Tuesday, December 2, 2008

A Great Deal North of Scotland

What would you say if I told you I knew where you could get a 42 year old Scotch whiskey for around $150? What would you say if I further told you that this 42 year old was from a shuttered distillery? What's the catch, you'd ask skeptically. Well, there is a slight catch. This particular Scotch is a single grain whiskey, North of Scotland single grain whiskey bottled by Scott's Selection to be exact and last time I checked there were at least five bottles of it on the shelf of Wine & Liquor Depot at Van Nuys for $151.

North of Scotland Distillery was a grain whiskey distillery that ran from 1958 until 1980. Its stocks are currently owned by Diageo. The bottle from Scott's Selection was distilled in 1964 and weighs in at 45.7% alcohol.

Oh, I know what your saying. You wouldn't even pay $100 for a grain whiskey. That's the cheap stuff, the stuff they stick into blends to lower the price. Well, this grain whiskey is different. It is a truly beautiful whiskey that I would rank up there with some of the finest Scotches I've had.

The nose carries lovely notes of caramel, Bourbon and fruit. The flavor has a corn sweetness and a rye spice. It has all the flavor of a Bourbon or rye with all the complexity of a Scotch whiskey. There is shockingly little wood for something that's been sitting in the barrel for that long.

If you've never been a grain drinker, and especially if you like Bourbon and rye as well as malt whiskey, take a chance on North of Scotland. And thanks to the LA Scotch Club for exposing me to this fine stuff.

Next Wednesday: Ardmore

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