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Blended Scotch

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Blended Scotch

Postby Iain » Sat Mar 02, 2002 11:46 pm

Confused as ever, I was wondering...

As the world's favourite whisky is blended Scotch, does everyone agree that whisky writers should spend more time writing tasting notes and features on the wide range of excellent blended Scotches available to the whisky-drinking public? (and warning us of the bad ones too, of course).

And less time writing about boring old fuddy-duddy single malt Scotch whisky, which is enjoyed by a relatively small number of people?
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Postby Steve » Sun Mar 03, 2002 7:52 pm

I agree they (and I include Michael Jackson's book in this) should rate the blends, especially the major ones. I would expect there to be more single malts available than blends, however, so can understand why there is more written about them, not to mention the fact that malt whisky is intrinsically of better quality and taste than blended whisky, which includes inferior grain whisky.

And fuddy duddy?

I'd rather be a fuddy duddy than have to drink the paint stripper-esque blends I could mention.........
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Postby BruceCrichton » Sun Mar 03, 2002 8:26 pm

I think blends are highly underrated as is grain whisky. Cameron Brig is excellent at it's standard age and even better at 11 yr old and 64%vol!

A good whisky is a good whisky regardless of the cost. My friend and I have drunk some single malts which retail at £20 and above which are disgusting and have drunk blends which retail at £10 which have been superb.

And the best way to drink whisky is with a funnel.........
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Postby Iain » Sun Mar 03, 2002 10:25 pm

I must agree with Bruce, and disagree with the old saw "There's no such thing as a bad whisky...".

I enjoy whisky, but I have had one or two(blends and single malts) that certainly weren't good!
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Postby Deactivated Member » Mon Mar 04, 2002 4:50 pm

Hi Iain,

You are absolutely right, I think that it would be a good start if Whisky Magazine, starts to make some more articles on that, how some blends are being produced, their specific characteristics etc. To complete the whole thing lots and lots of tasting notes, made by the regulars like Dave Broom, Michael jackson, or even invite guys like John Ramsay and Richard Patterson to write some notes. Brands like Grouse, Black Bottle, Cutty Sark, Dewars White Mackay etc shouldn't put away on a side track. I personally find it, from time to time very enjoyable to have a blend, I mean what's wrong with that???
No I'm in, on pushing the blends a little more forward. I must admit that in my old days, all blends where out of the question, but when time passes by I learnd to appreciate them more and more.

Tally Ho,

Erik


[This message has been edited by Huurman (edited 04 March 2002).]
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Postby St.Peat » Tue Mar 05, 2002 9:39 am

Yes!!

I would like to read more features about blends, and have the articles fully researched just like the singles' stories.

And, in conjunction with those pieces, I would also like to hear more about single grains in circulation and production these days.

Marcine reads these posts, so I would imagine that he will put someone to the task in the near future. (?) Image
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Postby Opi » Tue Mar 05, 2002 7:04 pm

Interested in blended scotch whisky I can recommend Jim Murrays Classic Blended Scotch (published 1999, Prion Books Ltd.).

It includes chapters about the main single grains as well as history of blending and of course the profiles of blenders and their brands.
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Postby BruceCrichton » Wed Mar 06, 2002 12:12 am

I second the recommendation of Jim Murray's book.

Discoveries through this book include such gems as 'Dew Of Ben Nevis' and 'Islay Mist'and 'Claymore' which are fantastic.

Also try 'Scotch and Irish Whisky' by Carol P. Shaw which details some of the more obscure blends going about.
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Postby Iain » Wed Mar 06, 2002 10:10 am

I'd like to add Stefan Gabbanyi's book, which is an excellent wee reference guide to whisky companies, whisky brands, etc.

ps: Jim Murrays's book is excellent, but are some of those tasting notes fanciful and overblown, or wot? :-)
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Postby Ileach » Tue Mar 26, 2002 7:38 am

Bearing in mind that blends are supposed to offer consistency throughout the years, it would be enough to conduct a tasting once every few years - a 10 yr old blend XY bottled in 2002 would not taste any different than the same 10 yr old blend bottled five, ten or twenty years ago.

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Postby Iain » Tue Mar 26, 2002 10:03 am

What a great idea for an article, Ileach. Set up a blind tasting of individual blends comparing the whiskies bottled recently, 5 years ago, and 10 years ago - or older, if the bottle can be found.

I suspect that, for many, the taste and character will be found to have shifted quite dramatically over the years.
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Postby lexkraai » Tue Mar 26, 2002 12:24 pm

I agree, this would be very interesting!

