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Sep 22

Sheep Dip Blended Scotch – Review

Sheep Dip Blended ScotchSheep Dip Blended Scotch Whisky

80 Proof

Price Point: $35 – $45 for 750 ML

Distiller: Spencerfield Spirit Co. Ltd.

 

Background

I’m really not into blends.  Take my review of Johnnie Walker Red, for example.  I truly believe that often, you’re paying for the label not the whiskey.  Which is why when my wife pointed out Sheep Dip on the store shelf, I dismissed it as yet another sub-par, blended Scotch.  Well, I gave in anyway and bought a bottle – the price wasn’t too steep and she seemed to like the package.  What came next was very surprising…

 

Review

Wow, what a unique nose!  The first thing that comes to mind is heavy sourdough bread (and I mean heavy!).  There’s a touch of malt, along with sea salt, honey, and a little bit of sweetness to round it off.

Once in your mouth, you’ll quickly realize that this is not your average blended Scotch (it is a blended malt, after all).  Sheep Dip is heavy, yet slightly refreshing.  It has the complexity of a Speyside with the maritime qualities of an Islay.  Truly unique.

The finish is lengthy and malty – very nice!  There’s even a hint of smoke at the end.

 

Rating & Recommendations

I was really surprised by the quality of Sheep Dip which is why it earns solid rating of 85 out of 100.

This is far and away the best blended malt I have ever tasted, and I would recommend that you try it if you haven’t already.

 

-Ryan

4 comments

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  1. Mr Julian

    Good review, I think your tasting notes paint a vivid and accurate meltal picture. However…

    Sheep Dip is not your average blended Scotch. In fact, Sheep Dip is not a blended Scotch at all! It is a blended malt. A blended Scotch is a mix of grain Scotch and malt Scotch from any number of distilleries; a blended malt (or blended malt Scotch) is a mix of malt Scotches from multiple distilleries. Look at the label and you will see that Sheep Dip is a blended malt Scotch whisky. You do Sheep Dip a disservice by calling it a blended Scotch, and also by calling it a blend, since “blend” always means blended Scotch, not blended malt.

    Sheep Dip is 100% malt whisky, which, of course, is a large part of the reason that it is better than most blends, and certainly much better than a certain blended Scotch that sounds like it was named after a symptom of VD. It contains 16 malts: 4 each from Islay, Highlands, Lowlands, and Speyside.

    I am a lover of blended malt Scotch, although I am a somewhat frustrated lover at present. The Scottish have changed the name of this category of Scotch at least twice that I am aware of, having used both “pure malt” and “vatted malt” in the past. Of the three, “blended malt” seems to be the worst, as it inevitably leads, as in this case, to confusion with “blended Scotch.” Annoyingly, distillers and independent bottlers don’t seem to be very interested in producing blended malts, and blended malts are in danger of disappearing from many parts of the world. Of the two blended malts available in VA for the past few years, one of them, Johnnie Walker Green, has already been discontinued.

    So for now, I’ll probably be drinking my share of Sheep Dip, and while it isn’t, IMHO, as good as JWG, it is quite pleasing and has the unmistakable mouth-silkiness of a malt whisky. And though no one else seems to want to say it, malt whisky is just plain better than grain whisky. Here is a video I made on Scotch terms, in cas anyone is interested. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1fJgmdJOQ0c

    1. Ryan

      Thanks for the thoughtful comment, Mr. Julian. I have updated my post to better reflect the proper terminology.

      I am quite aware of the key differences between the various blends – I just didn’t take the time to notice what category Sheep Dip fell into, I suppose. I think the numerous Scotch brands need to do a better job differentiating on their labels and in their marketing, but that probably starts with the Scotch Whisky Association and how they define these things.

      I checked out your YouTube channel and noticed that we both share an affinity for John J. Bowman – very cool! I will be sure to view more of your videos.

      Cheers!

      -Ryan

  2. Martin

    Another excellent blended (or vatted) malt that I can highly recommend is Monkey Shoulder, a blend of three single malts (including Glenfiddich and Balvenie). While it does not seem to be carried by the major liquor retailers, I have found it at a couple of individually owned liquor stores here in southeast Florida, priced very reasonably, i.e., $30 – $33. BTW, in the latest edition of Michael Jackson’s Guide to Single Malts, it gets a very respectable rating of 88.

  3. Mark Gaughan

    It’s a malt blend.

  1. Monkey Shoulder Blended Scotch – Review | Whiskey-Reviews.com

    […] its nature as a blend.  Now, that’s not to say that there aren’t good blends (think Sheep Dip and Royal Salute 21 Year Old).  But there are also hideously poor blends (cough, Johnnie Walker […]

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