‘Dirt, plankton, and sileage’ – funniest whisky tasting notes revealed

A LIST of the funniest whisky tasting notes has been released.

Ahead of World Whisky Day on Saturday, Glen Moray distillery in Elgin asked whisky writers for their silliest scribblings.

Notes included “hints of paint thinner, motor grease, and Cullen skink” and “rotting fish, beeswax, and Germoline”.

“Tastes like the left wing of a dead seagull on an Islay beach” and “dead guillemot” were among the more unusual avian examples.

Individual notes included:
⋅ “Pork scratchings dusted with paprika”
⋅ “Dirt”
⋅ “Damp cardboard”
⋅ “Spicy cigarette ash”
⋅ “A touch of the tack room”
⋅ “Roofing tar”
⋅ “Plankton”.

Unusual aromas included:
⋅ “Sileage”
⋅ “Wet Labrador”
⋅  “Toilet Duck”
⋅  “A wet worsted blanket”
⋅  “Damp autumnal hay”.

When it came to the texture of whisky, “Nando’s, cannabidiol (CBD) oil, candy floss, Oreo cookie dough, and peanut butter” were among the suggestions.

Henry Jeffreys, features editor at Master of Malt, said: “My bete noir for tasting notes – and I’m as guilty as anyone – is being unnecessarily specific, for example saying conference pear, rather than just pear, manuka honey rather than just honey, wild strawberries, and Columbian Coffee.

“I think they are used to give a false sense of exactness.

“But, that’s not to say that tasting notes have to be a plain – I love silly comparisons.

“My favourite ever tasting though, comes from wine and it is ‘sturdier than Robert Mitchum’s trousers press’ – beat that.”

Whisky book author David Broom added: “Our sense of smell is an internalised sense and therefore the most personal.

“That means we all have different memories and triggers when we smell something – it depends on your background, where you live, what you eat, when you first encountered an aroma.

“No surprise then that you get some wild descriptors – but they are the right ones for you.

“The key is to know what they mean – if I smell clean rabbit hutch/hamster cage [then] I know I’m smelling a malty whisky… you might smell biscuits, or dusty attics… or a dead mouse….

“It hinders enjoyment if you don’t allow people to relax and allow their memories to come out.”

Read more news and reviews on Scottish Field’s whisky pages.