Category Archives: Blends

Sandy Macdonald Special Scotch Whisky Blend 1950s - Glendullan

Tasting: Sandy Macdonald Special Scotch Whisky Blend 1950s – Glendullan

Sandy Macdonald Special Scotch Whisky Blend 1950s - GlendullanDram data:
Distillery: Blend with Glendullan
Bottler: Sandy Macdonald
Distilled: –
Bottled: ca. 1950s
Age: –
Limitation: –
Casks: –
Alcohol: 40% (70 UK proof)
unknown filtering/colouring
Whiskybase link

Preparing for my 2017 Scotland whisky trip, I think this old oddball whisky will be just what the doctor ordered. It’s a ca. 1950s bottling, with a spring cap. There’s not much info on the (original, not the pictured sample) bottle, but after some research it seems to be a blended whisky, which highlights Glendullan as the “pure malt distillery”. Is it the only malt whisky in the mix? I have no idea, but it might just be – other bottlings from the same era feature several distillery names on the label. Let’s nose and taste it and see if it’s as interesting and intriguing as it looks!

Tasting notes:
Colour:
 red gold
The nose is quite peculiar. A slightly alcoholic tingle up front with a hint of menthol. Light and fresh – very well-preserved! There are notes of lemon zest, orange oil, lychee, melissa, white peaches on a light backbone of honey, toffee and a hint of machine shop with oil and a sooty chimney. After many minutes in the glass, a cognac-like note emerges in the background.  Continue reading

Douglas Laing The Epicurean NAS

24 drams till Christmas 2016 #10: The Epicurean Lowland blended malt by Douglas Laing

Douglas Laing The Epicurean NASDram data:
Distillery: –
Bottler: Douglas Laing
Distilled: –
Bottled: 2016
Age: NAS
Limitation: –
Casks: –
Alcohol: 46,2%
unchillfiltered and uncoloured
Whiskybase link

Lowland whisky distilleries are low in number and they also aren’t featured too often these days – so let’s take a look at this blended malt (a mixture of different single malt whiskies), made up exclusively by Lowland whiskies.

Tasting notes:
Colour:
 cucumber water
The nose opens on the light, grassy, citrus-laden side. Light in character, which is a quite common lowland whisky profile. Sweetened cucumber water (a trace of rock candy), freshly cut grass, hay, light vanilla, lemons and limes. Yep, a nice, clean, light, but still eventful nose, not “baby-young” but also not super-old either without a trace of oak. Or, maybe… a trace of leather – a bomber jacket perhaps? On to the palate!  Continue reading

Chivas Regal 18 yo blend

Tasting: Chivas Regal 18 yo blend

Chivas Regal 18 yo blendDram data:
Distillery: – (Blend)
Bottler: Chivas Brothers Ltd.
Distilled: –
Bottled: 2015
Age: 18
Limitation: –
Casks: –
Alcohol: 40%
chillfiltered and coloured
Whiskybase link

The bog standard Chivas Regal 12 yo blended Scotch is being quaffed in unbelievably huge quantities all around the world, but then there’s also the older, and more expensive, yet still affordable sipling (about 50€ at the time of writing), the 18 yo. I’ve never tried it – about time I did so, I guess…

Tasting notes:
Colour: E150a-caused dark red-orange hue
The nose starts off light enough with an unexpected dominance of light alcoholic notes, but there’s more lurking in the background. Lots more, a very dense, interwoven nasal experience and malt-dominated, as is to be expected from a blended whisky in that price range. Honey, vanilla, sweet fruits (mango, apricots, peaches, sweet grapes, honey melon, lychees and many more) paired with palm honey, old spicy grain whisky, a light grassy note and a pinch of mulled wine spices. Background notes are provided by a layer of fragrant, but not overwhelming oak. Very well put together, complex yet light enough to be mass-compatible. Nonetheless, it’s able to speak for itself, not just a base for a mixer! On to the palate now! Continue reading

Cadenhead Creations Rich Fruity Sherry 36 yo blend

Tasting: Cadenhead Creations Rich Fruity Sherry 36 yo blend

Cadenhead Creations Rich Fruity Sherry 36 yo blendDram data:
Distillery: – (Blend)
Bottler: Cadenhead’s
Distilled: –
Bottled: 2016
Age: 36 years
Limitation: –
Casks: Sherry Butts
Alcohol: 44,5%
Unchillfiltered; uncoloured
Whiskybase link

How can you say no to a sherried 36yo blended whisky, especially a small batch product from Cadenhead’s? Too right – you can’t!

