Showing posts with label Blended Scotch Whisky Review. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Blended Scotch Whisky Review. Show all posts

Johnnie Walker Red Rye Finish Review


“Great Value For Money”

Whisky Review # 631

Country: Scotland
Brand: Johnnie Walker Red Rye Finish (Blender's Batch)
Type: Blended Whisky
Age: NAS
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 40%
Maturation: Bourbon - and Rye Whiskey casks  
Chill Filtration: Yes
Price Range: US$ 25-35 (August 2017) 
Buying Advice: 😉 Positive. A winner at this Price Level!

Colour: Golden Amber (Artificially Coloured)

Nose: Soft and Sweet, almost like a light Bourbon. This is completely different when compared to the harsh Grain Alcohol of the regular JW Red. Thanks God for that! To be fair, I don't get many Rye influences at this moment. So either the six months Rye Finish was too short or the casks weren't very active. The Alcohol is well-integrated to the point that you hardly notice any at all. I find  Corn Flakes sweetened with Honey, Caramel, Toffee, Butter Biscuits, Vanilla, Straw, Apricots, Orange Peel, Sugared Almonds, Warm Apple Sauce, Cinnamon, Cloves, Nutmeg, Ginger and faint hints of Nail Polish, Caffe Latte and Mint.       

 Port Dundas Grain Distillery closed in 2010 (Wikimedia)

Palate: The delivery is rather Thin and a little Watery as a result of the low ABV. Again I can't pick up any relevant Rye influence. The Alcohol is slightly more noticeable but never gets too Sharp. It's all a bit dull and I was expecting more after the pleasant Nose. I find Sugared Breakfast Cereals, Caramel, light Vanilla, Toffee, Roasted Nuts, Straw, Orange Peel, Pepper, Ginger, Nutmeg, Cinnamon, Cloves, Cardamom, Blueberry Muffins, Honey, light Oak and hints of Menthol and Dried Herbs. 

Finish: Not overly Long and a bit Thin. Mainly Sweet and Medium Spicy. A light Bitterness towards the Dry end. I find Sweet Cereals, Toffee, Caramel, Vanilla, Blueberry Muffins, Nuts, Heather-Honey, Orange Peel, light Oak, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Ginger, light Pepper, Menthol and a hint of Milk Chocolate. The Alcohol is more noticeable now but never aggressive.  

Drinking Advice:
No need to add Water to this Blend.

Rating: 78.5    

Nose: 21 - Taste: 19 - Finish: 19 - Overall: 19.5


General Remarks:

Johnnie Walker Red Rye Finish was launched in 2016 and is the first of the new JW Blender's Batch range developed by Master Blender Jim Beveridge with the aim to explore new - and innovative Flavour profiles. The Red Rye Finish is inspired by Jim's fascination for American Whiskeys that was developed when he worked in the Bourbon industry in Louisville, Kentucky some 25 years ago. After many attempts using over 200 Grain - and Malt whiskies, the final recipe for the Red Rye Finish consists of three Grain Whiskies including the now closed Port Dundas and the Speyside Single Malt Cardhu. The small batches used for this Blend firstly matured in first-fill American Oak Bourbon casks before being finished for up to 6 months in former Rye Whiskey casks. The next releases in the Blender's Batch range are the Bourbon Cask and Rye Finish, a 40% Blend of Malt- and Grain Whiskies (Sounds similar to the Red Rye Finish!) and the Triple Grain American Oak, a 41.3% Blend of Barley, Wheat and Maize Whiskies that matured in first-fill Bourbon casks.

Drinking Experience Neat: Good

Drinking Experience on the Rocks: Good

Conclusion: First of all congratulations to Diageo and Jim Beveridge for trying out new ways and delivering a reasonable quality at a reasonable price! To be honest I was expecting a regular JW Red with a touch of Rye but that's not the case. No harsh Grain Alcohol whatsoever to be found here. Not much Rye as well to be honest. What remains is a Soft blended Whisky with some clear Bourbon characteristics. The Nose is quite good actually. Palate and Finish are a bit too Dull and Thin to be really interesting but I didn't find any off-notes and the Blend never gets aggressive at any point. You can enjoy it neat, over Ice or in a Cocktail. At this price level you can't go wrong with the JW Red Rye Finish. I'm looking forward to the following expressions of the Blender's Batch series!

