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Your Own Vatting/Blend

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Re: Your Own Vatting/Blend

Postby The Third Dram » Wed Aug 26, 2009 4:24 pm

jmrl wrote:What to use to stitch it all together?

Further to this discussion, you may possibly find an article I penned of some interest. Go to http://www.cigarweekly.com and look for my A Rich Pour Column No. 13, entitled One For All & All For One. Although this piece only addresses the vatting of Scotch malt whiskies, it does offer my personal take on what works and what does not.

The 2 primary keys, as I see it, are to settle on a specific taste-parameter goal before even addressing the selection of whiskies you'll choose, and to use one, a couple or no more than a few malts as your 'core' whiskies in the blend. It's critical to harmonize the wood regimens of the various spirits selected while not 'losing' the main characteristics of any of the constituent components.

Given that you seem to be contemplating utilizing a significant grain whisky component in the blending process, it occurs to me that there are two major potential strategies you might adopt - either to try younger grain whiskies as a foil to the older malts, or to go with older grain spirits so that they meld seamlessly with the more venerable malts. I'd think the former tact would offer the benefit of greater overall liveliness, while the latter would lead to a more 'serene' and more heavily wood influenced blend.

Hope I've been of some little help here.

Doug
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Re: Your Own Vatting/Blend

Postby jmrl » Wed Aug 26, 2009 8:15 pm

Hmmm. Thanks Doug. I'll report back after some experiments and reading your article.
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Re: Your Own Vatting/Blend

Postby jmrl » Wed Aug 26, 2009 8:51 pm

A very good article, some food for thought. I like the point of using something like Springbank or HP as the glue.

By the way is your book available in the UK: I'm a bit of a whisky book anorak.
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Re: Your Own Vatting/Blend

Postby Drammed » Thu Aug 27, 2009 12:44 am

I don't think this has been mentioned but I like to mix 2 parts Dalwhinnie 15 yr with 1 part Isle of Jura Superstition. a Dal Jura if you will. The little bit of Superstition really helps cut the floral taste of the Dalwhinnie and replaces it with a slight smokey flavour but it retains the maners of the Dalwhinnie. very enjoyable :thumbsup:
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Re: Your Own Vatting/Blend

Postby Ganga » Fri Sep 18, 2009 4:33 am

Vatted Glenlivet 12 with a'bunadh batch 10. Predominantly Glenlivet but the a'bunadh was dominant. Still it didn't really reflect the individual whiskies but was rather something different. It was ok.

Next up is a vatting 1:1 of Glenlivet 12 and the Signatory Orkney 8. Turns it into an herbal Glenlivet. cocoanut, pineapple, herbs, papaya?, and a few other fruits.
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Re: Your Own Vatting/Blend

Postby Ganga » Fri Sep 25, 2009 4:49 am

Dribbling some a'bunadh into the Lismore. Well, it makes the Lismore more tolerable but doesn't really come up with something that's worthy of more experiment.
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Re: Your Own Vatting/Blend

Postby Ganga » Fri Sep 25, 2009 5:39 am

Made a blend tonight. Nice pour of a'bunadh batch 21 and about 10% Sazerac rye. Really is quite tasty. You get just that little component of rye placed on top of the chocolate, nuts, and fruits from the Aberlour.
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Re: Your Own Vatting/Blend

Postby Ganga » Fri Sep 25, 2009 7:21 am

Aberfrog. If you want your Aberlour to have big sherry and a big shot of peat. As you can tell, this is Aberlour and Laphroaig. Gives you a big hit of both.
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Re: Your Own Vatting/Blend

Postby 37degrees » Fri Sep 25, 2009 9:42 pm

My first attempt:

The NAS Connamara which I didn't love, and a rather boring Famous Grouse. Approx. half and half. The result is probably better than both the originals.
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Re: Your Own Vatting/Blend

Postby AdamMY » Sat Sep 26, 2009 5:07 am

Made an Irish American or Black Mark, mix of Bushmills black bush, and Makers Mark. Nose is a spicy trail mix, with raisins nuts, and oats. with a dusting of pepper.

And I must say the taste of this is closer to the black bush, but the finish is all makers mark... which I must say highlights some of the better aspects of both. Not bad at all. Although I think something might be off with my tastebuds today as the glass of black bush I had earlier was so incredibly smooth it tasted like sherried water with no alcohol.
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Re: Your Own Vatting/Blend

Postby Liechtenstein » Thu Oct 01, 2009 2:13 am

The guy I'm working for at the moment gave me three 950ml cans of Budweiser beer because his wife told him to stop drinking.

