Now that’s out of the way I’d like to talk about my new “thing” and that is finding blends which are better than even good single malts for depth of flavour and overall character.
I’ve been bought a bottle of Compass Box Great King Street Artist’s Blend and without wanting to sound like I’m being paid to write this up, which I’m not, it is superb.
For those of you who don’t know about Compass Box they are a small independent company offering smallish batches of some truly remarkable whisky, you can check them out here.
Anyway, the Artist’s blend is a lovely smooth whisky, creamy on the tongue, lots of fruit, almost Christmas cake style and very easy drinking both neat or with a tiny touch of water but only just enough to release the oils, add too much water or ice to this and you’ll lose the delicate flavour.
Blends are offering so much these days with many companies perfecting both the “pure malt” and blends.
Pure Malts or All Malt blends are blended whisky which contain no grain. Grain whisky is mass produced and used as a filler for most blended whiskies.
Normal Blends are made up of grain and malts and with better blends you can improve a particular flavour an example of this being adding malts which are peat based to improve and create a huge peaty flavour or the same with sherry barreled malts.
Decent blends are often expensive and put off the casual buyer because the marketing people within whisky have convinced everyone that Malts and aged Malts are all the matter and blends are inferior products but I challenge anyone to a blind taste off using top blends and malts and see if you can tell the difference.
My top five blends are;
1. Johnnie Walker Gold Label
2. Compass Box The Artist’s Blend
3. The Bailie Nicol Jarvie
4. The Black Grouse
5. J&B Rare.
These are just five I really enjoy and are easily available either online or in most shops and only the Gold Label is more than thirty pounds and all are worth exploring if you fancy delving into blends.
Good luck and remember to either drink responsibly or drink like a man possessed.