Friday, September 9, 2011

Review: The Dimple Pinch 15 years Blended Scotch Whisky

The Dimple Pinch 15yrs Blended Scotch Whisky








Apparently "The Dimple Pinch" ranks fourth in world sales in the 'blended scotch' sales.  I am unsure if this is accurate, as it seems every blended scotch producer makes similar claims that their spirit is in the top 5 somewhere.  Anyway, the owners of this brand sell a helluva lot of it, particularly in the United States.

The Dimple does have a following in the US that is pretty large.  A lot of ordinary working men enjoy this dram at the end of a day.  Whether they be grandads, dads, sons and grandsons, they like their Dimple Pinch, and like it a lot.  Why?  It's friendly, unpretenious, smooth, sweet, not peaty and quite honeyed.  Add ice and it transforms from a loving labrador retriever into a pussy cat.  What's not to like?  Me, being a total scotch nut, must investigate this passion of so many, and see if I too, can join their ranks.

Nose (undiluted)
Dandelion, malt notes, apple juice and wisps of peat.  I mean wisps or was that my imagination?  That's how faint it was.

Palate (undiluted)
Sweet Graham crackers, some maltiness, chased by a spiciness that quicky degenerates into graininess.  Also an apple cider aspect to this flavor profile.

Finish (undiluted)
The spiciness of the palate that I said turned grainy does not leave on the finish.  Down this sweet spirit and you are left with a grainy taste mixed with apple cider.  There is some vanilla and oak, but it's stale and reminiscent of the smell you'd suffer when sitting in a taxi, that is supposedly non-smoking.  Remnants of stale cigarette smoke, windows up on a hot summer day with car sickness only minutes away.


Price Point
I paid around $33 in New Hampshire for this bottle.  Not worth the money.  I expected a lot more for the price and for allegedly being a 15 year old blended scotch.  No value for money here.

Here's a thought.  If you like the sweet, malty flavor profile, and don't mind a little grain flavor, try Cutty Sark.  A much more reasonably priced alternative.  Nothing special, but it is comfort scotch for when you need it.


General Impressions
This blended scotch is aged 15 years, but tastes much younger. Not a good thing.  It exhibits no complexity of flavor. Light body with a sweet cereal or wheat style that leaves the drinker bored and unimpressed. I’d rather stare at a TV test pattern than take another slug of this cheap perfume. Or worse, start reading books recommended by Oprah. Calgon take me away! Far away, to a place where single malts and good blended scotch reign supreme!

There is a Zapruder-esque graininess to it and perfume quality that is very disappointing. I expected a lot more from a 15 year old blend that is supposedly made up of single malts like Lagavulin, Linkwood and Glenkinchie. I could not detect any Lagavulin in this blend at all. I can understand the Glenkinchie, which no doubt contributes the sweet honey entry. As for Linkwood, not detecting it either. I think a lot of grain whisky makes up this blend.



This scotch was clearly styled for the occasional, non-serious scotch fan, who wants a smooth taste, no alcohol bite, and lots of Juicy Fruit gum sweetness. To achieve such a medical flat-liner, middle of the road, mainstream, snorefest, Piers Morgan type of scotch, you have to sacrifice peat, smoke and complexity that would make this spirit interesting. Very easy-drinking, pronounced sweetness, and little else.  This is perfectly suited for the vast majority of blended scotch consumers who infrequently drink and want just a friendly, inoffensive nip.  If that's you, then I can recommend the Dimple.  If you require more from your scotch, like me, then I cannot recommend this whisky.

Cheers!



Jason Debly

Photo credits: Dimple Pinch photos - Jason Debly; Taxi Interior photo by Galan Pang (click here), and used with his permission. All rights of taxi photo vest with Mr. Pang.

32 comments:

  1. Phew - I briefly contemplated picking up a bottle of DP 15 this morning, but went with a bottle of Redbreast 12 and Teachers (RB 12 was on sale) instead. I'll still give Dimple Pinch a try at the bar someday, but it sounds like I may have dodged a bullet ($50 [where I live] is quite a bit for a mediocre blend). Love the reviews!

    Will

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  2. You did indeed dodge a bullet! $50 for Dimple Pinch is simply too high a price for such a mediocre blended scotch.

