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Issue 125 - Casking in the Glory

Whisky Magazine Issue 125
January 2015


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Casking in the Glory

The Battle of the Blends, Round One

The Battle of the Blends has begun with both contenders being introduced in the last issue. The casks have been acquired, even named and now seasoned not just once but twice. The rules are very simple; create a blend that will be judged by our readers, contributing editors and from within the industry. The final blend has to be complete by 1 September 2015 and the final result will be announced in the last issue of the year which publishes 4 December. Let battle commence.

Dave ‘The Rummager' Broom
She arrived just before Christmas all wrapped in swaddling clothes (well, plastic) so I immediately laid her in her manger. She was from Mexico so I called her Rosalita. Popped the bung and sniffed. Vanilla yes, but lots of fresh new wood. I mean LOTS – and that after a period of seasoning with neutral spirit to leach some out of the more aggressive elements. Not unpleasant if you like the smell of a sauna, but worrying if there is going to be whisky in there for months. In fact, that's my main worry – trying to build a complex blend while keeping a lid on hugely active wood. Oh yes, there is a plan – a vague one – because unlike normal blending this is being done incrementally so I know I have to be willing to deviate from my intentions should something untoward happen. That plan, by the way, is to make a blend which is medium-bodied, low in smoke, relatively sweet, and elegant.

That means Rosalita had to be seasoned once again before any whisky could go near he...

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