I was thinking of making my own «vatting» by pouring some whisky into the beer (tomorrow evening).

This is what I'm willing to use in the beer:

-Bowmore 18
-Laga 16
-Caol Ila 12
-Talisker 10
-Bushmills Black Bush
-Jim Beam Black

Any suggestions on what would go well with Bud's «Beechwood Aged» taste?

:?:
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Re: Your Own Vatting/Blend

Postby AdamMY » Thu Oct 01, 2009 3:45 am

Makers mark, Famous grouse and a bit of black bush. Honeyed spice bread.

But quite spicy, peppery on the taste buds. And Its got a unique finish this pulls it all together.

It would be great if it was a bit lighter on the peppers.
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Re: Your Own Vatting/Blend

Postby lockejn » Thu Oct 01, 2009 12:26 pm

AdamMY wrote:Makers mark, Famous grouse and a bit of black bush. Honeyed spice bread.

But quite spicy, peppery on the taste buds. And Its got a unique finish this pulls it all together.

It would be great if it was a bit lighter on the peppers.

That really sounds divine. Equal parts of each?
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Re: Your Own Vatting/Blend

Postby Ganga » Thu Oct 01, 2009 5:29 pm

Liechtenstein wrote:The guy I'm working for at the moment gave me three 950ml cans of Budweiser beer because his wife told him to stop drinking.

I was thinking of making my own «vatting» by pouring some whisky into the beer (tomorrow evening).

This is what I'm willing to use in the beer:

-Bowmore 18
-Laga 16
-Caol Ila 12
-Talisker 10
-Bushmills Black Bush
-Jim Beam Black

Any suggestions on what would go well with Bud's «Beechwood Aged» taste?

:?:


I'd suggest a couple of different attempts. Afterall you have a fair bit of Bud. I think Jim Beam has the best potential for working really well. The oily, peaty nature of the CI12 would likely be quite interesting featured on the canvas of hops. Laga16 and it smoky sherry based sounds interesting but may not work. And here's the nice thing, you can fill a glass with the brew and keep adding a little whisky until it's proven to be unenjoyable or gets drinkable.

The one I don't think would work very well is the Bowmore 18.
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Re: Your Own Vatting/Blend

Postby jmrl » Thu Oct 01, 2009 9:51 pm

Well I tried out the this blending lark on my, paying, guinea pigs. There was a lot of misunderstandings initially. I thought I was mixing about 10 vintage malts into one blend but I discovered the bottles were to be individualised gifts featuring 2, 3 or 4 vintages in the mix. The first was simple as only two vintages were called for. !969 and 1991. So G&M Miltonduff (heavily sherried) and Cadenheads 18yo cask strength Tamdhu from a Bourbon cask were put together. The Miltonduff was a sherry monster so absorbed loads of the sweet gentle Tamdhu. If anything it spun out the more expensive bottle and the 35% of Tamdhu left little mark.

Next was another ancient G&M sherry block buster. 1960 Strathisla mixed with Cadenhead 1970 Glenlivet 35yo cask strength sherry cask and some younger Bourbon cask speysides (I can't find my recipe notes) then a 2007 26 month old Kilchoman. The Islay had to be treated very carefully, about 2%, and water was added- about 10%. The result took away some of the tired elements from the old stuff and the Islay could have been more influencial.

My knees were really knocking together with this one but with luck and common sense the results were drinkable. Perhaps they will only be mantlepiece trophies. My admiration for proffessional blenders went from high exponentially to utter wonder. I hope to try more of this.

Simply blind pouring remnants together again gave some thing not unpleasant but devoid of any solid personality.
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Re: Your Own Vatting/Blend

Postby AdamMY » Fri Oct 02, 2009 2:29 am

lockejn wrote:
AdamMY wrote:Makers mark, Famous grouse and a bit of black bush. Honeyed spice bread.

But quite spicy, peppery on the taste buds. And Its got a unique finish this pulls it all together.

It would be great if it was a bit lighter on the peppers.

That really sounds divine. Equal parts of each?



