bee suits in my nose and taste findings.

Nose: Tangy fragrant with malt and honey.

Taste: Malty, a bit spicy and woody.

Finish: A bit tangy but smooth overall.

Balance: Very flat and lacks in personality.


Sheep Dip is a unique vatting, now blend of several cask made up of single malt whiskies selected from six distillery islands. the six islands are islay, jura, mull, orkney, skye and arran. It has a dark golden color and oily too.

Nose: sweet raisin nose, woody notes with a spicy hint to it. I get a little smoke and earthy notes asweel. finish is a little citrusy.

Palate: spice, peat, licorice, notes of fruit.

Finish: medium long and dry. nice mouth feel to it. oily too.

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