I recently saw a t-shirt that read "Spooning leads to Forking". Yes, that is sometimes (usually) the plan. So, when I think of spooning I am usually thinking of something pleasant (not the prison version); and I would like to think that most other people do too. So I was quite surprised to learn a new whisky term today: Spooning. This is a practice that some distillers engage in to protect their brand. If a barrel doesn't meet their standards then they may add a spoon of some other whisky to ensure that that barrel is no longer a single malt. The reason for this is that they can still earn revenue from that cask by selling it to some Independent Bottler (IB) for blending. The distillery makes some money on the whisky they didn't like and their name will never be attached to it. This sample is an example of a spooned whisky. I have heard rumour that it is from Balvenie. I can't vouch for that, but an interesting rumour all the same.
That Boutique-y Whisky Company (TBWC) is the IB in this case. It is called a Blended malt, so if the rumour is true that this is from the Balvenie then they must have spooned it with another single malt. I have not heard anything on what that might be.
TBWC is known for their colourful cartoon labels. This particular label depicts a crowd of people praying to a large spoon . This image reminded me of many summer Phish shows and so I decided to play a summer show that I attended: Deer Creek 7.11.2000. This is the "Moby Dick" show. It is so called because during the second set they played Led Zeppelins "Moby Dick" multiple times. I don't remember much except that it was very hot in Indiana, and that I had a great time.
As Phish busts out a nostalgia inducing Runaway Jim I will get down with this sample.
Nose: Initially I detected a pine scent. On a second sniff I received notes of orange, caramel and ginger candies.
Palate: After an initial maltiness, notes of BBQ duck, coffee and tootsie roll came to mind. An interesting contrast between the savoury and the sweet.
Finish: I detected notes of grain that faded to mint and a slight saltiness.
Overall I enjoyed this whisky. There was a bit of a bite to it but then I realised that this must have been a spooned cask strength whisky as it is 54%. I love the interesting notes on the palate. After this tasting I am fairly confident that the rumour is true.