Jan van den Ende                                                                August 10, 2017

Cardhu - Visit May 2014

Dewar's 18 Years Review


“Mr. Pleasant”

Whisky Review # 629
Country: Scotland
Brand: Dewar's The Vintage
Type: Blended Scotch Whisky
Blended by: John Dewar's & Sons Ltd. (Bacardi Group)
Age: 18 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 40%
Maturation: American Oak Bourbon Casks.     
Chill Filtration: Yes
Price Range: US$ 55-80 (August 2017) 
Buying Advice: 😉 Nice, very Soft Blend. Safe buy at 50/60 US Dollars. 

Colour: Golden Amber (Artificially Coloured)

Nose: Relatively Light and Soft for an 18 Years Old. Sweet, quite Dry, Malty and Floral. The Grain Alcohol is noticeable but not in the pungent way you often find in bottom shelf blends. I find Sweet Grain, Toasted Barley, Buttered Toast, Hay, Heather-Honey, Toffee, Raisins covered in Milk Chocolate, Roasted Almonds, Warm Apple with Vanilla Sauce, Dirt Road, light Citrus, light Spices, Toasted Oak, Salt and hints of Green Coffee Beans and Brown Sugar. The Alcohol is not fully integrated but inoffensive.

Tasting at Aberfeldy May 2017

Palate: Sweet and Creamy, the latter despite the low ABV. I find Cereals, Sweet Barley, Straw, Heather-Honey, Vanilla, Caramel, Toasted - and Salted Almonds, Stewed Apples, Orange Zest, Toasted Oak, Marzipan, Pepper and Cinnamon. I constantly perceive a very light hint of Smoke throughout the Tasting session. On the Nose and in the Finish it's more like Oak Char but on the Palate it's a bit more than that. Am I dreaming?

Finish: Creamy and slightly Edgy at the same time. The Grain Alcohol is more noticeable by now. The Finish is Middle-Long and mostly Sweet with Cereals, Heather-Honey, Straw, Grass, Vanilla, Caramel, Marzipan, Toasted - and Salted Almonds, Toasted Oak, Red Apples, Pepper, Cinnamon and Cardamom. After a while I get Maraschino Cherries as well.

Tasting at Aberfeldy May 2017

Drinking Advice
:

I added a little Water and the Dewar's 18 years becomes even softer. I get some Fruitcake on the Palate and additional Floral notes as well. The Finish completely disappears however. You can very carefully experiment with a few drops. 

Rating: 83      

Nose: 21 - Taste: 21 - Finish: 20 - Overall: 21

Related image

General Remarks:

John Dewar founded  his business in 1864 in Perth and was one of the first pioneers of blending Single Malt - and Grain Whiskies. His son John Alexander succeeded him and appointed A.J. Cameron as Master Blender. The latter introduced the technique of allowing the Single Malts and Single Grains to marry together in Vintage Oak casks thus producing a smooth and harmonious end product. The 18 years was produced this way as well. The whiskies that are part of this Blend initially matured in American Oak Bourbon casks for 18 years. They were then blended and married together for around 6 months in Vintage Oak casks. The 18 Years is composed of around 40 whiskies and include Single Malts from the Highlands and Speyside as well as Lowland Grain Whiskies. At its heart lies the Aberfeldy distillery but I'm sure it also contains Malt Whisky from Aultmore, Craigellachie, MacDuff and Royal Brackla as they are all part of the Bacardi Group. Packaging and Bottle are really nice. 

Drinking Experience Neat: Good

Drinking Experience on the Rocks: Good

Conclusion:

The Dewar's 18 Years is a nice and soft Blend. Only in the Finish does the Grain Alcohol become more present. I like the Aroma and Flavor profile although it's pretty Mainstream and I really wonder how good this Blend would be when matured in first class casks and bottled at 46%. It could easily compete with lots of today's Middle of the Road Single Malts. As it stands it's still a nice Blend that you can enjoy either Neat or with a little Ice. Newbies will love it. More accomplished Whisky drinkers might find it slightly boring though. The price varies a lot depending on where you live but at around 60 US Dollars it's a safe buy. I would not spend a whole lot more though. It's also available in the Duty Free Shops in 1 Liter bottles.

Jan van den Ende                                                                   August 2, 2017

Visit Aberfeldy May 2017

Campbeltown Loch 21 Years Review


“Indifferent Wood If You (C)Ask Me”

Country: Scotland
Region: Campbeltown
Brand: Campbeltown Loch
Produced by: Springbank Distillery, Campbeltown
Type: Blended Scotch Whisky
Age: 21 Years
ABV: 40% 
Chill-Filtration: Information not available. 
Whisky Review # 604
Buying Advice: 😞 Negative. Too expensive for what it offers.

