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Issue 124 - Let the blend begin

Whisky Magazine Issue 124
December 2014


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Let the blend begin

In the red corner Dave 'The Rummager' Broom and in and in the Blue corner Neil 'Copper Dog' Ridley

The battle of the century is about to commence! In a truly legendary contest, where there can only be one winner. Whisky Magazine is proud to announce ‘The Battle of the Blends', a test of skill, ingenuity and the sternest of palates.

Beginning in January 2015, Dave Broom, our Editor at large and Neil Ridley, our London contributing editor (both men pictured opposite during an intensive training session) will each embark on a titanic task to produce a blended whisky better than the other.

In each of the forthcoming 2015 issues, both contenders will unveil their plans for the blends. They are starting with identical 20 litre first fill American oak casks, which have been toasted and previously filled with a high strength neutral spirit. Both men will then season their vessels with whatever they feel will give their resulting blend the ultimate edge.

This could be a sherry, port, wine – or something completely unusual – there are no rules here. Issue by issue, the contenders will build their blend, beginning with the same foundations: Clynelish 14 Years Old – this classic Highland distillery a perennial favourite of the blender, due to its well-rounded maltiness and balance.

In fact the B word, balance, will be very much under the spotlight as both Broom and Ridley enter the ring. The art of constructing a great blended whisky is a challenge that has confounded many who have tried before. It could be compared to a house of cards; laying a weak foundation ...

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