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THE ART OF BLEND BY CHIVAS REGAL
DISCOVER HOW WHISKY IS BLENDED
Last week, the sober half and I frequented The Blend, an exclusive bar located in Shoreditch at the Truman Brewery. A unique space where consumers can delve into the fascinating world of whisky and discover the ‘Art of Blending’. The Art of Blending sessions allows Modern Gents and their counterparts to discover how whisky is blended as they are tutored in the craftsmanship of a master blender. Upon entrance, the room and ambience very much had the feel of a cookery class.
'An array of graduated cylinders and somewhat clandestine bottles filled with the night’s offerings; The Highlands, Lowlands, Speyside and Islay.'
It was a coup for me to bring the missus to something like this. She'll never admit it, however I'm sure I illuminated a key facet to my game; being in the know. Also showing a willingness to better myself, not being content on appreciating the nuances of whisky, but being solicitous in my pursuit to learn the art of the blend. At least that's what I thought.
After chasseing myself around the room, I eventually parked myself and duly began to blend some of the samples. This really was the wishing well dream having such final staple ingredients to begin the blend with initially. And of course, blessed relief that amongst them were my favourite - an Islay Whisky, a vibrant mix of smokey-peatyness and subtle caramel notes.
The objective of the blend is not only marrying the right whiskies, but to create a blend that reflects the Chivas brothers' house style; harmonious and balanced, sweet and fruity with a wisp of smoke. The blend is artfully curated and the session was conducted unobtrusively. Dutifully I chartered each quantity from each whisky, nosing the glass studiously with every step before filling my 200ml bottle.
Admittedly I did feel a little bit of a charlatan, like a novice punter eyeing the wheels of a fruit machine pretending to know exactly what the flashing buttons do. Luckily my blend turned out delicious. Perhaps too peaty for most palettes, but enriched with plenty of hay-like flavours from Speyside and a dusting of honey notes from the Highlands.
As I cradled the finished article in my hand, the instructor called an end on the evenings frivolities and asked us to name our blend. Obediently I got to thinking. I ruminated on Pete's Peaty Power Punch, laughed to myself and just left the label unmarked, thinking the name might find me in at a later date. It still hasn't, and sadly the bottle's contents have since met their fate. There's still Sunday tickets available from chivas.com today.