Homeblend 20: Lagaton

by Matti

Very early on in my whisky education I stumbled across a vlog by Ralfy, in which he described a rum tasting with the Glasgow whisky club. His own contribution was a blend of whisky and rum he called ‘rumsky‘. Intrigued, I vowed to myself to try this one day. And, as you may have guessed, that very day has at last arrived!

Ralfy actually aged his rumsky for one and a half years as well as using cask strength spirits. I decided to start a little simpler by simply pouring a rum and a whisky together. Doesn’t really get much easier. Since the rum I selected (Appleton 12yo) is a fairly heavy tasting one I thought pairing it up with a peated whisky would be my best shot at a satisfactory result. And, as it was still sitting on the front of the shelf from the last homeblend, Lagavulin was the lucky one.  The blend was married for two weeks before tasting.

Lagaton 1.0 was a straight up mix, but this was a very twofaced blend without much integration. To act as an intermediate between the two powerful spirits I decided to add Aberlour 10yo whisky. This sweet speysider would, with luck, mellow the result and marry the rum with the smoke. And it did:

A schematic representation of the whisky/rum homeblend 'Lagaton', containing Lagavulin 16yo Single Malt and Aberlour 10yo whisky as well as Appleton 12yo rum.

This blend needs to be appreciated with as blank a mind as possible, because it will throw you off initially. The nose is powerful, with sugarcane, banana and rasins leaving no doubt that we are dealing with a rum here. After a little time though, the first traces of smoke appear and strike a discordant note.

On tasting, as with the nose, the flavours are intense: First prickly smoke, then ripe fruit and finally boggy peat make an appearrance. The finish is interesting as the smoke dissipates almost completely leaving base note of peat supporting peach and banana. The last thing you taste is, highly surprisingly, the sultanas from the Aberlour!

An interesting result to say the least. If you taste this without preconceptions you may just enjoy the new and surprising taste. I have certainly tasted nothing like it before. I’ll be continuing to fine-tune it, and may just decrease the amount of lagavulin a tad, or replace half of it with caol ila 12yo, to slghtly tone down the smoke, but as it stands this is on the good side of 3 drams.

Blend score: 3 Drams, Interesting

Feel as if I have disregarded another few holy tenets by mixing ‘those that shall not be mixed’? Let me know in the comments and we’ll work out a date and place for the fistfight.