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Vatted Malts, experiences?

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Vatted Malts, experiences?

Postby Elagabalus » Sat Nov 01, 2008 7:40 pm

This topic is mainly for those who would like to clarify and offer their own insight and opinions on vatted malts.

I thought about this topic after realizing that I've been returning to Johnnie Walker Green Label quiet often, especially as of late, and indeed bought another bottle just last night.

The condescension shown blended whiskies seems to have left JW Green untouched. Is this because it is a Vatted Malt? It's quite highly rated by many of you on the forum. I believe this vatted malt is an exceptional bargain in terms of price for value and vice versa.

What are your thoughts on vatted malts in general? Are they the "bourgeois" category of scotch, where blended whiskies that contain grain are proletarian, and single malts being patrician or "aristocratic" scotch?

I'd like to try some other vatted malts, but the selection at the LCBO I am sure will be rather small.

Any recommendations?
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Re: Vatted Malts, experiences?

Postby Mr Fjeld » Sat Nov 01, 2008 10:34 pm

Haha, that's a quite funny post. I understand where you're going and in some ways I'd say the description is spot on. Just as the Les Grands Crus classes en 1855 is seriously out of "sync" so is the common perception of quality regarding vatted, single malt and blended. I'd say irish blended whiskies can be just as good as scottish single malts - and there's no reason why a vatted malt cannot be just as good as a single malt. Given the right single malt contributions I'd say a blender should be able to create a fab vatted malt. I think the popular view is more influenced by stereotypes than facts. IMO.

Elagabalus wrote:This topic is mainly for those who would like to clarify and offer their own insight and opinions on vatted malts.

I thought about this topic after realizing that I've been returning to Johnnie Walker Green Label quiet often, especially as of late, and indeed bought another bottle just last night.

The condescension shown blended whiskies seems to have left JW Green untouched. Is this because it is a Vatted Malt? It's quite highly rated by many of you on the forum. I believe this vatted malt is an exceptional bargain in terms of price for value and vice versa.

What are your thoughts on vatted malts in general? Are they the "bourgeois" category of scotch, where blended whiskies that contain grain are proletarian, and single malts being patrician or "aristocratic" scotch?

I'd like to try some other vatted malts, but the selection at the LCBO I am sure will be rather small.

Any recommendations?
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Re: Vatted Malts, experiences?

Postby Reggaeblues » Sat Nov 01, 2008 11:34 pm

I just posted on "Supermarket Deals" in response to a question" Does anyone actually like Bells?" that they actually do a pretty decent, eminently drinkable vatted malt...which I would choose over a few "respected" bog standard SMS anyday.

Agree with C57 re: Monkey Shoulder...a class act, as are some of the Compass Box offerings.

...and HERE'S a great vatting!! "Black Bottle" with a few drops of just about any of your fave Islay malts! I've added a splash of Laphroaig(QC and CS) Ardbeg 10, even Lagavulin 16 :shock: :shock:

"EXcellent, dude!"

What an amazing base it is for these additions! such versatility! such value for money! Easy drinking heaven!!

Shucks, I should be their PR man...
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Re: Vatted Malts, experiences?

Postby Gov » Sun Nov 02, 2008 3:48 am

Love JWG!!! I would also like to recommend Jon, Mark & Robbos "smokey peaty one", very good value!
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Re: Vatted Malts, experiences?

Postby Deactivated Member » Sun Nov 02, 2008 9:42 am

I would definitely recommend the Compass Box range.
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Re: Vatted Malts, experiences?

Postby BruceCrichton » Sun Nov 02, 2008 12:52 pm

Gordon and Macphail's 'Pride of Speyside' and 'Pride of Orkney' are superb.
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Re: Vatted Malts, experiences?

Postby The Scotch Chix » Mon Nov 03, 2008 3:29 am

There is a company called Eades in Virginia in the United States who have just begun selling a vatted malt that they call a "Double Malt" (a vatting of two single malts from the same region).

Their selection is definitely geared toward the American palate in that all their vatted malts are slightly sweet, but they are smooth and IMHO pretty decent. Their goal is to become the first Scottish style distillery in the United States. I know there is an organization in Texas also gearing up to do the same thing, so it looks like there will be a race for first.

There is already one in Canada.

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Re: Vatted Malts, experiences?

Postby Reggaeblues » Mon Nov 03, 2008 11:12 am

Collector57 wrote:Hmmm... are you sure you're not?
All those free drams at gigs - sounds suspicious to me :P


If I was, I wouldn't be playing in pubs!!

Those free drams are a mark of the esteem in which I am held, of course!!

...snf BTW, I always carry an empty bottle of water in my car, just in case someone lays a "free dram" on me which would put me over the limit...but which is too good to refuse!(It happened recently witha Lagavulin 16 - FAR too good to turn down!)
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Re: Vatted Malts, experiences?

Postby Reggaeblues » Mon Nov 03, 2008 11:18 am

Gov wrote:Love JWG!!! I would also like to recommend Jon, Mark & Robbos "smokey peaty one", very good value!


