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It's...........Blended!

Postby heer.veer » Fri Oct 18, 2002 10:25 pm

Hi y'all,

I know I'm entering the twilight zone here.
I know we all swore never to touch a drop again.

But,.........but.......

.......I got the Blended Scotch book bij Jim Murray (in which almost all get a fair rating), and now I ask of you:

What do YOU consider to be a nice blended scotch whisky?

I'll start with my favorite:

Black Bottle 10 years old....
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Postby Jenny » Sat Oct 19, 2002 1:58 pm

I think Satan Clause has the only good blended scotch whisky... Image

Jenny

PS: Sorry, but after I heard that Jonny Walker Black Label contains Talisker, I KNOW that blended whisky is a big sacrilege.
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Postby Gate » Sat Oct 19, 2002 6:13 pm

Black Bottle 10, JW Black, Black Bush, Bailie Nicol Jarvie are all excellent and generally available (BB10 and the JW tie for my favourite). I have got to like the Grant's Ale Cask Finish too, and I always have some Dewar's around for nostalgia value. There are some great one-offs, too - Campeltown Loch 21 and 25 y.o., J&B Ultima etc. And then there's JW Blue: fantastic, but the price! Pace Jenny, anyone who turns their nose up at blends is closing off a whole world of great stuff and lots of fun in finding it.
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Postby BruceCrichton » Sun Oct 20, 2002 9:46 pm

Campbeltown Loch contains a number if whiskies which were awful but were put in a fresh sherry cask for many years until they improved.

The bottle retails for about £27 and I got all my info from Cadenhead's David Stirk in person - and It doesn't contain Springbank.

I've got Jim Murray's Blended Scotch book and have been attempting to work my way through it.

Carcking blends, worth the money, include: Claymore, Black Bottle, Clan Campbell 12 yr old, Johnnie Walker 12 Yr, Dew of Ben Nevis ordinary and Millenium versions, Lang's Supreme, Baillie Nicol Jarvie, WHyte and Mackay,Macnamara, Bells Islander (a gem if you can find it), Islay Mist and Islay Hallmark.

Gordon and MacPhail are good blenders and their best drams include the spicy Ben Alder, the sweet Glen Calder, The exceptionally smooth Avonside and the braw and peaty Old Orkney.

Cadenhead's Campbeltown Loch is good at 25 yr and the ordinary version is worth a crack as well. Worth checking out is their Putachieside 12 yr old.

Rounding off are Rob Roy, Isle of Skye 8 yr, Passport and Original Mackinlay
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Postby blackkeno » Mon Oct 21, 2002 12:19 am

In addition to many already mentioned I would have to add Chivas 18 and Royal Salute along with Mitchell's 12 (which has a stong Springbank character).
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Postby Ize » Mon Oct 21, 2002 5:42 am

Heh, seems that Gate already mentioned three of my favourites:
Black Bottle 10 YO
Black Bush
Johnny Walker Black Label
and I have liked a long time ago Famous Grouse 15 YO, but I should taste it again whether my taste has changed during the time (smoke and peat, you know).
I have read that White Horse (and few other blends too) would have smoky element too, so I have to try that out two some day. Image

Kippis,
Ize
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Postby heer.veer » Mon Oct 21, 2002 1:36 pm

But still, is it worth it trying and drinking blends, when there are so much good malts around?
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Postby Gate » Mon Oct 21, 2002 1:47 pm

I reckon, with greatest respect etc., that that is like wondering whether it's worth it trying meat when there's so much good fish around. I work from the basis of bibulous empiricism. A really good blend is something else again from a malt - not lesser, not greater, just different - and variety is the spice of life. So of course it's worth trying blends. And grain. And bourbon. And rye. And Canadian. And Irish. And Japanese. And Breton. And Kiwi. And Austrian made from oats. And Turkish, Laotian, Thai, Indian, Pakistani, whatever...
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Postby heer.veer » Wed Oct 23, 2002 7:18 am

Also with respect, but I don´t agree. Shure all that stuff is different and all have their moments. Still, even though I love Whisky and I love Wodka (for instance), I appreciate Whisky more. Layers and layers of taste, complexity, etc. It just tastes better. The same with blends. I concider the Black Bottle 10 one of the best blends around, it tastes good, but in the appreciation department a good single malt just has so much more...
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Postby Ize » Wed Oct 23, 2002 10:01 am

Why drink single malts? Why not drink only single cask? Single malts usually are already a "blend" of different "batches" by age and by casks although from the same distillery. Image

Kippis,
Ize

P.S. To me it's all the same, whether the whisky is blended or vatted malt or single malt or single cask, what matters to me is the taste.
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Postby Gate » Wed Oct 23, 2002 11:36 am

It is really down to taste, but I firmly believe in the adage about trying everything once except incest and folk dancing. If you try both malts and blends and prefer the malts, that's great, and in principle I agree. My top five whiskies are malts. But there are great blends out there too, and other great whiskies like bourbons and ryes and Irish pot stills. I don't see time spent enjoying those whiskies as precious malt time wasted: there's time and opportunity enough to have a go at them all and enjoy the variety. My liver might disagree with me, but who's listening? Image
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Postby Jenny » Wed Oct 23, 2002 11:51 am

Well, I think there are around 500 different SSM Whiskys out there. If you would like to find the perfect SSM for you, that alone will take a lot of time and money + liver/brain cells, if you now waste, or lets say stretch all those precious resources ("not refundable"...) on blends and exotic whiskeys, too, it could be become an "Mission Impossible". So I stay with the stuff, I know that's good : Scotch Single Malt, the one and only.

