Sheep Dip by Spencerfield Spirit Co.
I grew up as the son of parents who were both veterinarians. My Dad practiced on large animals in the early years of his career, back when there were actually farms in New England. That meant a lot of “farm calls”, as he termed them. I would accompany him as a small child and the memories are vivid – watching my Dad work and interact with both livestock and owners. Needless to say, I am familiar with Sheep Dip. I know what it smells like, I know what it’s used for. So, when I heard of Sheep Dip whisky I was intrigued, slightly concerned over the choice of name, but intrigued. This is what I found.
Sheep Dip is bottled by Spencerfield Spirit Co., which also bottles Pigs Nose blended scotch. The name came about because British farmers have long referred to whisky as Sheep Dip. There was a time when farmers distilled their own “home-made” whisky, and in order to avoid paying taxes to the revenue man, hid the whisky in barrels marked ‘Sheep Dip’. Farmers’ merchants continued this tradition by entering cases of whisky as ‘Sheep dip’ on farmers’ bills and so ‘pulling the wool’ over the farmers’ wives’ eyes.
Alex Nicol, Company Founder, previously worked at Whyte and Mackay as COO, before buying Sheep Dip and Pig’s Nose and starting Spencerfield in 2005. Before that he was marketing director for Glenmorangie and with Jim Swan developed the Glenmorangie range of finishes in the early 1990’s. Alex certainly knows his business, of that there is no question.
The 1990 Sheep Dip had been sitting for 15 years at Tullibardine distillery before Alex was tipped off by a friend and managed to get his hands on it. Sitting and marrying for that length of time is highly unusual and has really added to the whiskies smooth lack of spirit taint, all rough edges being taken out by the length of time in the wood. Very few vatted malts will be able to claim this. The 1990 is rich on the nose, with peat smoke, engine oil, plums, and Sherry on the palate. Additionally, with hints of vanilla, spice, coffee and wood smoke. The finish is medium in length, with black pepper, sea salt and a lingering peatiness.
The long and short of it is: It would be a pleasure to be dipped in this stuff. You must try it. And I suggest that when you do, you dip in one of our premium whiskey stones to give it a slight chill without diluting. It will certainly be the cure for whatever ails you.