Colour: Pale Gold/White Wine (Natural Colour)

Nose: Some Sweet Earthy Peat in the background suggests a bit of Longrow in the mix. I would assume that most of the Malt used for this Blend was matured in Refill Ex-Bourbon casks but there is a little Sherry influence as well. On the Nose, this Campbeltown Loch is not very outspoken. You would expect more depth given its age but on the other hand it is probably fair to assume that the best Springbank casks are used for the Single Malts. The Grain Alcohol is noticeable but a lot less than in your average Scottish Blend. I find Toasted Cereals, lightly Burnt Toast, Grass and Straw, Toffee, Vanilla Flavoured Candles, Caramel, Dried Fruit, light Honey, Grapefruit, Dried Banana Chips, Lemon Grass, Cinnamon, Salt and hints of Leather and Cardboard. You have to dig deep though to find some of these Aromas. The casks used were certainly not very active.    

Palate: Thin delivery. I'm glad to learn that the more recent 21 Years is now bottled at 46%. Although a higher ABV is sometimes used to hide weak Spirit. In the case of the 40% I'm tasting today there is nowhere to hide though. And unfortunately, the 21 Years does not convince me on the Palate. It's  Thin and there are some light Rubbery - and Metallic off-notes. I also find Sweet Toasted Cereals, Caramel, Vanilla, light Earthy Peat, light Honey, slightly Bitter Salted Almonds, Dried Herbs, Pepper, Nutmeg, Licorice, Tobacco, Grapefruit Juice and a hint of stale Coffee. 

Finish: A little Thin, Middle-Long and mostly Bitter Sweet with some Sour - and Herbal notes as well. The Grain Alcohol is more noticeable at this point. Quite Dry towards the end with a light Metallic Off-Note. I find Toasted Cereals, Tea, Dried Herbs, Sweet Cereals, Caramel, light Sweet Peat, Refill Oak, Grapefruit Juice, Tobacco, light Leather, Pepper, Licorice and an unexpected hint of Salted Meat.  

Due to the fact that I merely had a small sample at my disposal, I only tasted this Campbeltown Loch neat.

Rating: 81.5   

Nose: 21 - Taste: 20.5 - Finish: 19.5 - Overall: 20.5


General Remarks:

The Springbank Distillery is one of the very few remaining producers of Campbeltown Single Malt. It's owned by J & A Mitchell & Co. Ltd. and produces three types of Whisky namely Springbank, that is distilled 2,5 times, the peated Longrow that is distilled twice and the unpeated and triple-distilled Hazelburn. Most of the Spirit is sold as Single Malt but a small quantity is reserved for the House Blends Campbeltown Loch (5 and 21 Years) and Mitchell's (12 Years). The Campbeltown Loch 21 I'm tasting today is said to be made of 60% Single Malt (Springbank and others) and 40% Grain Whisky (Girvan). Prices vary a lot from place to place as the 21 Years at 40% has been discontinued in the meantime. They are usually in the 80/160 US Dollar range (March 2017). In 2013, a new 21 Years was launched with new (Springbank like) packaging and an ABV of 46%.

Drinking Experience Neat: Okay 

Conclusion: I was expecting a lot more from this Campbeltown Loch 21 years, more so as I thought the NAS (5 Year Old) expression to be an edgy but honest young Whisky with a good Price/Quality ratio. In my opinion the Spirit has not at all benefited from an additional 16 years in the casks. This says something about the casks I'm afraid. It's impossible to create a good mature whisky using inactive - and/or indifferent casks. And in my opinion that's the case here. It's good that Springbank felt the need to give this Blend a face lift and I will try to get a sample of the 46% to see if the Distillery has succeeded in improving the quality of this Blend. As it stands I can't recommend this "old" 21 years bottled at 40%. Better buy a Springbank Single Malt!    

Jan van den Ende                                                                    March 23, 2017

Cutty Sark Storm Review


“Great Value For Money”

Country: Scotland
Region: N/A
Brand: Cutty Sark Storm
Type: Blended Whisky
Age: NAS
ABV: 40% 
Chill-Filtration: Yes
Whisky Review # 593
Buying Advice: 😀 Positive. Good Price/Quality ratio. Just don't expect miracles! 

