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10 Worst World Whiskies

Updated: Mar 6

yack whisky

Original Image by The Dental Barn

Have you ever had a whisky that left a bad taste in your mouth? It's common to assume that every whisky is crafted to perfection, but the truth is that mistakes do happen. As you will see from the following list of 10 whiskies, some of them have missed the mark, and they leave a lasting impression, but not for all the right reasons.


1. Loch Dhu

The Mannochmore distillery produced the infamous Loch Dhu in the mid-1990s. It was marketed as a 'Heavily Charred Cask' scotch that produced its black colour. However, in reality, a large amount of spirit caramel was used to give it the colour, making it sickeningly sweet. Despite this, in recent years, it has become a collector's item.

Loch Dhu single malt

Image by The Surrey Wine Cellar


2. Cu Dhub

Following in Loch Dhu's footsteps, Cu Dhub (Black Dog) from Speyside distillery has proven to be just as unpleasant. We question why they believed that changing the packaging to Beinn Dubh would be a wise decision. Neither of these whiskies are collectable (or drinkable).

Cu Dhub and Beinn Dubh single malt whiskies

Image by The Whisky Ardvark


3. Fishky

It's best to avoid this whisky with a questionable finish. A Bruichladdich sherry cask was purchased by a German company that transferred the whisky to a Herring Fish cask. It was bottled in 2007 at cask strength and should be left unopened.

Fist whisky Fishky Herring cask finish

Image by Whisky Cast


4. Dunglas

Littlemill distillery once produced an experimental malt that is quite rare and difficult to come by. However, this particular malt is often reported to have a very soapy taste and is not recommended for joyful consumption. The stills used in the production process were quite defective, making it difficult to control the outcome, resulting in a bit of a Frankenstein monster malt.

Dunglans 1967 single malt whisky

Image by Whisky Auctioneer


5. Penderyn

It may seem unjust, but we must refer to the initial release of Penderyn before Dr Jim Swan's guidance, who recommended using a different cask for finishing. This malt was originally quite harsh and high in alcohol content, but later versions were improved by the use of Madeira casks. If you're looking for a bold and daring drink, this original release might be the one for you. If you can find it.

First release of Penderyn whisky

Image by Anyfay


6. Mekhong

There is a Thai product that claims to be a whiskey, but it's actually a molasses-based spirit. Mixing it with other drinks is not recommended as it can ruin the mixer, and even drinking it straight will not make it taste any better. The only positive aspect of this spirit is that it is the best Thai spirit available, as others are not worth mentioning.

Mekhong whisky

Image by Difford's Guide


7. Balcones Baby Blue

The initial version of this Texas Corn Whiskey was very raw and young, possessing a rather harsh and spirited character. Subsequent versions have somewhat mellowed the whiskey's profile, but it remains a rather challenging spirit.

First release of Balcones Baby Blue corn whiskey

Image by Abbey Whisky


8. Kornog

The French love their whisky but have struggled to produce their own. Early attempts at distillation resulted in a harsh, fiery drink with pronounced acetone notes, reminiscent of nail-polish remover. Subsequent versions have improved, but the French whisky still tends to be quite strong, better suited for those who prefer a bit of a bite in their drink.

kornog German single malt whisky

Image by The Whisky Exchange


9. Edradour Tokaij Cask Finish

In the 1990s and early 2000s, the Pitlochry-based distillery of Edradour faced a challenging time when its whisky was compared to unpleasant flavours such as baby vomit and soap. The Tokaij Cask finish was particularly nasty and taught them a valuable lesson as it lacked structure and tasted quite horrible.

Edradour Tokaij Cask Finish

Image by Whisky or Whiskey?


10. Laphroaig Select

Including one of Islay’s most popular single malts in this list may seem strange, but the release of the Select was like drinking a lighter version of the usual smoky whisky. This makes it ideal for beginners who are new to malt whisky.

Laphroaig Select

Image by Wine Pig


What is the worst whisky you've ever tried? Let us know in the comments below #thewhiskyardvark #whiskyardvark

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