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Issue 130 - The Magnificent 7

Whisky Magazine Issue 130
September 2015


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The Magnificent 7

Contributing Editor Neil Ridley looks back on some of the very best blended whiskies he has experienced

As we all know, whisky has the extraordinary ability not only to inspire one's taste buds, but to also complete spectacular feats of agility and ingenuity. I don't mean this in the literal sense, but more in the sense that I know of no other spirit, which can help shape such a remarkable U-turn in opinion.

To put it mildly, nearly two decades ago, I had my first – and very nearly – my last brush with the spirit. After an incident at a party with an ill-advised bottle of supermarket blended whisky, I would become queasy at the merest sight of a whisky bottle wherever it was.

But time and taste are great healers and since that minor indiscretion, I have been fortunate enough to encounter some of the best whiskies, many of them blends, that have helped shape my palate into what it is today: still adventurous, never satisfied and always eager to experience something new.

This list of seven blends is not meant to be exhaustive. Nor is it in any particular order.

But what it does represent is probably seven of the most inspirational and memorable blends I can think of today to write a few choice words about.

12 Years Old

In relatively unconventional fashion, I'll start with something non-Scotch. I was first introduced to Japanese whisky back in 2003 and over a decade later, it still surprises me at how unique a spirit it really is. Hibiki 12 Years Old is arguably one of Suntory's most popular blends, for the sole reason that its soft, fruity character is as much...

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