Review: Battle of the Blends – The Judging

Whisky Mag’s Battle of the Blends
in association with Master of Malt

Battle-of-the-BlendsSo, Dave ‘The Rummager’ Broom and Neil ‘Copper Dog’ Ridley have been set a challenge by the Whisky Mag along with Master of Malt… which of the two can produce the best blend… and it’s now time for selected blaggers judges to compare, contrast and submit their favourites. Want more info on the fight? Head to Master of Malt’s blog here.

As regular readers of my blog may have noticed I’ve run a small selection of blend reviews over the last few posts, so this seems a great way to finish that round up.

Annnd it’s on to my thoughts…

Blend A – 42.1% abv

Colour: Rusty golden.
Nose: A nutty and fairly classic sherry type nose with a spicy edge that makes it seem higher abv than it is. Oak shavings. It’s sweet and sprightly.
Palate: The palate seems to be an interplay between sweet and then sour with spices throughout that keep it fun but don’t overwhelm.
Finish: Warm and punchy with tasty oak notes and char smoke puffs leading to a long malty and oily finish.
Thoughts: Enjoyable although almost feels a little forced, the end of the palate into the finish is my favourite part.

Blend B – 43.5% abv

Colour: Evening sun gold.
Nose: Also a spicy edge making you think the abv is higher than it really is, and also some oak shavings, but this time there’s less of the nutty notes, although they’re still there, and more of the old leathery notes you find in older drams sometimes. There’s a slight burnt fudge toffee note along with malt which is enjoyable.
Palate: Oily and smoother on the palate than A; a straighter style of dram, maybe a little more classic. Some newer oak coming out the longer you hold it on your tongue.
Finish: Warming and malt led, fairly long, not overly sweet but enough to keep you interested with a pinch of spices. Almost a milk chocolate thing going on followed by grass.
Thoughts: A much more classic style to this dram; for me probably the more enjoyable, it doesn’t feel too young.

Overall Thoughts: These were to tasted blindly, i.e. I don’t know who was A or B or how they were produced (we’ll find out when the winner is announced!). B is probably the one I enjoyed the most, just due to the fact it didn’t seem to feel quite as young and was a little lighter on the spices. Both great fun though and both most drinkable. All that said, you go back to A and it is the more complex and fun dram, so maybe I prefer that? Arrrghhhhhh!

Thanks to Whisky Magazine and Master of Malt for the samples.


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