Is JWG a vatted malt, or a malt/grain mix? I believe it's the latter sez Mr. Anorak!

I loved it when offered in a bar - so I bought a bottle at duty free which has been a real disappointment - maybe a poor batch. Just "flat" somehow, without the creaminess i found in my "bar dram"
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Re: Vatted Malts, experiences?

Postby martin grant » Mon Nov 03, 2008 11:57 am

Reggaeblues wrote:
Gov wrote:Love JWG!!! I would also like to recommend Jon, Mark & Robbos "smokey peaty one", very good value!


Is JWG a vatted malt, or a malt/grain mix? I believe it's the latter sez Mr. Anorak!

I loved it when offered in a bar - so I bought a bottle at duty free which has been a real disappointment - maybe a poor batch. Just "flat" somehow, without the creaminess i found in my "bar dram"


JWG is definitely a vatted malt. With change from £30 a bottle, it's a pretty good buy
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Re: Vatted Malts, experiences?

Postby Reggaeblues » Tue Nov 04, 2008 4:00 pm

martin grant wrote:
Reggaeblues wrote:
Gov wrote:Love JWG!!! I would also like to recommend Jon, Mark & Robbos "smokey peaty one", very good value!


Is JWG a vatted malt, or a malt/grain mix? I believe it's the latter sez Mr. Anorak!

I loved it when offered in a bar - so I bought a bottle at duty free which has been a real disappointment - maybe a poor batch. Just "flat" somehow, without the creaminess i found in my "bar dram"


JWG is definitely a vatted malt. With change from £30 a bottle, it's a pretty good buy


Sorry folks, brainfade! :oops: For JWG I read " JWGold..." which is the one that disppointed. Of course "G" also stands for "Green" which is all malt.
I don't have a bottle, so remind me...is it not a vatting of Talisker; Linkwood: Clynelish; Cragganmore;there's one more I think...Cardhu??

Yours, R.B.Anorak. Esq...not to be outdone!
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Re: Vatted Malts, experiences?

Postby SoMK » Tue Nov 04, 2008 11:57 pm

I am a big fan of Green, MonkeyShoulder and Gordon & McPhail's Pride of Orkney :P
Funny thing though, while tasting JW Green I always thought that the nose, palate and finish didn't match, like it was 3 different whiskies in one. Not unpleasant but nicely surprising :)
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Re: Vatted Malts, experiences?

Postby Deactivated Member » Thu Nov 06, 2008 1:28 am

The Scotch Chix wrote:Their goal is to become the first Scottish style distillery in the United States. I know there is an organization in Texas also gearing up to do the same thing, so it looks like there will be a race for first.

There is already one in Canada.


Yeah, but I'll bet they want to be good ones.

I quite liked the one dram of Oak Cross that I had. Compass Box bottles are not cheap, though.
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Re: Vatted Malts, experiences?

Postby The Scotch Chix » Thu Nov 06, 2008 2:28 am

Yeah, but I'll bet they want to be good ones.


As usual, I quite agree. I had that Glen Breton Rare - rather raw stuff!

Hope you are having happy travels. I look forward to reading about them.

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Re: Vatted Malts, experiences?

Postby Deactivated Member » Thu Nov 06, 2008 4:35 am

What are you waiting for? I've been home a week, andHW2IoE is reader-ready. I'm in the process of revising it, but that will take a while.
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Re: Vatted Malts, experiences?

Postby bamber » Thu Nov 06, 2008 7:18 pm

The best vatted malt you'll get is in your front room doing your own mixtures. I've never had a 'real' one I've really enjoyed.

Personally I feel like your standard big batch OB SMS are kind of vatted. Lots of barrels, often different wood and a variety of ages gives a very different experience to a single cask offering. a trip to the SMWS bar is a good reminder of how varaible the output from a single distillery can be.
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Re: Vatted Malts, experiences?

Postby lincoln imp » Tue Nov 11, 2008 10:37 pm

JWG is the best i have tried. I was dissapointed a little with Monkey Shoulder. :|
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Re: Vatted Malts, experiences?

Postby Reggaeblues » Wed Nov 12, 2008 12:18 am

I was once given a sliver of something at Milroy's called "Tomfarclas" which I suppose would have been a vatting of Tomintoul and Glenfarclas.
At £90 a bottle I was not in a position to purchase, but my oh my was it one fine dram!

It wasn't that young as I remember, and so had a flavour profile i love, remniscent of the old Longmorn SMWS "Rasta Malt" - a sherry/oak battle being the main theme, rich and austere at the same time. Ab fab!

Certainly the most memorable "vatted malt" I've tried, but sadly, an expensive limited edition.

I agree with what was said about "home vattings" - they can really be fun, though that is not to discredit "OB" vattings. Everything I've sampled from Compass box i've liked, though the only one I've owned was the excellent malt/grain Asyla.

Meantime, my favourite home vatting remains bog standard Black bottle with a mere splash of Lap QC...
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Re: Vatted Malts, experiences?

