Malt comes from Balmenach, owned by Inver House, who allows Aberko to bottle limited quantities. You may need a flowchart. This whisky gets around. One of the most cloyingly appealing noses from the club’s stash so far. Most of all, it has the Deerstalker legend, a character like no other.
“The stalker spends his days – and some nights as well – on the high hills, watching over the herds of red deer that are native to these parts. His existence is solitary, without even the companionship of a dog; his only company the creatures of the wild places – the golden eagle, red grouse, mountain hare…The stalker lives with the weather in his face, often wet through by snow and rain, often chilled by icy winds. But he warms himself with a dram of ‘uisge beatha,’ the water of life; his thoughts are elevated, and the concerns of the city-dweller are not his.“
Age: 18 year
Location: The Haughs of Cromdale
Nose: Apricot and candied orange peel, toast, maple cookie
Palate: Leather, tangerine, warm, black pepper
Finish: Medium, cucumber-melon, maple cookie, slight fauna, dry
Comments: able to be enjoyed without water, but a few drops is recommended to cut the heat and bring the flavors out.
Adam – This Scotch is ready to pick up the gentle, grassy breezes of warmer seasons, giving both a little heat and sweetness. You may have to experiment a little with how much water to add, if any, but the right mixture is more than worth your efforts. This is pleasant in all the right ways. Also, I want to live in a land where geographical features are referred to as Haughs.
Kate – This is one of the priciest Scotches the club has purchased thus far. I know this was a club favourite, but for me it was lackluster. I didn’t find any of the flavours to be offensive but I didn’t find them interesting either. I didn’t feel like it was worth the price (that’s the cheap Scot talking). In my opinion, the Deerstalker can continue on in his hermitage and stay away from this Scotch drinker. More Deerstalker for Meghan.
Meghan – With absolutely no shame I will admit I am in love with the Deerstalker – both the Scotch and the legend. The light fruity nose is inviting with just enough toasty warmth to remind you it is Scotch. It is not a hot Scotch but a drip or two water does mellow the alcohol content enough to allow for a full examination of the Deerstalker’s mysterious depths. The tangerine pithiness provides unique juxtaposition with the peppery leather aspect. It is a unique Scotch. It is also a spring through early autumn Scotch. The delight of the Deerstalker’s flora/fauna aspect can be subdued by winter’s bitter cold. So unless you live in a temperate zone where temps below 32 degrees are literally and figuratively freezing and dropping below zero is unheard of, put the dear Deerstalker on the shelf for the coldest months, indulge in a peaty smoke-filled Scotch and reread the Deerstalker’s legend while dreaming of warmer days.
Henry – Tangerine jail bait. Adding water, it’s like sitting in a gentleman’s club, surrounded by people, yet voluntarily isolated.