Our 2nd Annual Scotchtoberfest, held in June of 2012, used Blended Scotch Whiskies as a theme (you can read about it here), but the whiskies the we tasted had significant variation in price and quality: The Black Grouse, Te Bheag, and Ballantine's 17 year-old, and then two entries from Compass Box - Peat Monster and Spice Tree - both of which were
This got me thinking, however, about blended Scotch whisky, specifically, the "bottom shelf" stuff, like Grant's Family Reserve, Dewar's White Label, Ballantine's Finest, JW Red Label, Catto's Rare Old; the stuff that doesn't often get reviewed in our haste to explore the higher end single malts, bourbons, and other premium whiskies (although to be fair, Jason Debly does seem to have a soft spot for reviewing blends, and The ScotchNoob has also reviewed quite a few). And I for one shouldn't turn my nose up at inexpensive blends, as I've thoroughly enjoyed the drams of Islay Mist 8 year-old that I've had, and I must admit to having a soft spot for The Famous Grouse.
So I proposed to Jeff that our little group (which we've named Dram-atic Irony) conduct a 'Battle of the (Budget) Blended Whiskies', in a manner similar to that undertaken by the good folks at ScotchBlog.ca, back in 2010. Jeff's response was one of immediate enthusiasm, and he started planning right away. We found the 16 cheapest blended Scotch whiskies at the LCBO (in alphabetical order):
- Ballantine's Finest
- Bell's Original
- Catto's Rare Old
- Cutty Sark
- Dewar's White Label
- Grand Macnish
- Grant's Family Reserve
- Grant's Sherry Cask Reserve
- Islay Mist 8 year-old
- J&B Rare
- Johnnie Walker Red Label
- Teacher's Highland Cream
- Te Bheag
- The Black Grouse
- The Famous Grouse
- Whyte & Mackay Special Reserve
Whisky, Single Malt
The essence is this2011-05-09 20:54:21 by 4KU
Why age? the years in wood allow a relaxation of the sharp, hard flavors of whisky into mellow flavors. 8+ years in wood will remove most of the hard burn and adds flavor. Further aging continues this process, which is why most good Scotch Single Malts dont appear on the shelf until after 8-10 years. The problem is that some people automatically associate longer and longer ages for better whiskies. If 18 years is good, 21 must be very good and 100 must be fantastic, right? In reality, after 15-20 years the mellowing process slows quite a bit and you can start to lose character, effectively making a weaker, less interesting
I don't know who owns them2012-01-16 21:39:40 by no-delusions
But there are 4 distileries in Ireland/Northern Ireland. But three of them produce Multiple Brands(Blends) of Irish whiskey. Just like most brands of American Wines are produced in wineries that crush and bottle for other vineyards , or even people who buy from other vineyards.
Ireland has only four (although each produces a number of different whiskeys): economic difficulties... been part of the Pernod-Ricard conglomerate since 1988. Bushmills was part of the Irish Distillers group from 1972 until 2005 when it was sold to Diageo. In addition to the 4 distilleries, there are a number of independently owned Irish Whiskey brands, such Tullamore Dew and The Irishman. The Irishman specialise in re-creating some of Irelands lost whisky treasures such as Potstill whiskies.
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