Waterproof – Blended Malt Scotch Whisky

Many thanks to Calum at MacDuff International for sending this brilliant press kit containing some nice merch (a cool flask and a hydrometer!) and a bottle of this great blended malt, which has by far exceeded my initial expectations.

I say it all the time, but it’s so hard to drop the pre-conceptions… pricing, packaging – it all plays a big part in our expectations and initial perception.

Single malt whisky sales have grown by around 25% in the last five years, which is fantastic news for the Scotch whisky industry.

This increased visibility has lead to an almost “elite” status for Single malt, when compared to blends. Blended whisky is often held in a lesser regard but for no good reason – Waterproof shines a light on why this is a misconception.

About the Whisky

If there’s one thing about Waterproof that’s hard to ignore, it’s the appearance! The big, bold splash of luminous colours on the bottle design jump out before anything else.

I love the look, it’s like a whisky bottle in a huge rain Mac… this is no accident. Infact, the choice of name and branding is heavily based around Charles Macintosh, the Scottish inventor who discovered waterproofing.

There’s not many Whisky bottles that have such a bold appearance. The attention to detail is massive, with water droplets baked into the label, it certainly sets the tone.

Enough about the visuals, what it’s make-up? Although the sources are not disclosed, Macduff state that the malt comes from “a handful of top distilleries” – you’ve got to love a bit of mystery! The blend’s components are a mixture of traditional oak and a healthy portion of sherry casks. The sherry is a lovely sweet driver rather than a typical “sherry-bomb”, making this a very balanced dram. There is a big difference between the youngest and the oldest malt in the bottle (over eight years difference) with the oldest being a good bit older than a standard single malt.

My Thoughts

Nose: I first opened the bottle, whilst photographing it, down by the river. Let me tell you, that sherry nose is fantastic. I got masses of icing sugar and a very fruity sweetness. The other noticeable difference for me was the higher ABV, bottled at 45.8% – this shone through nicely on the nose too.

Palate: As someone who is used to drinking higher ABV (usually cask strength) whiskies, I found the ABV just right; so I had it without water. In neat form, it has a great mouthfeel and a lovely complex mixture of sweet, dried fruits, a touch of blackcurrant and a decent finish that’s not short lived.

The higher ABV makes this a great whisky for those who like a decent strength dram, whilst being versatile enough to cater for those who like a block of ice or a few drops of water. Remember; it’s your whisky, have it whichever way you like. A number of bartenders think that Waterproof even tastes great in a cocktail!

If you’re looking for some inspiration then checkout the “Serves” section of the Waterproof website it’s certainly not short of a few creative cocktails to try out.

The play on water doesn’t stop with the nod to Charles Macintosh, Waterproof are also supporters of the Water Works Charity, donating proceeds from each bottle to help build wells and toilets in small villages in Malawi, giving locals access to fresh, clean running water. It’s great to see a brand giving something back to those less fortunate than us.

So what are you waiting for? At a bargain price of £33.45 – get on over to Amazon and buy a bottle to see what you could be missing by focussing too closely on single malt!

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