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Issue 132 - Battle Of The Blends Result

Whisky Magazine Issue 132
December 2015


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Battle Of The Blends Result

Neil Ridley wins by a dram

So there we are – with all the votes in, my blend – Orville, or ‘A' as it is known from the sample packs, has apparently triumphed. Hurrah!

There were 299 judges in total of which 59 per cent voted for blend A, so indeed it was very close.

Tasting note

Personally I found this the most balanced blend, marrying sweetness and subtle peat to produce a blend of excellent drinking quality whilst allowing for mixing scope.
Daryl Haldane, Highland Park Global Brand Advocate

In actual fact, as Mr Broom eloquently put in his last column about the blends – it really doesn't matter who ‘won' here. Really, the point of this exercise, despite having some light-hearted banter along the way, was to see if it was possible to create a drinkable blend in a short space of time, given some tricky parameters.

Neither of us has claimed we have any distinct skill in blending – I think it's more a case of picking whiskies that one really likes and testing the water to see if they ‘work together'. With the specific amounts used, I applied a simple metric of what seemed ‘about right' and what was clearly going to ruin it. It helped to keep a little running control sample along the way – in this respect, I tried to produce a ‘micro blend' first, using much smaller amounts before committing to throwing litres of perfectly good whisky into the abyss.

None of this of course takes into account the influence of the cask, which in reality, was a fairly frightening amount....

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