The Reference Series

For the next four weeks our resident whiskey pirate Gerald Jago will be tasting the experimental ‘Reference Series’ range and guest blogging about his findings. Without further ado, we hand over to the man with his eye on the bottle.

The Reference Series is an innovation from the clever chaps at Master of Malt.  Irked by the smoke and mirrors around the bottle, they set out to demystify what makes up a dram. A love of whisky drives curiosity. It is easy to enjoy an evening of intrigue, it is harder to find a solid comparison from which you can learn.
We often muse:

What exactly is in this glass I hold?
Does sherry sweeten my whisky?
Does peat add more that just ‘smokiness’?
How does spirit caramel affect the flavour? Can you taste it?
The Reference Series aims to gives us answers to these questions. It starts with a base blended malt whisky made up of “a core of youthful, clean blended malt top dressed with a pair of incredible, well-aged single malts” and bottled at 47.5% ABV.
After blending these whiskies the chaps at Master of Malt created  three variations or “extensions” of the base. No other aspect of each extension whisky was changed.
1.1 Sherry. A third of the base whisky was finished in fresh 50 litre Pedro Ximenez  Casks for one month.
1.2 Peat.  Ten per cent heavily-peated Islay whisky was added to the base whisky.  
1.3  E150a Spirit caramel, a controversial component in the production of whisky was added. This additive is used to maintain consistency in colour.
Over the next few weeks I will be tasting and comparing these extensions, but I thought I would start off with a tasting note on the base, or ‘reference’ whisky.
I  Base Reference The base whisky had a slight menthol nature with strong malt grain present on the nose. Custard is present, as is a faint hint of dried ham. The palate heads into baked apple with loads of butterscotch, vanilla toast and a touch of barley sugar. It is light in its finish, with dryness staying and a touch of sherry present.

Gerald Jago

1 comment:

  1. Interesting taste experiment.
    Wouldn't mind trying it out for myself to see if I can pick up the differences!