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Blended Scotch - Proof that people believe in Homeopathy ?

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Blended Scotch - Proof that people believe in Homeopathy ?

Postby Triple Distilled » Wed Sep 13, 2006 1:00 pm

Drinkers of Scotch Whisky Blends MUST really believe in Homeopathy ! How can a blend, with often over 40 constituent whiskies (42, I think it is, for the fairly typical 'J&B Rare') retain ANY significant character of some of the more 'minor' whiskies in it (which, logic dictates, often must be less than 1% of the blend - possibly even as low as 0.5%). Its a lot like Homeopathy - when so few molecules remain after 'dilution', that no rational person can ascertain where the benefits come from.
How can one Whisky (say, a malt, from Deanston) constituting 1% of the blend, really contribute to the overall taste - or add anything to the character of that blend ? And there could be 30 or more, other similarly small contributions ! Does a blend of 42 whiskies REALLY taste that much different from one of, say 5 (if the main constituent malt still contributes a typical 20%) ?
Last edited by Triple Distilled on Wed Sep 13, 2006 1:24 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Postby bamber » Wed Sep 13, 2006 1:13 pm

Blend advocates, may look to more mainstream science: The superposition of waves

If you match up the peaks and troughs correctly you can accentuate or suppress charectersitics as you see fit.

Alterantively you could mix any old low priced malt, some young grain and caramel ;)
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Postby irishwhiskeychaser » Wed Sep 13, 2006 1:21 pm

I suppose that the blender whans to make his own whisky in a way and not have any specific Distillery shining through and create his own baby. The same issue may concern suppliers... they might not want their malt shining through a blend as if that blend gets a bad name they might incur a knock on effect.

Further Scotch blends in general are created as an easy drinking whisky that the masses can appreciate.
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Re: Blended Scotch - Proof that people believe in Homeopathy

Postby Deactivated Member » Wed Sep 13, 2006 1:48 pm

Triple Distilled wrote:Does a blend of 42 whiskies REALLY taste that much different from one of, say 5 (if the main constituent malt still contributes a typical 20%) ?

It depends on which whiskies you use. I think most blenders have a flavour profile in mind and their challenge is to achieve it as simply and cheaply as possible. The difficulty would not be in making 42 ingredients taste like 5 - it would be in finding the 5 that would taste like the 42.

Then again, I suspect you know this.
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Postby bamber » Wed Sep 13, 2006 2:04 pm

Welcome to the forum by the way :)
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Postby Deactivated Member » Wed Sep 13, 2006 5:17 pm

Also, the flavour of an individual malt will vary from consignment to consignment and change over the years (as drinkers of Laphroaig will testify). If you want to keep your blend tasting the same, you'll have to change the recipe just to stand still.
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Postby Aidan » Wed Sep 13, 2006 5:40 pm

I just drink a blend and decide whether I like it based on taste! A novel concept. I don't really think about how many malts go into it. Maybe there's something to what you say.
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Re: Blended Scotch - Proof that people believe in Homeopathy

Postby Lawrence » Wed Sep 13, 2006 10:27 pm

Nick Brown wrote: Then again, I suspect you know this.


I often wonder if we're polled by industry. I suspect so.
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Re: Blended Scotch - Proof that people believe in Homeopathy

Postby hpulley » Thu Sep 14, 2006 10:35 am

Triple Distilled wrote:...
How can one Whisky (say, a malt, from Deanston) constituting 1% of the blend, really contribute to the overall taste...?


I don't know about the general case but I've had some IB Deanstons that were so dreadful I'm sure 0.5% could still have ruined an otherwise half decent blend...

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Single Malts are Blended Malts

Postby scotch4ever » Thu Sep 14, 2006 2:07 pm

We can down play the quality of a blend, however, at the end of the day all single malts are blended/vatted unless they are single cask malts. Let's face it...how unique is a single malt when it contains over 50 different casks of different types and ages? A single malt is given a higher quatlity mark for being "all malt", however, it is just a blend at the end of the day. Many single cask malts I have tasted over the years are far better than their Single Malt bottlings, but that is my preference.
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Postby hpulley » Thu Sep 14, 2006 2:14 pm

Single cask at cask strength is my preference also. I just wish more were made available that way, ahem, cough, Diageo, cough. Even my beloved Ardbeg doesn't do that so IBs are often the preference. Single casks can be hit or miss but that is their allure, isn't it?

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