Top 10 unusual Scotch whisky reviews

by Annie Hayes

From "beloved wet dogs" to "the nasal equivalent of a horrible traffic accident", Scotch whisky reviewers are experts in capturing curious flavour notes – SB scours the internet for some of the most entertaining excerpts.

Whether you're nodding in agreement or beside yourself with incredulous rage, everyone is entitled to their opinion – and the internet is the ultimate platform to air an opinion. The most prominent spirits reviews more often than not bear the most outlandish statements, which serve to prompt debate, stir up emotion, ignite a discussion or even spark a laugh or two,. With this in mind, The Spirits Business has undertaken a lighthearted mission to discover a selection of the most humorous, noteworthy, and downright unusual Scotch whisky reviews on forums, blogs and retailers' websites – we hope you find them as amusing as we did. Click through the following pages to discover our pick of unusual Scotch whisky web reviews. While many of the statements that follow are entertaining, they do not represent the views of The Spirits Business. Have you spotted any corkers lately? Let us know in the comments below.

Port Ellen 25 Year Old 1982/2008, John Milroy Selection, casks #2030+35

Posted: 19th April 2017 Rating: 4 stars Website: Colour: white wine. Nose: this baby’s much chalkier, and more on wet fabric than the youngster, with notes of paint thinner and simply cow dung, as well as quite some porridge. A box of rusty nails, and a little lemon juice. Moderate peatiness. Mouth: there’s something slightly chemical in the arrival, then some peppery brine and some slightly stale lemon and apple juice. Touches of damp cardboard, and really more and more pepper. Feels a tad dissonant at times, but of course it’s very fine whisky. Finish: rather long, and very peppery, while it’s not that smoky. More chalky lemons… We’re not too far from Talisker here. Comments: extremely good, it’s just less ‘pure’ and ‘PE’. Perhaps a death seat after the marvellous youngster by W&M. [Wilson & Morgan]  

Haig Club Whisky

Posted: 13th May 2016 Rating: 0.5 stars Website: Notes of Toilet Duck and great PR. I'd rather lick a cats armpit.

Lagavulin 16 Year Old

Posted: 17th October 2012 Rating: 5 stars Website: You open the bottle and the smell hits you. This ain't no frilly Scotch. This Scotch is going to put hair in places you may not be accustomed to having it. You take a sip and your voice drops. You take a second sip and suddenly you have an oversized sword in your left hand. At this point your wife is confused and the kids are scared, but there's no turning back. After the third sip the accent comes. Slowly at first. An 'aye' here, a 'lad' there. But slowly takes a back seat after the fourth sip. Your accent is now full steam, you look out the window and Brian Cox nods in approval. A kilt falls from the ceiling as you realize you're now naked. You stand proud, take the fifth sip, and your wife looks at you with hunger in her eyes. It's a good day to be a Scotch drinker.

Glenkinchie 12 Year Old

Posted: 25th May 2016 Rating: 0.5 stars Website: Let's be real... As a passionate and frequent adventurer in the alcoholic arts, I gave this Scotch a little try while exploring the wonders offered by the beautiful city of Edinburgh – the only wonder of this Scotch is why it is still on the shelf. The vicious flavour could only be improved if a Canada Dry ginger ale company drowned the pub I was sitting in – and honestly I would have welcomed the spicy, watery grave.

Johnnie Walker Blue Label

Posted: 1st January 2016 Rating: 5 stars Website: This Johnnie Walker Blue Label was truly so nice that each sip made my balls tingle. It's one of the few whiskeys where I don't like adding a tiny splash of water into the glass. It's nectar from the Gods.

Caol Ila 18 Year Old

Posted: 22th January 2011 Rating: 5 stars Website: The taste of ordnance. This whiskey smells of grease and oil and tastes of the maintenance man's dream. Burnt powder and overheating of break linings. A man's drink.

Loch Dhu 10 Year Old

Posted: 26th January 2011 Website: Nose is brutal – a brash pungency like overripe bananas, black cherries in syrup, petroleum, burnt sugar, soy sauce, and raw fruit peelings. It’s intriguingly bad, like the nasal equivalent of a horrible traffic accident – you can’t help rubbernecking to look for body parts. It smells like a full kitchen trash-can after throwing away a burned stir-fry. The addition of a splash of water brings out a little of the fruit notes – like a dish of Bananas Foster that’s left to burn in a corner. Palate: Rotten fruit upfront, although the alcohol is surprisingly smooth. Medium in body, although every time I swish it around my mouth I get a fresh wave of rotten banana peel. Just as you settle in and start to think “this isn’t so bad,” the plastic and rubber notes enter, and start to smolder. At the tail-end there is a heavy dose of black licorice. A little water does nothing to improve the situation, if anything it dulls what little sweetness there is. Finish is redolent of black licorice, soy sauce, caramel, burning rubber, and burnt toffee. The experience is unmercifully long, leaving behind spent coffee grains and roofing tar. I had to drink two drams of Powers to get the taste out of my mouth.

Springbank 11 Year Old ‘Local Barley’ 

Posted: 6th April 2017 Rating: 4.5 stars Website: Colour: white wine. Nose: it’s not that it’s shy, not at all, but I don’t think its got the high impact of the 16, this one’s rather kind-of-gentle, rather mineral (wet limestone) and of course rather coastal and lemony. A plate of oysters with a few lemon rinds and quite some kelp. With water: the usual old damp tweed jacket and our beloved wet dogs (we’ll build you a memorial, dogs). Coffee. Mouth (neat): very good, a little Tequila-ish and bizarrely aquavity (yeah I know), with a lot of lemon, salt, and yes, agave. Really, it’s got a mezcaly side. The base is creamy and sligthly syrupy, but that only adds texture, no dumb vanillaness. At all. With water: artisan Tequila from Campbeltown, now that’s interesting. Finish: rather long, and a tad more petroly. Salty/tarry aftertaste. Comments: more a Springbank to sip than a Springbank to nose, but I guess that’s the whole point. Mi piace molto.

The Glenlivet 15 Year Old French Oak Reserve

Posted: 15th December 2009 Rating: 1 star Website: Be aware! You should be careful when you buy this. It does not come in French Oak at all but in a glass bottle. Did not like the colour of the leather on the box at all!

Bell's Original Whisky

Posted: 29th May 2013 Rating: 0.5 stars Website: Combine Harvester Accident. If I accidentally got my leg caught in a combine harvester and Bell's was the only thing I had nearby to anaesthetise the pain prior to hacking it free with a rusty saw then I'd have to flip a coin as to what would cause me more discomfort. You only live once, so don't be a tightwad and spend a few quid more on a bottle of decent malt from the 1000's available, else go teetotal.