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JMR's Easy Drinking Whiskies

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JMR's Easy Drinking Whiskies

Postby Admiral » Wed Jun 16, 2004 4:25 am

After looking at them on my shelf for a few months, I finally cracked open the three JMR whiskies - the Rich Spicy, the Smokey Peaty, and the Smooth Sweeter. Given that they are all vatted malts, I was reasonably impressed.

The Rich Spicy nosed like a rich and glorious Macallan, but it seemed a little weak on the palate. Still very pleasant though.

The Smokey Peaty was very interesting. It wasn't quite a peat monster like a Kildalton distillery, and yet it wasn't quite a coastal-type peaty whisky like Highland Park or Talisker. It sat somewhere in between the two extremes. It was quite sweet also.

The Smooth Sweeter one was the real surprise package. It's actually Irish malt, and this is the first time I've ever enjoyed an Irish whiskey. And yes, it was very smooth and very sweet.

Anybody else tried these and like to comment?
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Postby susywong » Wed Jun 16, 2004 8:55 am

The last time i tried them was at the Speyside festival where Mark did a comparitive tasting. The Rich Spicy was up against Macallan 10, the smooth sweeter against Auchentoshan select and the Smokey Peaty against Laphroaig 10.

All three of JMR's whiskies stood up well against the distillery bottlings, in fact i preferred them!

I'm very impressed with the concept of what they're trying to do, and because they're not too expensive, they're making whisky more accessible to those who might not normally buy it.
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Postby SpiritofShetland » Wed Jun 16, 2004 1:27 pm

Didn't have time to go to Marks tasting, but got to taste them at the dregs-party. And I must say I was positively surprised. They were all great drams.

I also would have preferred the Irish one over the Auchentoshan, but then again I would prefer almost any whisky to an Auchentoshan.
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Postby Matt2 » Wed Jun 16, 2004 4:24 pm

I've tried the Rich n Spicy one but I'm not really a rich n spicy type of person. Looking forward to trying the Sweet one and the Smokey one soon.

Interesting to see on their website what they put into them.
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Postby Aidan » Thu Jun 17, 2004 9:26 am

I haven't tasted any of their whiskies, but am pleased with what they're doing. They are cutting through all the pretentious crap that goes along with the whisk(e)y world.

It's also interesting that the smooth sweet one should be an Irish, as it's double distilled like a scotch and uses only malted barley. I think Cooley have a slightly different distilling process.

I think by indicating this is from an Irish source, though, they are cutting out some of their potential market. I suppose this is not their target market anyway.

I wonder will they broaden their range?
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Postby SpiritofShetland » Thu Jun 17, 2004 10:27 am

According to a recent article in The Scotsman they re working on a series of whiskies with the names: Orange Orgasm, Vibrant Vanilla and Citrus Sensation.

These are supposedly infusion whiskies, just like Compass Box' Orangerie.
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Postby bamber » Fri Jun 18, 2004 4:50 pm

I really liked the rich spicy one, thought the irish one was quite good and the peaty one was average.

Have to say I don't think they are good value for money. £17 for 500mls - Thats about £24 a bottle. At Tesco last time I checked:

Talisker 10YO ~ £19
Laphroaig 10YO ~ £22
Macallan 10YO ~ £20.50
Highland Park 12YO ~ £20
Jameson ~ £14

If they were £17 for 700mls I would buy the rich spicy one.

Furthermore part of the beauty of whisky(ey) appreciation is getting to know each distilleries character - wherever in the world it comes from.

If their aim is to make a decent vatted malt in an interesting bottle, fair play. If they are trying to simplify whisky into 3 generic tastes they are not doing anyone any favours.

Why not mix some JD and JB and call it the 'American one' ;)
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Postby peatreek1 » Fri Jun 25, 2004 2:13 pm

That vatted malts are not taken as seriously as singles just doesn't make sense if one want to appreciate whisky for what it is, something to be consumed.

Have we become so pretentious that where a whisky comes from and its age is much more important than how it tastes?

Logically, vatted malts have the opportunity to surpass singles in quality.