Jenny
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Postby Gate » Wed Oct 23, 2002 2:13 pm

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Arial, Verdana">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Jenny:
<B>So I stay with the stuff, I know that's good : Scotch Single Malt, the one and only.
</B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I have two words to say to that: Loch Dhu.
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Postby lexkraai » Wed Oct 23, 2002 3:55 pm

I very much agree with Gate. I'm always keen to try whiskies from wherever in the world. Yes, my top 10 will probably include mostly Scottish single malts, but if I would limit myself to those I'd never have tasted things like the peat monster coming out of Yoichi distillery in Japan, the interesting whiskies made by the US West Coast micro-distilleries (Clear Creek, St George), the little Tasmanian gem from Lark distillery, peated malt from Cooley, etc.

Cheers, Lex
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Postby Rudolph Hucker » Wed Oct 23, 2002 4:03 pm

Good to see Bruce mentioning the Putachieside.

Many years ago, I worked for a newspaper which had a Scot as managing director. Every afternoon at 4.00pm after the paper had been put to bed - it was an evening newspaper - he would invite a few privileged staffers to join him for a dram - which was always the Putachieside.

On one memorable evening, 5 of us were still drinking at 7.00pm. The managing director started to refill the glasses, emptied the bottle of Putachieside, went to the cabinet to get another, and said in a very apolgetic tone < Gentlemen, I am very sorry but we have finished the good stuff - we'll have to make do with the Haig! >

Cheers

Rudolph
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Postby Jenny » Wed Oct 23, 2002 6:46 pm

>I have two words to say to that: Loch Dhu.

Well, actually I have never tasted it myself I have only seen it once beeing mentioned on a site (maltmadness.com?) getting rediculous 10 of 100 points...

(BTW : How does Loch Dhu taste? I'm curious. It can't be THAT bad. I think I will taste it BECAUSE it was so badly rated Image...)

But that's exactly the point. No one has my palate, I mean I have to taste it all myself. My beloved Glenturret 18y and St. Magdalene 24y have gotten fairly low ratings from Murray and Jackson, while everone is, from my point of view, overrating that crap called Laguvalin. No, I don't like it, not at all. See, 'cause of this I have to test every single whisky on my very own. You can repeat 1000 times that some strange japanese whiskey is good, but I doubt that I would like, unless I taste it - and now comes my argument - you simply can't drink ALL whiskeys of the world, there are too much. So I concentrate myself on one great region - Scotland and one great type of whiskys - Single Malts - to eleminate at least a small fraction of possible brain killers... Image

Jenny

[This message has been edited by Jenny (edited 23 October 2002).]
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Postby Gate » Wed Oct 23, 2002 10:20 pm

Everyone should taste Loch Dhu, just to get a benchmark for badness and to realise that you can take "finishing" too far. "Tarry" is the best single word I can think of (or "Jeyes Fluid" for two words). But it does at least have character, even if it's weird. The worst thing for a whisky, I think, is to be bland and dull - and one of the problems, I have to admit, with the "taste the world" approach is not so much that you come across some truly gopping stuff - that can actually be good fun - but rather that you do end up tasting some boring whiskies, like Tobermory - not bad, just not at all interesting. But then again, it doesn't take more than a couple of drams to work out whether a whisky just doesn't interest you, and it doesn't, you move on. Thus, you don't need to have a liver the size of your front door to have tasted most of the malts around in one form or another (not in every age, bottling, finish, etc., I concede) and still have been able to experience a good range of blends, bourbons, etc. But who am I to talk? It took me years to get beyond Dewar's White Label! Image
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Postby heer.veer » Wed Oct 23, 2002 11:53 pm

Two words come to mind speaking about Loch Dhu;

FILTHY ASHTRAY...!!!

...to put it mildly
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Postby Gate » Thu Oct 24, 2002 1:41 pm

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Arial, Verdana">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by heer.veer:
<B>Two words come to mind speaking about Loch Dhu;

FILTHY ASHTRAY...!!!

...to put it mildly</B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

After a recommendation like that, how can you not make every effort to taste it?? I dare say Akkurat has a bottle (probably in the cleaner's cupboard next to the disinfectant).
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Postby BruceCrichton » Fri Oct 25, 2002 2:43 am

Loch Dhu is bloody awful but then so is Mannochmore, the whisky it's based on.