Colour: Light Golden (Artificially Coloured)

Nose: Mainly Sweet with some Sour and Salty accents. The Grain Alcohol is very present. A tiny bit of Smoke and Sherry in the background. I also find Toasted Cereals, Toast and Margarine, Earth and Grass, Brown Sugar, Treacle, Caramel, Butterscotch, some Nuts and Dried Fruits (Sultanas and Hazelnut), a little Fruit (Pineapple or perhaps Mango and overripe Bananas), light Citrus, Refill Wood, light Spices (Cinnamon and Nutmeg) and a hint of Tobacco. I can't get excited about this. It's still quite similar to the standard Cutty Sark I reviewed earlier. A bit more Fruit perhaps.     

Palate: Slightly Thin delivery. Light, Bitter Sweet and mildly Spicy. On the Palate and in the Finish, the Single Malt component is more noticeable. I find Toasted Cereals, light Honey, Brown Sugar, Corn Syrup, Caramel, Dried Fruit (Apricot and Sultanas), Pear, slightly Bitter Orange, Vanilla, Pepper, Ginger, Nutmeg, Mint, light Licorice, Charred Oak and a hint of Tobacco. The faintest puff of Smoke from a very distant fire.  

Finish: Middle-Long, Bitter-Sweet and mildly Spicy. Dry towards the end. I find Sugared Cereals, Vanilla, Charred Oak, slightly Bitter Orange Juice, Menthol, light Licorice, Caramel, Corn Syrup, Sultanas, Pepper, light Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Ginger and a hint of Tobacco. On the Palate and in the Finish the Storm clearly beats the standard Cutty Sark.

Due to the fact that I merely had a small sample at my disposal, I only tasted this Blend neat.

Rating: 79.5

Nose: 20 - Taste: 20 - Finish: 19.5 - Overall: 20


General Remarks:

The first Cutty Sark blend was created in 1923, at first especially for export to the USA during the Prohibition. The logo represents a drawing of a Sailing Ship constructed in Scotland in 1869 that bore the same name. Today the blend is still popular in the USA but also in countries like Spain and Portugal where it is often mixed.

In 2012 Cutty Sark's Master Blender Kirstin Campbell created the Storm. It has a higher Malt content than the Standard Cutty Sark and the Malts used are older as well. The blend consists of Grain Whiskies from Edinburgh's North British Distillery and is said to contain around 20 Single Malts, mainly from Speyside. At its heart lies Glenrothes. Other renowned contributions might include Tamdhu, Highland Park, Macallan and Bunnahabhain. The Grain whiskies are blended together and so are the Single Malts. Afterwards they are then “married” together. Cutty Sark is currently owned by the Edrington Group. The core range consists of the Cutty Sark, the Cutty Sark Storm and the 12 and 18 Years. The Storm is quite affordable and is usually priced in the 25-30 US Dollar range (February 2017).

Drinking Experience Neat: Okay/Good

Conclusion: The Storm is indeed an improvement over the regular Cutty Sark. Not so much on the Nose but certainly on the Palate and in the Finish where the higher Malt content is noticeable. I also didn't find any off notes in the Storm. At an average 25 US Dollars, the Storm has an excellent Price/Quality ratio and it easily beats most of the Bottom Shelf Blends. It's one of the few cheaper blends that you can actually enjoy neat although it's a bit Thin on the Palate. Don't expect Whisky Heaven when you buy the Storm because that's impossible at this price level. But it's an acceptable Blend with an excellent P/Q ratio. Enjoy it while it lasts!

Jan van den Ende                                                                February 2, 2017

Glenrothes

Chivas Regal Mizunara Review


“Scotland Meets Japan”

Country: Scotland
Brand: Chivas Regal Mizunara (Special Edition)
Type: Blended Scotch Whisky
Age: 12 Years
ABV: 40%
Chill-Filtration: Yes
Whisky Review # 577
Buying Advice: 😕 At 30 US Dollars you might give it a try.

Colour: Amber (Artificially Coloured)

Nose: The Mizunara tones are quite clear, even slightly dominant. The Grain Alcohol is there as well and the two of them are the main drivers on the Nose. It's all a bit Thin and the ABV of 40% is most certainly inadequate. In addition to the Wood and Alcohol, I find Sweet Barley, Buttered Toast, Toffee, Straw, Grass, Pizza Dough, light Vanilla, Nuts, Dried Apricot, Nectarine, Pear, Banana, Fresh Herbs, Citrus Peel, light Honey and traces of Black Tea and Tobacco.

