View Full Version : McCarthy's Oregon Single-Malt Whiskey

01-07-2006, 18:54
I have enjoyed pretty much every Bourbon I have tasted so far with the exception of a strange occurrence with 1792 Ridgemont Reserve, which when corrected I enjoyed also. Being new and adventuress, I stopped in to a liquor store today when running errands to see what they might have and picked up a bottle of McCarthy's (http://www.clearcreekdistillery.com/Whiskey.htm) Oregon Single-Malt Whiskey. I guess they say it is like a Scotch, if Oregon were Scotland. Not my taste for sure. Maybe the Peat? I don’t know.
I like the golden warm color of Bourbon; I find the smell inviting, and the flavor wonderful.
I see some critiques of the McCarthy's and people enjoyed it, so maybe that just tells me Scotch is not for me. Lucky to learn it at a rather inexpensive rate by Scotch Standards I guess.
I have a little wish list I have made for myself of Bourbons I have not tried, or are difficult to get out here on the west coast. McCarthy’s was on my list of things I wanted to try…so lesson learned. You Scotch drinkers are a hearty bunch! That is some “interesting” liquor!

01-07-2006, 19:14
McCarthy's is very peaty/stinky, it's not a middle of the road style of malt whisky. It's pretty good for that style though (not as fusel-oily as Laphroiag, a bit more aromatically defined than Bruichladdich). My other issue with it is that it uses malt imported from Scotland, so there's no sense of place. Does nobody grow barley in Oregon? Heck, even North Dakota is closer than Scotland.

01-07-2006, 20:02
I don't think the Oregon barley is the issue but the peated process which is my guess why it is imported from Scotland. That being said I think it is a bit 'light' in body. It has a great Islay nose but for some reason I don't think the body matches it. I haven't had it in a while but I'm due for a sampling soon.

I'm on Bourbon tonight so it will have to wait as the two hardly mix well.

01-07-2006, 20:33
Oregon or non-Oregon barley isn't an issue to the taste, no. But it'd be a lot cooler if there was a local angle to it.

01-08-2006, 00:50
You Scotch drinkers are a hearty bunch! That is some “interesting” liquor!

I found back when I used to drink scotch that there was some I really enjoyed, i.e. Glenfiddich and Glenlivet and then some I literally had to dump it was so revolting to my palate, like Bowmore I think it was called. I got tired of disliking more than I liked, so now in the very rare instance that I do drink it I stick to what I know, but that is very rare. I have just found bourbon to be far more consistently pleasing and reliable. Gotta give props to the Oregonians for trying though, I do believe they make the greatest beers so it’s only fitting they try to expand on that!

01-08-2006, 19:13
I understand there is some of bottling-to-bottling variation in McCarthy's. I have about two ounces left in a 200 ml bottle that beer author Fred Eckhart decanted from a 750 ml and brought to the private whiskey tasting that I host in my room at the National Homebrew Conference. I just gave it a sniff and confirmed my recollection, that is was peaty, oily, and pungent. Without a taste it's hard to tell more, but my 18 month old memory is that it was surprisingly good despite its youth (three years).

I'll have to finish it off with a friend of mine who is a big fan of peaty single malts.


01-10-2006, 11:38
I have a bottle of the McCarthy's at home. I like Scotch, particularly peated Scotch with Ardbeg being a favorite, but don't particularly care for this. The very first thing I picked up when nosing it was "rubber innertube." Not exactly appealing. I've been unable to shake that impression on subsequent tastings.

01-10-2006, 12:56
T47, you wrote:

I see some critiques of the McCarthy's and people enjoyed it, so maybe that just tells me Scotch is not for me.

Although Macarthy's is a good whiskey in its' own right, I hope you are not using that as a "single issue litmus test" for a final decision regarding your future tasting of Scotch or any other whiskey/whisky.

McCarthy’s is unique! I'd admit, McCarthy's can make a "like it" or "hate it" type impression, but for someone, anyone, to make a statement pertaining to the location of that distillery and suggesting that if it were there it would be "Scottish style" is way out of bounds or inexperienced. (Could be “lost in translation”)

Single Malt Scotches have a large and wide set of flavor profiles. McCarthy's probably wouldn't fit into or along side any that come to mind. (BTW, IMHO) There could be a few examples from Japan that might be tops on the virtual list for relocating distilleries to Scotland. They do have profiles that would/could fit right in. Some of the malt from Yamazaki/Yoichi/Nikka for example…I digress…

McCarthy’s is an American Single Malt, using peated malt from Scotland and last I checked, the folks in North Dakota, while I’m sure they grow it, don't malt much Barley there, let alone smoke it with local peat for the peat fires needed. Having said that, there are single malts made the world over, some good, some not so good and some stellar… that if you could move the distillery to Scotland, (so they could call their product "Scotch")you would find that they’d be at the top of any connesuer's dram list. Arguably, Marcarthy's would probably not make that list.

Speaking personally, I find McCarthy’s interesting and delicious. It is not an everyday pour…more one that I choose based on my mood of the day. I hope they continue to produce and develop their products.

Enough said, http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/27.gif There have been some thoughtful post by others on this site regarding “Bridge Whiskies” that you could get a better first time exposure to reasonably good Scotches’ with good, representative flavor profiles.

Please consider trying again…

01-10-2006, 13:07
And just for the record...

In a similar situation, I'd mention the same thoughts, in reverse, to a Scotch drinker that might make a similar comment...

01-10-2006, 13:19
Doug, it occurs to me McCarthy's Single Malt Whiskey, which is 3 years old (approximately), would be an ideal candidate for re-aging in one of your bourbon-seasoned barrels.


01-10-2006, 13:30
Doug, it occurs to me McCarthy's Single Malt Whiskey, which is 3 years old (approximately), would be an ideal candidate for re-aging in one of your bourbon-seasoned barrels.

Except that it's $39.95 (http://www.arloandjanis.com/scareymovie2.htm) a bottle!


01-10-2006, 14:40
Oops, forgot that. We'll need some well-heeled members of the board to contribute to Doug's barrel. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif


01-10-2006, 15:50
You are as always an educated wise group. I wont give up on it yet, but I have a wish list I'm working through, and it is Scotch free for the moment. I have a few more Bourbons and some Ryes I want to try, oh and a Tennessee Whisky. At the rate I’m going, my list wont last long…so maybe sooner than later I will try another Scotch.

01-10-2006, 16:05

Try this information HERE (http://www.straightbourbon.comhttp://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/showthreaded.php/Cat/0/Number/46352/page/)

Thanks goes to Roger and the other folks who threw in their 2 cents worth...