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Drink Review: Old Smuggler Blended Whisky

Old Smuggler is a long running blended whisky, first bottled back in 1835. Named in honour of the whisky smugglers who traded around the Scottish islands back in those days it’s still popular today, especially in Argentina and Belgium(!)

Old Smuggler Blended Whisky Review:

This is a very well balanced, smooth blended Scotch whisky. It’s very malty, sweet, yet not overbearingly so. Along with this comes all the other characteristics of a blended whisky, including a strong lingering finish.

It’s surprisingly strong, possibly because there’s added peat. Not much of it though. It’s quite a harsh, bitter taste, almost carroty in a way. Not my favourite though.

Try it next to, for example, Johnny Walker Black and they’ll prove to be neck and neck.

We have used Smuggler extensively both in the bar and in our house. My wife adores Smuggler! Ideal for an after dinner dram and/or on a cold night in!

I have recently returned to Smuggler after an absence of a few years. Tempted by a special offer I decided to sample the newly bottled 30 years old and I am not disappointed. The flavours are sweet, with a hint of vanilla giving a lovely smell on opening. It’s a well priced whisky and for me my normal go to after eating mushroom risotto, which is my usual release after a hard day of work.

This whisky was actually brought in America by Liberty Corp back in 1934 I think, and initially sold under the name of Smuggler whisky, and has been bottled under that name ever since.

It’s surprisingly strong, possibly because there’s added peat. Not much of it though. It’s quite a harsh, bitter taste, almost carroty in a way. Not my favourite though.

I am a fan of Old Smuggler, so this particular review to me in a way represents what Scotch has become. This is an absolutely fabulous blended Scotch whisky. It’s very smooth, more so than many whiskies with a more robust flavour. This is what I was looking for in a blended Scotch. A soft character and a wonderful nose.

Overall I would give this a 9 out of 10, I would definitely recommend trying this blended whisky.

I love their 12 and 18 year old blends so when I saw this new 12 year old version I was very interested to try it and I wasn’t disappointed.

It’s a pleasant single malt with a very dominate nose all sweetness caramel with some heat. It’s very sweet but one note it gives a slam dunk and it’s all over the place. There is balance with some fruit, acid and fruit finish but the sweet and heat is intermingled, the sweetness is only on the ‘long side.’ It’s an excellent blended whisky to me and I enjoy it more than the 12 year old version. (I only tasted the 12 and 18 and did not try the 12 year old blended version.)

Old Smuggler is a delicately blended Scotch which I find incredibly easy to drink straight from the bottle. It’s exceptionally smooth and well balanced and I can’t really imagine ever having mixed drinks with it. It’s far too good for that.

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Old Smuggler Scotch Review:

Whilst I’m not as fond of this as Ardbeg, the strong honey and spice component is a welcome surprise. As expected, the malts are strong and fruity. They don’t, however, trace the divide that Dunhill is good for. There is more balance and there is more uncertainty. This result hits a little hard with its woody, spicy, honeyed malts. The difficulty there is that the first third of this has a very odd figure of 8 on it, a bit like that of Ardbeg. The second third is all honey and spice again and the finish is nice and dry and clean cut. It’s a very strong dram but one that I’d like to try properly in the mini bottle form, maybe blended whisky. I often wonder what the whiskies in small batch batches taste like.

This is a very well balanced, smooth blended Scotch whisky. It’s very malty, sweet, yet not overbearingly so. Along with this comes all the other characteristics of a blended whisky, including a strong lingering finish.

Old Smuggler is a long running blended Scotch whisky, first bottled back in 1835. Named in honour of the whisky smugglers who traded around the Scottish islands back in those days it’s still popular today, especially in Argentina and Belgium(!)

I’m not a big fan as I find it too sweet; not unpleasant, just over-sugary. I haven’t had the pleasure of tasting this 12-year-old but the 18-year-old variants I’ve had are very nice.As usual, the packaging is very nice, and the 100-year-old bottle really sets the scene for this luxurious blend.

I find this to be a very smooth and soft blended scotch. However, it is still very much a malt whiskys. Lacking a strong nose and lacking a less sweet, dry finish it is a very delicate whisky. I’ve been toying with the idea of trying the 12 year old version to see if it would be a fuller bodied blend; I may give it a try soon.

I’ve only recently sampled this and I must say that I’m not a great fan. It seems to be quite a rough cut and tastes rather sharp and leathery. I’ll definitely try the 12-year-old next though.

The newer versions of this spirit have a deeper tone to the whiskey, its appearance is much taller and the amber colour is more elegant.

This is a blended whisk(e)y in the same vein as The Balvenie 12 (which I’ve reviewed in my blog), but less expensive. The predominant flavour is a sweet honey, with a deep maltiness working as well. The whisky is reasonably rich. It is brash, and a little harsh in the mouth, but the smoothness of the previous four varieties allows it to be drinkable.

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Written by Mark Adams

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