Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Malt Mission 2007 #158

Whyte & Mackay 13yo
Blended Scotch Whisky
40% abv

Vijay Mallya and his United Breweries Group recently bought Whyte & Mackay for £600million as growing affluence in India made whisky sales grow 26% over the past year, a trend that didn't come out of nowhere and one that smart-tycoon-y member-of-parliament-entrepreneurs like Mallya wouldn't dare miss. Unfortunately, W&M saw a £2.2million loss in the 12-month period before the takeover. Can King Madras turn everything he touches to gold?

W&M has a pretty good stable of malts and blends and may have performed poorly last year due to the relaunch of the Whyte and Mackay blends (with a fancy new Charles Rennie Mackintosh look) that never really had a chance to take off or get marketed properly. (Are they even available anywhere?) Jura, Dalmore, Fettercairn, Glayva and Whyte and Mackay are now set to invade India now that Mallya used his political pull to change the iNsAnE foreign spirits tariff in India, a change that was certainly unpopular among other domestic spirits producers.

Anyways, I won't talk too much about that. Truth is I don't have enough time to get my facts straight so f-it. If you want more info and opinion on the story, read THIS(BBC), THIS(Malt Maniacs), or THIS(Scotch Blog).

Let's drink Whyte and Mackay's The Thirteen. (All Whyte&Mackay tasted on the mission can be read HERE)


Soft and rich, pecans, butter tarts, vanilla candles, waffle cones, an ice cream parlour. Sherry influence is present but the tasty Invergordon (and other?) grains lead the sweeter, vanilla-ed appeal to 'drink me'.

Bigger body than the nose suggests, that dissipates quickly. Strange. Now you see it, now you don't. Rich sherry and nuts, Dairy Milk, and a touch of salt then Caramilk and honey, ginger, and a light finish of sherry, fresh figs, and older grain whisky.


An odd experience, and I know I have complained about this stuff before, but I quite enjoyed it today. The vanishing effect (in terms of mouth presence) on the palate was strange, but the lingering flavours made up for it. A late metallic flavour hurt my overall impression but affordability and drinkability combine to make this a worthwhile purchase to decide for yourself.

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