Homeblend 19: Rothavulin

by Matti

Like the name? I think it’s a new high in my search for unpronounceable¬†mash-ups. But anyway, to business: today’s blend is a bit of a fluke. I got a bottle of Glenrothes Select Reserve for my birthday and decided to blend it with the closest thing on my whisky-shelf. That turned out to be one of the stars amongst peated whiskies: Lagavulin 16yo. In light of previous experience I thought better of making it a 50/50 blend and instead went for 75% Glenrothes to 25% Lagavulin.

It was at this point that I needed to come up with a rationale for putting these two whiskies together. You know, being a serious whisky-blogger and all. So, the Glenrothes by itself is a fairly simple tasting whisky. Tasty, but simple. The Lagavulin on the other hand is one of the more balanced peat-monsters with tons of character. The idea then (and I’m sticking to it) is to have the lagavulin build upon the solid if somewhat boring base provided by the Glenrothes by adding depth and complexity (not to mention a little smokiness). And whaddayaknow: it actually worked!

A schematic representation of the whisky homeblend 'Rothavulin', containing Glenrothes Select Reserve and  Lagavulin 16yo Single Malt whiskies.

Usually I tweak my blends and only put them up here after a few iterations, but this one just plain worked: the nose is insanely creamy and buttery with caramel and a hint of citrus. It reminds me of Werther’s Original sweets. When tasted, the cream is still there, but more flavours appear: toasted nuts, smoke (clean smoke, not earthy at all) and a hint of pepper. All through this is a sweetness which mellows the other flavours. The finish is not very long, but has a pleasant sweet nuttiness and ends in the (not unpleasant) ashy sensation you also get from an unblended dram of Lagavulin.

All in all this blend proves you can plan all you want, but just throwing stuff together can work just as well. The sample I tasted was married for 8 days, and I fully expect this to get even better when married for a longer period of time.

Blend score: 4 Drams, Very Good

I have a few more blends marrying in the proverbial wings, so stay tuned!