Taste: The delivery is quite Thin and the Wood is pretty dominant again. The Fruity tones are merely noticeable in the background. I find Toasted Cereals, Grain Alcohol, light Vanilla, Banana, Pear Drops, Salted Nuts, Dried Apricot, Orange Peel, light Honey, Straw, Pepper, Ginger, Cinnamon, Clove, Herbal Tea and Licorice.  

Finish: Middle-Long, slightly Tannic and mainly Sweet. There's a light Bitterness towards the end that reminds me of Black Tea and Salted Licorice. I also find Toasted Cereals, Grain Alcohol, Sugar, Caramel, Toffee, Oak, Nut Shells, light Peanut Butter, Banana, light Vanilla, Pepper, Clove, Ginger and Aniseed. It's the weakest part of this Blend.   

With added Water the Alcohol subsides and the Nose becomes quite Floral. The Mizunara Wood remains present. Palate and Finish become too Thin however.

Rating: 73   

Nose: 20 - Taste: 18 – Finish: 17 - Overall: 18


General Remarks: The Chivas Regal Mizunara was launched in October 2014. A trip to Japan inspired Chivas Master Distiller Colin Scott to create a Blend using 12 Year Old Scottish Grain - and Malt Whiskies partly finished in Casks made from Mizunara (Japanese Oak) wood. Quite unique I would say. It was intended for the Japanese market but in the meantime some bottles are available outside Japan as well. The main malts used in this Blend are Strathisla and Longmorn. The price of the Mizunara may vary considerably depending on where you live. I have noticed prices between 30 and 70 US Dollars (November 2016).

Drinking Experience Neat : Okay/Average

Conclusion: It's basically a standard 12 Years with Mizunara finish. This wood gives an additional Aroma/Flavour to the Blend but it also tends to dominate the other Flavours and Aromas, especially the Fruity ones, leaving the Blend rather off-balance. And that's a pity. I liked the experiment but I don't see this being continued in the long run. I think that a solid, powerful Single Malt could benefit from a Mizunara Finish but this Wood is too dominant for your average Grain Alcohol. The idea was interesting but in my opinion it didn't quite work out well enough.
Jan van den Ende                                                              November 28, 2016

Chivas Brother's Blend Review


“Purple Grain”
Country : Scotland
Brand: The Chivas Regal Brother's Blend
Type: Blended Scotch Whisky
Age: 12 Years
Alcohol: 40%
Chill-Filtration: Yes
Whisky Review # 567

Colour: Full Amber (Artificially Coloured)

Nose: I'm not a big fan of the original 12 Years so I'm really curious to see if there's any significant difference here. There's still a lot of young, indifferent Grain Alcohol around but I do get some Sweet Barley as well. I would assume that the Malt for this Blend matured in a mix of Refill Ex-Bourbon and Ex-Sherry casks. I tasted the "old" 12 years back in 2011/2012 and I must admit that today I'm more able to recognise what I'm nosing and tasting. Next to the Alcohol and Barley, I find Caramel, Toast and Margarine, light Vanilla, light Honey, Straw, Artificially-Flavoured Tropical Fruit Candies (Papaya, Pineapple, Banana), Dried Apricot, Nut Shells, Pencil Shavings, Citrus Peel, light Peanut Butter, Bread Dough and the faintest hint of Smoke. There's a bit more to discover here than in the "old" 12 years and it feels less aggressive but I still can't get excited about this Chivas Regal Blend.   

Taste: The delivery is quite Thin and Sugary Sweet. The Grain Alcohol is very noticeable and so are the Wood Spices like Pepper, Clove, Cinnamon and Ginger. I also find Sugared Cereals, Sweet Barley, Caramel, Toffee, light Vanilla, Dried Apricot, Citrus Peel, Herbal Tea, Refill Oak, Artificially Flavoured Fruit Candies (Banana, Papaya) and light Licorice.  

Finish: Short, Sugary Sweet, Spicy and with a light Alcohol bite. I find Cereals, a little Toasted Barley, Toffee, Caramel, very light Honey, Refill Oak, Hazelnuts, light Vanilla, Salt, Pepper, Clove and light Licorice. Slightly Bitter towards the end. A very faint hint of Smoke.     

