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McCarthy’s Oregon Single Malt Pot Distilled Whiskey

April 25, 2010 by  
Filed under Bottle Reviews

mccarthys_whiskeyThere’s an “e” in “whiskey” on the label which lets you know it’s not bottled in Scotland. But other than reading the label, you’d have a hard time telling that this is not a fine Scotch.

Leaving the bottle, and its confession of origin behind, the whiskey is a light amber and leaves nice legs on the sides of the snifter. It has a moderate nose of smoke, along with iodine and some earthiness, all obviously from the peating of the Scottish barley. There’s also the typical alcohol nose of a whiskey. But once you blow away some of the alcohol, or let it evaporate away on its own, swirling for a while, you also get some scent of cut grass and a tiny hint of caramel. It’s quite pleasing to the nose.

The first taste, undiluted, gives you again smoke and iodine, and oddly some lemon or other citrus. The smoky peat flavor is nowhere near as heavy as an Islay like Ardberg or really even Lagavulin, but it is obvious enough. There’s the caramel and butteriness you’d expect of a Highland malt, as well as a nice earthiness and nuttiness, and again that trace of citrus. It has a slightly oily mouth feel, and as the flavor fades into the finish, a light taste of minerals along with the lingering smokiness and earthiness. It would rate as a fine Scotch in every way, but where it’s distilled.

The barley is peat malted in Scotland, so other than the Oregon water, the raw materials are all Scottish. The imported barley is made into a wash by Widmer Brothers, who then hand it off to Clear Creek Distillery for the distillation and for 3 years of aging, partly in old sherry casks and partly in air-dried Oregon oak barrels.

It was nice to have a moderately chilly and rainy day interrupt spring, to provide an excuse to sample a whiskey. Especially nice given this particular whiskey.

McCarthy’s should next be available in November of 2010, so get in line, now.

$44.52 [750ML] Specs Online.

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