Cutty Sark Prohibition Edition
I’ve long heard the name and seen the bottle for Cutty Sark. To be honest, I always thought it was Cutty Shark (I’ve probably typed that a hundred times). Never really knew the difference because I had never bought a bottle before. I knew it was a Scotch whisky and that was about it. I wasn’t a big Scotch drinker so I was never really was tempted to pick up a bottle.
After a sample of the Cutty Sark Prohibition Edition was sent to me I started digging a little deeper into the brand and learning all about it. Particularly about this specific blend. I know a lot of the purists out there don’t enjoy blended whiskies. They want their straight single malts. Which, I totally understand. There is a time and place for single malts, just as there is a time and place for blends. Let’s be honest, if you want more people to join the whisky drinking community they’ve got to start somewhere, so why not with a blend?
There have been quite a few versions of the press release regarding this whisky floating around, and you may or may not have heard about the backstory behind this particular blend. So I’m going to give you an abbreviated version of it. This Cutty Sark Prohibition Edition is a nod to the history of the brand. It was blended to be a tip of the cap to the style of whisky that was consumed during Prohibition in the U.S.. This whisky ‘salutes the notorious Captain William McCoy, who courageously smuggled Cutty Sark into American speakeasies.’ That’s why his nickname “The Real McCoy” has been etched into the bottle. A pretty cool backstory behind the brand with some good marketing as well. I’m all for being able to tell a story with your brand and this one gets “2 thumbs up” from me for that.
When you first look at this Cutty Sark Prohibition Edition the bottle is definitely unique. It’s a black opaque bottle that you can’t really see through, or into. It reminds me a lot of the Popcorn Sutton’s White Whiskey bottle. It’s a fairly tall and slender bottle similar to the original Cutty Sark bottle. It even has the ship on the front like the original. It’s traded in the notorious yellow background label for this softer off white label that is actually quite appealing. Directly in the middle of the label is a big bold black stamp that says “Prohibition Edition”. You can’t miss it. For me, I love the packaging, it’s able to differentiate itself yet similar enough to where you recognize the brand.
The actual whisky in the glass is beautiful. It has a nice soft yellowish gold tone to it. I’m used to the deep rich amber and caramel colors of bourbon. This is a nice change of pace. Swirling it around the glass it offers some nice viscous legs to it that run the length of my Glencairn tasting glass. Nothing else too exciting to note about the appearance. I think it’s time to get into the whisky itself and see what’s under the hood.
Right out of the gate when I opened this Cutty Sark Prohibition Edition up I recognized a familiar note, Vanilla and Honey. I initially thought I might have fooled myself and accidentally opened up a bottle of bourbon. The color was off, but the note was definitely there. After the vanilla faded away I finally figured out I was drinking a Scotch. That peaty /smokiness started hitting me in the olfactory sense. The final swoop of aroma was this toasted malt / grain that reminded me of cereal. The malt / grain note came a little later with some swirling of the whisky to really get it to open up. Overall a nice rounded out, and fairly complex nose. I was excited to pick up so many different aromas right out of the first pour.
First thing I taste from this Cutty Sark Prohibition Edition is that traditional smokey / peat note. It then develops into this nice creamy sweet caramel note that is akin to bourbon. It has that traditional ‘malty’ ness that I’ve experienced from most Scotches, but it’s not overbearing. Where this whisky really separates itself is there is a nice spice that appears. From most of the single-malts that I’ve tried I’ve never picked that up. So that must be something that is rather unique to this blend. I like it, that note really adds some more depth and complexity to the overall flavors that I’m experiencing. So far I’m pretty darn impressed with this whisky.
On the finish of this whisky the spice is most noticeable. It sticks around and really makes itself present. Which to me is fantastic. I think it is a nice change of pace to other Scotches that I’ve experienced. The spice that comes out has a great flavor to me. It’s similar to cinnamon and then out of nowhere a vanilla spice appears. It’s a great transition. The viscosity of the Cutty Sark Prohibition Edition is fantastic. It has a nice mouth coating but doesn’t stick around too long. My wife even enjoyed it, which is definitely out of the ordinary especially for a Scotch.
Cutty Sark Prohibition Edition: 9/10
I’m giving this a pretty high rating. I know I have a long way to go in the world of Scotches, but I’m not gonna lie. I enjoyed the hell out of this whisky. I know it’s a blend and it’s not the all-holy single malt, but I enjoyed it, and that’s what matters to me. Sometimes you don’t need the most complex over powering flavored whisky on the market. Sometimes you just need something that you can sip and enjoy, and I think that’s exactly what this Cutty Sark Prohibition Edition provides.