With added Water, the Chivas Brother's Blend becomes too Thin although I find some additional Floral notes. 

Rating : 77.5  

Nose: 20 - Taste: 19.5 – Finish: 18.5 - Overall: 19.5


General Remarks:The Chivas Brother's Blend 12 Years was launched in October 2012, originally as a Travel Retail Expression. In the meantime it forms part of the Chivas Regal core range. It was created as a tribute to the two founding brothers James and John who started Chivas back in 1801. It is based on the "old" 12 years but it received a higher proportion of Malt Whisky, mainly from Strathisla and Longmorn. It sells at around 50 US Dollars (October 2016).   
Drinking Experience Neat : Okay  

Drinking Experience on the Rocks: Okay. It gets a bit Thin over Ice.
Conclusion: Despite the slick presentation and packaging, the Chivas Regal Brother's Blend only improved slightly when compared to the "old" 12 Years. It's a little less Sharp and a little more rounded thanks to the higher Malt content. But the Young Grain Alcohol is still in control and the same type of Refill casks is used to mature the Malt for this Blend. Sugar, Spice and Artificial Fruit Flavours are the main drivers. If you find it at around 30 US Dollars it's an okay buy but at 50 US Dollars it's way too expensive for what it offers.
Jan van de Ende                                                                  October 17, 2016

Haig Gold Label Review


“Another One Bites The Dust”

Country: Scotland 
Brand: Haig Gold Label
Type: Blended Scotch Whisky
Age: NAS 
ABV: 40 %

Colour: Golden Amber (Artificially Coloured)

Nose: Despite the 40% Malt content, the Grain Whisky is quite present on the Nose. Haig Gold Label is both Sweet and Sour with Sugared Cereals, Toast and Margarine, Caramel, Brown Sugar, Refill Oak, Nut Shells, Mandarin Juice, Lemon Peel, Grass, Straw, Sour Apples, White Grapes, light Heather-Honey, Peanut Butter and distant hints of Burnt Tyres and Dried Apricot. The Alcohol is not fully integrated.    

Palate: Sugary Sweet and Watery with Sugared Cereals, Caramel, Toffee, very light Vanilla, Nut Shells, Refill Oak, light Citrus, Grass, Straw and hints of Thin Coconut Milk and Cold Smoke.  

Finish: Short, Bitter-Sweet, Edgy and Sharp with Sugared Cereals, Caramel, Toffee, Straw, Nut Shells, Lemon, Refill Oak, Grain Alcohol, Pepper and distant Cold Smoke. There's something Artificial about the Finish that I can't quite place.

Haig Gold Label does not accept Water very well. Everything just gets watered down.

Rating: 73

Nose: 19 - Taste: 18 - Finish: 17,5 - Overall: 18.5


General Remarks: Haig Whisky is one of the oldest whiskies in the world and was first distilled by John Haig in 1824 in Cameronbridge in Scotland. It was very popular until some 40 years ago when it left the Haig Family Ownership. After exchanging hands a couple of times it is nowadays owned by Diageo and the brand name is gaining popularity again with the Gold, Dimple and Pinch Blends as well as the Haig Club Single Grain. Haig Gold is made of some 30-40 whiskies and contains 40% Malt a/o from Linkwood, Glenkinchie, Cragganmore, Knockdhu, Mannochmore and Glenlossie. The Malt whiskies used for Haig Gold matured in Refill Ex-Bourbon casks from Kentucky. It's reasonably cheap and usually priced in the 25 to 30 US Dollars range.    

Drinking Experience Neat: Below Average.

Conclusion: Whisky is very expensive these days and unfortunately many people can't afford to drink good Single Malts on a regular basis. So they are either forced to drink Bottom Shelf Blends like this Haig Gold Label or will consider Bourbon or other Alcoholic Beverages like Vodka or Gin. To me, Bourbon is still the best option. The main reason is the wood used to mature Whiskies that go into blends like Haig Gold. We know that over 70% of the taste of Whisky comes from the cask. And Refill casks that have been used many times simply don't have much interesting Aromas and Flavours left to give to the Spirit. As a result Haig Gold Label and many of its peers are simply not good enough to sip neat. It doesn't give you any pleasure. On the Rocks or Mixed are the alternatives. I have tasted many standard Scottish Blends in the meantime but I always come back to JW Black as it has the best Price/Quality ratio as far as I'm concerned.

Jan van den Ende                                                                    March 28, 2016

Glenkinchie