Marcin .... idea???


Cheers, Lex
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Postby Opi » Wed Mar 27, 2002 9:50 am

Hi whisky-lovers,

the idea tasting the same blend produced in different years is great. There must be a difference between those blends, because the blender never has had the same base whiskies for such a long time, even more so after 1980 when many distilleries went silent.

By comparing old expressions of the same Whisky (not only blended) with bottlings from years before - how is it possible to reproduce such bottlings as the Macallan replica that not only looks like the old bottle but should have the (nearly) same taste (as the producers say). Or look at the Macallan series the 20s, the 30s,...
How do they know ?
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Postby Opi » Wed Mar 27, 2002 10:01 am

Hi again,

in Germany exist a blended whisky called "Racke Rauchzart" (formerly labeled as Red Fox in the early years). It´s a blend of scotch malt and grain whiskies now, but formerly the company used german corn whisky for the grain part.
I had the "luck" to taste both expressions and there have been an enermous difference. The older expression had a more `metallic´ taste - try a german corn whisky and you know what I mean. The newer blend comes along the standard smoky scotch blends and is not as bad as some say (just because it´s a german whisky product?).
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Novelty Finishes Poll

Postby Ileach » Mon Apr 01, 2002 5:35 pm

You guys from whiskymag.com really know how to find out what whisky lovers all over the world think of recent developments in the whisky industry:

"Novelty finishes: a passing fad or here to stay?"

possible answers: yes / no / maybe.

So, if I choose "yes", do I say, "yes, they are a passing fad"? or "yes, they are here to stay"? or "yes, they are a passing fad OR here to stay"?

And, pardon my question, what meaning do you extract from the answer "maybe"?

"Maybe they're a passing fad or here to stay", "maybe they're neither a passing fad nor here to stay", et cetera, et cetera...


I bet the marketing departments of Glenmorangie or Springbank can't wait to see the results . . . Image

Ileach
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Postby BruceCrichton » Mon Apr 01, 2002 6:55 pm

I hope it isn't a passing fad.

A couple of the big name blended whiskies are greatly improved by a new finish as a re a couple of big name malts. Other whiskies are a waste of money and time.

As always it depends on the whiskies and finishes involved.
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Postby Brigid » Tue Apr 02, 2002 8:55 am

Ileach,

Thanks for that...the poll is due for a change anyway!

Brigid
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Postby bartok » Thu Apr 11, 2002 3:53 am

The Balvenie12 doublewood is nice.Does anyone prefer the 10 without the finish?
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Postby hpulley » Thu Apr 11, 2002 11:29 am

I prefer the Doublewood highly over the 10yo. It is the only speyside I've liked enough to buy as of yet, but I'm still doing lots of experimenting at tasting parties.

Bowmore Darkest is my favorite Bowmore too. I enjoy regular and novelty finished whiskies and I hope distilleries will continue to produce both.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Thu Apr 11, 2002 2:56 pm

Ileach,

You make a good point here, it's not very much clear what to fill in, so that's why I didn't fill in anything at all.
I can't say that it's a passing fad, I think that there are lots of connoisseurs who loves a very good novelty finish, and I believe that as long as there's a high demand for it on the market, why stop? So MAYBE they are here to stay?, or if the producers decide otherwise, then it will be a NO and it is a passing fad?, or still YES because the financial figures seems to be OK?
It's difficult to fill in such a "Poll" with the only answers YES/NO/MAYBE...

Keep on Finishing,

Erik
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Postby Ian_Hamilton » Fri Apr 12, 2002 9:00 pm

Hi
I think the novelty finishes are here to stay because there are loads of whisky lovers out there you want to try them, the poor ones will go but more will come in their place.
People who love a certain whisky will always want to try any finishes of that whisky!
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Postby bartok » Sat Apr 13, 2002 1:20 am

Hi Ian_Hamilton- I agree,I wish I could get those novelty finishes in the Classic Malt Line (Lagavulin and Talisker),but living in the USA I have never seen them.
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Postby hpulley » Sat Apr 13, 2002 12:22 pm

No Distiller's Edition Lagavulin Pedro Xemenez finished where you are? Would you make a road trip to Ontario for one? The LCBO has that one for just $5 CND more than Lagavulin 16.

[This message has been edited by hpulley (edited 13 April 2002).]
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Postby BruceCrichton » Sun Apr 14, 2002 11:03 pm

I much prefer the Balvenie 10 yr old to the 12. The 10 yr is like warm honey in a glass.

The 12 yr old is too clever for it's own good and works about as well as putting make-up on a swan.
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