If distilling is a science, then blending is a true art form. It takes an exceptional palate and years of training to create the best blends. And in our April box, we have six superb blends for you to try. Cheers, The Dram Team.
Art of Blending: April 2022 Box
Old Perth, 12 Year Old Sherry Cask Matured
The Scottish city of Perth was historically the blending capital of the world. Old Perth blends were first produced in the early 1900s, and as recently as the 1960s were held in high esteem due to their high malt content and the inclusion of one of the world's most prestigious sherried single malt whiskies. This modern day Old Perth 12 Year Old from Morrisons Distillers is 100% malt whisky, but still includes that very same famous sherried malt. Sip this 12 year matured bottling and see if you can identify it…
Nose: Sherry-sweet stewed fruits and soft spices.
Palate: Rich and complex with spicy orange marmalade and ginger.
Finish: Layers of rich, warm fruits and lingering spices.
Old Perth, Cask Strength Sherry Cask Matured
In our second Old Perth bottling, we really up the ante by sampling this sherry-matured malt blend at a whopping cask strength, just shy of 59%. While the spirit here isn't so mature as in the 12 year old, the high ABV and exclusively sherry cask maturation make this a wonderfully rich and sumptuous dram. Old Perth Cask Strength is an epic sherry bomb! Top tip: Add a splash of water to soften out the intensity...
Official Tasting notes:
Nose: Bags of dried fruits and berry jam.
Palate: Bold with earthy ginger, cinnamon stick and stewed fruits.
Finish: Long with more dry spice and treacle.
To read my tasting notes, check out my review of Old Perth Cask Strength here.
That Boutique-y Whisky Co, Blended Whisky #2 Aged 22 Years - Batch 3
The only blend in this set that isn't a 100% malt whisky blend, this 22 year old release features a portion of well-aged grain whisky as well. This is good news, since long-matured grain whisky is very delicious in its own right, and can really round out a well-made blend. Indeed, the end result of this malt and grain mixture is a fantastically balanced and creamy dram with lovely fruit notes to boot. Yum!
Nose: Honey, oak, vanilla pod and chocolatey cereal.
Palate: Cherry, spiced rum, thick caramel and a hint of earthy pear.
Finish: Menthol, freshly baked bread with chocolate spread, orange oil.
That Boutique-y Whisky Co, 5 Year Old Campbeltown - Batch 1
Campbeltown blends are rare, as this Scotch region has only three distilleries, who rarely divert malt to the blenders. Boutique-y not-so subtly hint at the contents with a label design featuring cows and teaspoons - a reference to Glen Scotia's early 2010s bovine-led branding (true story!), and presumably, the inclusion of a teaspoon or two of something from the neighbouring Springbank or Kilkerran distilleries. Thus - a "teaspooned" blend is born.
Nose: Sponge cake, marmalade, hay, stone fruits and good sourdough bread with butter.
Palate: Orange and lemon arrive first, shortly followed by oily barley, sea salt and black pepper crisps, sultana, banana and peach.
Finish: Lingering apricot and a hint of toasted coconut.
Big Peat, The Peatrichor Edition
Originally planned for the sadly ill-fated Feis Ile 2021, this rainfall-inspired, cask strength edition was released just in time for the British summer. With a marriage of top Islay distilleries including Caol Ila, Bowmore, Ardbeg and Port Ellen, this is Islay in a bottle. Petrichor is the fancy term for the smell just before it rains - of which there is usually a lot on Islay, as well as peat. As Big Peat's producers Douglas Laing say, today's rain is tomorrow's whisky!
Nose: Damp soil, salty sea air and fresh leather.
Palate: Rich, earthy peat smoke.
Finish: Satisfyingly long, classically “Islay”.
Timorous Beastie, Aged 20 Years
Another very special edition from Douglas Laing, this is a 20 year aged release of their incredibly popular Highland malt, Timorous Beastie - named for the wee mouse in a Robert Burns poem. With less than 300 bottles produced, this is a rare drop indeed, and a wonderful showcase of excellently blended and matured Highland whisky.
Nose: Toasted marshmallow sweetness mingling with malted barley and white chocolate.
Palate: Delivers big impact - complex spices and sweet, oaky depth.
Finish: Boasts immense vanilla, spicy cinnamon and sawn wood.
How to get your Art of Blending box
Explore the Art of Blending here, to discover the exceptional flavours good blending can create... You can grab your Art of Blending box here.
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