Whisky Magazine Issue 51
This article is 10 years old and some information provided may be time sensitive. Please check all details of events, tours, opening times and other information before travelling or making arrangements.
Copyright Whisky Magazine © 1999-2015. All rights reserved. To use or reproduce part or all of this article please contact us for details of how you can do so legally.
What makes a great blend,and why do the biggest brands command such loyalty? Ian Buxton reports
I can buy blended Scotch whisky at Tesco for £6.86. It's called Horseman. A full 70cl bottle and the proper 40% ABV strength it carries the claim ‘Distilled, Blended & Bottled in Scotland.' That means it's at least three years old and contains some single malt whisky. The name of the proud producer is given as Wauchope Moodie with a postcode which, curiously enough, is shared by Whyte & Mackay (“same initials as well, Holmes”). The name Wauchope Moodie does not appear in the two important trade reference books I consulted whilst a search at Companies House indicates that it is a ‘non-trading' company (“curious, Watson”).
It's certainly a non-profit making company because, as Dave Broom pointed out in issue 48, a retail price of £6.86 leaves around 37 pence after tax to cover the cost of the bottle, label, closure, carton, distribution – and the whisky itself.
But I've got a glass beside me as I write this.
Unsurprisingly, Horseman is not the greatest whisky I've ever tasted. But then I didn't expect it to be.
More importantly, it's not the worst whisky I've ever drunk. I can imagine that if you were serving this over ice, or with a strongly flavoured mixer, or late at night to some not very close chums who'd had a few, it might well find a useful role in your drinks cabinet.
In fact, in a recent tasting at a sumptuous private club I served it blind to some wealthy merchant bankers who reckoned they knew their whisky. No-one voted it their favourite but no...