As promised, I return with another cross-vatting session. This time I will be a bit more daring.
1. Grappa and Aberlour 12 Sherry Cask
The first pair is again not too far away from each other. The Grappa is a cask matured Roner, and the Aberlour is also quite a fruity dram.
Nose: Grapes and dried fruits
Palate: Grappa with an edge
Finish: Medium long
Overall: The grappa totally dominates the whisky. The result doesn’t taste bad at all, but the influence of the Aberlour is hardly noticable, it just “beefs up” the grappa a little.
2. Wild plum brandy and Talisker 10
Now I’m getting bolder. The peaty and spicy Talisker is married to an unmatured wild plum brandy from the Black Forest (Haferplaume from Fies distillery in Oberkirch, Germany)
Nose: Peat smoke and swet plum, kinda strange…
Palate: This really is a 50/50 mix. Spice, peat, and plum.
Finish: Long and fruity, the peat gets a bit lost.
Overall: Not a perfect match. The two spirits don’t blend, they somehow stay in opposite corners. This vatting doesn’t do good to any of them.
When you compare the results to the first session, it becomes clear that whisky can only by safely vatted with a spirit that is not too different in character. Aged brandy works quite well, grappa so-so, and clear fruit brandy is already too far away. And to do justice to the whisky, I didn’t even try out some really nasty “partners” like bitters (Underberg?) or herbal liqueurs (maybe Chartruese Green?).
The third session will close the circle.