On Tuesday 24th April I was at the Scotch Malt Whisky Society along with a small number of their members for a blending and tasting session at their Queen Street venue in Edinburgh.
Aye wait a minute…
The Scotch Malt Whisky Society is all about specially selected casks of single malt whiskies bottled at cask strength, not chill filtered. Each bottling from a single cask is given a unique number, the distillery is not named and in most cases the SMWS bottling is rather different from the distillery’s branded bottlings.
So what was I doing there blending their single cask whiskies?
Well the Tweeddale Blend is produced in small batches, the whiskies are all from single cask and not chill filtered. So there is a connection.
We started the tasting session with a comparison of batch 1 and batch 2 of the Tweeddale Blend. Nicola Young from @the whiskyboys was there and has kindly write a review on this part of the tasting. Just click on the link below to see what she had to say.
We then moved on to the Society whiskies. I had selected seven of their numbered bottlings, one grain and six malts. We started with the grain, a fine example it was too – rich, flora with plenty of raisons. This in itself was a departure for a couple of the members but all agreed a superb whisky.
We then tasted the whisky I had selected as the “core” malt, this would set the style of the two blends we would produce. It was rich, complex and honeyed. Next we tasted a couple of the malts that would at the “top dressing”, one would add mint humbug notes and the other smoke & peat.
Then it was on to the blending.
Blend 1 50% grain / 50% malt and blend 2 10% grain / 90% malt both using the same seven whiskies. The result was two very different blends. The feedback from the members was generally in favour of blend 1 but if you like you whisky with plenty of smoke & peat then blend 2 would be the one for you.
Well I had a great day and I am hoping to arrange an other date with SMWS Queen Street to do an other blending session with their members.
The full story will be in the July issue of Unfiltered Magazine. Unfiltered on Facebook
I would particularly like to thank Mike Wilkinson for allowing me to use his photographs that he took for the article.
SMWS: Tweeddale Blend tasting at Queen Street venue with Alasdair Day…Photograph by Mike Wilkinson…25/4/12..Copyright photograph by Mike Wilkinson.Not to be archived and reproduced without prior permission and payment. Contact Mike on 07768 393673 / firstname.lastname@example.org / www.mike-wilkinson.com / http://mike-wilkinson.photoshelter.com