Colour: Amontillado Sherry.
Nose: Ripened apples, dates and raisins, oak, baking spice, vanilla, chocolate.
Taste: Vanilla, ripened apple, white pepper, baking spices, chocolate.
Just the sound of that word sounds cool, doesn’t it?
Come on, say it out loud.
You know, I can picture myself walking into a room where there’s a social function, putting out my hand to introduce myself and, with a rakish smile, coyly exclaim: “How do you do? I’m a whisky explorer and scallywag!”. That line will be the hit of the party, I know it.
(Reality taps me on the shoulder and wonders what the origin of scallywag is, anyway. A quick googly search, and my inner voice reads this.
According to the 1860 Dictionary of the Caribbean Spanish Language, a scallywag is, ahem: “A low worthless person; a scapegrace.”
(Insert medium length pause here)
Oh, then there’s the reference to a scallywag being a worthless farm animal.
(Repeat medium length pause here)
Yeah, I’m going to e-ignore all of that and go with this: nobly roguish; angelically puckish, perhaps; a well-mannered person with just a hint of eyebrow-raising impishness. And really, these last “meanings” of scallywag fit with the image on the bottle of a monocled Scottish Terrier. Who can’t a resist a cute little scamp like that?
Scallywag is a small batch Speyside blended malt with whiskies aged in sherry butts and bourbon hogsheads. It happily and sweetly greets you with ripened-slash-stewed fruits, especially apples, dates and raisins. Not waiting to be called, chocolate and vanilla also come to sit in your nasal lap. While it doesn’t have a bite to be feared, it does have a nice little bark with a hint of oak. (I know, I l know, that’s a groaner of a pun.)
On the tongue, the polite sweetness still comes through. Again, it’s well behaved and not trying to dry hump your taste buds. Yet, the impish nature of Scallywag does come out with notes of white pepper, baking spices, even perhaps a suggestion of cloves but not daringly so.
As for the finish, Scallywag does do “come” and “sit” pretty well; however, “stay” makes this scampish dram get itchy feet and run off after something else after a while. Although, making it come back just requires another pour.
Though not overly complex, overall, it’s a pleasant well-mannered blended malt. However, this whisky doesn’t just lay down; it’s 46% abv makes sure of that. In the end, Scallywag is, to me, an apt name for this whisky Even though it’s not in your face in approach and delivery, it’s also quite nice to have by your side. Cheers.