Blending and vatting your own (malt) whisky. Homeblends, tasting notes, tips, tricks and ramblings.

Tag: homeblend

Homeblend 13: The Dalwhinnie Testblends

Here’s another post to sate your lust for the blend. This time I’ll be chronicling a few testblends I did last night, so in contrast to most of the blends I talk about on this blog, these are unmarried and more or less freshly poured (I let them sit with a cover on the glass for 30 mins before tasting, but that’s it). Dalwhinnie 15yo is a subtly flavoured single malt, so I chose three more or less subtle malts to partner it with: Glenmorangie 10yo, Clynelish 14yo and Glen Elgin 12yo. My expectations beforehand were that the resulting blends would be rather similar, with differences in the nuances, but […]

Homeblend 12: The F-Bomb

There’s two ingredients for this  blend: First, I like to one-up people. Second, I saw some tasting notes describing Glen Elgin 12yo as ‘obscenely fruity’. Put those ingredients together and you get me trying to make Glen Elgin fruitier. Is this a good idea? Probably not, but it should be fun! First, I’ve added the Fruitifier™: Elijah Craig. Then, to give it another little kick, a dose of Deanston Virgin Oak, which I hope will make a marriage between the other two because of it’s single malt spirit and bourbon-y production in virgin oak casks.

Homeblend 11: Elijah Clyne

While doing this blog, two repeat offenders have arisen from amongst the ranks. Both Elijah Craig 12yo and Clynelish 14yo have proven themselves excellent blend-participants, but for very different reasons. Elijah Craig, being a bourbon, has a very powerful taste and (like peated whiskies) is best used in moderation. What it does best is add orange (peel) and vanilla notes. I like to think of it as a finisher (you add just a splash to complete a blend). Clynelish on the other hand is quite the opposite: it works best in larger amounts, imparting a mellow quality and waxy mouthfeel and finish to whatever blend it finds itself in. As you probably […]

Homeblend #9: The Clydefrog

I like peated whisky. I also like blending whiskies. So, one of the first things I did when I started blending was try out different blends containing peated whiskies. It turns out peat and smoke are flavours which are hard to work with. If you use just a little it’s not so bad: you get some smoke in the nose and finish and maybe a bit of peat and spice in the taste. Really good if you want to enhance a whisky, but not really peaty. When using larger amount of peated whisky, one of two things tends too happen: either the peated whisky completely and utterly overwhelms the other […]

Homeblend #8: The Meady Blues

Sometimes everything just works. You have an idea which seems decent, you act on it and the result is better than even you expected. You find yourself baffled by this thing you have created. It is no longer a collection of parts, it has become a truly new thing. It is… alive. ALIVE! It is one such Frankensteinish moment I wish to share with you today. Far from a monster, The Meady Blues is actually quite heavenly (which is why I named it after the famed Norse nectar of the gods). It began as an idea: what if I could combine the best parts of two previous blends: the beeswax […]

Homeblend #7: Isle of Ardmore

This week I’ll be using Isle of Arran 10yo single malt as a base for blending. One thing I should tell you first, though: I’m Dutch (okay, stop gasping, it’s not as if I can help it). And one particularly Dutch foodstuff is liquorice. So you can gauge the extend of our preoccupation with this bitter-sweet candy: we tend to have a section devoted solely to liquorice in our supermarkets roughly the size of the coffee-and-tea-shelf. So you imagine my mirth when I first consumed a dram of Arran 10yo and found that it has a distinct liquorice-y taste and finish. Now, I happened to have a bottle of Ardmore Traditional Cask […]

Homeblend #6: The Dealish vs. The Deanfrog

Last week I tried out three possible ways to improve the fairly simple character of the Deanston Virgin Oak. Two of the three showed enough promise to warrant a second look after letting them marry for a bit. Both the Deanfrog and the Dealish have been marrying in small 5cl bottles for 8 days, which should be long enough to allow the flavour and scent of the malts to meld into each other. I´ll go a bit deeper into why and how long of marrying in a future post, but read on below to discover that (at least in these these two cases) it is an essential part of blending.

Homeblend #5: a Deanston Threesome

It’s time for the big friday post! (‘Wait, what? Is there such a thing? I don’t think I’ve ever heard you mention this?’ There is now. Why? Because I just invented it, that’s why.) Aaaaanyway, this friday it’s a three-in-one homeblend review. The style of blend is a recovery and the whisky I’ll be trying to improve is Deanston Virgin Oak. Now, this is not by any shot a bad whisky in the sense that it is undrinkable, it just a little simple for my taste: the finish in new oak casks has overpowered any other tastes, leaving the taster with an (unsurprisingly) oaky, vannilla-y taste with just faint hints of […]

Homeblend #4: the Tal’fro

Here’s one that builds on the Laphroaig+. This blend is based on a good amount of Talisker 10yo, with equal amounts of Laphroaig 10yo and Black Bottle added. My idea for this one was to create a true marriage between the harsh smoky character of the Laphroaig and the more benign maritime characteristics of the Talisker.

Homeblend #3: Craigmore

Emboldened by my relative sucess with the Black Elijah I thought I’d give the whole boursky-thing (bourbon and whisky, a variation on Ralfy’s Rumsky) another try. Here follows my thought process: I: ‘Right, so what’s a nice characteristic of this here Elijah Craig bourbon?’ Me: ‘Why, for one, it has a pleasant bitterness about it.’ I: ‘That’s right! So what whisky do I have that also has this bitter note?’ Me: ‘I think I see where I’m going with this, what about this here Ardmore?’ I: ‘Yes! I think we’ve got a winner there! These flavours must surely enhance one another in hitherto unfathomed ways!’ Both of me couldn’t have been more […]