Brand: Scottish Leader
Produced by: Ian MacMillan, Master Blender at the Deanston Distillery
Type: Blended Scotch Whisky
ABV: 40 %
Nose: When I first opened the Miniature and poured me a dram I was not at all impressed with the Scottish Leader's Nose. I'm not quite sure exactly what it was I was smelling but it reminded me of slightly rotten Vegetables, Grass and Plants. Like a Garden Mould. After an hour or so in the glass this smell slowly faded away. I then found Acetone, Refill Oak, young Grain Alcohol and distant hints of Toffee and Citrus. Poor stuff! I bought this miniature in Scotland during my trip in May. Either in Elgin or Bowmore.
Palate: This is not a Crowd Pleaser! I found Young Grain Alcohol, Burnt Sugar, Nut Shells, Caramel, Pepper and distant hints of Nougat, Smoke and Honey.
Finish: Short, Bitter-Sweet and slightly Spicy with Sugar, Grain Alcohol, Toffee, Green Wood and Pepper.
With added Water the Nose gets a little friendlier and Grain Alcohol and Biscuit arrive in the forefront. But Palate and Finish become a far cry from what I call a tasty Whisky.
Nose: 17 - Taste: 17 - Finish: 16 - Overall: 16.5
General Remarks: The Brand Name Scottish Leader already exists for a long time. Today it's part of Burn Stewart Distillers Ltd, the owners of Deanston, Tobermory, Ledaig, Bunnahabhain and the Black Bottle Blend. The first two form the heart of Scottish Leader, a Blend with 25% Malt - and 75% Grain Whisky (Wheat and Corn). The Scottish Leader contains whiskies that have matured from 3-8 years. It's very popular in Scotland but it's also exported to 60 countries. It's not expensive at an average price of 21 US Dollars.
Drinking Experience Neat: Below Par
Conclusion: It's sad that large quantities of Malt whisky disappear in these Blends. Maybe something was wrong with my miniature. But as it stands, this was not a pleasant Tasting Experience. Not for me at least. I do realise that many people simply can't afford expensive whiskies but once again I would like to point out that for the same amount of money you are better served with a simple Bourbon. If you like Bourbon of course. Because Scottish Leader will not do as a sipping whisky. At the most, you can use it for mixing I suppose. I will try to get another sample in order to verify my current impressions. But as it is, I can not recommend this Blend.