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Understanding Blends?

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Understanding Blends?

Postby Sherried Malt » Mon Jul 03, 2006 3:55 pm

Frodo's poll about using blends to understand malts brings up a natural question...

If one were to try this, what Scottish blends would you recommend and why?

And are there some blends that are particularly well suited to highlight the qualities of a specific region? For example, Islay vs. Highlands vs. Islands vs. etc.

Interested in everyone's thoughts here!
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Postby Lawrence » Mon Jul 03, 2006 4:02 pm

There are three that jump up begging for attention right off; Ballantines 17, it's very soft and is much like a single malt but some how different. A friend of mine has a bottle along with 40 other single malts and when I visit I often try the Ballantines over the single malts.

For the second I cannot recommend Teachers Highland Cream enough, it is slightly smokey but is for sure a blend, the grain is evident.

The third is Grant's Family Reserve, massive flavour and benefits from some hand warming, some oak and malt without any other interfering flavours, great value for the money.
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Postby irishwhiskeychaser » Mon Jul 03, 2006 5:09 pm

Lawrence wrote:......
For the second I cannot recommend Teachers Highland Cream enough, it is slightly smokey but is for sure a blend, the grain is evident.

.......



I'll second your 2nd Lawrence.... Teachers evenhtough it is considered as a bog standard bottle of scotch it is really a great quality scotch blend. I suppose people may dismiss it because of the fact it is so common and around so long. But there in lies the reason to buy a bottle. Can't comment on the rest though.
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Postby Aidan » Mon Jul 03, 2006 8:55 pm

I love JW Black. Wonderful blend.
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Postby les taylor » Mon Jul 03, 2006 9:18 pm

How about Black Bottle the ordinary blend is good but the 10 year old OB is an excellent blend of islay peaty whisky balanced with a littke sweetness. yum yum. :)
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Re: Understanding Blends?

Postby Lord_Pfaffin » Mon Jul 03, 2006 9:37 pm

Sherried Malt wrote:Frodo's poll about using blends to understand malts brings up a natural question...

If one were to try this, what Scottish blends would you recommend and why?

And are there some blends that are particularly well suited to highlight the qualities of a specific region? For example, Islay vs. Highlands vs. Islands vs. etc.

Interested in everyone's thoughts here!


Use something that is malt and grain to understand malts? Why waste the time on something cheap and halfarsed?
Personally, i have no time for blends, i'd sooner have a cheap single.
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Re: Understanding Blends?

Postby irishwhiskeychaser » Mon Jul 03, 2006 10:36 pm

Lord_Pfaffin wrote: Why waste the time on something cheap and halfarsed?
Personally, i have no time for blends, i'd sooner have a cheap single.



To me a cheap single is something cheap and halfarsed? But a good blend is a thing of beauty..... It's just a matter in getting the right blend, the're some crackers out there in the middle of the droves which would put some Single Malts to shame.

I had a bottle of Tamavulin 12 lately and have never tsated a worse whisky :evil: the £5.50 bottle of old smuggler I had beat it out the door and that was a blend with nothing going for it :roll: .

But we can agree to disagree... each to their own and all that... :)
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Postby Frodo » Tue Jul 04, 2006 4:20 am

The only blends I've tried and liked and are worth the $$ are...

Cutty Sark
Black Bottle 10
JB Black
Jameson 12

Blends that gave momentary pause were...

Ballantine's 12
Cutty Sark 25
Crown Royal
JW Green & Gold
Jameson 18
Killbeggan

Hardly an exhaustive list. I really want to try BNJ and an older Bells - 12yr perhaps? I really do need to go through the "bar brands" to revisit them at some point...
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Re: Understanding Blends?

Postby Frodo » Tue Jul 04, 2006 4:25 am

Lord_Pfaffin wrote:Use something that is malt and grain to understand malts? Why waste the time on something cheap and halfarsed?
Personally, i have no time for blends, i'd sooner have a cheap single.


