Aged Spirits  

Fahrenheit 173 - Aged Spirits

"If it's not good enough to drink slowly, then it's not worth drinking"

Four "entry level" blended Scotch whiskies

 18 Aug 2011  

During my summer holidays I usually take a break from single malts and buy a few bottles of cheap(er) blended Scotch. This time I bought two "classic" blends (Bell's and Long John) and also a new blend (Latitude 55°) blended by the Swedish master blender Folke Andersson (more famous for his work on Grönstedts Cognac). The fourth whisky in this flight is the first "bag in box" whisky that I've reviewed - "Cromwell's Royal" (blended by a French com­pany, I gather).

Cromwell's Royal:
Fairly weak yet nice nose with citrus, vanilla and notes of peat and oak. Light, sweet palate with lemon and orange, also green fruits. Very light at first, then de­velops vanilla, oak and spice, also a note of liqourice. All in all it's quite light but sur­pris­ingly bal­anced considering it's a cheap "bag in box" whisky. But what a name, huh? =) (76 p)

Latitude 55°:
The nose is a little spirity and oily with a cereal note, also a hint of peat and nice notes of citrus fruits, caramel and oak. The palate is youngish and a bit unbal­anced. Sweet, de­velops toffee and a nice note of sherry wood. Oaky, spicy, quite nice finish with notes of sage and pepper­mint. Aged partly in ex-sherry casks and also contains a portion of Islay malt - the sherry wood adds a nice sweetness but the Islay malt is hardly noticeable. All in all it's a dis­ap­point­ing, however. (76 p)

Young yet quite nice nose with notes of grain whisky, toffee, custard, citrus and oak. Light, sweet palate with crème brûlée, also herbal with notes of aniseed, fennel and a hint of tequila. Nice finish with a note of mint. (77 p)

Long John:
Rough, spirity nose, malty and peaty with notes of oak and fennel, also a little dusty and musty (old, dusty attic). Much nicer palate: fairly rich, sweet and chewy with notes of oak shavings, citrus and mint and also a nice peaty note. The finish is warming but perhaps a little too hot. (78 p)

Conclusion: This was an in­ter­est­ing exercise but the next time I want a standard Scotch I'd rather go for a bottle of Cutty Sark (81 points) or (for just a couple of bucks more) Ballantine's Finest (82 points).

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