Last night, each member of the Cardonet team was challenged to create their own perfect whisky blend. A whisky blend that was smooth and full of flavour. A whisky blend that we could call our own.
We all gathered at the Chivas pop-up shop in Shoreditch and under the guidance of a whisky expert, we learnt about the history of whisky and what it took to produce each dram. We then had the opportunity to sample Chivas 12 year old and Chivas 18 year old whisky, with a view to inspire us as we looked to create our own blend.
Sitting around a table that was fully loaded with whisky samples, measuring beakers and pipettes, our guide then introduced us to the different smells and flavour options available to master whisky blenders and took us through where various the flavours came from and how they were produced. We were invited to taste the different flavoured single malts, as well as the single grain base, in order to determine which appealed to our own particular palettes. The well aged, single malt options included the following 5 flavour profiles:
- Floral Malt Whisky
- Fruity Malt Whisky
- Creamy Malt Whisky
- Citrus Malt Whisky
- Smokey Malt Whisky
As you can imagine, each offered a very distinctive taste. I personally enjoyed the fruity and smokey options, which I felt would definitely form the base of my blend for the evening.
Things then got serious quite quickly as we were unleashed to start on our own creations. We soon realised that finding the perfect blend was much easier said than done, with one too many drops of the smokey malt delivered with precision via pipette changing the entire flavour combination. There was much laughter and fun as we started tasting each other’s blends and discovered how varied our blends and tastes were. With some decidedly better than others, it was time to discover what was working and what wasn’t with a view to creating our own bottle to take away from the evening.
I thought I had nailed my perfect blend and having taken extensive notes, I was convinced that I had the formula that I needed to scale up my creation from a few drops to over 250ml. That confidence was misplaced as my final creation was very different to what I had in mind, but it was superb nonetheless. I called my blend ‘Cardonet Vintage Select’ and I thought that it was wonderful, but then perhaps I am biased.
We all left having enjoyed a superb evening out with the wider team, many of whom spend their time at customer sites. We also had our own blends to share with friends and family, along with stories about our experience.
The small introduction gave me an impression of the pressure that the master whisky blenders must be under as they look to create and then replicate their own unique creations. One thing is for sure, they won’t have to worry about us taking over their crowns.