Blends arguably made Whisky, as a mass market product, viable. Thanks to the limited means, technology and understanding of the full process and production equipment in the early days of Whisk(e)y production, the consistency, drinkability and quality of single malts and single cask whiskies truly were a ‘lucky dip’. Early blending efforts were, by and large, conducted by grocers looking to ‘smooth’ or even out the inconsistencies of single barrels and malts into a reliable and dependable quality product which would bring customers back time and again by virtue of removing the uncertainty about whether the latest delivery of whisk(e)y was drinkable and enjoyable. Thanks to this innovative approach and the rise of multi-distillery owning blending houses, Whisky grew in mass market appeal while (to a large extent and in the early days at least) keeping prices at reasonable levels.
Fast forward a hundred years or so and, even with massive growth year on year in the single malt category, blends still account for over 93% of worldwide whisk(e)y consumption. Blends are often overlooked or dismissed out of hand by ‘advanced’ whisky drinkers for being overpriced or boring, which seems like folly to us considering some of the blends that are out there. This is without taking into consideration some of the releases from the past 12–24 months which were amazing value for money and/or just outright amazing. Examples that have particularly tickled our fancy include; the Vega 40 from North Star, Spencer Collings Founders Reserve, Exotic Cargo by the Scotch Malt Whisky Society(!), EVERYTHING from Compass box (in particularly the Phenomenology and No Name — with an honourable mention to the plain version of the Spice Tree which dollar for dollar is amazing and has been around for AGES), The Naked Grouse Blended Malt, Blue Hangar from Berry Brothers — the list can and does go on.
These blends, along with products like the ‘Japanese’ whiskies which are either a blend of Scotch and Japanese or just straight up blended Scotch bottled in Japan, and other region and nation spanning blends like the excellent Adelphi ‘Glover’ and ‘Brisbane’ releases (and to be completely honest several too many whiskies one particular evening)got us to thinking “How hard can it be? We can do this!”. Oh what young and foolish people we were…
Fast forward several hundred blending combinations and we’re proud (and our livers are relieved) to present you The Whisky List’s first official release of whisky, a 16 year old blended malt drawn from 5 separate single casks (2 ex-sherry, 3 ex-bourbon) from 2 countries (Scotland and Australia), with the youngest whisky a spritely 16 years young! Non chill filtered, uncoloured and presented at the strength they came out of the barrel at.
With no further adieu let’s dive in and see if there is any method to this madness…
TWL 16 — Batch 1 — ‘The Scozzie’
Blended Malt Whisky
500ml, 56.1% ABV,
Blended and bottled from a mix of distilleries from Scotland and Australia
Nose: Funky salty savoury notes (Vegemite?) overlaid by earthy barley, honey notes. Oily coconut and a slight tingle of ginger and cinnamon — sounds bizarre but works together really well somehow…
Palate: Sticky toffee at the front, buttered light fruit cake with butter. Warm mid palate showing sandal wood, cardamom, a pinch of white pepper and fresh geranium flowers. With water and time some delicate crushed rose petal flavours.
Finish: Rewards patience as the finish gets longer the longer its out of the bottle, starting off slightly spicy and woody moving to a longer more rounded wood profile with white grapes at the very end.
‘The Scozzie’ will officially go on sale at 09:00am, Sunday 16th December, 2018 for TWL Members.
Make sure you register to our newsletter to get your special access link. https://thewhiskylist.com.au/links/newsletter-signup
Public Sale will commence at 1200pm (noon), Sunday 16th December, 2018.
Thanks go to the The Wine Providore for dotting all the i’s and crossing all the t’s and distributing this for us and to May Lawrence Photography for the awesome photos.
Cheers! The Whisky List