I admit that I too pass over vatted malts, which however are quite rare in most of the US.
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Postby Lawrence » Fri Jun 25, 2004 4:04 pm

I find that vatted malts can be quite good but I consider them "drinking" whiskies, I've not yet had a chance to try the Easy Drinking line up and am curious. However I don't think they can ever offer more than a really good single malt. I drank quite a bit of the Famous Grose vatted malt and enjoyed it but it's not a single malt.
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Postby Admiral » Sat Jun 26, 2004 2:19 am

Peatreek1 said
Logically, vatted malts have the opportunity to surpass singles in quality.


I understand the "logical" concept - afterall, you should be able to combine all the good bits of various malts and make a "super malt"!

But it just doesn't happen, does it?

When people are asked to reel off the best tasting whiskies, they immediately identify the famous single malts - a particular expression of Macallan, a particular vintage Ardbeg, a certain Springbank, a well-aged Glenfiddich, etc, etc.

If vatting truly did produce superior tasting whiskies, then why aren't they being made and sold in abundance?

If you start with a mediocre malt, and vat it with another mediocre malt, it does not logically follow that the combination will produce anything significantly better than mediocre.

And if you started with an absolutely fantastic malt, and vatted it with another spectacular malt, it does not necessarily follow that the two (or more) will marry together and produce the greatest whisky ever made. In fact, it is more likely that the complexities and subtleties that made the component single malts great in the first place will actually be lost.

At the end of the day, it comes down to the skill of the blender (the vatter?) and the component whiskies he has at his disposal.
But do you seriously believe Macallan (and any other "premium" distillery) would sell one of its finest casks to go into a vatting where its identity & provenance will be lost? If the cask really is that good, they will sell it as a distillery bottling under its own name so that its glory will reflect on them.

Cheers,
Admiral
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Postby Lawrence » Sat Jun 26, 2004 5:49 am

If I had Admiral's eloquence that's how I would have said it.
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Postby clayton jr » Tue Jun 29, 2004 7:35 pm

SpiritofShetland wrote:According to a recent article in The Scotsman they re working on a series of whiskies with the names: Orange Orgasm, Vibrant Vanilla and Citrus Sensation.

These are supposedly infusion whiskies, just like Compass Box' Orangerie.


These were actually part of the experiment conducted for Whisky Magazine #39, which blended whiskies from various parts of the world to create unique tastes. I don't think they're planned for actual production.

http://www.whiskymag.com/magazine/issue39/whisky_trends/united_nations.html
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Postby peatreek1 » Wed Jun 30, 2004 6:03 pm

Admiral,

Vatted malts are not particularly popular because people value singles for reason other than taste alone. As has been noted by others, there is a psychological attraction of single malts in that they are the special unique product of a one distillery in one year and are influenced by local water, climate, etc.

Inasmuch, as no single malt is perfect, there is the opportunity to correct flaws, or perhaps more importantly enhance and add complexity, by careful vatting, which is why I feel that a vatted product can be superior in terms of taste

The reason why such vatting is seldom done is basic economics. People will pay more for a single malt than a vatted product because they are making their decisions on bases other than taste. An excellant example of this mentality is the high price paid for old malts, which by any objective taste standard are grossly over-priced.
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Postby Admiral » Thu Jul 01, 2004 12:25 pm

I take your point, Peatreek1, and what you've said certainly makes sense.

But I'd also like to think that if someone came up with a vatted malt that tastewise blew everything else out of the water, and was competitively priced, it would be capable of blitzing the marketplace.

People certainly do buy single malts for reasons other than taste.

But having said that, people will still buy their favourite whisky because it's the one they think tastes best.

Whether it's cars, laundry detergents, or whiskies - once your product is in someone's price range, you stand or fall on whether the consumer likes what you're making.

And on that logic, a vatted malt should be able to penetrate the market.

Cheers,
Admiral
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Postby Aidan » Thu Jul 01, 2004 5:28 pm

I think some thought the Cardhu pure was better than the single malt.

Ultimately, if they produced a vatted malt and sold it as a single malt, nobody would be able to tell from its taste

I think people also raved about Macallan replicas that may not even have been copies of old Macallans. This would indicate to me that what's written on the lable has a huge influence on what the punter thinks.
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