On the menu was a Vatted (Blended) Malt, Blended Grain and 3 different Blended (Malt and Grain) Whiskies.
The first bottle on the agenda was Ballantine’s Finest. Highly recommended by the famous Jim Murray this £15 bottle seemed like a good starting point.
The blend’s light gold colour and unmistakable taste come from a complex mix of carefully selected malt and grain whiskies — all aged for many a year in high quality casks.
Nose - Heather honey aromas with a hint of spice. Not hugely complex but blends tend not to always give everything up on the nose.
Palate - Well balanced subtle flavours with tones of milk chocolate, apple and vanilla. I fell like the corners have been knocked of fso many times it leaves it slightly bland… nothing stands out.
Finish - Short.
For £15 quid it is good value and worth the try.
This is made from 3 diffeent single malts hence the “blended malt” or vatted malt tag.
Nose: Marmalade, cocoa and malt. Some winter spice (nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon) and hint of aniseed.
Palate: Very malty, creamy delivery which offers juicy toasted barley, cloves and butterscotch. Honey and apricot develop.
Finish: Medium length with oranges and vanilla.
In my mind for the money this was the best value of the night. Interesting, well put together, good flavours and honest.
This is what Chivas Regal have to say about their own 18 year old Blended Whisky…
Chivas 18 is a uniquely rich and multi-layered blend that includes over twenty of Scotland’s rarest single malt Scotch whiskies. With 85 flavour notes in every drop, each sip is a new discovery.
It is a multi-award winner…
- 2012 Gold award, San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
- 2011 Gold award, San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
- 2010 Gold award, International Wine & Spirits Competition.
- 2009 Gold award, International Wine & Spirits Challenge.
What did we think.
Nose: Balanced. Orange peel, malted barley. Vanilla fudge, touch of spice.
Palate: Medium body, marmalade, touch of wood.
Finish: Medium, slightly oaky and peppery but fades.
Verdict: Not as “special” as I was hoping for. Very nice but there certainly was not 85 flavour notes for me. Maybe I was expecting too much from this as I did have high hopes being a fan of the 12.
Compass Box, the self proclaimed "artisan Whisky makers" and all around marketing gurus love to tantalise us with different kinds of offerings. Hedonism is their Blended Grain Whisky.
Batches vary and are made from a combination of 8 - 15 casks from a variety of distilleries.
this batch is limited release bottling number: HE18MMXI.
The beautiful smoked bottle disguises the palest of Whiskies that it hides within. This oily blend has good legs indicating some age in there. At this stage you should be getting excited. The box, the bottle, the appearance all indicate class.
The nose is light, creamy, plenty of vanilla and fudge.
It is soft, creamy, silky on the palate. The vanilla is there along with mild spices, nicely peppery.
The finish is creamy, a tang of fresh ginger, sweet but short.
Initially this bottle seems much more classy that the American Grain Whiskies. The creamy, silkiness oozes quality on the nose and initially on the palate but it fades away and leaves me feeling unfulfilled.
It is interesting, clearly a well made and nicely balanced product but it lacks a suitable ending. I wanted more rolling flavours that unfolded into a climatic finish and after the initial flavours I got a slow drift into... Mmm, quite nice.
I don't regret buying this Whisky, it's easy drinking, well put together but not the show stopper I had hoped it might be. Worth trying as it is very different from most of the single malts out there.
Here is the blurb…Highland Black is a blend of the finest grain and malt whiskies from Scotland all aged for a minimum of 8 years. The blend contains a high percentage of single malt whiskies from the Highlands and Speyside regions of Scotland. These malt whiskies are then blended with the purest grain whisky from the Lowlands.
This is a triple award winning blend which for the money is excellent value.
• IWSC Gold 2013
• The Spirits Business 2013 Gold
• International Spirits Challenge 2013 Gold
This was the Aldi bottle for £12. Bargain basement.
Verdict –Tastes like a simple blended Whisky. Not offensive, good value and does what it says on the tin. Perfect for a simple dram or even to use in cooking.