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Sheep Dip Whisky distillery

The first incarnation of Sheep Dip whisky was Original Oldbury Sheep Dip, an 8-year-old blend of 16 single malts. The quaint and intriguing name was allegedly (I’ll repeat that, allegedly) chosen to ensure that West Country farmers could put invoices for cases of it through their books without accountants noticing.

The origins of Sheep Dip do belong to the West Country of England, in Oldbury-on-Severn. The whisky was first bottled by a gentleman farmer and publican as his in-house whisky around 1974. However, it wasn’t long before but it quickly found its way back over the border into Scottish ownership, and the form of Sheep Dip that really made the brand’s name was blended and bottled by George Morton Ltd in Montrose. The Invergordon Distillers Group had ownership of Sheep Dip next for a time, before it became part of Whyte & Mackay in 1993.

When Whyte & Mackay chief operating office Alex Nicol decided to leave and establish the Fife-based Spencerfield Spirits Company in 2005, he managed to persuade his former employers to let him take Sheep Dip and Pig’s Nose with him. However, Richard Paterson(master blender at Whyte and Mackay) still retained his right to oversee the blending of the brand. Spencerfield itself was eventually taken over by Ian Macleod Distillers in late 2016, who currently own the Sheep Dip brand.

Sheep Dip still adheres to the same recipe today that was always used to make it (including the 16 single malts), although it no longer carries an age statement. Alongside the core edition, experimental bottlings have also been released, such as Sheep Dip Islay Blended Malt.

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