Review: Scottish Spirits Single Grain “Scotch in a Can”

Your eyes do not deceive you. That is a 12-ounce aluminum can and yes it is filled with Scotch whisky.

This is a new frontier for hard spirits, the first time whisky (or any spirit) has been approved in the U.S. for sale in a can format. In addition to the presentation questions, the public safety concerns are probably obvious: Something served in a can is likely to be consumed in one sitting (or shotgunned). But with eight full shots of booze in each can, that could be downright deadly to a drinker.

Scottish Spirits is getting around this concern to some degree by including with each can a latex top that allows the spirit to be resealed. It’s opened like any standard pop-top, but when you’re finished for the day, you simply put the latex bit back on top to seal it.

As for what’s inside, it’s Scotch, just not single malt. The somewhat misleadingly named “single grain whisky” means it is made from a combination of base grains (including barley, corn, wheat, rye, and others) — but it is made at a single distillery, not blended from a variety of them like a standard blended Scotch. It is aged three years before being bottled… er, canned.

The taste: Better than I expected, but not undrinkable. Heavy raw grain character is indicative mostly of the youth of the spirit: It is heavy on the nose with rye bread and crackers, with similar traits — almost yeasty — on the tongue. The finish is dry and lightly orange at times.

This whisky is extremely simple and discriminating drinkers are unlikely to find much to grab onto here. Soccer hooligans looking for something to swig on all afternoon may have a different opinion, of course. After all, this is one canned beverage that doesn’t even need to be chilled.

Enjoy cautiously.

C / $5 per 12 oz. can / scottishspirits.com

scotch in a can

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