Tuesday, 4 March 2014


Or, fun with home blending.

I went to pour myself a drink a couple of weeks ago, whilst perusing the options I noticed my almost entirely empty bottle of Dalmore Dee standing there.
It was a nice whisky but for whatever reason I’d never quite got round to finishing it off, nor was I in the mood for it right then. And finishing off whisky should never be a chore, so what to do?
I remembered something I’d seen watching this video from the excellent Ralfy. The video is mainly about keeping whisky fresh but towards the end of the video he blends together 3 whiskies from the Springbank distillery (Springbank, Hazelburn and Longrow) – I forget why but it seemed an interesting thing to do.

Since there was only a drop left I thought I’d give it a go with the end of my Dee bottle… pouring it out there was 60ml left. Based on Ralfy’s advice I needed another 2 whiskies to be added in equal measure. What to choose? I looked around at what else was open - a newly topped bottle of Bunnahabhain? Yeah - I could spare 60ml of that. A fancy bottle of SMWS … hmm… that seemed a touch extravagant so I settled on the some Glenlivet Nadurra. Three nice whiskies all of a similar value (£35-45). I mixed them together then poured the concoction into couple of empty miniature bottles and left them for a week.

Fast forward a week and I poured myself a drop of the newly created world’s first Daldurrahabin.

Well, the first whiff was alcohol and not much else. Disappointing - had I flattened the whole thing and killed the flavours? I gave it another minute before trying again. This time it was much sweeter, much more like the Nadurra in fact.
So now I worried the Nadurra was dominated proceedings. But then that sweetness started to be tempered that distinct Bunnahabhain spiciness, which worked nicely.
What about the Dalmore that prompted this in the first place? I wondered if the Dalmore had been a bit lost but it kind of sits in the middle of those two whiskies anyway. Certainly this was smooth like the Dee – it didn’t need water.
Anyway, there’s little point going into the tasting too much since I can pretty much guarantee no one else will ever make this blended malt (?).

The verdict on home blending generally: I wouldn't for one second say I had improved on the whiskies but it was good fun to test the theory out and I was pleased that I hadn't created a total abomination. I had created something new and interesting, but that could also be traced back to its roots.
I doubt I’ll be risking any serious quantities on this type of venture, but I do think it could be a fun way of throwing together ends of bottles in the future. It was genuinely quite exciting to test what had been produced. One last thought is that I’m glad I kept the standard of whisky roughly similar. Not point slinging a rough blend in with a 50yo MacCallan, you're only going to ruin a good whisky rather than improve a bad one.

Back to proper reviews for the next post.

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