There’ve been an awful lot of ‘highs’ in my recent tasting days. How ’bout we tackle another ‘low’ just to add a little perspective.
You’ve all heard the expression ‘putting lipstick on a pig’, right? It means simply that no matter how you dress it up, ultimately it’s still a pig. Hate to say it, but it’s incredibly apt just how well this little analogy applies to Pig’s Nose Scotch Whisky. The marketing tied to this one says the name comes from the idea that their whisky is as smooth as a pig’s nose. I’ve touched a pig or two in my time (cue bad jokes) but this is nothing like that. This is more like the bristles on a warthog.
To be fair, this is a blend, and a cheap one at that. I wasn’t expecting anything magic here, but I was hoping for something a little smoother. After all…Sheep Dip (from the same makers) has been really good in the past. With Pig’s Nose, however, I can only assume a mashbill that contains a hefty grain to malt ratio. I read a while back something about this having been built on 40% malt, but I don’t buy it. This whisky seems to be heftily propped up by neutral grain spirit. There’s a very prevalent alcohol bite that’s not even a bit pleasant. This needs much more cask time to smooth out some wrinkles. At a mere five years old this never should have hit the shelves. Also…it really is boring as fuck.
I should note…I found out after tasting this one that it was put together by the ‘legendary’ Richard Paterson. I’ll say no more.
Nose: Waaaaaaaaay too young. The composition isn’t all that bad, you can tell already, but this is so underdeveloped as to be almost unpleasant. Tack on a bunch more years of maturation and you might have something here. Caramel and perfume-like floral notes. A touch of sugar cookies met with putty and a light dusting spice. Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal in milk. A touch of cheap chocolate and malt. Barest hint of smoke…almost weedy smoke. I’ll assume some Islay content (most likely Caol Ila, of course) because of it.
Palate: Vodka. Seriously. Harsh and alcoholic. With burnt caramel (and far too much of it) and sharp, dry, tannic oak. Again kinda malty and rich in faux chocolate. Bit of a shudder. Faint, faint green apple on fade.
Thoughts: Points for having the nuts to state right up front this is a five year old. More whisky maker’s should be so forthright to not hide behind the ‘NAS’ option.
– Reviewed by: Curt
– Photo: Curt