After finishing a run of American whiskies I wanted to jump back in the world of single malts with something a little different. About two months ago, after getting towards the last half of a bottle of Aberlour A’Bunadh Batch #39 and Ardbeg 10-year-old, I thought I’d do a little experimenting with the two by blending them together. I shared this on Facebook when I first bottled it with a promise for a future review, so here we are.
As you can see from the (fancy) title this isn’t the first time I’ve blended my own whisky, although it is the first time I’ve reviewed one on the site. I’ve got a couple slightly larger bottles marrying away in the closet that are a little more complex in regards to the number of single malts they contain. This one was more of a quick and simple experiment, as it’s only a 50/50 blend of two very different single malts.
Experimenting with your own blends is just another way to have a little fun with this whole whisky thing. An empty bottle is your canvas and it’s up to you what you’ll fill it with. What you make doesn’t necessarily have to be a blended malt or blended whisky. You can even make your very own single malt comprised of various single malt expressions from one single distillery. Just remember, the age is always the youngest in the bottle. This whisky happens to be a no age statement (NAS) whisky since the Aberlour contains the youngest spirit and it too is an NAS whisky.
A couple of my favorite whisky profiles include those that are peated and those that are sherried, and the two together can be quite wonderful. The thought here was to have a full-bodied whisky with a medium sherry and peat influence. Independently, both of these single malts are very stand up drams. Let’s see how they handle each other.
Price: NA – Self made blended malt.
ABV: Hovering around the lower 50% range – Non Chill-Filtered
Color: Light Amber / Goldenrod
Nose: It’s tame of course but it definitely has that Ardbeg character to it. Quite interesting and complex with smoked meats topped with berry glaze, pepper, lemon peel, stewed fruits over a campfire, hints of chocolate and orange citrus now, brine, forest, apricot and light vegetal notes.
Palate: Starts off sweet and smoky then develops into a bit of tangy citrus and fruits along with prunes, ash, orange pulp, pepper, clove, dried apple and gentle smoke.
Finish: Long and drying with spices and a sweet, gentle smokiness.
The aromas in this whisky were absolutely wonderful and really continued to develop with time in the glass. The palate was more straight forward compared to the nose and had that slight developing tanginess to it. The finish helped make up for it. Overall this blend was full-bodied, somewhat balanced, drying and in the end rather enjoyable – Shows how much fun this can be. It also gives me a couple ideas on further additions.