I have been lucky enough to be selected to be part of the judging panel for Whisky Magazines “Battle of the Blends 2015” competition. It is run in association with Master of Malt with the samples being prepared and distributed by Drinks by the Dram.
I am going to take my time, nose, taste, make some notes, compare and cast my vote accordingly. There should be enough (hopefully) in the sample bottles to allow for a second tasting to cement my final vote.
I’m not going to be releasing any notes or observations until the voting is over and the winner is declared.
For those of you who are interested the rules for the blends are as follows:
1. The first fill will be a Highland malt, Clynelish, of equal measure (1 litre).
2. All the regions of Scotland need to be incorporated: Islands (which includes Islay), Speyside, Highlands (already accounted for), Lowlands and Campbeltown. There is no order as to when these are used, but in each issue of Whisky Magazine the details of the whisky must be revealed.
3. No bottle of whisky used must cost more than £50 RRP except for the wildcard detailed below and must be commercially available in UK.
4. There must be at least one grain whisky but there are no rules as to its origin.
5. A wildcard must be chosen – this can be anything, from anywhere. The only rule here, is that it cannot be over £150 RRP. Also it must be commercially available in UK.
6. The final blend must be under 50% abv.
7. A minimum of 15 litres of blend must be prepared.
8. There are no rules as to how much of each individual whisky category that you can add.
9. The blend must be complete by 1st September 2015, after which it will be sent out for judging. The winner will be published in Whisky Magazine issue 132, which publishes on 4th December 2015.
This should be a lot of fun and I’m very much looking forward to trying two very unique blends and to casting my vote.
For further information on Whisky Magazine and on the competition follow this link to their website.
Master of Malts retail website can be found here.
For more on Drinks by the Drams sample service (highly recommended) click here.