Review – The Waterproof Blended Malt and Wearing Raincoats Amid a Soggy Forest

Can we just take it as a given that blends are often overlooked as a single malts poor cousin?

Can we just take it as a given that that whisky marketing often involves strange backstories and odd tie ins to historical figures?

Does anyone mind me cutting through said backstory and concentrating on the quality of the liquid?

No?

Great, that’s saved me writing about 500 words and you having to read them. Words that you have no doubt read before ad nauseam in all probability.

Now that’s over lets look at a new blended malt that’s recently been released.

Ok, but before that here is a photograph of a man pouring a dram whilst wearing a bright yellow raincoat amidst a soggy forest.

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Waterproof is a new blended malt from MacDuff International. You may know MacDuff as being owners of the blended whisky brands Lauders, Islay Mist and Grand MacNish. MacDuff was founded in the early 1990’s by several experienced industry figures; Charles Murray, Stewart MacDuff and Edward Thomson, who between them have worked for Johnnie Walker, Whyte & MacKay and White Horse.

I reviewed a 1980’s bottling of Lauders Blended Scotch, click here to read it.

If you do want to find out more about the backstory and inspiration for Water Proof you can always find out more by visiting the website here.

Waterproof (Blended Malt), MacDuff Intl, 45.8%abv, press sample (available here)

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The nose is full of sweet sherry influences (mostly reminiscent of sweet PX) It feels almost sticky (if indeed an aroma can be ‘sticky’) and full of fruits. Raisins and soft toffee bars with an undertone of green apples and a few grapes, which are very much overshadowed by the dominant sherry. There is an emerging wisp of struck match and notes of some charred orange peels.

The palate is rounded with soft ginger, a faint maltiness and perhaps even a cakey sort of feeling. A few sprinkles of milk chocolate mix with some sticky dates and hints of well stewed black tea.

Sadly the finish seems to nose dive a little, feeling a little less present than the palate and, to go further back,  quite timorous in comparison to the nose but it is nicely spiced with some cinnamon and soft touches of tannins.

A rich nose with a decent complexity, a solid and pleasant palate but somewhat of a diminished finish. There is no doubt that it would struggle at the ‘blend standard’ abv of 40% so it is good to have it up above 45% which really helps in the delivery of flavours and retain a decent mouthfeel. Coincidentally 45.8% abv is also the bottling strength of Talisker 10.

You know what? Although the stories and inspiration surrounding this blend are perhaps a little out there it’s all done with a sense of fun and I’m not actually that put off by it all.

As for the liquid itself it is very drinkable and if you are looking for a sherry infused easy drinking session dram then this is probably exactly what you are looking for. The press information states that this is a sherry ‘influenced’ blend, I would suggest that it goes way beyond an influence and it is perhaps as much of a sherry bomb blend as you can find.

At the time of writing it is not available at all retailers but it is currently on Amazon for a under £34 which makes it well worth a gamble.

My thanks to MacDuff International for the sample bottle.

Here’s that man in the forest again…

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You can find more of my tasting notes in the Amateur Drammers Archives.

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