A review of Monkey Shoulder as part of the “Whisky Advent’ countdown to my wedding. A very nice dram that holds its own but would benefit from bottling at a higher ABV.Read More
Filtering by Tag: Blended Scotch
I’m aware we are nearly halfway through September and this is the last in August's box. The lapse in posts has been down to a mix of work and a diet. Trust me, if it were my choice and I had a better metabolism I would be posting every day! Anyway, on with the show!
That Boutique-y Whisky Company - creators of some of the most inventive labelling I have ever experienced. Cartoon graphic labels created by Emily Chappell are individual to each bottling and contain distillery information and industry in-jokes. A bottle from TBWC really does add a certain contrast on your shelf - I recently bought a bottle of the Longmorn 25-Year-Old and am just waiting for a suitable occasion to open it.
This particular expression is a Teaspooned Malt. Now, what does that mean? In reality, it means that you are getting a 99.99% Glenfiddich with just the smallest drop of another malt added. That is the reason that this 19 year old bottle is such value, being sold at around £70. My Notes:
Appearance: Golden Amber
Nose: Toffee sweetness from an earthy cut grass note; oaky vanilla with a light hint of clove. The notes say marmalade which is a note I have never previously picked up. I got a jar from the cupboard and with the two side by side I absolutely get it!
Taste: The woody dryness is offset by caramel sweetness in a typically Speyside manner.
Finish: Sweet malted biscuits for a reasonably short time.
I really enjoyed this and am now really keen to try more of the range. Being such a fan of Macallan, I would love to try the 30-Year-Old bottle, but 1) it is nearly £600 (which is still good value for a 30YO Macallan) and (2) it appears to be sold out. Note to That Boutique-y Whisky Company: please do another Macallan!
The Cask Blog is now an affiliate with our friends at Master of Malt. If you want to buy great whisk(e)y and support the Blog, without paying a penny extra, I'd appreciate if you would click through one of the following links to let them know I sent you -
That Boutique-y Whisky Company Blended Malt No. 3 19 Year Old (Batch 1) - https://www.masterofmalt.com/whiskies/that-boutiquey-whisky-company/blended-malt-3-that-boutiquey-whisky-company-whisky/#context-search
It is companies like Compass Box that show anti-blend snobbery up as nonsense. A well-made blend can encapsulate a world of flavour, constrained only really by the Master Blender's imagination. If you are not familiar with the legend that is Richard Paterson (aka 'The Nose') watch this video. I will be looking more at him in a later article on Dalmore but this will give you an insight into the passion that goes into the art of blending. I don't endorse throwing Scotch on the carpet like he does, but who am I to argue?
Compass Box is the brainchild of John Glaser who decided that the Scotch whisky scene was saturated with companies doing exactly the same thing. He wanted to change this. Starting in his kitchen he started his blending house with the notion of injecting creativity and passion into every bottle he crafted. I agree with all of the core beliefs of this company, which I unashamedly reproduce here: Blending is a platform for creativity; good oak rules; good whisky doesn't need age statements; whisky should be its natural colour and be non-chill filtered; there are no rules to enjoying whisky.
While I may wince when I pour a nice scotch and am asked for a coke in it (in fact, at this point I generally reach for the JD and another glass), if that is how somebody wants to drink their own single malt - go on, says I! I find myself agreeing more and more with the note on age statements - exceptional whisky is exceptional whether it is 10 or 30 years old.
Hedonism is produced once per year when the requisite rare and old casks of grain whisky can be sourced. The various casks are mixed and left to marry in casks for up to 24 months to marry together, allowing the flavours to properly intermingle and fuse to create the final blend. My thoughts:
Appearance: Pale Gold
Nose: Sweet citrus with green apple sharpness for balance; fresh cut grass notes come through delicately. This just smells like a fruit salad on a warm summers day!
Taste: Demerara sweetness with light cereal notes and vanilla. The sugary sweetness develops into a rich toffee. Fruit is still there but comes in reasonably late when the other flavours are fading out.
Finish: Buttery smooth with a hint of peppery spice at the back of the palate.
I really want to try more of the compass box range - I had heard nothing but good things but even then this took me by surprise. Hedonism is a brilliant name for a whisky that is this good! Forget about the pursuit of pleasure - I'm telling you now, it’s in this dram!
This is the first blended Scotch that has been part of the Dram Club and takes me away from my usual meander through a distillery's quirks, stories and heritage. Thankfully, Old Perth dates back to the early 1900s and has a story all of its own, despite not coming from one source. For those interested it is worth looking at what this is: a Scotch blended malt. This means it is produced and bottled in Scotland (Scotch), it is a mixture of two or more distillery's whisky (blended) and it contains only malted barley (malt). I am planning on doing an article on the main types of Scotch at some point, but this will suffice for the moment.
Old Perth was a product of the Thompson family in Perth. The family were well known grocers and in 1908 Peter Thompson established his own range of whisky blends. This move must have been good for business, because the grocery store swiftly evolved into a wholesale wine a spirits distributor. The blends originally were made up of Speyside, Highland and Islay malts along with North British Grain. If this were true today, this bottle would have to be called a 'blended Scotch' as opposed to malt. Peter Thompson was friendly with the Macallan distillery and, as a result of the alliance, Macallan wade it into the blends in hearty measure.
Around the 1970s there was a stagnation of the business and Old Perth was eventually dropped altogether. It would not be until 2014 when Morrison & Mackay, the independent bottlers, revived Old Perth in this Sherry Cask expression. My Notes:
Appearance: Burnt Amber
Nose: Citrus - I got desiccated candied orange peel (the type served in fancy cocktail bars in drinks). I got a dusty spice; nothing that I could pin down - The notes say brandy soaked Christmas Cake but for the life of me I was not getting that at all. The Whisk(e)y Vault, a YouTube channel that I recommend to you, said that the nose of this whisky is "musty old book shelf". I couldn't have put it better but I don't mean that in any way as a bad thing.
Taste: Sweet citrus notes on the back with a candy sweetness developing gradually with a very nice buttery/oily mouthfeel.
Finish: The dusty spice reappears on the finish after its notable absence on the initial taste. Medium length with the candy sweetness at the back which slowly bitters towards the end.