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Bring a Blend 2021

or

Catching up with Malt Mates after 3 years

   

Photos by Whisky Emporium photography,

 

Bring a Blend was an idea I first had back in 2019 and originally planned for 2020 but the idea had to be put on hold thanks to the travel and meeting restrictions of covid & lockdown. Finally it looked like it could go ahead for 2021 so I ran the idea by my dear Malt Mates Klaus & Oliver who immediately signed up for it. A date was agreed, then changed to a week later thanks to another engagement that I couldn't move and finally after three years we were all able to get together once again. The idea is self explanatory in the name, a get together to sample blended whisky primarily from days gone by and each of my guests should also bring something suitable, or maybe not so in the case of Oliver's Czech bottling containing "whisky and other spirits".

During lockdown when I was based at home I spent many hours hunting online for suitable older blends and managed to find what I hoped were some gems and some which were almost certainly not (did I mention that Long Wood yet?)

Oliver brought a delightful Grand Old Parr and a far from delightful Czech bottling of what was described on the label as "whisky and other spirits".

Klaus brought possibly, no definitely the finest blended whisky I've ever tried. It was a 44 year old bottling from Andy McNeil under his Cooper's Choice label and as stated on the label comprised whisky from just 3 distilleries; Lochside, Garnheath & Invergordon. Wow, just wow. In addition he brought a blend I remember from a few decades ago from a stay I had on the Isle of Skye; Ian Macleod's Isle of Skye blend, oh what memories from that trip when I first discovered this exact bottling.

As for me, I laid out my small collection of older editions of blends which I'd managed to snaffle from online auctions and each of us could choose one to open alongside two which were already open. In total we ended up with eight bottlings to try and generally ignored that Czech thing, sorry Oliver.

Our final selection or the chosen 8 were Isle of Skye blend, Scotch Royale, Hankey Bannister 5y, JW Black label, Silver old Scotch whisky, Long Wood 12y, Grand Old Parr & that Cooper's Choice 1972. It's quite hard to date these old blends but it was our consented opinion that they were primarily from the 1970's or very early 80's apart from that Isle of Skye which I remember from the very early 90's.

 

 
 

I'll not post all the detailed tasting notes here but you can click on the individual bottle pictures below to visit them individually but I will give the general synopsis from the three of us.

We all agreed that there were three bottlings which stood well above the others and they were the Cooper's Choice 1972 44y blend of Lochside, Garnheath & Invergordon. A truly stunning bottling which I awarded a well desrved 90 points. Oliver couldn't bring himself to 90 but suggested 89.8 points. As for Klaus I last heard him pondering over 90 or 90+. He seemd to be heading for 91 but somewhere in there I think I heard a suggestion of 92? We all agreed this was the outstanding whisky of the evening.

Maybe surprisingly to some our concensus for the second best bottling was the 1970's JW Black Label 12y. Did we really say that a Johnnie Walker Black Label was the second best bottling of the evening? Too bloody right we did, a stunningly good whisky which I wish was available in this style today. We all agreed on a score of around 85-86 points.

If you think our decision for second place was strange then just wait for the news that third place for the evening was given to a 5 year old whisky! Yes Hankey Bannister 5y was unanimously voted our third best whisky of the event. Once again if only this were available today ....

Equally unanimous was our vote for the worst whisky of the event; that Long Wood bottling. There's no easy way to say this but it just wasn't good. Was it worse than Oliver's Czech thing? No, that was worse but technically that one wasn't whisky as it contained "whisky and other spirits".

 

 
 

So what conclusions did we draw from this gathering?

Firstly that after three long years, two of which were basically enforced lockdown, it was great to meet up again and share some surprisingly outstanding drams and a not surprisingly bad one plus that dreadful Czech thing, sorry again Oliver.

Secondly, apart from that Long Wood we all agreed that the quality of what were pretty standard 1970's blends, including some labels we'd never heard of before, was truly outstanding and that if they were still sold like this today we'd be more than tempted to regularly buy them.

 
 

One final word from me to say thanks to Oliver and Klaus for helping make BringaBlend 2021 a weekend to remember and sorry that the other (more local) guests had to cancel at the last minute. Maybe next time chaps.

