Sheep Dip is a blended malt scotch whisky, and if I'm not mistake it's the first BLENDED scotch featured on the show, so, before we start talking about it, let me outline the three different types of Scottish whiskies.

Firstly, whisky is just an umbrella term for spirits made from fermented grains (usually corn, rye, wheat, and barley - malted or unmalted). From there you have American whiskies, Irish whiskey, and Scotch whisky. Of the latter most variety there are only three: Single malt, Double malt, and blended malt.

Single Malt whisky comes from only one distiller and is made from only one type of malt. Examples of single malts would be various offerings from Bruchladdich, Aberlour, and Glenmorangie.

Double Malt whisky comes from only one distiller and is made from only two types of malt. There's some semantic arguing to be done concerning double malts; many people will tell you they don't exist. That's kind of true. There are scotches out there that only use two malts, so there are double malts, but two malts combined is a blend. For that reason, double-malt is considered the same as blended malt; that's why you'll never see "double malt scotch" on a label, even though there may only be two malts used in its making.

Finally there's Blended. Blended is a combination of various malts from various distilleries (though it could be just one distillery). This creates a cheaper, somewhat less flavorful, but, depending on your taste, equally as enjoyable as any single malt scotch. Blends are often looked down on by scotch snobs as an inferior product, and to be fair, if you look at it in a certain way, they are. But this is a shame, because there are a lot of blends out there that taste quite nice and pair nicely with all manner of occasion.

As for Sheep Dip, it is a blend of 16 single malts, so you might call it a super blend. Here's its story, from the label:

Sheep Dip is produced by the Spencerfield Spirit Company, situated at Spencerfield Farmhouse in Fife, Scotland. Surrounded by fields of wheat and overlooking the Firth of Forth, Spencerfield Spirit Company believes in producing quality, hand-crafted spirits for the more discerning consumer. Why the name Sheep Dip? An old Western Country term, British farmers have long referred to whisky as Sheep Dip - an insecticide used to delouse sheep prior to sheering. There was a time, many years ago, when farmers distilled their own "home made" whisky and in order to avoid paying taxes to the revenue man, thaye'd hide it in barrels marked "Sheep Dip". The excise men were reluctant to sample such a potent liquid, and so it usually went undiscovered.

Today's Sheep Dip is a "vatted" or blended malt scotch which is comprised of sixteen single malts. The single malts in Sheep Dip are mainly Highland, but blended with delicate Speyside and Smokey Islay malts.

Tasting notes

Color: Rich, golden copper highlights

Nose: Faint, floral notes, fruity, orange, pear, slight almond nuttiness. I get sherry.

Palate: Soft at first, but then a bit of strength in the form of heavy malty flavor - very little of the Islay in there, this is all Highland then smooths out with the Speyside.

Mouthfeel: a bit thin, not much viscosity, not oily in the least.

Finish: tangy with just a hint of orange.

Tanner's Score: 80
Eric's Score: 82

LMAW Grade: 81 (B-)


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