Whyte & Mackay Special Blended Scotch with Dan & Goran

IMG_2306A classic twisty blend, Whyte & Mackay is available in large quantities from most LCBOs.

Launched in 1844 in Glasgow, the company has changed hands many times, coming to be partly owned by Diageo and is currently involved in an anti-trust investigation against Diageo’s massive scotch holdings. They are also associated with epic scotch brands like Jura and The Dalmore.

Whyte & Mackay is also home to Richard Paterson, a brand ambassador who seems to think scotch belongs on the floor.  No, seriously. This dude has thrown more scotch on the floor (or walls, or in a general “behind him” direction) than I’ve ever had. In fact, the dollar value of what this guy wastes could probably put a couple people through a world tour of whisky. Oh, and he threatens to kill you if you hold your drink wrong, because hahaha? I guess? Here, judge for yourself:

So, yeah. Basically the opposite of the iScotch approach to whisky. Some points I want to touch on, since this guy doesn’t explain anything and just throws whisky around:

1. The glass: does it matter? Yes, sort of. A bit. There’s a long standing tradition of specific glasses for specific beers, wines and spirits. The right fluting and rounding and stemming can clarify the smell of a drink (allegedly) and taste is mostly smell. That said, it all you’ve got is red frat party cups, well then drink out of a red frat party cup.

2. The throwing out the whisky?!? Yeah, no.  Unless your glasses are covered in dust, the best place to put the whisky you use to dress the glass is in the glass, in your mouth and in your belly.

3. The death-penalty palming thing: WTF? Yeah… he’s a douche, there’s nothing more to it that that. There’s another video of this guy totally creeping on a woman, whom he also threatens to kill if she holds the glass wrong. Ladies love death threats, right? As for the science – palming the glass will warm the liquid, which will cause the alcohol to evaporate faster. This may cause the flavours in the scotch to become unbalanced, but only if you drink it too slowly. If you hold a glass of anything alcoholic in your palm for half an hour, it’s going to change. Does that warrant your death? Probably not.

However, two points are correct: you should always smell at least three times before deciding about a whiskey. And you should actually chew your whisky when you taste it, as it helps fully capture the characteristics of what you’re drinking.

Here’s what we thought:

Dan – slightly sweet, generic smoke
Simon – honey, hairspray, tequila
Goran – beautiful, caramel

Dan – tobacco, wet leaf, something spicy
Simon – no real taste, lots of burn
Goran – quite nutty, walnut bitterness

Dan – middle tongue burn
Simon – all burn
Goran – medium & shallow

Dan – tastes like old musty clothes, damp wood, no smoke
Simon – even less flavour
Goran – n/a

Whyte & Mackay Special Blended Scotch Whisky – 40% 750ml – $26.95 – Scotland

Try it? No. Buy it? No.

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