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International Whisky Day Special – A Bunch Of Dusty Scotch Blends

by Oliver Klimek on March 27, 2014

Today is Michael Jackson’s 72nd birthay, and it has become a tradtion to celebrate International Whisky Day on this date.

Serge Valentin has set the bar quite high with his celebratory tasting of 3 very old Macallans. So I decided not to try jumping over it, instead I pass underneath.

Since my first tasting of older versions of Johnnie Walker Red I have accumulated a bunch of bottles of Scotch blends from the 1960s and 1970s. I was planning on doing a comparative tasting anyway, so I thought it would be a nice idea to reserve this slightly special flight for this occasion.

dewarsDewar’s White Label, German import, 1960s

ABV: Unknown (back label incomplete)

Colour: Dark gold
Nose: Quite shy, attic dust, vanilla, raisins, hints of citrus, butterscotch.
Palate: Butterscotch with a few raisins, vanilla, nutmeg and pepper.
Finish: Rather short, spicy and slightly fruity.
Overall: Although it is not unpleasant at all, there is not very much to find in this blend. There is no noticeable smoke and hardly any fruit, so the profile has to rely mainly on sweetness and spices.

Rating: 73/100
 
 

grants_standfastGrant’s Stand Fast, Italian import, around 1970

ABV: 43%

Colour: Medium amber
Nose: Rather prominent orange, raisins, tinnned tropical fruit, hints of burnt sugar and vinegar, mild spices.
Palate: Rasins in malaga wine, orange zest, dark caramel, faint hints of beef stock, nutmeg and cardamom.
Finish: Rather long, fruity and spicy with minimal smoke.
Overall: I don’t know what version of the Standfast Grant’s recreated in 2012 with the help of some bloggers. But this in a different league. There is an outstanding complexity and maturity in this old blend, but it remains soft and gentle nevertheless.

Rating: 87/100

ambassador8Ambassador 8 yo, Italian import, around 1980

ABV: 40%

Colour: Dark gold
Nose: Strong lemon zest, hints of banana, grapes, vanilla, light caramel, hints of pepper.
Palate: Lime, hints of tropical fruit, vanilla, butterscotch, hints of nutmeg.
Finish: Medium long, slightly fruity and slightly spicy.
Overall: The Ambassdor’s motto is “Scotch at its lightest, and this pretty much hits the spot. But yet it is not a dull dram, well suited for casual sipping.

Rating: 79/100

cutty12Cutty 12, “Blended Scots Whisky”, Italian import, probably late 1970s.

ABV: 43%

Colour: Bright amber
Nose: Raisins, lemon zest, vanilla fudge, candied ginger, nutmeg.
Palate: Lemon zest, mango, raisins, vanilla, light honey, ginger, hints of nutmeg and pepper.
Finish: Medium long, fruity and slightly spicy.
Overall: This is the fruitiest of the four blends, it has quite a lot of interesting flavours while being very light bodied. You need some time to explore it.

Rating: 84/100

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