Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Blended Scotch Whisky
Still between places in a big way, but surviving. Said goodbye (for real this time) to Edinburgh and everyone we love there yesterday which means the mission continues at its recent frequency, and we continue to live out of suitcases. Many, many suitcases. Found a good (new) website for info while without my books (which are not in said suitcases), HERE. Good quick whisky nerd info if you need it.
Born in Leith, the historic docks Edinburgh, William Sanderson worked in the wine and spirits industry for most of his life. With Andrew Usher and the he built the North British grain distillery in Edinburgh, bought Glen Garioch (pronounced "Glen Geery") and managed Royal Lochnagar in the first half of the 20th century.
The blend was created when Sanderson (and his son) allegedly created 100 blends or vattings of malt and grain whisky. Then, with the help of friends, family, and fans of spirit consumption, tested each batch to choose the best. The victor was vat number 69, and hence the whisky was born.
Vat 69 has featured prominently in American and British war movies and series as well as in many Bollywood films in India, where the whisky retains some of the popularity it had in the rest of the world some 70 years ago. It is currently the 17th highest selling Scotch blended whisky in the world. Sanderson and Son currently have their names on bottles of Glenesk (a rarely seen Highland single malt form a distillery that was fatally closed in 1985) and Antiquary blended whiskies.
And yes, to pick up on discussions from the last 'week' on the malt mission, the term "vat" has been used to describe whiskies made up from a number of single malts, but this whisky is a blended whisky: made up of different single malts AND grain whiskies.
Waffle cones sweetness with fresh corn and some butter, too. Simple chords of aromas: grain, cask, spirit and generally really sweet.
Vanilla and wooden spoons, like licking cookie batter without chocolate chips, very syrupy sweet. Spirity in the middle with corn and petroleum lingering.
Rugged stuff. Sir Ernest Shackleton brought it on his Trans-Atlantic expedition in 1914 for "medicinal and celebratory purposes", for killing the pain of this dead (seafaring) life on loan and on land. Let us hope you never suffer from such pain and thus avoid this drop, making exemptions only for research purposes, nostalgia, or ginger ale enhancement.
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