Mackinlay’s ‘Shackleton’ Blended Malt Scotch Whisky

Anyone who was around the whisky blogosphere back in 2011 can’t have avoided the media fervor surrounding the discovery of several crates of antique scotch whisky preserved beneath the Antarctic heritage site of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s ill-fated ‘Nimrod’ expedition base camp. … This version, bottled at the bare minimum 40% ABV, is comprised of Highland single malts aged in a combination of ex-bourbon and ex-sherry (Spanish oak). Unlike the more-expensive prior re-creation, we know little to nothing about the composition of…

Breckenridge Reserve Blend (Flaviar Exclusive)

Breckenridge is located so high in the mountains of Colorado that it is the highest-elevation distillery in the world … this Flaviar blend chooses four blends of straight bourbons with high-rye mashbills and bottles them at 43% ABV. Yes, you read that right. This is a blend of blends. Luckily, everything involved is a straight bourbon, so it just comes down to percentages

Timorous Beastie (10 year)

Timorous Beastie (named after a Robert Burns poem) is a line of blended malts that uses malts from the Highland region of Scotland, including (but not limited to) Glen Garioch, Dalmore and Glengoyne. The range has a non-age-stated bottling for about $35, this 10 year-old, and a number of special editions. This one is bottled at 46.8% ABV without chill filtration or added coloring. “Blended Malt” means all of the ingredients are…

Compass Box – Orchard House

The new 2021 release of Orchard House saw a bit of a return to Glaser’s roots. It’s light, fruity, refreshing, and priced at the midrange of the market ($50 here). The whisky is drawn from 39% Linkwood, 29% Clynelish, and 20% Benrinnes barrels, all first-fill ex-bourbon. This leads to a lot of “orchard fruit” notes and a relatively small amount of the heavier fruit notes associated with ex-sherry casks which are usually present in Compass Box blends. The remaining…

Bank Note Blended Scotch, Revisited

I’ve been told that the quality of this blend has decreased as the Morrison family no longer has access to the mature whisky stocks that once powered Bank Note. Alas, I don’t have any details on what that means, so all I can do is stick my nose in a glass and see if I can tell a difference. The bottle still has a “5 Year” age statement on it, thank goodness. I bought the bottle in 2021 for…

Lost Lantern American Vatted Malt Ed.1

Well, it’s not every day that you get to try a whiskey that represents and entirely new category of spirits. Lost Lantern claims to be (and may very well be) the first company to blend (or “vat”) together American single malt whiskies, making the first American Vatted Malt Whiskey. … a self-styled independent bottler out of Vermont, got its start by bottling American whiskies under its independent bottling label. This is a very familiar story to anyone who drinks single malt scotch. The company then released their first vatted malt (Edition 1) in 2020. It’s a vatting of 6 American single malts (2 barrels of each), and…

Chapter 7 – Prologue

Chapter 7 is an independent bottler with a compelling if slightly strained narrative. They contend that an individual cask of whisky is like a character in a story. Blending casks together is, thus, like writing a novel. It’s very poignant and poetic but I’m not sure how much it really has to do with the whisky, and long-time readers will know that we don’t really pay much attention to the marketing story around here…

Johnnie Walker Song of Ice

Song of Ice is a slight tweak to the generic Johnnie Walker formula. I imagine the gimmick was to sell a bottle with a label that changes color in the freezer while simultaneously playing off of the success of HBO’s Game of Thrones series. I doubt the flavor of the whisky had much to do with it. Rumor suggests this version has a little less peated scotch and a little more Clynelish. For an excellent rundown on the contents of various Johnnie blends, see…