Monday, December 19, 2011

Malt Mission 2011 #405

St. Isidore
Blended Scotch Whisky
41.4% abv

I am sure if you are reading this then you are likely familiar with the back story, but...

Master of Malt, clever 21st century spirits merchants and genuinely lovely people, came up with the idea to get a group of bloggers to take part in creating a blended whisky. Simple as that, really. And thus the work-in-progress formerly known as THE BLOGGERS BLEND was born. 

Read Jason's backstory HERE.


Complex, deep and fruity with wood, wood smoke, and all the promise of the industrial revolution. 

Wow. Thick. Hearty. Real vanilla, spice and fruit again all swoddled in a blanket of fragrant wood smoke, finishing with a toasty, buttery and popcorn-y character and a resurgence of fruit, now more dried or even burnt. Lovely. 


Chewy and hearty with an Islay heart, not unlike a bowl of coal soup. While admittedly not the most elegant drop on the block, this beauty matches the complexity of some of the world's favourite malts, most premium blends, and reminds of the old-school blending stylings of mid-20th century Johnnie Walker Black and White Horse all for a fraction of the cost. What's more is that in the spirit of Christmas, all proceeds go to cover MoM's admirable investment in such a brilliant project. 

Think you could have done better? Now you can try to prove it. Master of Malt have assembled a Home Blending Kit fit for exactly what it says on the tin. 

Friday, December 09, 2011

Malt Mission 2011 #404

The Silver Grouse
Blended Malt Whisky

Honestly? I have no information about this bottle to share except for what the label told me:

It is a blended malt and is chill-filtered at -8 degrees Celsius, a proposition that seems familiar to the brilliant commercial failure of J&B -6. The label explains that this whisky was specially designed to celebrate Famous Grouse's 25 years as Scotland's number 1 blended whisky. 

I took a sample off a bar in an office in Taipei and I am afraid neither the internet nor my shelves of books offer me much else by way of background. Sorry! Do you know this whisky?

For more info on the Famous Grouse family of blends and to see all tasted so far on the mission, click HERE.


Wildly pleasant and easy-going nose. Creamy and sweet with dates and honey. Slight salty or briney note in there, too.

More dates, raisins and an oaty gristiness, drying with dusty oak and pleasant sherry.


Classic Grouse style, easy to drink and a joy all the while. Now who knows where the hell this thing is available?

Friday, December 02, 2011

Malt Mission 2011 #403

Johnnie Walker Swing
Blended Scotch Whisky
43% abv

Another blend to start off the 400s on the malt mission.

Originally introduced as the iconic Johnnie Walker range's premium export brand, Johnnie Walker 'Swing' or 'Celebrity' was introduced way back in 1932 and was Alexander Walker II's last blend. Although this whisky was apparently made available in the UK from 1982, it isn't a whisky we see much of on these shores. In fact, the world renowned Red Label is at least as absent from the home market having left the UK in 1977 following DCLs need to comply with EEC competition rules.

I look forward to an email from Dr. Morgan correcting at least half of the above. Thank you in advance.

For all Johnnie Walker had on the mission, click HERE.


Coal smoke and candied lemon, green herbal (Glenlossie?) and tangerine (Glen Elgin?) notes with a hint of sulphury sherry adding a welcome weight.

Great texture, big and bold with vegetable sweetness from quality aged grain, vanilla and orange before turning drying with clay, treacly for balance, and arriving at a lasting smoky finish.


Jim Murray called it "a different breed to the other Walker blends" in Classic Blended Scotch (1999) but to my mouth twelve years later, this is a very JW house style blend, with a bit of swagger and umph at its heart.