Sometimes stepping out of your comfort zone can start with a single sip. While I adore wine, whisky has always intimidated me - it just seemed too aggressive. So, when I was invited to have lunch with the maker of Pig's Nose Scotch Whisky, I knew it would be the perfect opportunity to learn more about this complex spirit.
Pig's Nose Whisky ($33) is produced by Spencerfield Spirit Company in Scotland at their 16th century farmhouse surrounded by rolling fields of wheat and barley. A 5 year old blended whisky, Pig's Nose gets its quirky name from an old farming saying - "it's soft and smooth as a Pig's Nose." Made in small batches, Pig's Nose is crafted by Richard Paterson - Scotland's only third generation master blender.
I'm happy to report that Pig's Nose lives up its promise of smoothness. Gliding over the tongue like liquid silk, Pig's Nose surprised me with how easy it is to sip - no burn, just layers of beautiful flavors. Aged in fresh oak barrels, it has lovely round notes of spice, citrus, a subtle sweetness, and a touch of creaminess. The color is clear and bright and Pig's Nose comes by its golden-sandy hue naturally. Alex Nicol, the founder of Spencerfield Spirits, explained to me that unlike many mass produced whisky brands, the color of Pig's Nose is not enhanced by adding caramel. Pig's Nose threw my preconceived notions about whisky out the window - far from abrasive, a quality whisky like Pig's Nose is smooth, luscious, and very sophisticated. Try it neat, on the rocks, or in a cocktail. And, if a gentleman ever tells your that your skin is as soft as a pig's nose take it as a high compliment!
Recipe for Blood and Sand Cocktail
.75 oz Pig's Nose Scotch
.75 oz Rosso Vermouth
.25 oz Cherry Heering
1.5 oz Fresh Orange Juice
Shake all the ingredients over ice. Strain into a highball glass. Garnish with orange wheel. Voila!
For more information about Pig's Nose, visit the Spencerfield Spirit Company website. They also produce Edinburgh Gin and Sheep Dip Malt Whisky -stay tuned for a review of those great spirits.