As I sit down to pen this particular article on Scotch Whiskey, I can’t help but recollect the words of the famous novelist, Raymond Chandler. “There is no bad whiskey. There are only some whiskeys that aren’t as good as others.” So we were off, enjoying a glass of refreshing Moscow Mule cocktail made from a base of Johnnie Walker Red Label overlooking the lake of Taj Banjara.
This is in fact my second time at ‘The Art of Blending’ session by Diageo and also a second time around interacting with Mr. Hemant Mundkur, the Brand Ambassador for United Spirits Limited, who conducts the Scotch whisky appreciation sessions and makes it as interactive as it can be. As we seated ourselves, five golden liquids awaited us for the night ahead with ingredients on the plates to identify the tasting notes.
I’ve been to quite a few events by Diageo earlier and also enjoy a drink or two of the regular malts by them. The story as told by Hemant is quite intriguing from the different regions of Scotland to how each grain, landscape can influence the whiskey and it also differs from one another due to the work of the Master Blender. What I’d like to focus on this post is the work of the Master Blender which I’ve been quite reading up on after each event.
The most important objective of the Master Blender is to provide a consistent product of high quality with specific taste. As a blended whiskey is, quite simply, a mixture of two or more different whiskeys with one of them being a grain whiskey. The important skill then has to be to mix and blend the different whiskies to create something unique.
The top blended whiskeys showcased at the ‘Art of Blending’ event were
- Vat 69 – The most widely consumed malt whiskies, it has a hints of spice and caramel with a woody and spiced finish.
- Black & White – Sold originally in a black bottle with a white label and hence the name. The Black & White has a bit of rough taste of the grain alcohol with a hint of honey.
- Black Dog Triple Gold Reserve – The Black Dog Triple Reserve has been a bit of favorite of mine with a smoothness of vanilla, butterscotch, cinnamon and subtle hints of citrus. The taste lingers on the throat with a woody finish.
- Johnnie Walker Red Label – Having a sip of the JW Red Label is like Christmas in the mouth reminiscing about Plum Cakes of the holiday season. It has a smooth finish of smokiness with a hint of oak.
- Johnnie Walker Black Label – One of the most famous blends put together, the JW Black Label is a blend of almost 40 whiskies. Soon as it touches your palate, it’s quite rich and full with citrus, spices, barley and toffee notes. A very fruity finish at the end.
Every time someone has asked me why you are a Whiskey person and I have that one answer always. Whiskey is a complexity which demands appreciation. You longingly gaze at it, appreciate it’s color and glow and the first sip that touches your throat. That’s when you know what godly nectar felt like.
Note : Drink responsibly to enjoy and not to get drunk.