Grasp of Malt Campbeltown 8 12 months Outdated 2014 | Malt

With a level of trepidation, not sure whether or not I had secure search activated, I opened Google and typed the phrase “teaspooning.”

The incontrovertible fact that I used to be anticipating an onslaught of City Dictionary-esque puerility most likely says extra about me than I’d care to confess or discover. However, because the Bahamian Evangelist preacher Dr Myles Munroe not so famously stated, “We’re merchandise of our tradition and interpret the world by means of our psychological conditioning.” It’s society’s fault that I see smut lurking behind the verbing of harmless nouns, though I’m fairly positive that’s not what ‘Dr’ Munroe was getting at.

A bunch of bastards.

It’s an odd quirk of the whisky world that a lot of the liquid produced by distilleries finally ends up being offered as one thing else… and I’m not simply speaking about blends.

When promoting their casks to mass retailers, brokers and indies, many distilleries take steps to make sure their whiskies can’t be bottled below the household title. The result’s that a large quantity of single malt whisky finally ends up on shelf below assumed identities.

The commonest manifestation of this phenomenon is the so-called bastard malt. The disowned progeny of unknown parentage, the bastard bottle is destined to perpetually sit decrease – in value level, in addition to place on the shelf – than its professional brothers and sisters bearing the household title. Lidl’s Ben Bracken vary – considered one of which I beforehand reviewed by means of the lens of Kate Bush, clearly – are traditional bastard malts. Some bastards, having risen away from their unsuitable beginnings, have even established a repute for excellence (and lofty value factors) in their very own proper. Murray McDavid’s Leapfrog – with no prizes for guessing the distillery – leaps to thoughts as an excellent instance of a coveted (vs. traditional) bastard.

When is a bastard not a bastard? When it’s a teaspoon.

The opposite – and to my thoughts, extra fascinating – manifestation of the bastard is the teaspoon. Having just lately purchased a Campbeltown “blended malt” (learn: “teaspooned”) from Grasp of Malt, it was the act of teaspooning – leaving any double entendre on the door – that piqued my curiosity and led to my hesitant Googling.

Teaspooning is just the act of including a really small quantity of single malt right into a cask of whisky from one other distillery. The teaspoon of overseas liquid renders the cask a “blended malt,” now not legally a single malt or a product of the originating distillery. The truth that 99.99% of the liquid within the cask is unchanged is irrelevant. It’s all bastard whisky now.

While clearly absurd – and assuming that it truly occurs – teaspooning is a straightforward manner for distilleries to guard their model while incomes a bit of additional money promoting casks to unbiased bottlers or rivals (for mixing).

The principle distinction between what I’m lovingly calling a “traditional bastard” and a teaspoon – and the rationale I feel the latter is extra fascinating – is the “reality” (in a Trumpian sense) that teaspoons are primarily single-cask malt whiskies offered at low cost costs.

We must always completely teaspoon extra usually.

The bottle I bought from Grasp of Malt was an 8-year-old Campbeltown Blended Malt. For argument’s sake, let’s assume the teaspooned MoM bottling is a Glen Scotia. Neglect the regulatory nonsense; it’s single-malt whisky. It’s additionally – despite the fact that the liquid has technically moved between three casks – a single cask whisky. This seeming contradiction in phrases is one other regulatory quirk. Single cask whisky that matures sequentially throughout a number of casks remains to be single cask whisky. So – by my free interpretation of the principles – it is a single malt, single cask whisky. And at £40 a bottle (in comparison with £70 for the same official 8-year-old Glen Scotia single cask expression) it’s an absolute discount.

All of which, particularly in opposition to the very actual backdrop of escalating costs, begs the query: is now the time to trumpet the teaspoon?

Effectively, I suppose the reply partly depends upon the way it performs.

Grasp of Malt Campbeltown 8 12 months Outdated 2014 – Overview

54.9% ABV.

Color: Apple juice.

On the nostril: Actually troublesome to pin down. Mango and inexperienced apples with a flinty underbelly, like a supercharged Chablis… type of. Then, nutty: walnuts and almonds, creating right into a malty chocolate Ovaltine and desiccated coconut. It’s complicated. A mercurial bastard, if you’ll.

Within the mouth: Splendidly dry, salty, and a bit bit briny. The contemporary fruits on the nostril are dirtier and drier now, extra like mince pie filling, figs, and dates. A youthful white pepper fieriness is tempered by the grown-up muscularity of salted caramel and vanilla and there’s a definite hit of pencil shavings on the medium end.


Based mostly on this instance I can be spending extra time searching out teaspooned cask bottlings. Perhaps I’m lacking one thing. Perhaps an official singlecask model of this whisky is even higher. However at £40, I’m very blissful to be the recipient of an excellent teaspooning.

Rating: 7/10

To cite the Malt scoring system, “in a great world all whisky would attain this stage.”

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