As a member of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society, I receive periodic mailings from their magazine Outturn. Since I was looking for a gift for my Pappy and you can almost never go wrong with whisky, I pulled out my whisky decoder in search of a bottle from Campbeltown. As a youth, Pappy would regale me with stories of Ireland and Scotland and he would tell me about an uncle of his who was not only the best watchmen a Campbeltown distillery ever had but was also quite possibly their best customer. As luck would have it, within the listing was the bottle 27.76 Salty old dog, westering home. A quick glance at the decoder and I had found my bottle.
Sadly, I should have paid greater attention to the tasting notes. For you see, despite the fact that Pappy had been a smoke-eater for nearly 30 years, he just can’t seem to entertain the thought of peat. So, while I replaced his gift with a fresh bottle of Nadurra, I was left with a bottle of the pride of Campbeltown. Alas, what was I to do. Well, drink it, of course.
Distilled by Springbank in 1996, this 13-year-old like everything from the society is cask-strength (55.6% ABV). It has a golden-yellow color and a nose that brings out toffee, brine and peat. The initial flavor is somewhat sweet, somewhat spicy with a hint of salt. The finish yields a lingering, zesty burn. With water, there is a noticeable reduction in the spice and peat in the nose as well as an increase in the sweetness. The taste with water brings out the sweetness yet does nothing to minimize that pleasant, lingering burn. Overall, this is another good sipping whisky and is quite useful in taking away a winter chill.