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  3. Hi Jason - fully support your review. Have vague memories of Dimple Pinch, but they are not good ones - have never gone back. I am attaching the link below for your reference as I recall how much you enjoyed Hibiki 17 in a previous review. My mother-in-law just brought me a bottle of 21 from Japan ... looking forward to sharing a few drams together with you in NY !

    Love the summer read !

    HD


    http://www.suntory.com/news/2011/11026.html

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  4. Hello HD,

    We may get there in February or thereabouts! Hibiki 21yrs! Wow!

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  5. yep ; i wished i had seen this blog before. for a 15yr old scotch it falls way below standard :( not smooth at all; i will stick w/ Jameson

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Ricky! Welcome to the blog! Look forward to your input on other whiskies when you get a chance!

      Cheers!

      Delete
  6. PA liquor stores (state run) must be discontinuing the sale of the Pinch. Unlike the $33 price noted above, it was $27, so I bought 8

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  7. Well.. can't say I don't agree, But its what I grew up on. U guys know how it is, Your pops and uncles drank it at get togethers and such so you start drinking it.. But now that I'm older I'm a Johnny Walker Blue man myself.. 12/ 15 / 18.. hey pass me a nice rock glass 3 finger pour.. and I'm all good.

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  8. Any thoughts on why this was Walter White's choice?

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    Replies
    1. I suspect anyone who spends their days in a methampthetamine lab, has no taste for anything else.

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  9. Walter White's choice...that's what brought me here! Good review, glad I read it before buying a bottle...

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  10. I don't agree with the review. Theres a good reason why tons of people love this stuff. I have a case of 40yr old Dimple, so my experience with the stuff might not be the same as those that drank the 15yr old.

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    Replies
    1. I presume you mean a case of Dimple Pinch that was made 40 years ago and not Dimple Pinch with a 40 year age statement on the label.

      It could quite possibly be that 40 years ago this was a great blend. Sadly, a lot of blends are not as great today as they once were. At the same time, there are blends that have improved tremendously from say 40yrs ago.

      Would love to compare and contrast the two.

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  11. $35.00 a bottle. I am an old time (50 years, since age 13) drinker of Bourbon, Whiskey (Irish, Canadian, ect., ect.), Scotch, Cognac, Brandy, Armagnac, Marc de Bourgogne, White Lightning, Russian & Yougoslavian, etc., etc., ect. "Brandies/Whiskeys/Scotch" blah blah blah ect.. If you like the taste of burnt tires ("smoky") and are suckered by the elitest viewpoints, go for the single malt scotches. If you are a serious drinker and want to avoid the crappy hangover of the previously mentioned, Pinch is the best. Lose the Ego and Arrogance (I can afford the best of the best). My People are asking me why I am wasting time on this site, I can only tell you: I have been everywhere on this plant, have drunk the aboslute worst liver killing crap, and the best on the planet (thank you, russian mafia) and can tell you Pinch is the best value and the smoothest. Take it or leave it. Donald.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for commenting. I like lots of different opinions.

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    2. Beware of the anti elite as they pose as the new elite! Lagavulin (smoky) reminds you of burnt tires? Wow!

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    3. Pinch has been my Scotch of choice for over 40 years. Back when it was Haig & Haig and not just Haig. I've tried several singles and blends since the PA State run liquor stores stopped carrying it last year and nothing else compares. I'm somewhat sick about it and contemplating switching to Bourbon.

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    4. I agree with Donald. I drink mainly single malts like Lagavulin 16, Talisker, HP, and Laphroaig 18 being among my favorites. I decided to try the Dimple 15yo and I must say I enjoyed it. Not as much as the crew above but for a daily and for holiday get togethers its perfect.

      Delete
  12. I really like scotch! I prefer single malt. I drink blends in between bottles of good scotch because I'm not wealthy. Pinch is a drinkable blend. I think the only exception I took to your review was that you compared the bottle unfavorably to "Cutty". Cutty sucks! In my youth Pinch was an exceptional blend. I know my tastebuds have changed with time. I'm sure Pinch has changed with time. It still tastes better than Cutty or Dewars. Those are the only two in the same range of Pinch. I think this is a little to negative for one if Scotlands oldest distilleries. Some people drink Blatz and like it. I think it sucks but, personal preference.

