All About Grouse Scotch WhiskyAsk the Edrington Group’s master blender, John Ramsay, what makes his drams different and he immediately proposes marriage. In the whisky-making sense, of course. Marriage used to be normal practice for blenders: before bottling, malts and grains would be brought together for a period of mingling. Most firms have abandoned the art, but Edrington sticks to the old ways, marrying its blends for six months and at reduced strength.
‘The bean counters in most firms decided it wasn’t helping the bottom line, ’ says John. ‘But we ran an exercise to see if we were getting a benefit from marrying, and we were.’ It’s all down to maximizing flavour.
‘When you add water to cask-strength malt, some components become unstable, ’ he continues. ‘We give that time to settle, which means we can give the final blend a light filtration. If you don’t do this you’ll have to give it a harder filtration to get that stability – and then you lose some flavour’.
The process is made more complicated by his insistence on marrying blocks of blends. ‘We’ll combine malts and grains; reduce, marry and have Blend One, ’ he explains. ‘Then we repeat the exercise and get Blends Two to Four. When it comes to bottling, rather than just using all of Blend One and then moving on, we’ll use some from each batch. It’s a form of whisky solera’.
But we skip ahead. Edrington’s brands (which include Famous Grouse, Cutty Sark -which they blend for Berry Bros – Lang’s Supreme and Black Bottle) start their lives as the new make samples from a host of distilleries, and are nosed by John every day. Then, like every blender, he has to work out how much new make to lay down, to satisfy potential demand for any of the brands many years down the line. It’s this ability to assess new make and mature spirit that sets blenders apart.
John can stick his nose in a glass of Glenrothes 5-year-old from sherry wood and know if it fits ‘the wee picture in my head’, and also how that whisky will behave when combined with thirty others. While some of us may be able to pick out a few malts at a blind tasting, a blender knows not just what it is but whether it fits within the right parameters according to age and wood. It’s an awesome ability, but this modest man hasn’t allowed it to go to his head.
These blends are very different creatures: they don’t just have different core malts, the wood recipe has also been carefully plotted. The sherry wood in the delicate Cutty comes from American oak; the richer Lang’s uses Spanish oak and Grouse uses both. ‘You want a fragrant sweet aroma in Cutty, so you use American wood and a Speyside malt like Tamdhu for sweetness, with some Bunnahabhain for freshness. Grouse is Speyside-based as well, but there is a lot of influence from Highland Park and the mix of sherry from Spanish and American wood’.
100 Pipers Scotch Whisky 1968 Framed Promotional Advertisement Photo 11x14
Hmmm....i have never opened that bottle2007-07-06 21:19:07 by PriestessofAlchemy
I have french um....
what the hell is it.....
i love it too.....
*goes to look*
i spied johhny walker blk label scotch whisky
i dont think i bought that
pretty sure a person brought it to a party.,,here
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