23 June 2011

An Sgailc "A Gallant Gaelic Gent of a Dram"

There’s something almost poetic about ‘An Sgailc’ the debut dram from the brothers D.J. and Iain Maclennan. Not only is it the culmination of a life long passion by the brothers to make it in the whisky industry, it’s also another notch on the bedpost for the campaign against blended whisky bigotry.

In old money this would of been classed as a vatted or a pure malt, but without going into all the mish mash of Scotch whisky bureaucracy, it’s classed as a blended whisky and is made up purely with a range of Highland single malts, without the addition of any grain whiskies.

One thing that’s initially quite surprising about this particular drop of drammage is its rich rounded robustness. Which given the fact that it’s largely made up of malts no older than 5 years old, is a true testament to both the tenaciousness and brilliance of the blender and the maturated quality of all the whiskies contained within.

The name ‘An Sgailc’ just incase your wondering is Gaelic and actually has four different meanings. All four of which are printed on the bottle, but the one that caught my eye in particular was ‘Bumper of any spirituous liquor taken before breakfast’.

The nose kicks off with a wondrous warm whiffette of homemade coffee and walnut cake, followed by a bowl of porridge oats drenched in hot milk and a couple of slices of spelt bread that have been toasted to perfection. All of which have been served on a freshly polished oak dining table, which can’t help dipping in and out of the nosing proceedings.

All the fruity fragrant frolics of Braeburn apples, Jafa oranges, Limetta limes, Honey pomelos, along with a subtly synthetic hit of banana, finessefuly do their part in helping to deliver your five a day.

Freshly chopped fronds of fennel and flat leaf parsley make for the next set of dramtabulous delights, along with a further fresh kick if needed of heathery honey, Twinings rose garden tea and the smallest possible sprig of rosemary.

A cough candy infused glugette of caramel and something that can only be described as coastal then dominates the nosing proceedings, working hand in hand perfectly or should I say nose in nose, with all the other aforementioned exemplary elements.

The smell of a country pub garden during a sultry summers evening, then adds an added edge of character, as well as concluding the cornucopia of delights on the nosing front.

The palate kicks off with a sweet clean and crisp wave of Seville orange and a glass of warm honey and lime, followed by an oak based infusion of cherry cola cubes, rose water and star anise.

Like a bolt out of the blue you’re suddenly hit with another appearance of that lurking but most welcome coastal note, and along with an accompanying dribble of gloopy warm caramel following on closely from behind, you’re soon treated to some sensational sweet and salty shenanigans.

An assorted selection of nuts in the form of walnuts, macadamias and almonds make for the next set of delights, along with a mug of good quality cocoa that’s been left to go cold.

Just when you think this very quaffable chewette of a dram has no more tricks stuffed up its sleeves, it then decides to offer up a lovely long finish that pays homage to all the elements that have delighted the senses since being poured into the glass.