Tasting notes:
Colour: 
red amber
The nose opens on the dark, dense, mysterious side. You might also call it closed-up. But, hang on, it’s a blend, that’s supposed to feature a rather tightly woven net of aromas. A mixture of dark, dried fruits. All the dark, dried fruits you can think of put in a blender and mixed thoroughly – after adding a pint of orange juice with bits, and a handful of orange peel. A pinch of spices – cloves, star anise, cinnamon, pimento – paired with a whiff of peat smoke, cask smokiness and polished oak cupboard. I usually prefer a not so tight and closed-down aromatic profile, but it is a blend after all, and a very good one at that. Let’s see how the palate holds up. Continue reading

Black Mountain Whisky Selection BM No.1 Blend

Tasting: Black Mountain Whisky Selection BM No.1 Blend

Black Mountain Whisky Selection BM No.1 BlendDram data:
Distillery: – (Blend)
Bottler: Black Mountain Compagnie
Distilled: –
Bottled: ca. 2015-2016
Age: 9 years (acc. to webpage)
Limitation: –
Casks: French spirits cask finish
Alcohol: 42%
probably chill filtered, no colouring info
Whiskybase link

Tasting notes:
The story behind this dram is certainly interesting. I hope I’ll get it right, I’m relying partly on an automated translation of the French website. The French “Black Mountain Compagnie” seeks to build their own distillery in the national park of Haut Languedoc in the coming years. For now they’re maturing and bottling Scotch – in France. This blend “No 1” has a high malt content and the youngest whisky is 9 years old, which is quite high for a blend. After being reduced to a marrying strength of 45% they’re maturing it in casks from the south-west of France previously used for French spirits (Cognac? Armagnac? Brandy?) for a period of at least six months before it’s being bottled at 42% ABV. Well, let’s taste it!
Colour: (slightly red) gold
The nose is light and delicate. A dominating slightly green grape note with crushed grape seed bitterness. That’s the influence from the ex-Cognac/Armagnac/Brandy cask maturation/finish. A whiff of spicy French oak, green banana, oxidised green apple, freshly mown grass, lovage with molasses and honey in the background. Continue reading

Johnnie Walker Double Black

Blind tasting: Johnnie Walker Double Black

Johnnie Walker Double BlackDram data:
Distillery: – (Blend)
Bottler: Original Bottling
Distilled: –
Bottled: ca. 2015
Age: NAS
Limitation: –
Casks: –
Alcohol: 40%
chill filtered; coloured
Whiskybase link

Tasting notes:
Colour:
fake-looking orang-ey dark gold.
Ah yes, another blind tasting – haven’t done one of these in a while. The only hint I have is that it’s a travel retail 1l-sized bottling. Let’s get going then, shall we?
The nose starts off pretty light and muted at first contact, no way this is bottled at more than 40% ABV. A nose not to offend anyone: A profound generic / honey sweetness paired with vanilla, toffee, orange rind, slight spices (allspice, cinnamon) and perhaps a hint of peat smoke in the background or is the cask fooling my senses here? Continue reading

Blind tasting: Campbeltown Loch Blended Scotch Whisky

Dram data:Campbeltown Loch
Distillery: – (Blend)
Bottler: Springbank Distillers Ltd.
Distilled: –
Bottled: 2014-ish
Age: 5 years (acc. to Whiskybase)
Limitation: –
Cask: –
Alcohol: 40%
Unchillfiltered, most likely uncoloured
Whiskybase link

Tasting notes:
Colour:
White wine.
The nose is very light and perfumy. I’ve got a suspicion this is a blend. Unripe and ripe apples mixed with grapes. Continue reading

Tasting: VAT 69 Vintage Austrian Import bottle

vat_69_vintageDram data:

Distillery: Blend
Bottler: WM Sanderson & Son Ltd
Distilled: –
Bottled: 1980s? 1990s?
Age: – (probably 3 years)
Limitation: unknown
Price at the time of purchasing: –
Casks: –
Alcohol: doesn’t say! Most likely 40%

Tasting notes:
Colour: Well, E150a reddish-gold. On the nose I get quite a sharp alcoholic first impression with a bit of old glue mixed in. Continue reading