While the king of old Cutty Sark is definitely the old Cutty 12 from the 1970s, which we’ll be diving into tomorrow, the standard 70s Cutty Sark is no slouch. There’s a reason these blends made their way across the world, grew the Scotch market and account for 95% of the total Scotch market. One obviously being price, but back in-the-day it was also taste. A lot of these older blends were quite tasty.
Obviously some were not and they were as utilitarian as they came, but many were. They outshined their current counter parts because premium casks were going into the blends which often included a lot more first and second fill sherry casks than are available to blenders now. Which is something we’ll see in the Late 70s Cutty Sark review below.
Late 70s Cutty Sark Info
Blender: Berry Bros. & Rudd
Mashbill: Single Malt + Grain Whisky
Cask: ex-Bourbon & ex-Sherry
Price: NA – Auction, Specialty Store or Private Seller
Late 70s Cutty Sark Review
Honey, malt, vanilla, orchard fruit, graham, caramel and a bit of sherry, candy-like sweetness, toffee and cereal grains.
Honey, malt, orchard fruit, vanilla, toffee, citrus and a touch of sherry sweetness, spice, nuts and smoke.
Medium drawl of malt, honey, dried strawberry, citrus and smoke.
BALANCE, BODY & FEEL
Decent balance, medium body and a smooth feel.
What separates late 70s Cutty Sark from the current Cutty Sark, besides not being made by Berry Bros. & Rudd? Sherry. 40 years ago Cutty Sark had noticeably more sherry… and a hint of smoke… and a 3% high ABV. In comparison to the modern Edrington made stuff, which in itself isn’t terrible, the 70s CS has a sweeter, rounder, richer and a bit darker overall character. If I were to try and draw a modern parallel it’s more in line with the Cutty Sark Prohibition, but with a bit more malt and sherry influence.
The70s Cutty Sark is a crisp, light and sweet whisky that carries a decent malt presence with a bit of sherry just a hint of smoke. I’m fascinated by the balanced nature of it and how oddly “fresh” the bottle is – there’s very little OBE to it. Though looking at the condition of the bottle, label and near mint tax strip it was probably stored in the best possible conditions.
It’s not complex, it’s not a “gotta have”, but there are plenty of bottles of this Late 70s Cutty Sark adorning the shelves of old liquor stores here in Los Angeles and it’s always at a killer price. I got this one in particular for about $25 and it was worth every penny. Really not a bad little dram.
SCORE: 83/100 (B)
Late 70s Cutty Sark Review - Score Breakdown
- Nose - 85
- Palate - 84
- Finish - 83
- Balance, Body & Feel - 83
Late 70s Cutty Sark won’t blow you away, but it’s perfectly pleasant.