Cutty Sark & Cutty Sark Prohibition Edition Blended Scotch Whisky Review

Cutty Sark Blended Scotch Whisky

Cutty Sark

Cutty Sark was launched in 1923, as Prohibition gripped the United States.  It’s a blended Scotch whiskey comprised of single malt whiskies from The Macallan, Highland Park and The Glenrothes along with grain whiskies aged in American oak casks.  It was created for the booming cocktail culture at the time.  Known as a light style of whisky, Cutty Sark worked beautifully in cocktails by not overpowering other ingredients.

The brand is now owned by the Edrington Group, who also own The Macallan, Highland Park and The Glenrothes distilleries. Cutty Sark is bottled at 40% abv and sells for under $20.

Cutty Sark starts things off with honey, lemon zest, malt and a touch of vanilla.  Those aromas carry over onto the palate.  Light-bodied, a sweet malted grain is prominent, seasoned with fresh lemon and a light syrup.  There’s a bit of spice on the back of the palate going into the finish.  That spice doesn’t last long and provides a fairly quick and clean finish.

Let’s pass on this as a sipper.  This isn’t a bad whisky, but it’s priced and designed to be a mixer, which is how I’m going to recommend it.  If you’re picking up a Cutty Sark to sip on, scroll down the page.

6.0/10 as a sipper; recommended as a mixer
(Note: A review sample was provided by Cutty Sark.)

 Cutty Sark Prohibition Edition Blended Scotch Whisky

Cutty Sark Prohibition Edition

The Prohibition Edition of Cutty Sark is a salute to Captain William S. McCoy, a smuggler of Cutty Sark whisky during Prohibition.  Presented in a black glass bottle with an old style label, Cutty Sark Prohibition Edition is bottled at 50% abv for about $30ish.  The brand is calling this blend a “small batch”, though there is no telling how much smaller it is compared to the traditional Cutty Sark blend.  Bonus points for the blend being non-chill filtered.

A noticeably darker color than the standard blend, Cutty Sark Prohibition Edition has similar aromas to it’s sibling – sweet malt, lemon zest.  However, it is deeper and richer, and has more vanilla and introduces caramel and spice.  The higher proof helps deliver a better flavor experience without the roughness a 50% abv whisky can sometimes have.  The finish here is long, with a pepper/sweet malt combination hitting your tongue.

Cutty Sark Prohibition Edition is a robust blend, without being overly complex.  It’s definitely several steps ahead of the standard Cutty Sark blend.  This one will work both as a sipper and a great mixer.

(Note: A review sample was provided by Cutty Sark.)

Highland Park 15-Year-Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky Review

Photo credit Edrington

Photo credit Edrington Americas

Introduced in 2003, Highland Park 15-year-old was a travel exclusive, but became so popular it was added to the distillery’s core lineup.  This is one expression of Highland Park I don’t hear about too much.  People seem to talk about their love of the 12-year-old and 18-year-old, but I never hear about this 15-year-old expression.  This whisky spends three extra years in ex-Oloroso sherry casks versus it’s younger sibling.


Highland Park 12-Year-Old Single Malt Scotch Review

Photo credit Edrington

Photo credit Edrington

The entry level in Highland Park’s core lineup is their 12-year-old expression.  It is a single malt comprised of a blend of whiskies aged in first and refill ex-Oloroso sherry casks.  From the color (I’m assuming they are not adding a lot of caramel color here, if any.) and taste of the whisky, refill casks make up the majority of this blend.  Highland Park Dark Origins, the newest member of the distillery’s core lineup, uses twice the amount of first-fill sherry casks.  It’s bottled here in the United States at 43% abv.