#22: The Whinniemaker

by Matti

Welcome to a new mini-series in which I will be blending the classic bourbon Maker’s Mark with a few Scotch whiskies. The Anglo-American marriage of bourbon to scotch whisky is one of those things of which many so-called whisky-afficionados disapprove. I don’t buy it. My blends with bourbon in them have for the most part had great results (one particularly good example being The Meady Blues).

So, two months ago I crated five blends of Maker’s Mark (a gentle bourbon with a big influence of corn and wheat) and some of the big Scottish names. Here is the first of those blends: The Whinniemaker:

Maker’s Mark
Dalwhinnie 15yo

I will not be comparing these blends in comparison to other whiskies, rather I chose to appraise them on their own merit (though I do use a whisky I know well to calibrate my taste beforehand).

The nose is sweet, syrupy with toasted nuts, burnt sugar and toffee. Permeating it all is the sweet smell of ripe oranges. It is bold and powerful and deserving of more than a quick sniff. The taste starts off sweet and sour, like fruit candy, with a bold grainy note. Then, while a hint of smoke appears, it mellows out into vanilla and orange all the while becoming more honeyed and even a slight bit floral. It then fades into the finish and lingers for a fairly long time, ending in mandarin and orange peel. If this dram was a rollercoaster the nose would be a long and scary first hill, the initial taste the first drop and the finish a long stretch of gentle hills leading you back to the start.

All in all, not bad at all. I can’t say that either of the components dominate (though interestingly the Maker’s Mark did when first blended, so the months of marriage have worked their magic).

Blend score: 4 Drams, Very Good