...where distraction is the main attraction.

Friday, October 23, 2015

NOT Single Malt Report: Haig's Dimple Tin Cap Blended Whisky (bottled in 1950s)

To cap off this week's old blend reviews, I'm skipping right over the '60s to get to the '50s.  I've reviewed two of Haig's 1970s cheaper blends, finding one much better than the other, but neither were of the Dimple/Pinch (Dimple in Europe, Pinch in U.S.) variety.  I've had the somewhat current version of the 15yo Pinch (or, again, "Dimple" outside of the US), I found it to be an acceptable blended whisky and hope they can keep it in the $35-$40 price range as long as possible.  This, though, is different.

Photo not of actual bottle sampled,
instead the image is from this page
I really don't know how to continue an intro to a whisky like this so I'll just end it with saying thank you to Sir Cobo for this sample!!!

(Also, please see that previous Haig post for a summarized history about the brand!)

(Also, if you do have an old Haig in your collection, the Haig site does something rare for an official site by providing a little bit of assistance with figuring out your dusty's age.)

Brand: Haig
Ownership at the time: Distiller's Company Limited (DCL)
Current ownership: Diageo
Type: Scotch Blended Whisky
Age: minimum 3 years
Alcohol by Volume: 40% (or 70º UK proof)
Bottled: 1950s

The color is a moderately dark gold.  The nose begins with wood smoke and orange oil.  Almond cookies and ocean water.  Grapefruit.  A minerally white wine.  After 20+ minutes in the glass, a fragrant mossy peat note appears alongside vanilla beans and rope.  The palate is a little dusty and musty but not much; the '70s Ballantine's was much mustier.  Instead it's loaded with a gorgeous bitterness and tart grapefruit.  Lots of salt.  Some oily greasy Springbanky stuff in the midground.  A mellow sweetness in the background.  After a while it develops a very literal mineral note, like licking a rock.  Not a long finish, but it's impressively free of sweets.  Lots of citrusy tingle, like lemon and grapefruit.  The rocky-mineral note.  And the bitter note, now reading sort of IPA-ish.

Can I say "they don't make them like this anymore" without sounding cliché?  No?  Well, they don't make them like this anymore because no one bottle ages their blend for sixty years before releasing it to the public.  But really, a load of tartness, bitterness, and rocks with a minimum of sweetness?  I'm assuming that can still be done by someone somewhere.  Right?  I'd buy a bottle of that.

While the palate was my favorite part, the nose was also very good.  It's a shame the finish finished fast, but while it lives its notes are consistent with the rest of the experience.  I'm liking some of these old Haigs, so I have a feeling there may be more posts about them here......maybe in 2016?

Availability - The occasional auction and/or European retailers who sell dusties at premium prices
Pricing - ???
Rating - 86