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Issue 43 - Dependsontheblend

Whisky Magazine Issue 43
October 2004

 

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Dependsontheblend

Blendedwhiskyismostoftenconsideredapoorrelationtosinglemalts.

Blendedwhiskyismostoftenconsideredapoorrelationtosinglemalts.Andwhenyouconsiderthat90percentofwhiskysoldisinthiscategory,muchofitofquestionablequalityandwithnorestraintsontheage(abovethelegalminimumofthreeyears)ofthewhiskynoronitsmaltcontent,thenperhapsthisshouldcomeasnosurprise.

Blandblendsclogupsupermarketandliquorstoreshelvesacrosstheworld,andmanybottlesintheirdisputeofsmoothnesshavedispensedwiththeneedfortastealtogether.

Butatitsbestblendedwhiskyiseverybitaschallengingandattractiveasallbuttheverybestmalts.Indeed,theverybestblendsarefoundedonweightyandagedqualitywhisky,andtheblender'sskillistoaddtothatveryhighbasecampandtakethedrinkintothesublime.

Evenrelativelyinexpensiveblendsfromthebiggercompaniesarecreditableexamplesofadifferentbutlegitimatestyleofwhisky.Notnecessarilybetter,notnecessarilyworse.Justdifferent.

BelowIanBuxtonexploreswhisky'sfinalfrontierandtheworldofsuperpremiumblends.Andonpage23,weprovideadefinitiveAZoftheworld'sbestblends.

Shock!£60ormoreforabottleofblend.Horror!Whiskyservedstraightfromthefreezer.Nightmare!Whiskywithexoticfruits–theworldofsuper-premiumblendsisquiteanalarmingplaceforwhiskytraditionalists.

Butthey'refightingarearguardaction.Theworldisembracingtheseluxuryblendswithgusto–except,itseems,intheUnitedKingdomwheredrinkersdon'tquitegetit.Sowhatisa‘super-premium'blendexactly,andexactlywhyisitastyleyoushouldconsider?

Theymayseemjustself-indulgencebutsuper-premiumsarethehighestexpressionoftheblender'sart:ahugecommitmentofinvestment,ti...

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