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Blended Whiskies - April 3-12

Re: Blended Whiskies - April 3-12

Postby Ganga » Sun Apr 12, 2009 11:33 pm

Not really overly fond the Red in either of these cases. If given a bottle it would likely sit on the back of the shelf.
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Re: Blended Whiskies - April 3-12

Postby Willie JJ » Sun Apr 12, 2009 11:35 pm

Whyte & Mackay Special Scotch Whisky 40%

Colour: Mid gold
Nose: citrus, orange and lemon, rich and malty. Very clean.
Palate: Juicy malt, more citrus.
Finish: Medium length and spicy
Comment: I find the palate of this a little thin, but that might be the strength (or lack of). The bottle I'm drinking from is an ancient 75cl and I can't even remember where it came from. One of the striking things about it is that it seems to lack the heavy caramel that is present in the current W&M bottlings and it is so much better for that. This is a pleasant, refreshing whisky that I would be happy to drink anytime.
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Re: Blended Whiskies - April 3-12

Postby Ganga » Sun Apr 12, 2009 11:39 pm

Johnnie Walker Black

Johnnie Walker
12 yo
heavy malts, light acetone
smokey barley, earthy, estery
short, barley and estery
-
-
0

12 Years Old
0
40%
Johnnie Walker

Blended
Scotland
-
Cubes
Tumbler
-

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Re: Blended Whiskies - April 3-12

Postby Ganga » Sun Apr 12, 2009 11:42 pm

Well hello Willie. :D I've made it through most of 10 samples 4 times, each attempted in a different fashion. I think the most surprising thing is how some whiskies fair better in the different manners.

I should ask you if adding water or ice makes a negative or positive impact. Or does it just present something different?
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Re: Blended Whiskies - April 3-12

Postby Ganga » Sun Apr 12, 2009 11:54 pm

Johnnie Walker Black

Johnnie Walker
Black 12
lightly malty, most everything is gone
lightly peaty/earthy, smoked barley, slight mintishness
short but refreshing
-
-
0

12 Years Old
0
40%
Johnnie Walker

Blended
Scotland
-
-
Brandy Glass
chilled glass

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Re: Blended Whiskies - April 3-12

Postby Ganga » Sun Apr 12, 2009 11:58 pm

Well, I would say that the Black is far more elegant than the Red. Much better with water than compared to the chilled or with ice. One more to go, Johnnie Gold
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Re: Blended Whiskies - April 3-12

Postby Willie JJ » Sun Apr 12, 2009 11:59 pm

Bailie Nicol Jarvie Old Scotch Whisky 40%

Colour: Deep gold
Nose: Malt rush. Cereal notes all over the place. Horlicks. Then the fruit starts to come through: orange and mango, then some vanilla too.
Palate: Barley and woodspice. Wonderfully clean. Lemony and sweet.
Finish: Lovely, medium long, gently spicy.
Comment: What a lovely dram. This really makes a case for blends. Ok so it lacks the complexity and surprises of malt whisky but what a pleasant journey it is. Lovely.
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Re: Blended Whiskies - April 3-12

Postby Ganga » Mon Apr 13, 2009 12:06 am

Johnnie Walker Gold

Johnnie Walker
Gold 18
beautiful cinnamon malt, becomes a cinnamon dough
Cinnabon shop, smoked honey
short, smokey dough
-
-
0

18 Years Old
0
40%
Johnnie Walker

Blended
Scotland
-
-
Brandy Glass
Chilled Glass

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Re: Blended Whiskies - April 3-12

Postby Willie JJ » Mon Apr 13, 2009 12:09 am

Ganga wrote:Well hello Willie. :D I've made it through most of 10 samples 4 times, each attempted in a different fashion. I think the most surprising thing is how some whiskies fair better in the different manners.

I should ask you if adding water or ice makes a negative or positive impact. Or does it just present something different?

Hi Rich
to be honest i can't remember the last time I added water to a blend. If we were talking malt then I would say that the addition of water or ice just makes a change and the nature of the change is unpredictable. For me the drams can lose some of the intensity that I love, although I recognise that many different flavours and aromas can be released. I certainly wouldn't say they are better or worse either way.

I only have three drams here so I may play around with them shortly. :D
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Re: Blended Whiskies - April 3-12

Postby Ganga » Mon Apr 13, 2009 12:13 am

Johnnie Walker Gold

Johnnie Walker
Gold 18
Honeys and smoke, load of vanilla underneath
smokey honey bacon, rich barley
short, bacon
-
-
0

18 Years Old
0
40%
Johnnie Walker

Blended
Scotland
-
Cubes
Tumbler
-

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Re: Blended Whiskies - April 3-12

Postby Ganga » Mon Apr 13, 2009 12:16 am

Willie, I found that some improve just because you ARE diluting the flavor.