 
 

               

 
 

Above The Best Three / Below The Eight (click on bottle pix for full tasting notes)

 
 

               

 

 

 

A selection of previous Dram-atics highlights

 

  The Liquid
 

Kavalan

Cadenhead2H

Blair Athol with Klaus

Talisker with Klaus

 
 

 
 

Dalmore Constellation Collection

 

Fab Fo(u)rties

Elementary my dear Sukhinder

 
 

 

 
 

Glen-CLASS-augh

 Karui-WOW-Ahhh

Glen-DROOL-nach

Prohibition Three Ways

 
 

 
 

Motor Maniac meets Malt Maniac

Malts & Music

Class of 64-65

Drams at Dawn

 
 

 

 

  Festivals & Events
 

Bring a Blend 2021

       
 

 

 

 

 
 

Limburg 2018

Limburg 2017

Limburg 2015

An annual Pilgrimmage

   
 

 

 
 

Limburg Crooks & Nannies

Limburg 2012

 

Autumn 2013 Speyside

 
 

 

 

 

  Getting About
 

St. Magdalene / Linlithgow

Islay Revisited

Saxa Vord - Shetlands

   
 

   

 

  The Maniacs
 

Anoraks Bottles & Castle

Nosing New Make

Blend of Maniacs

 

 

 

  The Malt Maniacs Awards - MMA  
 

MMA 2016 It just gets better & better

MMA 2015 The Gathering of the Drams

MMA 2014 Unplugged

MMA 2013 Unplugged

 
 

 
 

MMA 2011 Winners

 

 

   
 

 

 

 

Malternatives

 

A brace of luxury

Debussy plays Pitaud

 
 

Earlier Malternatives >>>

 

 

Date

Other major features  

May 2013

Duelling Drams - Man vs Clipper  

April 2013

100 points - Perfect Percy, Eggs-otic Isles Egg & Mug, Sixy bunny  

March 2013

International Whisky Day - Raise a Glass & Raise Awareness  

February 2013

A Horse, A Bow & a Dear  

Autumn 2012

The Olympkins, Getting old and Grainy  

May-Jun 2012

Dalmore Constellation, Independence?  

Mar-Apr 2012

Investment grade madness, Glenglassaugh, 5th IWD, 1000th Review, April Fool, Going dotty, age verification  

Feb. 2012

It's a rum old do, Growing old gracefully, Four Imperial sisters  

Jan. 2012

Onwards & Upwards, Canadian Whisky Awards  

Dec. 2011

HP 70's Orcadians  

Sept-Nov 2011

Malt Maniacs Awards 2011 - A weekend in the life of a Postmaster General  

June-Aug 2011

Bits Bytes & Drams, Glen Garioch 1994, Angela D'Orazio - Mackmyra, Trinity of Two Earls

May 2011

Don't bug me with ads, A dram fine evening

April 2011

Cry me a River, Golden Oldies, The Shackleton Legacy, Two Weddings and a Whisky

March 2011

Masters of Photography, Memory and the Middle Cut, Sampling again, Dave Stirk 5, Choosing choice Choices

Feb. 2011

Festival time again, Spam Galore!, Drams & Trams

Jan. 2011

Lookback at 2010, New Job? Three Thirties, ToC, Overdosing on sherry casks

Dec. 2010

December's Advent-urous drams, Nant Distillery, The road to Certification

 

Nov. 2010

Journey to end of Scotverse, Wick, Pulteney, Balblair, Knockdhu, Homecoming, Tweetup, Chilling with Cooley  

Oct. 2010

The John Walker, Sampling with Master of Malts, Changing jobs, Whisky Round Table  

Sept. 2010

Playing Chinese whispers, Oktoberfest, SMWS Spirit Cellar, 500,000  

August 2010

Elementary my dear Islay, Handbags at dawn, Dram-arkable 500, Cheapo Challenge, Ah Dooagh, 1 from 3 left  

July 2010

Age matters. A series of whisky reviews concentrating upon 'Age'  

June 2010

Jules Rimet, pickles & crisps. Mon coeur, mon amour oh mon sherry. A taste of the great outdoors.  

May 2010

The highly-acclaimed and record-breaking "Desert Island Drams"  

April 2010

My peat's bigger than your peat, A foursome with a famous Scottish bird  

March 2010

Sample Mania tasting notes, The Good, the Bad & The Loch Dh-Ugly, A return to sanity, The Choice of Managers  

Jan-Feb 2010

Keep taking the medicine, It's Festival time, Maker's Mark, Sleeveless in Munich  

Dec. 2009

All power to bean-counters, protecting Scotch, seasonal drams, Definitive Xmas Drams, 2009 Whisky Awards  

Nov. 2009

How it all started, Bonfire night, Autumnal musings, EU Tax & Duty, What's in a (whisky) name?  

 

 

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