Homeblend #2: Black Elijah

by Matti

The second blend will probably scare a few people. (Single Malt) whisky-drinkers, I’ve found, are a fairly conservative bunch. Even the topic of blending whiskies yourself is met by some with a virtual warding off of the evil spirits of non-traditionalism. Well, let me be frank: I don’t give a flying fettercairn. I like to experiment, and in this case that means blending (*sigh*) a blended whisky (*gasp*) and a bourbon (*WHOA*). It’s happening. Deal with it.

Black Elijah: a blend of Black Bottle and Elijah Craig

This is one of those blends that just sort of happened one night. I had a bit of Elijah Craig 12yo left in the glass and thought to myself: why doesn’t anyone make blends with whisk(e)y from both sides of theĀ Atlantic? So in went a good dollop of Black Bottle (hey, I’m experimental, but even I will not invest an expensive single malt on a whim…).

When first poured, this is a clear case of Combination. The nose is that of the Elijah Craig, while the palate is Black Bottle with a bit of orangy, citrusy tang added. In the finish, the bourbon is heard from again and takes over with its characteristic oak and oranges. Very little actual melting of flavours has occurred here, which is a bit of a shame really. At the time I thought this was due to the different natures of the spirits.

However, I had the luminous idea of mixing up another batch and vatting that in a little 5ml bottle for two weeks before trying again. This time the result is more like Enhancement: the nose and palate have taken on most of the characteristics of the Black Bottle albeit with a citric freshness. The oranges are more pronounced in the finish and grow more and more so towards the end.

This combination has strengthened my conviction that interesting bourbon/whisky-blends are possible. It is one to try, if only to discover parts of the taste of both ingredients that are harder to notice when drinking them by themselves.

3 Drams: Interesting

Want to kick me for violating the sacred code of single malt? You can do so in the comments below.