Usquaebach. It’s pronounced “oos-ke-bah,” and it’s a line of blended malt whiskies from the Highlands. With a blend dating back to the 1700s and the name trademarked since 1877, it’s also one of the oldest games in town. We got our hands on a bottle of the Usquaebach 15 Year Blended Malt Scotch, which is a marriage of Highland single malts all aged for at least 15 years with some as old as 20 years in both oak and sherry casks.
The company also produces Reserve Premium Blended Scotch, which is comprised of 16, 17 and 18 year old malts. And then there’s Old Rare, a blend of 41 specially selected single malts aged up to 20 years of age and bottled in a porcelain flagon. So there you go.
On the nose, Usquaebach 15 Year Blended Malt Scotch is full of dried fruits, malt and holiday spices. There’s a lot to like right off the bat. Take a drink, and the whisky is rich and chewy, gripping your palate with each sip. Flavors range from dried fruits like apricots and apples to citrus, toffee and heather honey. It’s warm, spicy and slightly rough around the edges. But for the most part, it goes down easily, and on the finish you’re left with a lasting interplay of dry oak, sweetness and spice.
This is fun stuff. The dried fruit, malt and spices converge to create a flavorful dram, and those minor rough patches won’t deter us from drinking this one again.
– 43% ABV
CE Rating: ★★★