I guess I'm wondering if this is true. Most blends I've tried don't hold a candle to even the introductory priced malts so I thought I need to do some more research for myself before I can feel comfortable with this conclusion.
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Postby Admiral » Tue Jul 04, 2006 4:37 am

Methinks Lawrence's recommendations have been somewhat influenced by Mr Murray! :wink: :D

I reckon Dimple doesn't do a bad job.

I'll come from the other direction and suggest some blends that would NOT be suitable to extol the virtues of blended whisky:

Chivas Regal 12
Black Douglas


Cheers,
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Postby Aidan » Tue Jul 04, 2006 9:17 am

Bells 8 is nice, I think.

Also, although this is not a Scotish malt, I think Black Bush is excellent.
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Re: Understanding Blends?

Postby Deactivated Member » Tue Jul 04, 2006 2:22 pm

Sherried Malt wrote:Frodo's poll about using blends to understand malts brings up a natural question...


Frodo's poll is not about using blends to understand malts. His poll is about Jim Murray's concept of needing to understand blends in order to understand whisky.
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Postby Lawrence » Tue Jul 04, 2006 3:37 pm

Admiral wrote:Methinks Lawrence's recommendations have been somewhat influenced by Mr Murray! :wink: :D

I reckon Dimple doesn't do a bad job.

I'll come from the other direction and suggest some blends that would NOT be suitable to extol the virtues of blended whisky:

Chivas Regal 12
Black Douglas


Cheers,
Admiral


To be accurate, JM did demonstrate to me and many others the quality of the Ballantines 17 and the Grant's Family Reserve but it was because of forum members talking about how good Teachers Highland Cream is that I went out and tried some.
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Postby irishwhiskeychaser » Tue Jul 04, 2006 3:48 pm

I suppose it depends how you read into Jim Murray. I actually find that his tastings on Whisk(e)y really helps me as I have gotten very little from his book that I was dissappointed with because I have been able to decipher where his and my taste conincide. i.e I basically know when he is describing something as great (high 80's - 90's) whether it will suit me or not. It's a matter of reading between the lines and getting to know the taster a bit. That also should be a rule of thumb with fellow forum members. If you know that they like lot of what you like then you can got with their comendations.


Well it was from JM that I went out and tried Teachers and what a surprise I got... great stuff.

Teachers Highland Cream (JM points 95) Adrian says great stuff :D .
Jameson Regular Irish (JM points 95) Adrian says not for me son :wink:
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Postby bamber » Tue Jul 04, 2006 4:22 pm

irishwhiskeychaser wrote:Teachers Highland Cream (JM points 95) Adrian says great stuff :D .
Jameson Regular Irish (JM points 95) Adrian says not for me son :wink:


Whereas I say:
Jameson NAS great stuff and Teachers not for me :D

We seem to agree on the Redbreast 15yo though.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Tue Jul 04, 2006 4:45 pm

I'm sure we've dobe blends before, but - for what it is worth.

In terms of Scotch, I rate:

Teachers - creamy and smoky (tried because of JM)
BNJ - light and fruity, grapes, melons and pears (tried because mentions Leith on label)
Black Bottle - spicy and smoky (tried because of JM)
Te Bheag - sherry and smoky (tried at Whisky Fringe)
White Horse - also smoky (tried at a friend's house)

I'm indifferent to:

JW Red - spicy but no clear signature, slightly spomy, perhaps (tried on aeroplanes)
Roderick Dhu - again, a bit spicy but with a fruity edge, contains Dallas Dhu (tried at Dallas Dhu museum)

From days of yore, I learned to fear:

Bells
Claymore
Stewarts Cream of the Barley
Famous Grouse

Some of these might have improved, but I guess I'll never know.

