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Hi, this is one of our (almost) daily tastings. Santé!

December 8, 2017


Another little bag of blends

Not many, just a few, with or without grain, it does not matter! Let’s do that randomly and see what came our way in recent weeks…

The Naked Grouse (40%, OB, blend, +/-2017)

The Naked Grouse (40%, OB, blend, +/-2017) Three stars When I first tried the first batches back in 2012, I thought Naked Grouse was rather terrific (WF 85). But it can happen that distillers and bottlers put extra care into their first batches (you know, older, better casks), let’s see… Oh and I rather like this packaging… Colour: full gold. Nose: a lot of malty cakes, brioches, panettone, custard, Jaffa cakes, then rather brown beers and chocolate sauce. Mars bars? I’m also finding Golden Grahams and a dollop of proper maple syrup. All fine, you could pour this on pancakes. Mouth: really very good, really. Overripe apples, oranges and malty cereal bars, amontillado, dry dates, tobacco… The only problem is that it tends to nosedive after twenty seconds, and to become a little too dry. That could be the low strength. Finish: medium, rather drying, on black chocolate, with some black tea in the aftertaste. Comments: I think it got a little narrower and drier since 2012, but it’s still a very fine blended Scotch, no doubt about that. SGP:451 - 82 points.

James Eadie’s X (45.6%, James Eadie, blend, +/-2017)

James Eadie’s X (45.6%, James Eadie, blend, +/-2017) Three stars and a half It seems that this is a very old brand that’s just been revived. Colour: white wine (little colouring if any, hurray). Nose: it’s rather gentle, starting a little buttery, malty, with notes of raw barley, a touch of muesli, then rather small raisins, a very light smoke (garden bonfire at the neighbours’) and something clearly coastal (oysters). I find it rather delicate and complex, and it’s appreciable that there’s no ooh-ah-caramelness. Mouth: high malt content for sure. This is lovely, absolutely lovely, rather smokier than on the nose, more citrusy for sure, and delicately malty. More muesli, with a little pepper and ginger thrown in for good measure. The strength is perfect. Drops of seawater, always loved that in nay malt (or blend for that matter). Finish: medium, rather grassier, with fruit peelings. Lemon zests and ashes in the aftertaste, as well as a little grass. Comments: a ‘high blend’ that’s frankly malty. How much grain in there? Any? SGP:453 - 84 points.

Vanilla Burst ‘Batch 1’ (46%, Wemyss Malts, blended malt, 4,800 bottles)

Vanilla Burst ‘Batch 1’ (46%, Wemyss Malts, blended malt, 4,800 bottles) Three stars Ahem, vanilla and no age… Ahem… Colour: straw. Nose: beer, Guinness, sour dough, pancake batter, which is all fine, and do you hear me? No vanilla in excess! Hurray! Mouth: frankly, this is good. Sweet and malty, ‘average’ in the best sense of that word, with pears and apples, fruit crumble, barley, muesli, porridge, oranges… It seems that they almost recreated Glenfiddich (the older 15 cask strength)! Actually, pears are calling the shots here. Finish: medium, getting perhaps a tad too grassy and bitter(ish) for me. Comments: I did not find any ‘vanilla burst’, but we shan’t complain. A good solid vatted malt, perhaps not exactly a sipper though. For deluxe cocktails? SGP:441 - 80 points.

Treacle Chest ‘Batch 2’ (46%, Wemyss Malts, blended malt, 6,300 bottles)

Treacle Chest ‘Batch 2’ (46%, Wemyss Malts, blended malt, 6,300 bottles) Three stars Colour: gold. Nose: fine, starting with whiffs of copper and walnuts, a little metal polish, then figs and roasted nuts, a little burnt wood, old walnuts, and some kind of old furniture polish from grandpa’s times. Mouth: I like the palate rather better, it’s finely sherried, not too sweet, and yet a bit PX-y, with notes of Banyuls, cognac, walnuts, speculoos, macaroons, Mars bar, oranges… Doesn’t it remind me a bit of Glenfarclas 12 years old? Finish: medium, with more marmalade, raisins, toasted brioche, and again Mars bar. A vatting of pretty good entry-level Speysiders, Glenlivet 12, Glenfarclas 12, Macallan 12 Fine Oak… Juniper and marmalade in the aftertaste. Comments: solid and very quaffable, well done. SGP:451 - 81 points.

The Lost Distilleries Blend (51%, The Blended Whisky Company, batch #10, 1,041 bottles, 2017)

The Lost Distilleries Blend (51%, The Blended Whisky Company, batch #10, 1,041 bottles, 2017) Four stars and a halfImagine those mad souls at Master of Malts have murdered some Caperdonich, Rosebank, Imperial, Mosstowie, Glen Mhor, Glenisla, Glenlochy, Craigduff, Port Ellen, Brora and Port Dundas here. Well, not that we cared much for the Port Dundas, but… Colour: straw. Nose: smells of the old times, really. Ashes, the interior of a new Morris Marina (yep I’ve chosen a British car that I knew only too well), soot, old cellar, fresh concrete, a little coconut (Port Dundas, shhh!), brand new double LP from Tower Records’, cardboard, Miss Moneypenny’s used carbon papers… With water: menthol! Some menthol! Mouth (neat): blimey, this is good! Smoked pineapples, ashy oranges, over-baked brownies, forgotten fudge, sucking your cigar, lamp oil, graphite… I don’t know if this was an accident, but it worked. With water: really very good. It’s not impossible that they managed to recreate old White Horse or Logan this time. No, certainly not Glenfiddich. Finish: long, sooty, oily, waxy… Now as for that Brora that they poured into this, I think I’ll come over with four Albanian friends right tomorrow. MoM, we have to talk… Comments: Well done. See you tomorrow – may I suggest you start to number your giblets, as we say over here? SGP:453 - 89 points.

More tasting notes Check the index of all blends I've tasted so far






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