Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Malt Mission 2007 #3

Haig Dimple 15yoDimple DeLuxe 15yo (Pinch)
Blended Scotch Whisky
43% abv
$35 USD
[but we buy it for 229- NOK (1L) at Norway duty free]

Well, while we are on the blend section of the shelf, I thought I might as well try another big name for the 3rd bottle in this malt mission.

Haig Dimple (or Pinch,as it is known in the U.S.) is a very high-selling blend, but very difficult to find in the UK. I read that it is the 4th biggest selling deluxe blend in the world. It is well-known for having a high malt content, but even more famous is the dimpled bottle which was introduced in 1893 and became the first patented bottle design (1958). It was seen as a useful shape, once empty, for model ship builders, lamp makers, coin collectors, etc. A new neck closure in 1973 meant an end to the Dimple piggy bank, too small. The classic wire meshing introduced to prevent faulty closures from opening during shipping was also abandoned in the 1970s. In 1988 the net was restored. My mom loves the bottle and tells me she uses an empty one from a Toronto tasting last year as a water carafe at dinner.


Eek. Bad first impression. Smells of nothing, so one is forced to breathe deeper only to be given a swift uppercut of cheap vodka, or oil paints and turpentine. Let me find nicer descriptors… Sours, crabapples, hand sanitiser… but really not much at all. Some fudge, woodiness, but really very little of note besides sharpness and chemical burn. Not much depth or complexity at all.

In the mouth it feels good. Tastes good too. Goes down with a minor bite like super minty chewing gum. Nice initial richness, toffee apples and Werther’s. No great impact. There is a spiciness of flavour and tongue attack, but generally in an enjoyable way. Yeah, quite nice. A little herbal, green spices. Finish is pleasant with speyside chocolate and a lingering sugary breakfast cereal taste… mini-wheats? Quite long, actually.


Well, wow. If asked, both Kristin and I would always say positive things about Dimple, but based on today’s experience I must confess adding ice might be the wisest option. Almost very good. To be fair, probably not worth the money in the UK but I would still recommend it in markets where it is more widely available/cheaper.

Trying it about 10 minutes later it is definitely less edgy with spirit. Maybe let it mellow in a glass before drinking? There is something very likable about it but it certainly doesn’t come easy. Perhaps good things shouldn’t.

There are supposed to be some very good malts in here mixed with some special and rare grains, most notable to my tastes are Cambus(grain), Linkwood(malt) and Clynelish(malt). Whether or not this is still the case is open to investigation…

Malt Mission #1
Malt Mission #2
Malt Mission #4
Malt Mission #5
Malt Mission #6

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