Review: Battle of the Blends 2015 Blend B (Dave Broom)

Category: Blended Scotch Whisky

Origin: Various (see below)

Bottling: Whisky Magazine

ABV: 43.5%

Cost: ?

Score: 81/100

Battle-of-the-Blends-2015

What they say:

The rules were very simple:

1. The first fill will be a Highland malt, Clynelish, of equal measure (1 litre).

2. All the regions of Scotland need to be incorporated: Islands (which includes Islay), Speyside, Highlands (already accounted for), Lowlands and Campbeltown. There is no order as to when these are used, but in each issue, the details of the whisky must be revealed but not the quantity.

3. No bottle of whisky used must cost more than £50 RRP except for the wildcard detailed below and must be commercially available in UK.

4. There must be at least one grain whisky but there are no rules as to its origin.

5. A wildcard must be chosen – this can be anything, from anywhere. The only rule here, is that it cannot be over £150 RRP. Also it must be commercially available in UK.

6. The blend must be under 50% ABV when finally bottled.

7. A minimum of 15 litres of blend must be prepared.

8. There are no rules as to how much of each individual whisky category that you can add.

9. The blend must be complete by 1 September 2015 when it will be sent out for tasting and the the closing date is 9 October 2015.

Dave Broom’s blend: The Glenkinchie 12 Years Old, Distiller’s Edition, Ardmore Legacy, Kilkerran Work in Progress, 6 matured in ex-Bourbon casks, Springbank 12 Years Old, Aultmore 12 Years Old, Caol Ila 12 Years Old, Greenore 8 Years Old, Cameronbridge No Age Statement, Girvan Apps No.4, Teaninich 10 Years Old, Clynelish 14 Years Old

Tasting Note for Blend B

Nose: Lots of custard, a sprinkling of cinnamon and chopped banana. Iced buns, lime zest, slightly chalky. Deep within there’s a hint of Germolene, no bad thing to my mind.

Palate: Thick and creamy mouthfeel, fruity, especially mango, along with some boiled sweets. Then into crumble and cocoa.

Finish: A lick of smoke ‘n’ rum.
In conjunction with Master of Malt, the two blends were sent out to 270 potential judges of which 259 judges responded. Neil achieved 59 per cent of the votes.

What I say:

So along with 269 other whisky-interested peoples I was asked to help with the judging of the Whisky Magazine Battle of the Blends competition 2015 which pitted Neil Ridley against Dave Broom. The samples were coded A or B with a slight variance in ABV and colour so were appraised and scored blind.

Colour:

Rich dark amber gold (11/20) slow medium-sized droplet tears with medium-fine legs

Nose:

Fruity apple, pear, peach; orchard fruits, honey sweet, cereal barley malt, zesty orange and grapefruit, hints of sherry, dried fruit but still citrusy, lemon pledge, polish, beeswax all on relatively new oak wood

Taste:

Initially smooth then rich and zesty & pith from citrus fruits; lemon, lime, orange, tangerine and grapefruit, oak wood, cereal barley malt, butterscotch, orange barley sugars

Finish:

Medium, sweet and sour, grapefruit and lime becomes almost perfumed and floral

Overall:

Seemingly less complex and much more integrated, a real fruit medley with hints of sweet and sour.

Thanks to Jake at Master Of Malt, Drinks By The Dram and Whisky Magazine for the samples.