I had a few drams of Makers mark left in the bottle, to that I added roughly the equivalent of the Grouse, and I had about one dram of black bush left, which I added to the mix.

so its about 3 parts each Makers Mark and Grouse, and 1 part BB
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Re: Your Own Vatting/Blend

Postby Liechtenstein » Mon Oct 05, 2009 12:47 am

Ganga wrote:
Liechtenstein wrote:The guy I'm working for at the moment gave me three 950ml cans of Budweiser beer because his wife told him to stop drinking.

I was thinking of making my own «vatting» by pouring some whisky into the beer (tomorrow evening).

This is what I'm willing to use in the beer:

-Bowmore 18
-Laga 16
-Caol Ila 12
-Talisker 10
-Bushmills Black Bush
-Jim Beam Black

Any suggestions on what would go well with Bud's «Beechwood Aged» taste?

:?:


I'd suggest a couple of different attempts. Afterall you have a fair bit of Bud. I think Jim Beam has the best potential for working really well. The oily, peaty nature of the CI12 would likely be quite interesting featured on the canvas of hops. Laga16 and it smoky sherry based sounds interesting but may not work. And here's the nice thing, you can fill a glass with the brew and keep adding a little whisky until it's proven to be unenjoyable or gets drinkable.

The one I don't think would work very well is the Bowmore 18.


Thanks, Ganga, for your thoughts on this matter. Here are my findings:

I always drink craft beer now and will only have a commercial beer if it is served to me at someone's home. I had not had Budweiser in many years so I first tasted their product neat: «watery» is the only word that comes to mind to describe Bud. This beer is surprisingly light tasting - almost delicate, like a pink rose - and it is not my style of beer at all. I prefer bold and assertive brews.

The Caol Ila 12 was a disaster as a match for the Bud. Actually, only a few drops of any of the scotches would overpower the Bud. You did predict correctly that Jim Beam Black would be the best match...I can't say the match was good...it was just less offensive than any of the Islands or Irish whiskies.

My 3 Big Cans of Bud are gone. I like doing this kind of experiment!

:empty:
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Re: Your Own Vatting/Blend

Postby lancj1 » Thu Oct 08, 2009 5:24 pm

I had a Talivulin or Lagasker (work it out...) by accident at the weekend, when my farther in law topped us up in the hotel bar, pouring the dram he got on his round into the almost still full dram I already had. It was interesting, but not sure I would choose it over either individual brand
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Re: Your Own Vatting/Blend

Postby 37degrees » Fri Mar 12, 2010 5:03 pm

The Highland Park 12 is said to be a bit thin though it has a very nice taste. The Knappogue Castle 1995 has some thick maltiness I think, but apart from that it's quite boring. The half and half mix is better than the originals.
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Re: Your Own Vatting/Blend

Postby Ganga » Sun Mar 14, 2010 12:10 am

Arigh nam Farclas last week. Really was very beggy but it had the cherry note from the Glenfarclas 11.
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Re: Your Own Vatting/Blend

Postby robbi@laurenson.com » Sun Oct 10, 2010 6:16 am

I find I've been struggling with a couple of malts, Dalwhinnie 15 and Cragganmore 12 in particular. I find them pleasant and unoffensive, but not much more than that. They need a certain 'something' to wake them up.

I find the Caol Ila profile works very well for this task: it doesn't overpower the host whisky but adds depth and dimension to make it genuinely enjoyable without having to hunt for appreciation in the tasting.

CI 12 has become a routine 'whisky saviour' for lackluster malts that would otherwise languish in my cupboard.
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Re: Your Own Vatting/Blend

Postby Ganga » Mon Oct 11, 2010 6:21 pm

I've done my own blending of Glen Moray and Ardbeg. I call it Sarindipity. :D
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Re: Your Own Vatting/Blend

Postby mikeymad » Mon Oct 11, 2010 6:52 pm

Could go all Tolkien - Sarumandipity..
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Re: Your Own Vatting/Blend

Postby lockejn » Mon Oct 11, 2010 7:24 pm

robbi@laurenson.com wrote:I find I've been struggling with a couple of malts, Dalwhinnie 15 and Cragganmore 12 in particular. I find them pleasant and unoffensive, but not much more than that. They need a certain 'something' to wake them up.

I find the Caol Ila profile works very well for this task: it doesn't overpower the host whisky but adds depth and dimension to make it genuinely enjoyable without having to hunt for appreciation in the tasting.

