Usquaebach Old-Rare is the high end of the company’s small core range, which includes Usquaebach Reserve and 15-year-old blended malt.
This blended whisky is made from 41 single malt whiskies aged up to 20 years and two grain whiskies which were aged in ex-sherry hogsheads. What differentiates this blend against most is that it’s made up of 85% malt whiskies. That’s a lot of malt for a blended whisky. How does it taste?
Some stewed fruits, sweet malt and a slight sherry head up the light nose here, with some toffee and lemon rind in the background. It smells richer than the standard Usquaebach Reserve blend. The entry is a bit thin at first. That’s most likely due to the low 43% abv. Layers of toffee, sweet malt, lemon peel appear first. Some white chocolate develops afterwards, but not much else happens until the finish, where some freshly ground black pepper shows up to the party. If you look past the sweet notes, the medium finish sort of tastes like lemon pepper chicken, sans the chicken. That spice note is welcome here.
Usquaebach Old-Rare is a fine whisky, but not a particularly memorable one. I do appreciate the richness this whisky carries, which is here courtesy of the 85% malt content in the blend. The sweet malt and lemon peel combination work well together, but there isn’t too much more here until the finish. This comes with my recommendation, but know this: at $115 a bottle, Usquaebach Old-Rare doesn’t provide as much value as the standard Reserve, which only costs $40.