King Robert II is a budget Scotch brand that got a relaunch last year from its owners at Ian Macleod. Now available throughout the U.S., three expressions are on tap — a non-age-statement “treble cask” edition, a 12 year old, and a 15 year old. (We’re reviewing the first two today.)
The brand is named after King Robert II, who ruled the kingdom of Scotland from 1371 to 1384. King Robert II’s reign established a kingdom of greater wealth and stability, uniting the previously divided regions of Scotland in harmony. Similarly, Ian Macleod Distillers has created a balance with King Robert II Blended Scotch Whisky, uniting whiskies from the Islands, Highlands, Lowlands and Speyside in a rich and sweet dram.
The King Robert II Blended Scotch Whisky range is now available in select retail shops in the U.S. in 750ml and 1.75L sized bottles.
Ready to see what good King Bobby has in store for us? Let’s try ’em both.
Both are 80 proof.
King Robert II Blended Scotch Treble Cask Matured – A blend of just about everything from Scotland, aged in ex-bourbon barrels, hogsheads, and sherry casks. It’s a mutt of a whisky and it comes across as such, offering a grain-forward experience that is indistinct and muddy on the nose, offering aromas of underbrush and old wood and little else. Boozy on the palate despite its standard 40% abv and yet somehow also watery at the same time, flavors bounce between notes of mushroom, oiled wood, and a vague shrimp shell quality. The finish melds sandalwood with a tarry, industrial quality. Not recommended. D / $15
King Robert II Blended Scotch 12 Years Old – Better. Still industrial on the nose and a little fishy, but with some sweetness present — the best I can describe it is as orange oil mixed with a glass of V8. It’s easier on the palate, too, with notes of sesame oil, toasted coconut, and plenty of wood backing things up. Unlike the rather offensive Treble Cask, this one’s pretty harmless, though it largely drinks like weak tea, finishing with a mouthful of that dried — yet slightly sweetened — underbrush. C / $22