CI 12 has become a routine 'whisky saviour' for lackluster malts that would otherwise languish in my cupboard.

I agree that the CI 12 is a great choice for adding some smoke and peat to another whisky without overpowering it. It just seems to compliment a wide range of profiles.

I find Clynelish helps give some dimension to flat or plain whiskies, though it can really hurt to pour a fine whisky into anything but my mouth.
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Re: Your Own Vatting/Blend

Postby The Third Dram » Wed Oct 13, 2010 12:37 am

A spur of the moment melange, consisting of:

A drop of Ardbeg Uigeadail
A drop or two of Highland Park 15 Year Old Earl Magnus
A drop or two of Old Pulteney 12 Year Old
A few drops of Glenlivet 15 Year Old French Oak Reserve

This combination has it all. :thumbsup:
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Re: Your Own Vatting/Blend

Postby Ganga » Wed Oct 13, 2010 3:56 am

mikeymad wrote:Could go all Tolkien - Sarumandipity..

or Saurondipity
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Re: Your Own Vatting/Blend

Postby Ganga » Fri Nov 19, 2010 5:09 am

4:1 Glenmo 10 to Tali 10. Not bad, especially for those looking to add a little spice/smoke to the Glenmo.
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Re: Your Own Vatting/Blend

Postby Ganga » Fri Nov 19, 2010 5:26 am

4:1 Glenmo 10-HP 12. Definitely not as good as the Tali. HP just doesn't come through strong enough and the Glenmo is disappearing.
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Re: Your Own Vatting/Blend

Postby The Third Dram » Tue Nov 30, 2010 7:33 pm

Ganga... I find that you have to be a little more cautious when combining predominantly ex-Bourbon barrel matured and ex-European Sherry oak matured malts together, as the fruity and spicy qualities of each don't always meld that well (i.e. they, as in your experience mentioned above, sometimes tend to cancel one another out rather than enhance one another). Plus the Glenmorangie possesses such a delicately complex palate presence to begin with.

I usually utilize Highland Park as a 'crossover' (perhaps 'binder' is a more descriptive term) malt in my home blends rather than as one of the core malts, as it provides a balanced flavour profile including most of the primary taste constituents (sweet honeyed malt, heather, salt, subtle peat).

I bet a combination along the lines of 7 parts Glenmorangie, 2 parts Highland Park and 1 part of an ex-Bourbon barrel Islay (10YO Ardbeg, 10YO Laphroaig or 12YO Cask Strength Lagavulin, for instance) might pleasantly surprise you!
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Re: Your Own Vatting/Blend

Postby Ganga » Wed Dec 01, 2010 12:45 am

I will have to try this one on Thursday during our chat.
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Re: Your Own Vatting/Blend

Postby Ganga » Thu Dec 02, 2010 2:47 am

Ok this is a day early. 7:1:1 maybe 8:1:1 but generally that range. Glenmo 10: HP 12: Laphroaig 10. The Glenhighlanphroaig.

Nose: There is evidence of some qualities of each. Sweet malty characteristic with some thrashed straw, wee bit of honey, composted seaweed, milk chocolate (not dark), sawdust.
Palate: Hm, not sure about the Glenmo but the other two are immediately present. Chocolate licorice, iodine, sea spray, beach bonfire.
Finish: There's the Glenmo. Lingering. Ultra sweet chocolate licorice in a sauce pan over that beach fire.
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Re: Your Own Vatting/Blend

Postby The Third Dram » Tue Dec 07, 2010 12:14 am

Evocatively stated, Ganga. Sounds tasty indeed. :thumbsup:

As it happens, I spent the better part of the afternoon today concocting a couple of home-blended malts for Holiday Season gift-giving.

I concentrated on utilizing open bottles and smaller 'library' samples for these two...

First up, a coastal & island accentuated blended malt whisky:

A melding of 14 malt whiskies clocking in at 43.4% alcohol by volume.

My aim here was to create a clean, complex and vibrant whisky with a slight emphasis on ex-Bourbon cask maturation as well as more than a hint of marine-like and smoke-infused characteristics to balance the malt sweetness.