Good Irish blends include Jamesons (now - used to be bland), Powers, Powers 12, Black Bush. I am also fond of Bush Orisginal, but for sentimental reasons. Bad Irish blends include Coleraine, Tullamore Derv, and Paddy
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Postby Admiral » Tue Jul 04, 2006 9:53 pm

I agree with Aidan on the Black Bush. Certainly the best of the 'readily available' Irish blends.

Cheers,
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Postby irishwhiskeychaser » Tue Jul 04, 2006 11:30 pm

bamber wrote:Whereas I say:
Jameson NAS great stuff and Teachers not for me :D

We seem to agree on the Redbreast 15yo though.


Just goes to prove it takes all sorts to make this wonderful little world of ours.... Would it not be boring if we all like the same thing 8)
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Postby irishwhiskeychaser » Tue Jul 04, 2006 11:33 pm

Nick Brown wrote:Good Irish blends include Jamesons (now - used to be bland), Powers, Powers 12, Black Bush. I am also fond of Bush Orisginal, but for sentimental reasons. Bad Irish blends include Coleraine, Tullamore Derv, and Paddy


Agree with you pretty much on the good and the bad (Jamesn Reg the only one I don't really go for but that is just my taste)

Colraine is probably one of the worst Irish blend on the market... cheap and nasty :?


I must give Black Bottle a go though... People really rave about it...
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Postby Lord_Pfaffin » Thu Jul 06, 2006 5:45 am

I must say that none of the blends mentioned in this thread are as good as the singlemalt whisky that i am drinking right at this moment and it's only $43cdn/750ml bottle @ 46%abv. Sure it is from Lagavulin and it is cherried and peated as well, not too many blends if any would fit that profile and of course blends are made milder to appeal to a wider range of patron. However fact is that this is a smooth, creamy and very good tasting whisky and IMHO its flavour, smoothness at 46%abv, wonderful nose and finish are head and shoulds above any of the blends mentioned here. Drawing from this experience is where i may have got the idea not to waste any more time on blends, i haven't found one yet that turns my crank the way a nice single does.
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Postby Aidan » Thu Jul 06, 2006 7:47 am

irishwhiskeychaser wrote:
Nick Brown wrote:Good Irish blends include Jamesons (now - used to be bland), Powers, Powers 12, Black Bush. I am also fond of Bush Orisginal, but for sentimental reasons. Bad Irish blends include Coleraine, Tullamore Derv, and Paddy


Agree with you pretty much on the good and the bad (Jamesn Reg the only one I don't really go for but that is just my taste)

Colraine is probably one of the worst Irish blend on the market... cheap and nasty :?


I must give Black Bottle a go though... People really rave about it...


Adrian - there's two Black Bottles, by the way. One's a 10 year old. The other's NAS, i think.
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Postby scoobypl » Thu Jul 06, 2006 7:50 am

Best Blend I ever tried is a high end one:
"Auld Blended 35yo" by Duncan Taylor... goes for about 50£ and is wonderfully smooth, oaky, smoky spicy, raisins, chocolate, some coffee, aso...
No wonder... it was blended by Mr. J. McEwan (Yes THE J.M.) in the 70ties or 80ties, and put back in a cask for the remainder of it's years (20-odd I think)...
This has aged to perfection...and had no flaws to begin with.
A match for any single Malt!

P.!!!
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Postby irishwhiskeychaser » Thu Jul 06, 2006 11:03 am

Aidan wrote:

I must give Black Bottle a go though... People really rave about it...


Adrian - there's two Black Bottles, by the way. One's a 10 year old. The other's NAS, i think.[/quote]



Cheers Aidan.. sure I'll give both a go so :D
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Postby PuckJunkie » Thu Jul 06, 2006 3:36 pm

Lord_Pfaffin wrote:I must say that none of the blends mentioned in this thread are as good as the singlemalt whisky that i am drinking right at this moment and it's only $43cdn/750ml bottle @ 46%abv. Sure it is from Lagavulin and it is cherried and peated as well, not too many blends if any would fit that profile and of course blends are made milder to appeal to a wider range of patron. [...]