I did find that the Johnnie Gold was pleasant no matter what I did to it. The surprise for me was that I probably had the most fun and enjoyment from the Famous Grouse 12.

I think I'm going to look up a few of the Irish blends now....
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Re: Blended Whiskies - April 3-12

Postby Willie JJ » Mon Apr 13, 2009 12:22 am

Te Bheag Gaelic Whisky 40%

Colour: Amber
Nose: Lovely peat smoke, kippers, salt and malt. Some fruit but the peat smoke, while not strong, is in charge.
Palate: Very salty and nicely malty.
Finish: Long lingering salt, wrapped around the clean barley.
Comment: Given its provenance it would be no surprise to find Talisker in this, but given its flavours it would be amazing to find that it does not comprise much of the malt component here. This is terrific stuff for the price. I like it very much.
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Re: Blended Whiskies - April 3-12

Postby Willie JJ » Mon Apr 13, 2009 12:24 am

Ganga wrote:Willie, I found that some improve just because you ARE diluting the flavor.

I'm not sure if you are saying that this was a good thing because the flavour was unpleasant or not.
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Re: Blended Whiskies - April 3-12

Postby Ganga » Mon Apr 13, 2009 12:25 am

Jameson NAS

Jameson
NAS
some dried herbs and spices over a bed of malt
Last years grains, nutmeg, bay leaves, oregano
moderate, dried herbs/spices
-
-
0

NAS Years Old
0
40%
Jameson

Blended
Ireland
-
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Last edited by Ganga on Mon Apr 13, 2009 12:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Blended Whiskies - April 3-12

Postby Ganga » Mon Apr 13, 2009 12:28 am

Wow, this whisky just came back. It's the fleshy mango components. Here's to the Jameson. EDIT: A little later (warmed up) is kind of a mixture of mango, peaches and rose petals.

Willie, some of the blends I've had have not been all that pleasant. By adding water, either through direct or through ice, it dilutes that unpleasant nature thus it is improved. Dewar's White Label is something that is much more drinkable with ice than straight.
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Re: Blended Whiskies - April 3-12

Postby Willie JJ » Mon Apr 13, 2009 12:34 am

I tried adding some water to the W&M and it has released the malt on the nose. The fruit has faded into the background and has become sharper, more like gooseberries. There is an emergence of youthful, feinty aromas too. On the palate the water has made it even more refreshing, like cool diluted lime juice. The finish has become a little more spicy and and shows some vanilla. So much better than the current caramel ridden version.
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Re: Blended Whiskies - April 3-12

Postby Willie JJ » Mon Apr 13, 2009 12:37 am

Ganga wrote:Willie, some of the blends I've had have not been all that pleasant. By adding water, either through direct or through ice, it dilutes that unpleasant nature thus it is improved. Dewar's White Label is something that is much more drinkable with ice than straight.

Ok. Can you identify a common element in the unpleasantness? Is it a bitterness in the finish that you might expect to find from added caramel (at the risk of sounding like I'm on a JM hobby horse).
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Re: Blended Whiskies - April 3-12

Postby Ganga » Mon Apr 13, 2009 12:38 am

Jameson NAS

Jameson
NAS
peach blossoms, light sea air, malty
dough mixed with peach/mango pulp, dry herbs
moderate, fleshy fruits
-
-
0

NAS Years Old
0
40%
Jameson

Blended
Ireland
-
-
Brandy Glass
chilled glass

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Re: Blended Whiskies - April 3-12

Postby Ganga » Mon Apr 13, 2009 12:41 am

Generally I would identify it with old grains that have "turned". I spent some time as a youth cleaning out the bottom of silos. That's where the water collects, things begin to ferment in an uncontrolled environment, and also adds kind of an "old" or "musty" element.
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Re: Blended Whiskies - April 3-12

Postby Willie JJ » Mon Apr 13, 2009 12:44 am

Interestingly, water in the BNJ seems to lift the fruit out of the malt, which is exactly the opposite effect that it had with the W&M. There's a bit of lemon on the nose and the palate and the finish gives more toffee and vanilla. Again very refreshing.
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Re: Blended Whiskies - April 3-12

Postby Willie JJ » Mon Apr 13, 2009 12:45 am

Ganga wrote:Generally I would identify it with old grains that have "turned". I spent some time as a youth cleaning out the bottom of silos. That's where the water collects, things begin to ferment in an uncontrolled environment, and also adds kind of an "old" or "musty" element.

