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Issue 127 - Let the grain take the strain

Whisky Magazine Issue 127
April 2015


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Let the grain take the strain

The Battle of the Blends Round Three

The Battle of the Blends is now well under way. The casks have been acquired, even named and now seasoned, not just once but twice.

Totally different approaches are being taken by the two contestants. 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 result will be announced in our final issue of the year which publishes on 4 December.

Dave ‘The Rummager' Broom

Adding the grain last month was, for me, the start proper of this whole process. Not only because now the liquid could be called a blend rather than a vatted malt (yes, I know, just call me old-fashioned) but because this was the moment when I could see for myself what blenders have been telling me for decades – ‘it's built on grain.' Grain is the bedrock, grain gives personality, it binds, it cajoles. Using three different ones was my (potentially clumsy) way of also having three different personalities of grain playing a role: the sweet freshness of Girvan, the fat corn of Cooley and the light vanilla and lime notes within Cameronbridge. Only time would tell so I left Rosalita alone for month to let things meld.

The tap was turned on 2 March. Out came a liquid which was light gold (what I wanted) with a sweet nose (good) that had within it some Bounty bar, light honey, the banana thing that had been there was still in evidence, and now there was also white ...

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