Wednesday, January 09, 2008
Pig’s Nose 5 yo
Blended Scotch Whisky
$30(USD)Blended for the contemporary drinker by Richard Paterson of Whyte & Mackay, Pig’s Nose was originally created in 1977 as a companion spirit to Sheep Dip (which you can vote for in the 2007 Drammies!!!)Taking its name from the expression “soft as a pig’s nose” (the bottle reads “‘Tis said that our scotch is as soft and as smooth as a pig’s nose”), this blend is designed to be smooth but full of character with a 40% malt content… which is quite high for a blended whisky, not that malt content is a guarantee of quality (“Blending is not all about malt content, it’s about balancing the malts you’ve got”- David Stewart, Wm Grant&Co)So, smooth but full of character; character, indeed. After all, a pig’s nose spends most of its days nosing around in shit, mud, and feed. I bet on some days you could also say that describes the job of a blender, searching for the diamonds among the manure, but it is also how Alex and Jane at The Spencerfield Spirit Co. spend many of their days knee deep in the good stuff tending to their horses on their livery farm in the Kingdom of Fife. Alex Nicol (formerly of Scottish & Newcastle, Glenmorangie, Whyte & Mackay, Laphroaig, and others) and partner in crime Jane Eastwood took these two brands (Sheep Dip and Pig’s Nose) from Whyte & Mackay when Nicol left the company a few years ago. If it makes you feel good to support the little guys, these are folks well worthy. Jane and Alex keep a blog of their advetures HERE.For more on Spencerfield Whisky Co., read Gavin D. Smith’s Whisky Pages HERE or visit their website above.TASTING NOTES:Soft but rich, lots of cereal notes: oats, rye, malted barley, and a touch of peat (or is it just soil?). Sweet and alluring.
Nice rounded flavour in the mouth, if that makes any sense. Banana bread, shiraz, and a drying sherry element. Spicy, as well, with a smoky element… like the faint whiff of smoke on pub couches weeks after the smoking ban kicked in.
Easy-going and satisfying. Very well-integrated flavours without any hard edges. That being said, it is a whisky for whisky drinkers, ie. it is engaging and 40% alcohol by volume so “smooth” it ain’t. Tasty it is. Great that in this age of premiumisation there remain some affordable whiskies that don’t taste like a pig’s arse (which can be quite tasty with some mustard).