Saturday, 10 December 2011

Abhainn Dearg - nice idea but no thanks

Its early days and I suppose things can only get better. However, my first two tastings of Abhainn Dearg have left not only a bad taste in the mouth but a reluctance to even countenance buying a dram. Buying a bottle was out of the question anyway. £150 for 50cl of a 3yo whisky stretches my sporan a bit too much.

Earlier this year, I was intrigued to see a quarter-cask of 9-month old Abhainn Dearg at MacSorelys in Glasgow. It was interesting though I have tasted spirit of a similar age that has been fantastic. Recently, I was very pleased to see a bottle of the recently released 3yo in Queensferry's famous Ferry Tap. In short, it was vile. I actually struggled to finish the dram. It tasted like the contents of the cleaner's pail - dirty, watery and not at all pleasant. A long long way from elegant and pleasant peaty drams of which we now have many.

As I've not heard anyone else mention this, I wonder if its a case of the emperor's new clothes? If so, apologies for rocking the boat but sometimes a spade has to be called a spade.

Its a shame as it is one new distillery that I'd really like to succeed. Outer Hebridean malts have been missing from the market for too long. As well as that, new enterprises in these sparsely populated areas are very much welcome. The bottom line is, that if they make unpleasant whisky and sell it at sky-high prices, then that success may be as remote as Uig itself.

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