Type: Blended Malt Scotch Whisky
Ageing casks: Ex-Bourbon first fill
Added coloring: Yes
Owner: Ian Macleod Distillers Ltd
Average price: € 40.00
Official website: www.ianmacleod.com
Sheep Dip was an insecticide once used by Scottish farmers to protect their sheep, with a very unpleasant smell, so it was the perfect label to put on illegal whisky casks produced in Scotland to prevent them being opened and tested.
With this peculiar name, today’s blended dates back to 1974 when it was created by a pub owner from Oldbury on Severn using 16 whiskies from the Highlands and Speyside, aged between 8 and 20 years.
The popularity of this bottle led George Morton Ltd to take over production, passing it to Whyte & Mackay in 1993 and with the well-known Richard Paterson overseeing the recipe.
When Alex Nicol left the company to strike out on his own, he asked to take Sheep Dip with him to continue making it in his own Spencerfield Spirits Company, again with Paterson overseeing the production, until 2016 when the label came under the current owners.
In addition to the basic one featured in this article, there is a version with blended whiskies from Islay only, plus a few special editions.
Lemon-like, dry tones greet the nose first, over a layer of wood and leather that picks up vanilla, caramel, pineapple and a drop of honey. Overall, the aroma is classic and fresh.
The peat at the entrance, which is very ashy and sulphurous, presents itself slyly, with a clear saline component that in a rather light palate crushes the aromas, burnt by the disordered tingling of the alcohol. It’s difficult to discern much else, the sweet components of the nose are cornered and confined, suppressed by the arrogance of smoke and tobacco.
The finish isn’t brief enough, of used ashtray, salt and wood.
It’s hard to believe that there’s still Paterson’s hand here, in a rather crude and superficial blended: some might say that, given the name, you can’t expect anything different, but I’m a candid soul and still believe it.
For some it might have an appeal for that very reason, try it to find out.
The Scotch Noob