Bottle Name: Blended Whisky No.2 22 year old Batch 3
ABV: 41.8% Bottler: That Boutique-y Whisky Company
Another December, another 24 days of booze-based Advent calendar fun. The Dramble loves this time of year – there’s no quandary over selecting whiskies to discuss, dissect and review – we just clear any sense of editorial schedule (a nascent thing if ever there was one) and take each dram as it comes. Once again, we’ll be offering you a daily drop of Boutique-y Whisky goodness, with tasting notes and reviews every single day in the run up to Christmas – though of course be working one day in arrears so as not to spoil the surprise for those of you who open your calendars a little later in the day.
From the outside, this year’s Boutique-y Advent calendar looks identical to previous iterations. But upon opening the doors, you’ll find one small but charming cosmetic upgrade – each 3cl dram is now delivered in the same colourful livery as its equivalent 50cl bottle. It’s a nice touch, and a sound idea in terms of reinforcing the brand’s distinctive visual identity.
Nose: The grain component is doing much of the heavy lifting here – but it’s well-aged (older than 22 perhaps?!) and rather graceful. Varnished and lacquered wood alongside dusty golden cereals, desiccated coconut and cashew nuts. The malt brings richness to the party – milk chocolate, sponge cake and vanilla panna cotta. Just a few drops of dilution (being mindful of the starting ABV) brings out some fruity character with apple pie and turnovers. It also reinforces the cereal aroma with some multi-grain bread.
Taste: The arrival is sweet and nutty – burnt toffee, buttered popcorn, toasted oats and cashews. The grain is providing structure here – there’s a surprising level of texture (for 41.8%) and bundles of natural cereal sweetness – both are harmonious. The mid-palate moves towards the oak spectrum – part musty and old, part straight down the line ex-bourbon with vanilla and coconut. The back-palate reveals just a tinge of sharp acetone, and a gentle, but developing wispy white pepper. Reduction again adds fruitiness - toffee apples and creamy milk chocolate. It also emphasises the cask adding some dryness.
Finish: Medium in length, with toasted bread and fresh baked buns.
Blended Whisky #2 is all about equilibrium – malt and grain in near textbook synchronisation. There’s a dark art behind achieving balance with a blended whisky – two different distillates with a myriad options for age, cask and underlying flavour profiles – far from the case of simply adding X to Y and giving it a good shake. This Boutique-y example ably demonstrates what’s possible when expressive grain meets sympathetic malt. Unexpectedly (given the low starting ABV), I found this takes a few drops of water really well – immediately unlocking bright fruitiness on the nose and a creamy character on the palate. Lots to like here and quite reasonably priced for the quality on offer.
Review calendar provided by Boutique-y Whisky
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