Spearhead Single Grain Scotch Whisky 43% 70cl
Grain whisky gets a VERY bad rap, particularly with regards to Scotch, where many drinkers dismiss it simply as 'filler' for blended whiskies. But Single Grain Scotch can in fact present a completely different flavour profile full of vim and vigour, and it also ages absolutely briiliantly.
What doesn't help matters is the likes of Haig Club - aka 'David Beckham's whisky', This was a Single Grain Scotch from Diageo that was trying to appeal to cocktail fans and young people who otherwise wouldn't touch whisky at all. It did this by offering zero flavour which admittedly meant it would offend any tastebuds - but on the flip side wouldn't entice any tastebuds either. It wasn't bad, it was just so BORING.
But now the Loch Lomond Distillery are trying something different. Spearhead is a Single Grain Scotch produced by them, in a very cool looking bottle with lots of fancy buzzwords in the marketing. This is actually made entirely with malted barley, but as it is distilled in a Coffey column still, it can't be called Single Malt. The spirit is matured in ex-Bourbon casks that have been recharred in part using infrared along with traditional fire. Sounds cool, but it's just a way of controlling the char you get on the inside of the char with greater precision. There's also a brief finish in virgin American oak casks, accentuating an American whiskey vibe.
Ultimately though, it's all about the taste. When I first heard about Spearhead, I was doubtful. There were way too many marketing bullshit phrases for my liking, so my hackles were up. But upon trying it, I was suitably impressed, There's real Bourbon-y vibes going on here, with sweet vanilla and caramel on both the nose and palate. Yes, the spirit is young, so there is a bite, but notes of raisin and sultana temper this back down. It's a great whisky for long drinks - the youthfulness helps cut through ginger ale or soda water, and I'm intrigued to try it as an alternative to gin in a form of Clover Club.
Look, if I didn't think was any good, or interesting, I wouldn't be selling it. You might be turning your nose up at a Single Grain, but I really like this and it has far exceeded my expectations. So give it a go!
Want to know more? Watch the video review!
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