The official Dram Association review of

Shetland Reel Batch Number 3

"Caramel & Smoked Bacon Meringue"

Dram Code: E73
Producer: Saxa Ford
Bottler: Official
Region: Scotland

Whisky Type: Blended Malt
Cask Type: Unknown
Age: Not Stated
ABV: 47

Release: 1 of 1800
Price: $97.61 (at time of review)

About This Dram

Shameless self-indulgence time… two days ago was my birthday, so I wanted to open up a personal favourite bottle. I put a lot of effort into getting this one on our shelves, and now it’s time to share it with my fellow Dram Association members.

I was given a sample of this whisky quite a while ago and asked if I was interested in bringing it in. I was. I really was. The problem, however, was that the importer had already been approached by the government stores, so unless I could find a way to take the entire shipment off of their hands at once, I would likely miss out on this amazing dram. I immediately contacted my friends at Legacy in Vancouver and JAK’s across the mainland and we agreed that between the three of us we could take all of it. Me being the catalyst however, had to put my money where my mouth was and take a large percentage of it.

So, why was I so adamant about getting this whisky in? Well, firstly it is absolutely delicious. A beautifully balanced mix of smoke and salt on a big creamy malty base. Secondly, it is stunning value. Thirdly, it has a really neat story behind it.

Saxa Ford, on the Shetland Isle of Unst, is now the most northernly distillery in Scotland, beating the former record (Highland Park) by over 150km! While their own whisky is now starting to be made and put to sleep in casks, they wanted to see quite how much of an impact the Unst climate would have on a whisky. They started by using Glenglassaugh malt (a Dram Association favourite). That experiment was so successful that they released it as Shetland Reel. They have since been tweaking the Shetland Reel including an Islay (assumed, but not confirmed to be Caol Ila), and have come up with this luscious blend to highlight the character of this northern coastal maturation. It has been very successful and is already sold out on Master of Malt in the UK, which I believe was the exclusive retailer in the UK. Only 1800 were produced, so we are very lucky to see it here in BC. My advice – if you like it, buy two!


Tasting Notes

Nose: honey, smoke, bacon, toffee apple, salted caramel, puff pastry, semolina, pineapple, meringues

Palate: wood smoke, cream. banana, cherries, toasted coconut, honey nut cheerios.

by | Mar 8, 2020


The average score from our members’ submitted reviews.

Smoky & Earthy


Visual: 4.32/5
Aroma: 22.16/25
Taste: 35.92/40
Finish: 28.21/30