Hankey Bannister Original Blended Scotch

There’s something I like about a little miniature bottle of a cheap blended scotch. It has so much promise. Might this be the next old-school gem from the days when blended scotch was what everyone drank? And then I open it and I find more or less the same thing. Too much grain. too little flavor. Sigh.

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Counterpoint: Stereotypes are Useful

I read this sort of thing frequently in blogs and from the mouths of whisky evangelists: “Blended whisky can be cheap, just like any stereotype can be true from time to time, but you can’t go around generalizing like that.” I’d like to offer a counterpoint.

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Pricing Me Out Of the Market

…He also notes “I’d rather pay a little more for better quality, wouldn’t you?” which ordinarily I’d agree with. A large percentage of the opinions I post here on this blog are related to the value of whisky – finding better quality for a reasonable price. I’d far rather pay $45 for…

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8 Seconds (Sec8nds) Canadian Whisky

This is the first “blended Canadian whisky” that I’ve had (ever) that doesn’t make me want to wash my mouth out. That said, it desperately calls for ice and a bitter or acidic ingredient to balance the inherent sweetness.

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Pendleton Canadian Whisky

…it’s still very sweet, and has a chemical aftertaste that I’m not fond of. It’s not as wholly bad as many of the other bulk Canadian whisky products sold in the US, but it’s not a reason to warm to the market segment.

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Ellington Reserve (8 year) Canadian Whisky

Please, please don’t buy this. If one person, somewhere, reads this review in a BevMo and puts the bottle back on the shelf, then I have done my duty as a whisky blogger, and I can die contented.

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Great King Street: Experimental Batches

Compass Box is doing something very cool. After the incredible success (due in no small part to its very high quality) of Great King Street: Artist’s Blend, the company is expanding its blended scotch selection under the Great King Street label.

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Compass Box Asyla

This is a clean, crisp, and borderline bland example of what skillful hands can do with young or inexpensive whisky blending components. However, I can’t think of any reason to buy Asyla when Great King Street: Artist’s Blend is on the shelf.

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Nikka From The Barrel – Japanese Whisky

I get a ton of delectable fruits (most of which are tart, my favorite kind of fruit notes in whisky), excellent balance of wood and malt sweetness, and a proof that’s just the right amount of intensity straight-up, but can also handle some water. Nice stuff, even with the dominant banana notes.

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Hibiki (12 year) Japanese Whisky

Hibiki 12 is a widely-acclaimed blend of 12 year-old (or greater) Japanese whisky from global giant Suntory. It includes malts from Yamazaki and Hakushu and grain from Chita distillery. The components are aged in a variety of casks including ex-bourbon, ex-sherry, and casks that once held Umeshu, a plum liqueur.

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