Blended Whisky Tasting Pack

Greetings whisky lovers!

In today’s tasting packs we are delighted to showcase the wonderful world of Blended Malt Whisky.

Blends have been given an unfair reputation for being sub-par to their Single Malt cousins but we beg to differ! Which is why we have carefully selected these fine blends to demonstrate to you just how diverse and amazing blended malts can be.

Well, let’s get on with the show!

Steve

 

What is a Blended Whisky?

Single Malt

Let’s start off with discussing what a Single Malt Whisky is. A Single Malt is a whisky who’s malt whisky (the germinated barley) is prepared in the traditional way at a single distillery in Scotland. That’s important to note, that it’s a single distillery preparing and producing the malt whisky.

Now this doesn’t mean that this all happens in a single batch, no siree, a lot of the single malts that you taste are actually a marriage of many different distilling’s and aging’s from that very distillery. So in essence they do blend together all the yummy barrels so that it produces a high quality spirit.

Yes – this includes an aged statement on a whisky! All this age statement means is that it’s the minimum age of the whisky contained within. So that 18 Year Old may in face contain whisky that is 20-25 years old in it!

Blended Whisky

So this brings us to Blends. A Blended Whisky is a whisky who may have started life at a variety of different distilleries. So in effect the distilleries are using a mixture of Single Malts sourced from a variety of other distilleries to achieve the desired taste.

This processes is conducted under the watchful eye and taste testing ability of the Master Blender. It is his or her job to ensure that there is a consistent flavour to all product coming out of the blended malt distillery.

Good examples of this is Chivas Regal or Jonnie Walker. Both Scotch Whiskies have a very distinct and consistent taste. This is because the Master Blenders work tirelessly to source product that will give the whiskies that signature taste.

Let’s get stuck into some blends then and see what you think!

Official Tasting Notes

Compass Box - Asyla

 

Compass Box Asyla

Image courtesy of smwhisky.com.au

An odd name for a whisky don’t you think? Asyla - It’s the plural of the word Asylum – A sanctuary or Madhouse – which is it?

So is Whisky an Asylum? A refuge from the vagaries of the day? A Sanctuary? Can it transport us from one to the other? I’ll leave that for you to determine yourself.

Nonetheless for a delicate, comforting yet luminous whisky such as this, one which gently enlivens the senses. I feel that Asyla is an appropriate name. An escape away from the norm.

This is a blended scotch whisky that makes an ideal starter to an evening, slightly chilled and with or without water. It’s a gentle whisky – soft on the palate, approachable. An ideal Sunday afternoon whisky, if you will.

Colour: light gold, like a morning sun.

Palate: Delicate flavors of vanilla cream, cereals and sweet oakiness.

 

Bladnoch – Pure Scot

Pure Scot Whisky

Image courtesy of campbridgecellars.com.au

A new entrant into the scotch whisky world, the Bladnoch distillery was closed for about 6 years before being purchased by an Australian!

David Prior – the founder of 5am Yogurt, purchased the distillery in 2015. Production was quickly resumed and an amazing blended whisky – Pure Scot was produced.

This is one of the great aspects of working with Blended whisky. Because the distillery has the ability to purchase whisky from other sources, they do not have to wait for their own stock to mature in barrels. Instead they can get straight to it. And produce a mighty fine dram!

Notes:  

Colour: Bright and golden.

Nose: Sweet vanilla and baked fruits

Palate: It’s very light with pleasant chocolate and muesli-like flavours. It tends to smooth out with a little bit of pepper spice.

Finish: You can really taste the oak in the aftertaste.

 

Douglas Laing – Rock Oyster

Rock Oyster Whisky

Image courtesy of whiskyinteligence.com

A fine blended whisky if I do say so myself. Although I have a hard time not getting the song “Rock Lobster” stuck in my head every time I think about it. I hope that passes on to you too.

This is a non-chill filtered small batch whisky. It’s a mixture of Scotland’s finest maritime based malts including product from the amazing distilleries on the islands of Islay: Jura, Arran and Orkney.

Colour: Very light yellow.

Nose: Like a trip to the seaside, a hint of ash and peat and tiny influences of fruit.

Palate: Soft and almost sweet peat flavours, with honey, liquorish and pepper.

Finish: Moreish, long and lasting.

 

Smokin’ – Peat Smoke

Smokin Peat Smoke

Image courtesy of smwhisky.com.au

This is a small batched blend, produced by Duncan Taylor. You could call it a modern blend that takes its roots in history by producing an amazingly peated blended whisky that you just don’t find anymore.

Smokin’  is also known as The Gentleman’s Dram, like all blended whiskies, contains whiskies from distilleries around Scotland.  However, with a focus on peated malt.

The Master Blender has done an amazing job of interlacing the various peated malts into a robust and complex taste. The malts are then aged in bourbon casks to achieve the sweet and almost lolly like tastes.

Colour: Bronze

Nose: Smoky peat is alive and well. There is a sweetness from treacle and a spicy finish.

Taste: Very sweet from the get-go. Pepper really comes through all the while being hit with waves of smoky peat flavours.

Finish: Kind of like a dying campfire, the smoke is still trickling out and the spice is still on your nose. Your lips still have the sweetness of the treacle/vanilla on them.

 

Black Bull – 12 Year Old.

Black Bull 12 year old whisky

Image courtesy of smwhisky.com.au

Like it’s name Black Bull charges up and you and takes ahold. This distilled whisky is fiercely independent and without compromise. Black bull 12 is a rare and original whisky. This blend is a little different to the others in that it’s a mixture of 50% malt whisky to 50% grain whisky. Giving it it’s distinct tastes that you are about to enjoy.

Back in it’s heyday it was sold in the US as a 100 Proof (about 40% ABV) blend, where it became a hit just after the end of the US prohibition. In 2008 it was rebranded to what you see now and is an amazing high quality whisky blend.

Colour: Amber – like tree sap.

Nose: Chunky and full on. Really distant smells of ripe cherries and even sherry.

Palate: After the bull hits you it’s all sweetness, mocha, honey and oat’s.

Finish: That lick you lips I want more feeling, smooth as hell and delicious.

 

Liquid error: Could not find asset snippets/zopim.liquid