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Issue 137 - To the Blends of the Earth

Whisky Magazine Issue 137
July 2016


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To the Blends of the Earth

The Battle of the Blends No. 2 Round Two

The protagonists are now getting down to the serious art of blending. Before the next issue comes out both contenders will have been given the opportunity to detail their blend when we have a ‘half way stage' event at The Soho Whisky Club on 31 August in front of an enthusiastic audience. John Glaser, Compass Box Master Blender, will also be there to give his advice as well as take part in a Q&A session. This will be reported in issue 138. For the complete rules please visit

Neil ‘General Mashtun' Ridley
So far all is quiet down in the cellars of Ridley Towers. My 20 litre cask has been slumbering away nicely after being liberally soaked in a mixture of different ports for about three weeks. My first whisky addition to the vessel was the mandatory Clynelish 14 Years Old, as bold but silky a drop as you're likely to find and arguably one of the most underrated whiskies in owner Diageo's portfolio
of distilleries.

After two days, I drew a sample and was surprised at the profound influence the port had taken on the cask. The whisky was pretty much bright pink and tasting/ smelling absolutely superb: rich, but with subtle rose/floral notes and a delicious wine gum fruity sweetness. If I could give up now and bottle this, I would, but ‘one whisky don't maketh a blend' and I have begun to think about where I could take the recipe, that doesn't stray too much into that of my winning blend from the inaugural competition.

From a grain perspective I have ...

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