Usquaebach (pronounced “oos-ke-bah”) in Gaelic means “the water of life”. It’s also the name of a brand of blended Scotch whiskies, including the subject of this post – Usquaebach Reserve. The brand was trademarked in 1877, and is now owned by Cobalt Brands. According to the brand’s website, this blend contains 50% malt whiskies aged between 16 and 18 years. The other 50% of the blend is made of up non-age stated grain whiskies, hence the lack of age statement on the label. Other expressions include a 15-year-old blended malt and “Old Rare” blended whisky. As of the posting of this article, Usquaebach is available in 23 markets in the US. Bottled at 43%, Usquaebach Reserve costs about $40 a bottle.
I get light aromas from the nose, including soft vanilla, sweet malt, rubbing alcohol, some straw and toffee. Medium-bodied, the palate starts with honey malt and sweet toffee. There’s a little spice and a floral note in the mid-palate. A hint of smoke and a touch of dried fruit soon develop. The finish is medium-long with a slightly citrus-sweet note and malt.
Not bad. Not bad at all. Usquaebach is a nice combination of sweet, smoke and floral, with a lingering citrus note finishing things up. The palate isn’t as light as the nose suggests, which is a nice surprise. There’s some weight in the flavors. If you haven’t already, Usquaebach Reserve is worth discovering.