Blends are approachable, easy drinking and make up the overwhelming majority of whisky sales worldwide. Those seeking depth and complexity are often drawn to single malts instead, but is this fair comment?
Lets take a look at two, well aged, premium blended whiskies.
Dewars 25, OB, Blended Whisky, 40%abv, press sample (travel retail only)
This new expression was initially blended together then returned to oak casks for an additional period of maturation. After this the whisky was then filled into a set of freshly disgorged Royal Brackla casks for an additional period of finishing.
On the nose it is very light with hints of fresh pastries and flowery vanilla. There is a whiff of sweet sherry alongside some golden syrup interspersed with soft spices. Given time a slight hit of orchard fruits emerge.
The palate is light and woody. There is a good amount of toffee along with some perfume, red grapefruit and a touch of cloves, nicely balanced indeed. There is a slight savoury element, perhaps even a touch of brine as we move along to the finish.
The finish is quite short and is softly spiced with some gentle warming oak notes. Cloves become intermingled with more toffee elements and a slight but perceptible butteriness.
Available to the travel retail market from October 2017 and then slowly released into domestic markets in due course.
Priced at around $225 (approx £170).
Ballantines 30, Blended Whisky, OB, 40%abv, from my collection (available here)
The nose has good hints of soft treacle toffee, cedar wood and honey. There are a few raisins amidst a slight savoury element, which is deep underneath the sweetness. Perhaps even a tiny whisper of smoke.
The palate is gently spiced with a light perfumed feeling with a sherry undertone. Some tropical fruits, mostly pineapple, emerges alongside some cereal notes and a little wood, no flavour overbears, very balanced indeed.
The finish is quite mellow but lingers very pleasantly, with touches of fruit cocktail and even a little soapiness at the end. A slight touch of tannins and some
This feels more full bodied and darker than the Dewars and feels more balanced with the palate and finish living up to the depth of the nose.
Priced around £300
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