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  13. While I actually enjoy Pinch, I understand where this review is coming from. I drink it when I want neither Jameson nor Glenlivet but something in between. It's a little bit the smokiness of scotch, a little bit the sweetness of Irish. But this review is fair to the reader because Pinch should be either your first nor your only scotch; it's too different to be representative of what scotch should be. It will mislead the newbie and disappoint the connoisseur. That said, I keep coming back yo it :)

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for your well thought out comments. I and the readers appreciate it.

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  14. I love The Dimple-pinch! I'm somewhat of a newb to Scotch, however. Tell me, what is better for the price. I paid $37. It lasts about a week even though I savor it.

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    Replies
    1. I think the price you paid is fair.

      If you like it, that's great, but there are a lot of other great options out there. Explore the blends!

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    2. If you like it drink it. I have for over 40 years. Since the PA State stores stopped carrying it I've tried several "classy" single malts and a few popular blends and nothing and I mean nothing matches it for strength. Most single malts taste like bath water (to me) I'm afraid I find Mr. Debly to be a pretentious snob when it come's to this, but he has a right to his opinion. Just don't let it steer you away from a good drink.

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  15. 41. 00 with tax in Michigan. I make a bottle last awhile, but the flavor, scent, even the bottle even possess a sentimental specialness that stand on their own. I laugh at the fact that people associate it with Walter White. Watch "My Favorite Year" and see that its the favored libation of no less than 'Alan Swan'. Peter O'Toole's loving incarnation of Errol Flynn ( I have it on good authority that Flynn enjoyed Pinch as well, while O'Toole had stopped drinking by the time he filmed MFY )

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  16. Pinch is not meant to have the smokey undertones. Is a completely different region than the peat malted scotch. If you're looking for the Jameson experience bu Jameson (a great IRISH whiskey) Not sure how some are comparing Pinch to Jameson. Comaprisons to Glenlivet I would call fair as that is roughly the same reason (Highland for the Glenlivet)

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  17. I'm sitting here sipping on a bit Dimple 15 that I got for $33 and decided to see what others thought about it. I have to say I mostly agree with this review except that I've definitely paid more for worse:-)...but that's not saying much. So for the money, I'm not totally disappointed like the last bottle of unnamed single malt that I returned. Personally, my problem is that my first real Scotch I ever had was a gift of Johnnie Walker 18 yr Century Blend. But now that it's discontinued, I've found myself searching for something similar in any price range and just haven't found it yet. Any suggestions?

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    Replies
    1. Hi!

      I would suggest:

      (1) Glenfiddich 15 yr 'Solera'

      (2) Cragganmore 12yrs

      (3) Glenmorangie Nectar D'Or

      Given your affection for Johnnie Walker 18 yr (that has since been discontinued) I think you will really enjoy any of the above.

      Thanks for commenting!

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  18. Jason, thanks for the recommendations. I've been able to find and try the Glenfiddich Solera and I really like it. I'm still waiting for the other two I had to special order.

    If I were able to find Johnnie Walker Gold 18 yr Century blend, how much should I expect to pay. Have you tried to find it?

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    Replies
    1. As you probably know, the Johnnie Walker Gold Centenary 18 yr old release has been discontinued. I liked it tremendously bot for the nose and the taste. I have reviewed it here:

      http://jason-scotchreviews.blogspot.ca/2009/08/johnnie-walker-gold-label-18-yr-old.html

      In spite of it being discontinued, I do receive every once in a while an email from a reader who located a bottle still for sale. This blend was mass produced so, even though production has stopped, there could be quite a few bottles out there. I hope you can find a bottle. It is very good.

      The new Johnnie Walker 18yr old is a very different blend. Good but not as great as the Centenary edition.

      The no-age-statement Johnnie Walker 'Gold Label' that technically replaced the 18 yr Centenary Blend is a huge disappointment. I reviewed it here and would recommend you avoid it as too expensive for what you get:

      http://jason-scotchreviews.blogspot.ca/2012/11/review-johnnie-walker-gold-label.html

      Hope this helps!

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  19. I have a bottle of pinch from 1942, i wuold like to know how much is its cost

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    Replies
    1. £199.00 is the price of a bottle from the 1960's on the Whisky Exchange website. I think that would be high but your bottle is reasonably worth $200 US if not opened and no debris in the whisky.

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