Review: 1950s King's Ransom Scotch


King's Ransom Blended Scotch (1950s) - 47%


King's Ransom was positioned as a luxury brandy in the US thanks to a Prohibition partnership between William Whiteley and Mafia boss, Frank Costello. The "Round the World" tagline referenced the whisky's aging at sea - utilizing the rocking motion of the ocean to influence the aging process. The bottles were wrapped with decorative wire and released at a high bottling proof for the period. Suffice to say, King's Ransom was intended to be a bold release.


During the 1950s, the bulk of the malt for the blend was likely sherried Edradour. This was bottled while Costello's associate, Irving Haim, was running the tiny Perthshire distillery. The brand was discontinued by Pernod Ricard in the 1980s.

 

Notes: Right off the nose - rich sherried Edradour, reminiscent of a couple lovely ~12 year Ibisco Decanters I've tried - toffee, candied nuts, fig. There's also distillate driven fresh fruit - apples, pears. Faint ashy smoke, touch of grilled pork. Solid weight. Quick caramel and toffee on the palate. Then brighter and more fruit forward than I anticipated - orchard fruit again with the addition of citrus. Quick florals. Sherry into peat on the backend. The peat and higher proof are a little frayed toward the finish.


Score: 7 (Highly Recommend) Stash one for the history, but it's a 7 on the palate. The nose is rich, but the sherry influence isn't too heavy handed. Plenty of complexity. While I appreciate the higher ABV, the integration isn't totally there - citrus, orchard fruits, florals, smoke, and ethanol push/pull in opposite directions at times.

Archived Scores

 

Rating System

10 - Reevaluate The Budget

9 - Stash Two (If Able)

8 - Stash One (At The Right Price)

7 - Highly Recommend It To Strangers

6 - Solid - Above Average

5 - Acceptable For The Situation

4 - Not Vocally Complaining

3 - Anything Else To Drink?

2 - Nothing Nice To Say

1 - Drain Pour

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