Some of my favorite people are those who claim they can only drink single malt Scotches. Some may call it snobbishness; others may see it as a refusal to explore the world around them. I love meeting these single malt-only fans because I relish a challenge.
I’ve conducted many blind tastings over the years using whiskies from all over the globe. When it comes to Scotch, I can be devious. I’ll pour a handful of single malts and toss in a couple of blends. I’ve yet to find a single-malt drinker who doesn’t walk away with a newfound appreciation of blends.
You see, blending is an art form. To explain the difference in the crudest of terms, making a single malt is limited. You take malts from one distillery, age them, and can tinker with various barrels and play around with alternative proofs, but your creativity is limited to what’s on hand at that lone distillery.
Blended Scotches get a bad rap from blenders who take substandard whiskies and attempt to salvage them. However, a talented blender has a result in mind; the question becomes, How do I get there? The availability of options is restricted only by the number of distilleries in Scotland. A blender can select only malts, only grains, or a combination of both.
One such blender is Charles Edge. He’s been in the business for decades. His company, Charles Edge London, specializes in blended whiskies. It has a handful of brands, one of which is Scots Gold.
“Scots Gold is a story born out of exploration. Founder Charles Edge spent over 30 years of travelling the world to find the best spirits for his clients but there was one place that stood out to him and that was Scotland.
Inspired by how its history, people and landscape all helped to create one of the greatest drinks of all time, Scotch. In 2015, Charles founded Charles Edge London, a spirits company with the focus to create Whisky & Spirit brands renowned for their outstanding quality. Scots Gold is its debut spirit.” – Scots Gold
Scots Gold sources grain whiskeys from the Lowland region, while the malted whiskies are mainly from the Highland and Speyside regions. Within this brand are two tiers. The entry-level option is Scots Gold Red Label, followed by Black Label. Neither carries an age statement. The next level is Scots Gold 8 Years, and the crème de la crème is Scots Gold 12 Years, which is the Scotch I’m reviewing today.
Charles selected 15 malts from around the two regions. Lowland grains were the other part of it. With the sheer number of distilleries in both Speyside and Highland, anyone can guess where the malts originated. We know those whiskies aged in former Bourbon casks for at least a dozen years. It weighs in at 40% ABV (80°), and a 750ml package should cost around $30.00, making it an affordable option.
Affordability is nice, but if what’s inside the bottle isn’t palatable, who cares what it costs? The only way to determine if this is a worthwhile budget Scotch is to #DrinkCurious. Before I get there, I must thank Charles Edge London for providing a sample in exchange for my no-strings-attached, honest review.
Appearance: Poured neat in my Glencairn glass, this whisky presented as a brilliant gold. The liquid sunshine formed a medium rim that released a wavy curtain that crashed under its weight back to the pool.
Nose: The bouquet started with an orchard of apples, peaches, and apricots that hid a smidge of mushroom and a kiss of smoke. When I took that vapor into my mouth, it was as if I had taken a sip of apple cider.
Palate: The creamy, medium-bodied texture introduced my palate to flavors of coconut, grapefruit, and caramel. As it moved to the middle, roasted almonds were mixed into coffee ice cream, and then, on the back, I tasted pink peppercorn, milk chocolate, and toasted oak.
Finish: Medium in duration, the finish featured pink peppercorn, dry oak, and citrus notes.
Bottle, Bar, or Bust: This is genuinely a nice blended Scotch. It isn’t going to blow you away, but it doesn’t have to. It is such an easy sipper, and it does come with one caveat: it drinks over its stated proof. There’s no heat, but it is sneaky, and if you’re not careful, it’ll clobber you (it did me). I can’t say that about many 80° whiskies. I enjoyed the fruitiness and the mild spiciness, and Charles Edge conducted an orchestra from 15 malts, resulting in a Bottle rating and my #RespectTheBottomShelf designation. Cheers!
My Simple, Easy to Understand Rating System
- Bottle = Buy It
- Bar = Try It
- Bust = Leave It
Whiskeyfellow encourages you to enjoy your whiskey as you see fit but begs you do so responsibly.