We Know Our Way Around a Blend…

We Know Our Way Around a Blend…

Enjoying a blended whisky

Blended Whisky accounts for over 90% of Scotch. Almost every Scotch whisky distillery, including most of your favourite malts, sends the majority of their spirit for blending. Many single malt enthusiasts associate blended whisky with popular brands such as Famous Grouse, Bells and Grants. There’s a whole world of interesting blended Scotch out there waiting to be discovered!

The blends we have to offer are available in single casks. Comprised of a base of delicate sweet grain whisky with dressings of single malts, they are chosen for their distillery flavour profiles in order to create the most rounded and balanced spirit possible. After over 20 years of these complex single malts and grain maturing together, the flavours become far more unified than they would in a normal blend.

While the focus over the last few years has been on single malts, the industry is starting to see a rise in the popularity of independent blends. Whisky enthusiasts across the world have welcomed the return of a quality blended Scotch. The shift away from single malts, their artisanal nature and value for money has given blends a following among the younger generations. A famous name can’t sell a blend, only quality can.

These casks are now fully mature and ready for bottling. They’re ideal for an independent bottler who’s looking to do something different. Or, simply for someone who wants to bottle and outstanding whisky.

To find out more about what blended whiskies we have in stock, contact the team today and let’s talk whisky!

Meet the Masters – Sir Colin Hampden-White ‘The Keeper’

Meet the Masters – Sir Colin Hampden-White ‘The Keeper’

Colin headshot

The Three Drinkers star, Cask Trade’s Non-Executive Director and fellow Whisky enthusiast Sir Colin Hampden-White sits down for a dram to discuss his love for all things Scotch.

How long have you worked for Cask Trade?
Since January 2019.

What first kick-started your passion for Whisky?
I vividly remember being given a dram by a gamekeeper on a freezing cold shoot in Scotland when I was about 15 or so. 

What are your top three favourite whiskies and why?
1. Johnnie Walker black label: The great all-rounder.
2. Mortlach 75 -year-old. The best whisky experience I have had at Edinburgh Castle.
3. At the moment I am enjoying 100% rye whiskey from all over the world. Especially Kyro from Finland.

What are your favourite flavours? Which aspects of whisky are the most important for you?
I really like a little linseed oil, dried apricots and fresh tropical fruits.

Which is your “holy grail” whisky? What’s THE bottle you want to own in your lifetime?
A bottle of Malt Mill.

Your favourite whisky cocktail?
It has to be the classic Old Fashioned.

Whisky with water or straight cask strength?
Honestly, it depends on the whisky. For something old and delicate probably without, young, cask strength and vivacious probably with.

What do you like most about Cask Trade?
My two favorite things about Cask Trade are the people and the transparency. What you see is what you get with us, there’s no smoke and mirrors. This is important when it comes to whisky investment.

Why should people invest in Whisky Casks?
Whisky casks are able to take you on an emotional journey as well as a profitable one.

To find out more about what Cask Trade can do for you, don’t hesitate to contact the team today and let’s talk whisky!

Myriam’s Whisky Wanderings

Myriam’s Whisky Wanderings

It’s been a while since I’d returned to Speyside, and my autumn trip to whisky country certainly did not disappoint! What a glorious season to visit some iconic distilleries nestled among the beautiful landscapes and the River Spey. Of course, there are not only distilleries to visit in this region, but also some serious whisky shops and world-renowned whisky bars.

Strathisla distillery

The first stop was Strathisla, the oldest licensed distillery in the highlands founded in 1786, and arguably the most picturesque distillery in Scotland. (I may be slightly biased, but it has been noted by the odd whisky publication or two…). Known as one of the main components of the Chivas Regal blend, Strathisla is also regularly seen as a fruity and sherry-rich 12-year-old single malt. We had a superb Strathisla 2009 barrel in stock which was sold to Hong Kong just last week!

Glen Keith distillery

Next up, Glen Keith – a sister distillery a stone’s throw away from Strathisla, also owned by Chivas Brothers. Glen Keith distillery has been at the forefront of innovation thanks to its key role in distilling trials. This has produced a variety of whisky styles for the Chivas portfolio. Among our new arrivals, we have a parcel of Glen Keith casks distilled in 1997, just a couple of years before the distillery ceased production for over a decade. These casks give a rare insight into a historic whisky style produced by Glen Keith distillery.

