"Brown Drink"! The Ultimate Whisky Cocktail?

"We got a little rule back home: if it's brown, drink it down; if it's black, send it back".

Homer Simpson - Homerpalooza

I'm sure you'll agree that the name "Brown Drink" may not be the most appealing, but it does make you think what is it and should I really drink that?! Well... that's what I thought back in July when I saw the Master of Malt guys in the process of product development.

In true Master of Malt style they are continuing to do whisky things a bit different.

"Brown Drink" is a cocktail of different spirits taken from the leftovers of their "Drinks by the Dram" production. Rather than pouring the dregs away they decided from the start to gathered them. Over the last 12 months they managed to accrue 37 bottles. This is a vatting of 500 individual spirits.

They include a list of all the drinks on the back label of the bottle. You do have to squint a little to see what's on there as the font is tiny, but from what I could make out the list includes:

  1. Ardbeg 17yo,
  2. Bunnahabhain 40yo - 1968,
  3. Port Ellen of varied ages,
  4. Glenfarclas Family Cask - 1952 to 1997,
  5. 15 yo Elderado Rum,
  6. Gosling Black Seal, 
  7. Hine Antique XO Premier Cru
  8. Buffalo Trace White Dog; &
  9. Elijah Criag Small Batch Bourbon.

So, what does it taste like?

The Nose:

The nose is fantastically complex. Starts with a mixed bag of salted and sweetened popcorn, coco nibs, caramel, vanilla & honey dew melon. Changes subtly to peat, barley wine, green gage and hot sake. Has a fresh lime, wham bar. hazel nut crunch, saw dust, pine sap, orange, ash trays and 80/- beer. This is chased by a common theme of grape like tequila element.

The Palate:

There's an initial thinness, but then becomes mouth coating. It's sweet with a big hit of vanilla. Then quickly builds to a warming spice.

Peat, tobacco smoke and mixed citrus develop. The sweetness becomes lighter and hints at Robinson's Barley water. Has reasonable length and very easy drinking, but surprisingly doesn't offer the complexity the nose has! The theme of grape lke tequila develops to more mescal on the end of the palate.