Battle of the Blends 2

Last year’s Battle of the Blends, organised by Whisky Magazine, saw Dave Broom pitted against Neil Ridley to create the ‘finest blend the world has ever tasted’. In a case of ‘winner stays on’, this year Neil Ridley is defending his title against George Keeble, the manager of Soho Whisky Club.

Neil Ridley used a port seasoned cask and filled it with a blend of Auchentoshan Three Wood, Springbank 10, Ardbeg Uigeadail, Lagavulin 16, Glenfiddich 12, 15 & 18, Teeling Single Grain, Royal Brackla 12 and Clynelish 14.

George Keeble used an Oloroso Sherry seasoned cask before filling it with Glen Scotia Double Cask, Glenkinchie Distillers 2003 (Amontillado Finish), Finlaggan Cask Strength, Kavalan Solist Sherry, Tullibardine 228, Glen Moray 16, Benromach 10, Glenfarclas 15, Bruichladdich Classic, Teeling Single Grain and Clynelish 14.

Tasters’ votes need to be cast by 1st March and the winner will be revealed at the end of March. There was a definite favourite for me which I’ll reveal only after the winner has been announced.

Blend A – 45.7% abv

Nose: sea air; briny; damp wood; fresh lemons; furniture polish lurking in the background; hint of peat; fruity – kiwis and green apples; Werther’s Originals; slightly spirity throughout.

Palate: thick, creamy texture; butterscotch sauce; cinnamon; red apples; soy sauce; BBQ smoke, and quite drying, into the finish.

Blend B – 40.6% abv

Nose: sea air; vanilla custard; lemon bonbons; slight hint of oak; digestive biscuits; fresh pineapple; vanilla fudge; wet leaves.

Palate: slightly oily texture; oak spice; lemon icing; maltiness throughout; hints of tobacco; the finish is quite long.


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