Aberlour distillery

Distillery tour number three was Aberlour, another gem and hugely popular whisky – this distillery is one to watch. They have also recently submitted planning for an upgrade which will see a doubling of their production capacity. Known for their core range 12, 16 and 18-year-old expressions matured in ex-bourbon and ex-sherry, I’m a particular fan of their cask-strength whiskies matured in ex-Oloroso casks; without hesitation I scooped up a bottle of Aberlour a’bunadh from their visitor centre! Keep an eye on our stocklist for some Aberlour casks coming soon!

While in the town of Aberlour, one cannot resist a visit to the Dowan’s Hotel. Both establishments have an impressive collection of whiskies. If you need a pit stop between the Dowan’s, there is more whisky temptation at the Speyside Whisky Shop. They specialise in rare and collectible malts.

Macallan distillery

Last but certainly not least I had a stroll through Macallan, which rounded off the trip nicely. As if their signature sherry cask matured whisky was not legendary enough, Macallan has since rebuilt their visitor center and expanded the distillery in a stunning feat of elegant architecture. Sadly for us, Macallan stopped selling privately in the mid 90’s so casks of Macallan are few and far between. If you want to taste old Macallan it’s best to drink it straight from the source, or at The Craigellachie Hotel and Highlander Inn which are just down the road from the distillery. Combined, these world-famous whisky bars boast a selection of well over 1,000 whiskies!

Slàinte,

Myriam

Meet the Masters – Josh ‘Woody’ Wood

Meet the Masters – Josh ‘Woody’ Wood

 

Whisky Woody

Josh, one of our newest Sales & Marketing Executive Managers tells us about his enthralling Whisky journey, and how it all started with the humble ‘Jack and Coke’…

How long have you worked for Cask Trade?

Since September 2020.

What first ignited your passion for Whisky?
Shortly after I turned 18 I was in the pub with a friend of mine who knew I enjoyed ‘Jack and Coke’ and offered to teach me about enjoying Scotch served neat. It was a good lesson and I’ve been doing continuous ‘homework’ ever since! 

What are your top three favourite Scotch whiskies and why?
I have quite an eclectic palate! Bowmore 15 was the first ‘proper’ Whisky I enjoyed and it still holds a special place in my heart. Pound for pound my favourite ‘Daily Dram’ is Johnnie Walker Green Label and the variants, and for something special it would be a draw between Glenury Royal and Lochside – I love the history of lost distilleries but naturally knowing they’re gone makes drinking the whisky bittersweet.

What are your top three favourite World whiskies and why?
Chchibu On The way 2015, Stauning’s Young Danish Rye 2016, and Red Breast 12. I find all three very, very distinct in extremely different ways and encountered them all a few years ago when I decided I wanted to try some different whiskies for a change. 

What are your favourite flavours? Which aspects of whisky are the most important for you?
I enjoy both sweet and savoury flavours, depending on my mood. When choosing a whisky it’ll depend if I’m pairing it with something, what I’ve eaten before, and even the climate and time of year, as well as what I’m doing when I drink it.
People tend to laugh at how long I ‘nose’ a whisky for because I enjoy the aromas so much. I often get asked if I prefer smelling a whisky or tasting it but I haven’t worked out the answer yet! 

Your favourite whisky cocktail?
Perfect Manhattan, hands down.

Whisky with water or straight cask strength?
Usually cask strength but I have lots of whiskies bottled at ‘forty-something’ which I enjoy. It’s very rare that I prefer whisky with water added to what comes out the bottle and I absolutely never add ice!

What do you like most about Cask Trade?
I’m surrounded by a great group of colleagues and incredible whisky which I get to share with enthusiasts all over the world. Cask Investment is an extremely exciting field and I enjoy being able to work for a Stockist and not a Broker. 

Why should people invest in Whisky Casks?
With interest rates and property yields low (and traditional investments highly volatile), this is the perfect time to move into Alternative Assets. Only wine and whisky appreciate in a linear fashion, and by buying a cask (kept in a warehouse for under £50 per year) you needn’t worry about storage (unlike bottles).
The Scotch Whisky Boom shows no signs of abating with increased demand from emerging markets depleting stocks of quality aged single malt, which will continue to increase the value of maturing casks. Tasting your maturing whisky each year whilst your cask appreciates is a fun bonus on top!

To find out more about what Cask Trade can do for you, don’t hesitate to contact the team today and let’s talk whisky!