Thursday, March 28, 2013

Dusty Thursday: Who's Afraid of an Old Dog? - Old Dog American Whiskey

Occasionally I stumble on a whiskey that's more conversation piece than treasure.  This one, provided by my pals at the LA Whiskey Society, falls into that category.  It appears to be a prohibition era "American Whiskey" called Old Dog (helpfully translated as "Perro Viejo") with a nice dog on the label.  It's a full sized bottle but there is no bottle volume or proof listed. The label states:

Reg. DSP No. 17070-A
Elaborado y Embotellado por
La Destileria Española
N. San Juan, Colonia del Valle, Mexico DF

So what do we have here? The Spanish translates to "made and bottled by the Spanish Distillery." Colonia del Valle is a neighborhood of Mexico City (i.e. Mexico DF).  The DSP number does not match any US DSP, and I have no idea what distillery identification, if any, Mexico was using at the time.  The best guess is that this is a whiskey made in Mexico for distribution in the US during prohibition.  Of course, technically, it is properly labeled as American Whiskey since, although we in the US forget it, the Americas include the entirety of North and South America.   

What is this stuff like?  The color is a very light yellow.  It smells nothing like whiskey.  It starts with a strong paint thinner type nose, but that quickly fades into mint, licorice and vanilla ice cream.  The nose is strangely alluring, like the smell of gasoline.  On the palate it's....hellll no!  Look, I'm pretty obsessive in pursuit of my hobby, but I draw the line at mystery liquor from unknown distilleries most likely made for unlawful smuggling.  This could have literally anything in it. People went blind and died from drinking questionable liquor during prohibition; I'm not about to be the last casualty of bad prohibition whiskey.  You've got to draw the line somewhere, and I'm drawing it at this Old Dog. I do have a brave (or crazy) friend who tried it (Cognac guys are nuts) and said it wasn't terrible but tasted nothing like whiskey. Of course, even if this isn't poison, that doesn't mean it's whiskey; it could be distilled from sugar or anything else.

Even if this is the exception to the idea that old whiskey should be for drinking, it's a fun bottle and a great conversation piece. Good dog!

UPDATE:  My friend who tried the whiskey (and only had a sip or two) reported to me that he woke up that night with terrible acid reflux and feeling dehydrated and just weird.  So far, he can still see.  Was it the Old Dog?


Anonymous said...

That's nuts! Where did LA Whiskey Society acquire this bottle?

sku said...

The LA Whiskey Society has amazing powers of bottle acquisition. I think they must have a time machine of some sort.

sam k said...

Wouldn't "American" whiskey imply the United States? Yes, Mexico is part of North (or at least Latin) America, but shouldn't that be stated? Oh, wait, those Mexicans wanted us to think...oh, never mind!

Man, that sounds like some scary shit. Down, boy!

Love the six character DSP number, too!

ilium55 said...

I while back I saw a couple of old bottles (about shoulder fill) of whisky marked "Bourbon Whisky" and bottled in Juarez, Mexico. The were in an antique store and they want a great deal, but I thought that they must have an interesting story to tell.

WTK said...

It would be interesting to get a lab analysis of the liquid. Any one sufficiently interested at L.A. Whisky Society to undertake this?

Adam H said...

Sure, we'd be interested. But it would cost a fortune.