A quick question for you, my loyal readers: Have you drink (for pleasure, not for blogging purpose) a simple whisky blend (supermarket blend) during the last week? two weeks? last month?
I expect that almost no hands were raised in affirmative answer to this question, but it’s not really surprising as we prefer to drink good blends and single malts and not the drink the standard (and usually cheap) supermarket blends.
But there is a good chance you’ve started your whisky journey with one (or more) of those cheap blends or at least had some of it early on your journey – I had such whiskies on my journey and Ballantines Finest was one I remember myself drinking a couple of times before I switched over to the right side 🙂
Recently I was in an event where Ballantines Finest was one of the whiskies to drink and I thought to myself – “Hey, I know this is a crazy idea but how about I taste it again, properly this time, with the experience I gained over the last few years?”
Well, I was weak and did fall for this thought. Wanna read what I thought of it?
Ballantines Finest (40%, Buy here for £18.75 or in every decent supermarket)
Nose: Hints of peat and smoke, major grain notes although not too harsh, acetone, all very flat with no depth. After a while, in glass almost nothing is left to smell.
Palate: Starts a bit smoky, weak sweet vanilla and alcohol burn of grain, and oak wood.
Finish: Short, bland mix of flat sweetness and oak, leaving no trace in a very short time.
Conclusion: Oh well, There’s a reason it’s not a staple in my bar (or any any decent whisky geek bar). I guess it can be tolerated if served on the rocks or in cocktails but I just cannot see myself drinking it neat or from my own free will after this last experience.
Indeed. However, the 17 is really as good as blends get….
I have the feeling I tried it once but see nothing in my list. I should (re-)try the 12 & 17!
Less the 12, but the 17 is REALLY good 🙂
The blends I had recently include JW green, The Spice Road, Jameson and Monkey Shoulder – I guess the last one qualifies as a supermarket blend and is quite drinkable.