Bottling what we like, not playing it safe!
We have bottled quite a few casks in the two years since we started Watt Whisky - 47 to be precise (35 Watt Whisky and 12 Electric Coos) One thing we’ve always said is that we want to bottle stuff that we like to drink. The pessimist in me puts this down to the thinking that if the company doesn’t work as well as we hope for and no one buys anything then at least we have good booze to drown our sorrows with!
In many ways it would be easy to play safe and always bottle stuff that everyone will like - you know stuff that doesn’t offend anyone or divide opinion, the stuff that everyone likes but no one remembers, the stuff that wins awards at whisky shows because it has appealed to the masses or has at least offended the least amount of people - But I digress…
At Watt Whisky we don’t want to take the middle road, we want to challenge people’s palates! With whisky there are a lot of taste options out there and we want to put as many of them into bottles as possible. We want people (including us) to enjoy everything we bottle but we also want to stimulate discussion, hopefully contribute to a few arguments and to have that dram that people tell their friends about at a whisky show - “you need to go to the Watt Whisky stand, yes they have a great Imperial/Lochindaal, but you need to try the XYZ dram”. If that happens then I will be delighted.
Our recent Glen Spey 13yo sums this up nicely, when we tried the sample it screamed of Balsamic vinegar on the nose - and we loved it! I knew straight away that it wouldn’t be to everyone’s taste but it’s a style and flavour that I love. When I have a salad it is 97% balsamic vinegar, 2.5% salad and 0.5% salt! I always remember an evening in Dufftown with my good mate Mike Lord tasting several balsamic vinegars from Champagne flutes so a whisky that has those qualities was always going to appeal to me.
So, what am I saying here? Not that we bottle bad whiskies - we would never bottle anything we thought was flawed in any way— just that we bottle whiskies that appeal to us. We don’t try and hide the acidity on this whisky (balsamic is on the tasting notes, if that’s not your thing you won’t like this) but if, like me, you are huge fan of Duchesse de Bourgogne and other Flanders reds then I really think you’ll like this.
We have to remember Peated / Sherried / Grain Whisky etc etc are not to everyone’s taste - that’s why we have so many whiskies. Different people like different things and that’s where Independent bottlers thrive - we have something for everyone.
Even if you don’t personally like this, I hope that you can see the quality in it and why we bottled it. For me it’s a whisky that you want to share with people, you want to go “here mate try this, bet you have never had anything like this before, what do you think?” and let the discussions flow.