Ardbeg Old Malt Cask 10 Year Old Distilled 1990 & Bottled 2001
Arran Bourbon Single Cask Distilled 1998 & Bottled 2009
Benriach Curiositas 10 Year Old
Brora Rare Malts Selection Cask Strength 20 Year Old Distilled 1982 & Bottled 2003
Caol Ila Distillers Edition Moscatel Cask Finish Distilled 1996 & Bottled 2008
Highland Park Earl Magnus 15 Year Old
Lagavulin Cask Strength 12 Year Old Bottled 2004
Laphroaig 15 Year Old
Longrow CV
Oban Distillers Edition Montilla Fino Cask Finish Distilled 1983 & Bottled 2000
Old Pulteney 12 Year Old
Scapa 12 Year Old
Springbank 10 Year Old
Talisker 10 Year Old

Colour: Bright 14-Carat gold.
Nose: An overtly medicinal fragrance softened by malt notes. Lemon curd meets machine oil. Saltine crackers. A hint of grapefruit.
Palate: At once sharply etched and oily textured, with salt, pepper and peat encapsulating notions of vanilla, liquorice, citrus, Granny Smith apples, pears and almonds.
Finish: Ever so slightly drier as the flavours coalesce and the oak grips. Then a whisper of lingering sweetness.

Next up, a Highland & Sherry cask accentuated blended malt whisky:

A melding of 21 malts coming in at 48.6% alcohol by volume.

My aim here was to create a rich and notably Sherry cask enhanced whisky combining the attributes of youthful vigour and greater maturity, with an emphasis on Highland-derived complexity.

Aberlour a'bunadh Cask Strength Batch No. 6
Arran Sherry Single Cask Distilled 1998 & Bottled 2009
Auchentoshan Three Wood
Bowmore Sherry Matured Cask Strength 16 Year Old Distilled 1990
Braeval Old Malt Cask Sherry Butt Matured 10 Year Old
Brora Rare Malts Selection Cask Strength 20 Year Old Distilled 1982 & Bottled 2003
Dallas Dhu Historic Scotland Cask Strength 24 Year Old Distilled 1982
Dalwhinnie 15 Year Old
Dufftown 12 Year Old
Glen Elgin Cask Strength 16 Year Old
Glenfarclas 25 Year Old
Glengoyne Cask Strength 12 Year Old
Glen Keith 10 Year Old
Glenlivet French Oak Finish 12 Year Old
Highland Park 25 Year Old
Longmorn 16 Year Old
Macallan Cask Strength
Mortlach Rare Malts Selection Cask Strength 22 Year Old Distilled 1972
Royal Lochnagar 12 Year Old
Springbank 10 Year Old
Talisker Distillers Edition Amoroso Cask Finish Distilled 1986

Colour: Amber gold.
Nose: Composed. Heather and honey along with dried apricots, sultanas and figs. Crêpe Suzette. A whiff of polished oak.
Palate: A overture of glycerine-textured sweetness. Pecan fruitcake. Seville orange marmalade. Then cocoa, cinnamon and coffee nuances as the oak begins to play a more prominent role.
Finish: Spicier still as warming embers lend a salt-tinged, bittersweet note. Long and balanced.

I think the first blend will make for an excellent pre-dinner dram while the second is obviously better suited for post prandial pouring.
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Re: Your Own Vatting/Blend

Postby Megawatt » Sat Mar 05, 2011 5:18 am

I've been mixing some Springbank 12 year old cask strength with Bowmore Tempest. Usually just a splash of Springbank but tonight I used about a 3:1 ratio. It adds a nice fruitiness and complexity to the Tempest, which is a nice whisky but rather simple on its own.
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Re: Your Own Vatting/Blend

Postby Ganga » Sun Apr 24, 2011 6:09 am

This is the total whoops vatting.

Knockando 1983, 18 yo and the Macallan Speymalt 1993, 9 yo.

Survey says...

Dominated by the mushroominess of the Speymalt. Too bad. :(
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Re: Your Own Vatting/Blend

Postby AdamMY » Thu Feb 16, 2012 6:21 am

A roughly 1:1 Glen Moray Classic and Ardmore Traditional Casks.

Is there such a thing as clean peat? This loses a lot of the young character that Glen Moray Classic has, while getting a slight touch of peat and depth from the Ardmore TC. Not sure if I like this better or worse than the Ardmore TC by itself.

Ardmore TC by itself has far more honey with hints of peat. While this Vatting is Lemon drops and peat. Honestly depends on how much you want the fresh lemon taste.
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