Lots of things are happening lately. A handful of 10 year old Bourbons have been selling for $300 a bottle while no-age statement whisky is also flooding the market at all-time high prices. Macallan’s switch to a color scheme puts this once respectable company one short step away from labeling their different offerings with a sliding scale of smiley to frowny faces, the final nail in the dumbed-down coffin they think you’re stupid enough to crawl into. Jeff “The Dude” Lebowski look-alike reject, Jim Murray, self labels himself a prophet and the masochistic church of Jim just keeps getting bigger everyday. Robert Parker, author of the douchiest way to review subjective things like wine, the 100 point rating scale, steps into the whisky ring… and now this? I’ve read about this. These are the end times, folks. Prepare your Doomsday bunkers and bug-out bags because this shit is about to get real. Yes, I’m talking about Scotch in a box. Move over coffee, wine and dicks; there’s a new boxed commodity in town.
While wine can stay “fresh” for a little bit longer after opening it if you manage to keep the oxygen out of it, whisky lasts much longer, despite the air, rendering the bag useless for this purpose. So why is this whisky company taking fashion advice from the lush-wine industry? According to the label: the environment. Yea, I’m sure glass packaging is the real scourge here. If only I drank more boxed whisky maybe the sky wouldn’t be dumping three feet of snow on us at a time in between all the new tornadoes and ungodly heat waves. Ignore the daily, senseless gasoline purge; it’s the glass. And yes, I know glass weighs more so it takes more gas to ship… shut up.
Before I unload an entire clip on the fish in this bucket, let’s just get the obvious out of the way: there’s no such thing as good wine in a box. I mean, sure, people think it’s good, the way underage high school kids love Boone’s Farm or hipsters get all horny for PBR, but nobody is scrambling to get that ’03 vintage Franzia blush. Wine doesn’t mature well in a bag and the people who buy it that way are drinking with a much less noble intention than actually enjoying a nuanced flavor. So is it any surprise what I’m about to say regarding this whisky in a bag?
This is evil stuff; kicker of puppies Ann Coulter and eye-rolling mouthpeice Anthony Weiner had a baby and named it DMV, type evil; Elizabeth Bathory, Caligula and Mel Gibson having a tea party in H.H. Holmes’ notorious Murder Castle, evil; Miley Cyrus molesting Jesus in a box, evil. Knock on wood, spit three times and eat seven dates, this is 1.75 liters of the most insidious beverage mankind could produce and it’s out there… waiting… for $14… but it’s not evil for any of the reasons you think it is.
I came to the first glass with every intention of making fun of it for at least 700 words, but after tasting it something completely unexpected happened. Compared to the last three bottles of Scotch I paid less than $20 for, this is actually “good”. Now don’t go running to the store to wait in line and buy the place out, and don’t bother breaking out the Glencairn, because it is still stuff that retails for around $6 a bottle’s worth, but it’s downright evil, how easy it is to drink. It helps people who don’t know any better drink whisky the way irresponsible soccer moms have been drinking wine for years. It gives people less of a reason to explore the really good stuff. It’s cheap pee-yellow water that will get you very drunk. In fact, it’s cheaper than all of the cheapest liver-meltingly cheap vodkas I used to drink as a 23 year-old while managing to be a whole lot smoother. Now, that is evil.
Nose: Raisins! Along with sushi rice, horse and a little spent frying oil from a Chinese restaurant. A little yeasty and doughy with some of the bitter chemical you can expect in any cheap-o blended Scotch. If you search for it, you can find a little sweet malt. Things could be a lot worse, though.
Palate: Raisin Bran in the front and back of the palate; it feels like I’m drinking Raisin Bran vodka. Anise vapors. Traces of orange pith, stale banana chips and faint tequila. Mellow and a little chemically at the same time.
I mean, sure it’s not going to win any awards, but it’s in a box. You have to at least try it. Worst case scenario you paid $14 to make your friends laugh for a couple weeks while you mix it with huge doses of Mountain Dew and ice to pass the time. But really, I’m giving this a Recommended rating because, hey, if you’re going to go cheap you may as well go all the way.