Interesting. I haven't seen that with any of the three that I had, but they've all been young.
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Re: Blended Whiskies - April 3-12

Postby Ganga » Mon Apr 13, 2009 12:47 am

I've been absolutely fascinated just how differently each blend reacts. You can't just say, "Add a splash of water " or "Straight up!" And switching over to the Irish blends the fleshy fruits really become apparent.
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Re: Blended Whiskies - April 3-12

Postby Willie JJ » Mon Apr 13, 2009 12:52 am

Hmm, I never thought about bringing Irish blends in here (don't know why). Too late tonight though.
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Re: Blended Whiskies - April 3-12

Postby Ganga » Mon Apr 13, 2009 12:55 am

:D I ran out of Scottish blends Willie. However, it is an interesting contrast and worth doing sometime...even if on a limited basis.
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Re: Blended Whiskies - April 3-12

Postby Willie JJ » Mon Apr 13, 2009 1:06 am

Water in the Te Bheag really brings fruit to the nose. There's oranges and barley that were hardly in evidence before and the palate and finish are much less salty and more citrussy. The finish has lime juice on it. Really good whisky, both with and without water, but quite different either way.
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Re: Blended Whiskies - April 3-12

Postby Ganga » Mon Apr 13, 2009 1:10 am

Jameson 12 on the rocks has a very similar nose to the NAS, just a little bit richer. I really like the fleshy fruits on the nose compared to citrus and things like apples. Palate has kind of a strawberries dipped in dark chocolate on the palate. Really nice whisky on the rocks.

Does this make me an infidel?
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Re: Blended Whiskies - April 3-12

Postby Willie JJ » Mon Apr 13, 2009 1:15 am

So is it better with or without water? My opinion is unchanged; it is just different. I still, in general, prefer it undilute and would love to play around with cask strength blends. I guess, in principle, what I don't like is someone else deciding how I will drink my drink. Give it to me straight and I'll make my own mind up.

Anyway that's me done for the night. Cheers to everyone for the notes and especially to Ganga for the organisation and the herculean effort with this tasting.
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Re: Blended Whiskies - April 3-12

Postby mikeymad » Mon Apr 13, 2009 1:16 am

Nice liquid Easter Dinner..

Cheers,
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Re: Blended Whiskies - April 3-12

Postby Willie JJ » Mon Apr 13, 2009 1:16 am

Ganga wrote:Jameson 12 on the rocks has a very similar nose to the NAS, just a little bit richer. I really like the fleshy fruits on the nose compared to citrus and things like apples. Palate has kind of a strawberries dipped in dark chocolate on the palate. Really nice whisky on the rocks.

Does this make me an infidel?

You've tried it all ways and that's the way you like it so how can that be wrong?
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Re: Blended Whiskies - April 3-12

Postby Willie JJ » Mon Apr 13, 2009 1:17 am

Hi Mikey. I was just about to depart.
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Re: Blended Whiskies - April 3-12

Postby mikeymad » Mon Apr 13, 2009 1:19 am

Saw you on Chat first Willie...

Pretty late over there...

But I guess I will have one Blend....

Little JW Gold... from ganga.
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Re: Blended Whiskies - April 3-12

Postby Ganga » Mon Apr 13, 2009 1:23 am

One last effort, Jameson 12 chilled in the freezer.

Frozen fruits, hoarfrost. Warming to thawed peaches and straw.

Peach, mango smoothie. Lightly malty.

This is freakin' fantastic. This is like one of those fruity alcohol drinks-daquiri, margarita, sex on the beach...
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Re: Blended Whiskies - April 3-12

Postby Ganga » Mon Apr 13, 2009 1:25 am

Willie, this one is absolutely the best (for me) in a chilled glass. The fruits seem to condense and then you get a kick from the alcohol content following. :D
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Re: Blended Whiskies - April 3-12

Postby mikeymad » Mon Apr 13, 2009 1:36 am

JW Gold -

Some nice malt and light citrus in the nose... drinks with a touch of cinnamon and caramel.. very smooth with a touch of heat on the end.
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Re: Blended Whiskies - April 3-12

Postby Ganga » Mon Apr 13, 2009 1:36 am

Well, I'm out of blends. I found this to be one of the most enlightening tastings we've held thus far. Maybe we can do this one again next fall.
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