Hey everyone! Today I am pairing and reviewing Cutty Sark Prohibition Blended Scotch Whisky. This is not the typical whisky I would choose to feature in our blog, but I decided to pick it up for a number of reasons. The first few factors in my choice is it is bottled at 50% ABV and non-chill filtered. This is something you don’t normally see in a lower priced blended whisky and immediately got my attention.
I’ve decided to pair this surly bottle of whisky with a stroll by the ocean on a cold winter’s day. Much like the late winter storms pummel these rocky shores, heating and Christmas bills continue to batter our bank accounts this time of year. So, at only $40 a bottle, Cutty Sark is a great choice to batten down the hatches with and weather the storms.
Cutty Sark Prohibition Edition pays homage to, notorious smuggler, Captain William F. McCoy. Captain McCoy smuggled alcohol to the east coast of America from the Bahamas during the 1920’s prohibition era. Instead of risk being caught by the FBI or Coast Guard, he would anchor his ship, the “Tomaka”, in international waters just outside U.S. jurisdiction and sell liquor to any smaller vessels willing to risk the trip. Many smugglers and organized crime outfits would cut or water down the liquor to make more profit. Captain McCoy developed a reputation for not compromising the spirits that he smuggled and only selling unadulterated, quality liquor. Rumor has it that this is where the term “The real McCoy” came from.
Here in the Pacific Northwest, we have our own rich history of illegal drinking dens, speakeasies and bootlegging. In fact, we even had our own prohibition. British Columbia’s prohibition preceded the US prohibition and was relatively short-lived. It ran from 1917 to 1921 but BC’s liquor laws continued to be very strict well into the 50’s. Some would say that they remain too strict even today! These strict laws and early prohibition created the perfect breeding ground for organized crime and illegal activity in BC which naturally turned into highly profitable rum-running operations south of the border in the 20’s.
I’ve also decided to try pairing Cutty Sark with some homemade, dark chocolate, salted, Laphroaig Quarter Cask fudge and some dark and milk chocolate, vanilla(with rum) and mint fudge. The whisky, neat, is a strong, full-mouth whisky with flavours of oak, spice, citrus and toffee and a long peppery finish. When paired with the whisky fudge I found that the American oak cask really came to the front. Some nice salt and pepper spice and a chocolatey raisin sweetness and light smoke to the finish. When I paired it with the mint fudge there was no oak at all. This pairing had an amazing arrival of after eight mints and chocolate raisins with a cracked black pepper spicy finish. It was very interesting how two only slightly different pairings can have two completely different outcomes!
In summary, I feel there is incredible value in this blended whisky and look forward to experimental pairings with this firecracker in the future!