Monday, February 9, 2015
Assessing Whisky Decanters & Home Blending with Teacher's
In this video, I compare an expensive lead crystal decanter that cost $200 with a $60 glass decanter. Which one is better?
I also discuss Teacher's Highland Cream. Do you find it a little flat and boring since they stopped sourcing Glendronach as a key single malt? Me too. Solution: Pick an intuitively complimentary single malt that you can blend with it to get a final product that has some smoke, peat and punch that makes a mediocre blend into an interesting one.
If you are interested in the glass decanter appearing in this video, please visit www.whiskeydecanters.net/
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Jason, Nice topics, nice video. We use my Dad's old crystal decanters for the cheapy "cocktail" liquors on our sidebar server, just as he did for for many years. As he lived healthily into his nineties, so goes my hope that lead transfer rates from the decanters works similarly for me. My feeling is that any decanter probably degrades the alcohol content and character of most spirits held within it for long (such as over a month) rather too rapidly to be worthwhile for holding anything aimed for sipping action. We keep Old Grand-Dad BiB, Finlaggan and Remy Martin VS in ours these days.ReplyDelete
Am always encouraging of folks experimenting with their spirits such as your sprucing up of Teachers. It needs help, doesn't it ? Laphroaig 10 has character near ideal for that sorta stuff, to me, if applied in moderation. Our own "topping-up" bottles (the Bog Crawlers have four examples going right now) are fascinating exercises in making home blends or replicating commercial products. Try adding a little Amontillado or Palo Cortado and see where it goes. Hoo-wah ! Cheers. jk
Hi! I am quite amazed at how little Laphroaig 10 is needed to punch up the Teacher's into a dram with real character. Initially, when I started experimenting, I was adding a teaspoon of Laph to a double of Teacher's. That was too much Laph for my liking. Now I use a dribble, maybe 1/6 of a teaspoon and the result is great. This home blending is an area that I must explore further.Delete
What a cool couple of topics Jason. The only time I'd ever use a decanter (glass) would be to hold filtered (strained) 20 to 30 year old vintage Port which has crusty sediment. Not Whiskey. And never entertained the idea of 'blending'... until now. If not Teachers, is there another blend I could try....?ReplyDelete
AL (from OZ)
Al, I think there are a lot of blends you could create. Some may come to you intuitively and others that seem to make sense fail.Delete
I and others like to take a mild Islay based blend like Islay Mist or Black Bottle or White Horse and add a little Ardbeg or Laprhoaig. Great way to take those smooth blends and adjust the smoke a peat up a notch.
Johnnie Walker Black has Talisker in it. How about adding a little Talisker next time you have it out?
Its all about experimenting. I intend to post other home blends in the future.
Thanks for commenting, always good to hear from you.
It'll be a winter project.... About to grab a GlenM original as it's still summer down here. Tell me though... As a smokey... Hart Bros Bowmore 10.. that any good compared to the normal Bowmore 10 ?ReplyDelete
I haven't had the Hart Bros Bowmore so I can't say. I think if the two are close in price, the Hart Bros will no doubt put an interesting twist on the classic style of the Bowmore Distillery. I would try the Hart Bros as it is probably a one-off, never to be repeated.Delete
Interesting topic. Might have to give this a try, would like to try to recreate something like JW Green label, still one of my favorite "every day" drinkers and sadly down to my last unopened bottle. I like the idea of creating my own blend, "Ralphie's Ol' number one" ha ha ha.ReplyDelete
I have also wondered how I might recreate Green Label. I haven't done it but I would imagine Cragganmore with a pinch of Talisker might come close.Delete
Jason et al, We had a few Go-s ourselves at recreating the Green label; the side-by-side comparisons were fun and revealing. JWGL 15y proved a tough target to hit dead-on but our Dr Frankenstein efforts yielded "second cousins" not monsters.ReplyDelete
BTW, some of the component parts we typically use in other top-up and blend projects are either tail-ends of anything suitable on hand, or something on the cheaper side and also widely available such as: Macallan 12y (to add sherry influence), Monkey Shoulder (to add fruitiness), Great King Street (to add a highland bitters note), Aberfeldy 12y (to add floral nature) and Ardmore TC (for a pungent yet mild smoky peat). Laphroaig 10y brings heft of medicinal and saline elements but can quickly overwhelm a blend's nuances; the Ardbeg 10y is often a more compatible stealth-y addition to something wanting peat. Cheers ! JK
Home blending is certainly a matter of experimentation. Some blends I thought would work did not and others I was skeptical about were surprisingly good. I do agree that in general Islay malts need to be used judiciously as they can easily overpower the other ingredient whisky.Delete