Postby Reggaeblues » Wed Nov 12, 2008 12:23 am

While on the subject, the fun of "home" vattings is the names:

e,g,"Macfrog"; "Ardladdie"; Springmorangie" to name but a few.

I'd like to mix Teaninich with Glenfiddich...Teanidich anyone?

...or Talisker with Oban = Taliban!

nuff said! time for bed...
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Re: Vatted Malts, experiences?

Postby UUNetBill » Thu Nov 13, 2008 1:18 am

Reggaeblues wrote:...or Talisker with Oban = Taliban!


:lol:

Wouldn't have to worry about them drinking it all up, now would you?
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Re: Vatted Malts, experiences?

Postby Admiral » Fri Nov 14, 2008 7:28 am

One of the best whiskies I ever had was a Loch Fyne Whisky proprietary bottling that featured a vatting of old Brora and Longmorn. Geez it was good.

Of the commercially available vattings, JW Green is acceptable. I quite liked the Jon Mark & Robbo bottlings from a few years ago, although it seems I was alone on that one. Some of the Famous Grouse vatted malt bottlings have been very good, although you'd expect that, given that Highland Park, Tamdhu, Macallan, Glenturret and Glenrothes were the principal constituents.

I always notice that a vatted malt gets a very different reaction depending on whether or not the taster knows it's vatted. Serve it blind, and it will invariably be better received than if you let the drinker know s/he's having a vatted.

Cheers,
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Re: Vatted Malts, experiences?

Postby Doug1937 » Mon Nov 17, 2008 5:34 am

I just finished a Cutty Sark Pure Malt, and while I have no regrets, I believe I prefer the standard CS over the CSPM. The standard CS is smoother, and the CSPM doesn't bring all that much to the table to compensate for the lack of smoothness.
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Re: Vatted Malts, experiences?

Postby The Third Dram » Sun Jan 04, 2009 8:39 pm

Elagabalus wrote:What are your thoughts on vatted malts in general? Are they the "bourgeois" category of scotch, where blended whiskies that contain grain are proletarian, and single malts being patrician or "aristocratic" scotch?

I'd hazard a guess that anyone who has tasted a top-flight vatted pure malt whisky - Chivas Century immediately springs to mind - would quickly answer, "Aristocratic!"

And I simply love the possibilities inherent in home vatting. It's not that difficult to create one's own 'masterpieces' provided one has a clear concept of what one is aiming for taste-wise from the beginning of the 'experiment'. Generally, I prefer my 'home-brews' to clock in at a slightly higher than standard (somewhere between 46% and 50%, say) alcoholic level.
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Re: Vatted Malts, experiences?

Postby Spirit of Islay » Sun Jan 04, 2009 10:50 pm

Have had the LFW "Living Cask " Anniversary Vatting that was Brora and Glenlivet , superb but a tad expensive......
Can Recommend the Blue Hanger 4th Release , under £60 a bottle , vatted malt from 7 casks ( 3 Bourbon , 4 sherry) , youngest 16yo , oldest 34yo , all from 3 Speyside Distilleries (Glenlivet , Glen Elgin and Mortlach) .
As Mr Burns Says......"Excellent !"
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Re: Vatted Malts, experiences?

Postby Admiral » Wed Jan 07, 2009 3:51 am

Have had the LFW "Living Cask " Anniversary Vatting that was Brora and Glenlivet , superb but a tad expensive......


Ah, yes, that's actually the very bottling I was referring to above. (I said it was Brora and Longmorn, but I knew that wasn't right when I typed it....I just couldn't remember what the Speyside ingredient was).

But yes, the Brora + Glenlivet was absolutely superb. Extremely expensive, but fortunately, I didn't pay for it! :D

Cheers,
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Re: Vatted Malts, experiences?

Postby MacPete » Thu Jan 08, 2009 7:41 pm

I agree very much with the posts above about Monkey Shoulder. Had it for the first time recently and was quite surprised. It won't kill you (it's smooth and round) but still has some complexity to it. A very nice dram considering the cost. Don't know if it's available at the LCBO though.
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Re: Vatted Malts, experiences?

Postby LagaDrinker » Thu Jan 08, 2009 10:20 pm

I've not tried the Monkey Shoulder, another one for the 'to do' list then.
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Re: Vatted Malts, experiences?

Postby talisker10 » Wed Jan 14, 2009 8:42 pm

Auld Reekie is a vatted Islay whisky (not a grain alcohol based blend). It's very good I think.
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Re: Vatted Malts, experiences?

Postby The Third Dram » Fri Jan 16, 2009 12:37 am

MacPete wrote:Monkey Shoulder... Don't know if it's available at the LCBO though.

It certainly was in December 2008. In fact, I believe this is the only purveyor of said whisky outside of the UK. I quite liked it as well.
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Re: Vatted Malts, experiences?

Postby scotchdrinker » Thu Jan 22, 2009 7:43 pm

I have not drank many Vatted Malts at all. The only one I have had was JWG and I really liked it a lot. I have enjoyed reading all your recommendations in this thread. But, there are so many. Is there one or two that people would recommend over the others that is similar to JWG.
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