Hated it: Hogshead Scotch Whisky





I hadn’t quite thought about what I was going to write for this week’s post until Saturday Night. I was throwing a taco party at my apartment when my friend Eli reached into my whisk(e)y cabinet (pictured above) and pulled out this bottle of Hogshead. Upon pulling it out, another friend yelled “That has got to be the worst whisky I’ve ever had.”

I agree with him.

I got this bottle of whisky around this time last year for my 22nd birthday from the Eli mentioned earlier in this post and Gabe. They never tried it before shelling out nearly 50 bucks for it. I guess they were just seduced by the packaging.

The whisky is a golden brown/maple-like color and has a smell that can knock you out from across the room. The smell can only be described as smoke, ash, alcohol, total devastation and bad ideas. It’s basically arson in a bottle.

Upon tasting it, you think one thing: bacon. This whisky tastes like bacon.

After some research, the Hogshead is described on various websites as “a superlative vatted malt scotch whisky created by marrying many different malts together. It has an unusually high proportion of malts from the island of Islay, producing a distinctive but subtle peaty flavor.”

Well, its also tastes like lighter fluid. There’s really nothing subtle about lighter fluid.

I’ve tried everything to get rid of this whisky short of just throwing it away. I’ve racked my brain to find a way to mix it in a cocktail but the taste is just too overbearing. I’ve tried innocently leaving the bottle at parties or when I’m hanging out away from the house but eventually I always get a call saying to pick it up, like it’s a child after daycare.

In the year that I’ve own this bottle, I’ve only met one person who liked it. He mixed it with a can of expired orange soda he found in the back of my fridge and thought it was delicious. I have no plans to re-create that drink.

However, it looks like scotch-flavored bacon may in my near future.


15 thoughts on “Hated it: Hogshead Scotch Whisky

  1. You would think the logo on the bottle alone is enough to put anyone off… but thanks for the tip. I’ll avoid this brand or anything with a picture of a realistic pig for that matter. Cheers

  2. You are clearly uneducated regarding Islay-style whisky. This is really a pretty decent vatted malt, featuring the phenolic, smoky, salty, medicinal character of the Island of Islay. Not everyone likes the “bacon” character that some of these whiskies exude, but many of us are addicted to it. At “nearly 50 bucks” you definitely paid too much. Since you’re only 22, I’ll cut you some slack for now; maybe someday you’ll come to appreciate this style of whisky. If you don’t, ok, you’re not alone. If you still spew the same crap about decent whisky by the time you turn 30 (whether you like it or not) YOU ARE JUST AN INFLAMED IDIOT. For now, just go and gargle your mommy’s perfume.

  3. I think Mr Angus was a bit harsh on you, dude. Indeed Hogshead is a bit harsh itself, but is that not the point of most Islay malt? To be a real Scotsman involves being able to appreciate the full range of this wonderful spirit. From the flowery sweetness of Lowlanders like Rosebank to the fiery intensity of Talisker and the smoky campfire/bbq flavors in Lagavulin and Ardbeg. I will agree with Angus on this point: seems like you are a bit of a wussy, timid, and un-adventurous. Instead of mommy’s perfume, I would suggest swilling a quart of Laphroaig, and eating a plate of Haggis. Or, how ’bout a slab of scrapple and a fifth of Bookers (or a good straight rye in the old PA style like Mitchters or Rittenhouse 100). Dude, you definitely need to grow some hair on your chest, and grow a pair of gonads while you’re at it.

    1. Well I’m a girl so developing hair on my chest and growing gonads are pretty high up on my not-to-do list, pretty much right below drinking Hogshead again. However, I’ve had Laphroaig before and enjoyed it quite a bit. I was even planning on doing a piece on it but lacked any good photos so don’t count me out of all Islay whisky.

      1. Tom, I don’t think she got the irony. But then that’s hardly surprising judging on how little she knows about whisky.

      2. Mr. French, I don’t think you got the About page OR the comment below where Tom retracted his statement. That’s okay, though, we can’t all be winners. Try again, pal.

  4. It’s most obvious that I possess a palette beyond my years– my education, lust for adventure, and worldly taste projected from my partiality toward such a fine beverage. Indeed, I knew it all along.

  5. Hey Whiskeysoaked, after sending a few months back, I looked at your other entries and realised that you are indeed a girl, and pretty cute at that! Glad to see that you take such an interest in whiskey, and have the gumption to offer your opinions at such a young age. DO NOT GROW GONADS OR CHEST HAIR! You will probably come around to Islay Malts after a while, but I agree you could do better than Hog’s Head. I wish I had the blog platform when I was your age. I had logged nearly a hundred Scotch malts, blends, Irish, Canadians and bourbons, and had extensive notes and opinions. Slainte!

  6. I really don’t think you know the first thing about whisky tasting, exploration, or how to spell ‘whisky’. Hogshead is rather good actually, especially being as its 2 thirds lagavulin, you can’t really go wrong. I expect your idea of a good whisky is crown in shots. Did you add any mineral water? Did you let it breathe? Do you even know what I’m talking about? Thought not. Go back to your cosmopolitans.

  7. I’m leaning to Angus here. Pretty sure that rich brown is mostly caramel, but Hogshead has a rich, complex taste. And I’m getting to where I’d rather (and can afford to) drink a blended malt or single malt vs the sweet commercial blended whiskies (Chivas, Johnnie).

  8. Im sure this is one of those situations where someone has come across something pretty great but simply does not have the palette to appreciati it yet. I sell premium spirits and see this all the time with younger folk. Come back to this blogger in about 5 to 6 years and then ask her about this, pretty sure her answer will have changed.

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