Whisky Review: The Half Century Blend
Category: Blended scotch whisky
Bottling: The Blended Whisky Company
What they say:
Launched in the latter half of 2016, The Half-Century Blend is The Blended Whisky Company’s bottle-shaped love letter to the days of whisky production where “less efficient barley-strains, sprawling on-site floor maltings, inefficient brewer’s yeast, lengthy fermentation times, mucky direct-fired stills, bulky and inefficient worm-tub condensers and less active refill casks” were the norm. As the name suggests, this astounding expression was made with whiskies which were aged for over 50 years, resulting in an immensely expressive flavour profile showing off the unmistakable characteristics of incredible whisky distilled over half a century ago. Only 768 bottles were produced in the first batch.
Freshly baked apple crumble topped with brown sugar and extra-thick double cream, followed by roast chestnuts and a whiff of brandied cherries. A touch of tobacco leaf and old oak furniture.
More cigar box and brown sugar on the palate, joined by bourbon-y vanilla and generous handfuls of dried fruit (with some juicy cherries sneaking in once again). Perhaps a touch of rye spice develops with the ethereal oak notes growing behind the rich fruit.
Juicy apricot jam, gingerbread, walnut and the last hints of elegant oak lingering for ages.
Massively, massively impressive blended Scotch whisky with seemingly endless poise and depth.
What I say:
It’s not every day you arrive home to a 50 year old whisky sample but thanks to The Blended Whisky Company this is precisely what happened to us a few weeks ago! The latest in their blended whisky series is this Half-Century blend made only of whiskies older than 50 years!
Dark and full gold (10/20), fine tears and fine legs
Perfumed and floral, grain whisky sweetness/candy like cherry drops boiled sweets, old oak wood, camphor, mothballs, clove oil, menthol, sweet icing sugar, crystalline, honey, crystal malt, barley, pineapple cube sweeties, slightly vinegary like white balsamic or white wine vinegar, buttery, oily and estery
Syrupy, toffee, herbal; sage, butterscotch, vanilla custard, baked scones or white bread, treacle, vanilla essence, maple syrup, cinnamon, highland toffee
Long, vanilla cream and tannic tea, oak wood, pineapple hints
Very approachable, hints of age and herbality in the nose but the palate has such a depth of vanilla and polished toffee sweetness that it is rather drinkable. My overall impression of this whisky were that in character it was similar to old ex-bourbon matured grain whisky, very little malt characteristics were discernible and I did wonder if this is a mixture of old grains only (still qualifying as a blend as it requires a minimum of only whisky from 2 distilleries or more). However in actuality there could be plenty of small quantities of malts in here (such is the nature of a good blend). Either way for something this age this was very drinkable and enjoyable and didn’t suffer from over woody or herbal nature that makes some old whiskies almost undrinkable. This is definitely a drinker rather than a collector!
Many thanks to The Blended Whisky Company for the sample.
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