Homeblend 15: Dal Elgin

by Matti

The second fruit of the Dalwhinnie testblends is this: Dal Elgin. And fruit is right, since any blend with Glen Elgin in it will invariably have sweet candy-like fruit in it no matter what partners you throw at it. This makes Dal Elgin a very useful blending malt: like peated whisky and the Deanston Virgin Oak I featured a few blends back it never fails to impart its character on a blend. Even better, whereas peated whisky seems to behave oddly with certain other malts, Dal Elgin just works. If all of it is suppressed, there’s still a hint of liquid fruit candy in the background somewhere. So, let’s see what it does when partnered with Dalwhinnie:

A schematic representation of the whisky homeblend 'Dalmorangie', containing Dalwhinnie 15yo Single Highland Malt and Dal Elgin 12yo Single Speyside Malt.Last week I wrote: ‘It is not a blend which bowls you over like the Dalmorangie’. Already in the nose I have to slightly revise this statement: the fruitiness has broadened and taken on an extra sour note which results in grapefruit and raspberry notes. In the background there’s a definite malty note and even some haystacks (uh?). On tasting you get tangy fruit, liquorice, spices (cinnamon prevails) and summer flowers (how do I know this? I must have eaten flowers at some point… disturbing). It finishes bittersweet, with a hint of seasalt and a distinct aftertaste of salmiak (salty liquorice).

This is good. Quirky, but good. If anything, the taste will turn you off here. Both nose and finish have an elegance about them which the taste doesn’t quite live up to. I’m torn about what to grade it, and if I did halve drams it would be a 3.5, but let’s stay conservative (and leave room for improvement, read on below!).

Blend score: 3 Drams, Interesting

Right, this is below: so, the improvement I hinted at consists of a pair of blends designed to integrate and tone down the taste somewhat. These have been blended, and I will report on them after marriage (reviewing testblends doesn’t make much sense in this case). One of the new participants is Aberlour 10yo, the other… you’ll see soon enough!