I hate to digress, but... what are you drinking from Lagavulin that is only $43cdn? And where can I get some?

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Postby magicboab » Thu Jul 06, 2006 10:44 pm

I mostly don't go for blends, but might be interested to try some of the ones I don't know from this post. ONes I like incude

JW Black
Isle of Skye 8
BNJ
Black and White
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Postby Lord_Pfaffin » Fri Jul 07, 2006 5:19 am

PuckJunkie wrote:
Lord_Pfaffin wrote:I must say that none of the blends mentioned in this thread are as good as the singlemalt whisky that i am drinking right at this moment and it's only $43cdn/750ml bottle @ 46%abv. Sure it is from Lagavulin and it is cherried and peated as well, not too many blends if any would fit that profile and of course blends are made milder to appeal to a wider range of patron. [...]

I hate to digress, but... what are you drinking from Lagavulin that is only $43cdn? And where can I get some?

Puck


It is under an independant label, Dun Bheagan 8yo Islay singlemalt scotch whisky. It's creamy like a Bowmore and peaty-smokey like a Laga, best bargain that i've found by far.
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Postby irishwhiskeychaser » Fri Jul 07, 2006 11:10 am

Happened to see this advertised in the Whisky Magazine, anybody had it. I just liked the look of the label...... So adverting does work :shock: but I haven't bought it yet :roll:


Image


The Bailie Nicol Jarvie

BNJ's superb quality derives from the high proportion of malts in the blend. At a shade over the price of the biggest selling brands it gives unrivalled complexity and superior refinement

£14.99 Oddbins
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Postby magicboab » Fri Jul 07, 2006 2:46 pm

I've sampled the BNJ a few times in the past. Its one of my father favourite blends. Its not ultra great, but £15 is a good price if you fancy trying it.

It has been a while since I last had it so my recollections of the taste are sketchy but I recall that it was smooth and flavoursome and definitely above average.

Sorry I can't be more specific, I really must keep a tasting diary.
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Postby irishwhiskeychaser » Fri Jul 07, 2006 3:16 pm

magicboab wrote:I've sampled the BNJ a few times in the past. Its one of my father favourite blends. Its not ultra great, but £15 is a good price if you fancy trying it.

It has been a while since I last had it so my recollections of the taste are sketchy but I recall that it was smooth and flavoursome and definitely above average.

Sorry I can't be more specific, I really must keep a tasting diary.



Cheers Magicboab that is a thumbs up in my book as you say for 15 quid I was not expecting miracles but above average is good enough.

Welcome to the forum by the way.
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Postby bamber » Fri Jul 07, 2006 4:01 pm

It's £13.50 in Sainsbury's and Asda. I found it a little hard and brittle. Cannot say I really enjoyed it.
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Postby les taylor » Fri Jul 07, 2006 4:05 pm

The Bnj is really a whisky to go with mixers. I think like all things you get what you pay for. If that offends anyone I'm sorry.
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Postby irishwhiskeychaser » Fri Jul 07, 2006 4:19 pm

bamber wrote:It's £13.50 in Sainsbury's and Asda. I found it a little hard and brittle. Cannot say I really enjoyed it.


Hmmmm Image I might have to review the situation Image

les taylor wrote:The Bnj is really a whisky to go with mixers. I think like all things you get what you pay for. If that offends anyone I'm sorry.


I got the same impression from Whisky Magazine Image so no need to be sorry.

Okay so far 1 for 2 against Image might just have to leave it from a democratic point of view :wink: .
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Postby bamber » Fri Jul 07, 2006 5:17 pm

You may end up doing this:
Image
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Postby Lawrence » Sat Jul 08, 2006 1:43 am

bamber wrote:You may end up doing this:
Image


That's funny, very good.
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Postby irishwhiskeychaser » Sat Jul 08, 2006 5:30 pm

I don't think I can out do that one bamber you are the king of the Emoticons .......

Image
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