Whisky of the week – Skeleton Key from Duncan Taylor & Co, the family-owned Scotch whisky specialist.
A bespoke boilermaker blend that oddly brings to mind a fine bottle of Bunahabhain I drank in the 90s with a good friend.

Born with bold peat smoke flavour to complement Brewdog’s Jet Black Heart stout or Zombie Cake porter, Skeleton Key is one of the three Boilermaker Series whiskies aimed at bespoke whisky and beer pairings with Brewdog beers.

It has been said that this is a combination that shouldn’t work, but does, and I’d have to add that of all the Boilermaker Series, this is the one I’d choose to drink solo.

Tasting notes

In my view, it’s a corker.
(Remember, enjoying whisky is a personal experience and while I have more words than some, I have less than others to describe it).

The 46% ABV in no way overpowers the smooth, smoky, peaty and sweet flavours.
On a personal note, it really brings to mind a bottle of Bunahabhain I bought for my good friend Ranjit in the 90s, that we sat and drank one pleasant summer’s evening on a balcony high above the Brusssels skyline.

The Nose: Dry smoke first, peaty, then a slight saltiness before a cooling freshness.
(I’ve heard it becomes sweeter with the addition of water, but I can’t attest to this.)

The Palate: Acidic salt nuts and smoke with a balancing sweetness to the peat. A subtle complexity.

The Finish: Salty and sweet. Slips down easy with no lingering aftertaste.

As a Boilermaker I found it wrestled valiantly with both the Jet Black Heart and the Zombie Cake.

As a solo it’s the sweetness and chunky mid-palate that made it my favourite of the Boilermaker Series to drink on its own.

Roadtested in the Doghouse, Glasgow, Scotland.