Tobermory is also terrible. It tastes smooth but disgusting. Very odd!

I think that blends are well worth trying especially if you have somewhere near you that sells miniatures.

Even some of the cheap ones are excellent!
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Postby dstirk » Fri Oct 25, 2002 8:20 am

Just to clear up something about Campbeltown Loch. It is not made from whisky that was once awful (that was an answer to a question regarding what Cadenhead's does with the casks we reject - the stuff is so old in Campbeltown Loch - well you can do your own maths between the purchase of Cadenhead's by J & A Mitchell). Also Campbeltown Loch is about £25 and I can not say directly whether it does or does not contain Springbank - simply because I don't know.

Hope I didn't mislead you in any way Bruce.

Anyway I am curous to know what people thought about it. Bruce did you get to try it?

Regards,

David
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Postby heer.veer » Fri Oct 25, 2002 8:56 am

I know, I´ll try to find the source (retrace my steps):

Campbelltown Loch doesn´t contain Springbank.
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Postby Jenny » Fri Oct 25, 2002 10:34 am

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Arial, Verdana">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Rudolph Hucker:
I am very sorry but we have finished the good stuff - we'll have to make do with the Haig<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

So you have drunken Loch Dhu? Image
I have found out that Loch Dhu is indeed used in a blend : "Haig" !

Jenny
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Postby blackkeno » Sun Oct 27, 2002 6:38 am

Although, single malt Scotch would probably make up more of my top ten then any other single category of Whisky, it would still not be even a majority of them by itself.

Not only that, but many of my favorate bottlings did not impress me the first few times I tried them. This was particularly true of styles that were unfamiliar to me. If I had not take the time to get to know (and appreciate) a particular style, I would have missed out on more than half of my favorate drams!

I don't have any Turkish whiskies in my top anything. But life would not be the same for me without Irish Pure Pot Still like Jameson 15, Rye like Van Winkle 13, Bourbon like Blanton's, and Canadian like Bush Pilot's Private Reserve 13... just to name a few.
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Postby Ize » Mon Oct 28, 2002 8:41 am

Jenny, if you like Fernetbranca, you will like Loch Dhu too. :b

Kippis,
Ize
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Postby Jenny » Mon Oct 28, 2002 11:11 am

No, I don't like Fernetbranca. Image
It's disgusting...

Jenny
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Postby marr » Tue Nov 05, 2002 5:38 pm

Tastes change. The drink everyone craved for in Victorian days was Irish Pot Still whiskey. Then Scottish blends became flavour of the day, and then on to Scottish single malts.

I would try anything as long as it tasted good. Just because I think whisky is the nicest drink, doesnt mean I'll stop drinking water, stout or even Sunny Delight, if I liked it too.
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Postby BruceCrichton » Wed Nov 06, 2002 1:10 am

Cheers David for the correction.

I did get to try it. I haven't bought a bottle. I thought that it was quite nice but I'm not sure I don't prefer the common or garden version of Campbeltown Loch believe it or not!
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Postby Aidan » Sun Nov 10, 2002 11:52 pm

A good blend is better than a bad single malt. I believe Jim Murray rates Powers Gold Label as the best blend anywhere, although that's an Irish. I think Johnny Walker Black Lable is a very good bet.
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Postby Aidan » Tue Nov 12, 2002 6:27 pm

... and I think Fameous Grouse is a good blend. Teachers is good too.
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Postby Rudolph Hucker » Wed Nov 13, 2002 2:37 pm

I heard last year that there was going to be a big campaign to re-establish J & B as a leading blend - although this may only have been in the US?

Anyone know nything about this?

Cheers

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Postby howarths » Wed Nov 13, 2002 9:12 pm

Well, like it or loathe it it's blends that keep the industry afloat.

When I discovered malts I was of the misguided opinion that "oh no, I would NEVER drink a blend". I then ended up trying some, and to be honest I like them a lot.

I still don't have any in my cabinet, but I have no problems in having selected ones on board now.

The nicest I had was an Adelphi Reserve.
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Postby Gate » Thu Nov 14, 2002 1:28 pm

I don't know anything about a big J&B push, but if there is one, maybe they'll be tweaking the blend. I'm sure that, at the same time as the more upmarket J&Bs have been produced (some of them pretty damn good), the regular J&B Rare has become increasingly insipid. Whatever, I wouldn't recommend it as a standard blend any more. At the "everyday" price band, I'd say Black Bottle if you want smoke and peat, Bailie Nicol Jarvie if you don't, and Grouse if you can't decide.
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Postby Aidan » Thu Nov 14, 2002 5:21 pm

I don't think anyone loathes blends when they try them, unless they are very bad blends. Unfortunately, there is an incredable amount of pretentiousness when it comes to whisky.
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Postby howarths » Sat Nov 16, 2002 10:23 pm

Aiden,

I'll second the comment above!
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