Cutty Sark Prohibition Edition is not the best whisky in the world, and yet it's a damn fine whisky. Old time blended scotch drinkers are going to complain Cutty Sark Prohibition Edition is not "smooth" enough. But the reality is, this category of affordable blended scotch whisky is filled with bores. Today's whisky enthusiast is going to love a blended scotch that offers excitement. Bartenders are going to love how the booziness comes through when mixed in cocktails. This is the sort of energy we needed in the blended scotch world.
Cutty Sark is owned by the same people that are behind Highland Park and Macallan (Edrington Group), which is a good hint of where the whisky inside the bottle comes from. Being a blend, it's made from both malt scotch (for flavor) and neutral grain whisky (for body). The ratios are unknown, but Prohibition Edition is said to have more malt barley whisky compared to regular Cutty Sark.
The whisky is named after a ship dating back to 1869. It's believed to be the fastest ship on the seas during its time. There's a (possibly inaccurate) suggestion this ship was used to smuggle spirits into the US during prohibition by Captain William McCoy. It is said that the phrase "The Real McCoy" comes from this era, because only Captain William McCoy brought the good stuff.
The Prohibition Edition label on a Cutty Sark bottle is such a natural fit, it's hard to believe this is a relatively new product. At 50% ABV, and aggressive pricing, this is a fantastic new edition to the blended scotch world.
Cutty Sark Prohibition Edition
Category: Blended Scotch Whisky
Taste Score: 84
Nose: Caramel, old drying orange peel, toffee, honey, grain.
Palate: Rough vanilla, honey, overly spiced, and mouth-watering rich butter. The finish is honey, bitters, and fruit. It's a little throat-clearing rough, but in all the right ways.
Whisky Cabinet Score: ★ ★ ★ ☆
Blended scotch needs a champion for the modern whisky drinker; and Cutty Sark is it. I'll likely use this more often in a booze-forward cocktail than as a sipper, but it does just fine as the latter. In the category of affordable blended scotch, there's possibly no better whisky for $30.
*Whisky Cabinet Rating Is a Comparison of Price Point and Category
☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ Not recommended
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ Good whisky, but not a ‘must-have’
★ ★ ☆ ☆ Your great regular rotation whisky that'll come and go
★ ★ ★ ☆ Excellent, a near must-have in its category
★ ★ ★ ★ Extraordinary, memorable, and original