The SWE Blend: A Rare Insight

To mark 21 years of being open, The Scotch Whisky Experience decided to create a 21 year old luxury commemorative blend. Since the Scotch Whisky Experience is owned by some of the major players in the Scotch Whisky Industry, it means they were allowed access to some really interesting and rare whiskies. Not only did Lucas and I get to try it, we got an insight into how this whisky was put together. Jealous? I bet you are.

Insider Information

Where to start? Well, the blend consists of 6 single malts and 4 single grain whiskies. 56% grain, 44% single malt. The idea originally had been for a blend that was 50% grain, 50% single malt, but ultimately increasing the grain whisky produced a more balanced blend.

The 6 single malts are: Highland Park, Royal Brackla, Inchgower, Mortlach, Balvenie and Bowmore.

The 4 grain whiskies are: Girvan, Strathclyde, North British and Invergordon.

Susan, General Manager at the Scotch Whisky Experience  explained that they wanted to go for something complex, with a thought for a rich dessert whisky or after-dinner whisky. Something that really showed off the age of its components, like a balanced palate and long finish.

Yet it’s not all the-bigger-the-better in this case, the balancing act came in because some whiskies, like the Bowmore, North British and Mortlach, were a little on the over-powering side, so a balance had to be found. Particularly the North British had to be used selectively because this aged North British was very powerful. This was interesting, as quite a few people assume grain whisky to be pretty tasteless stuff. It’s not.

The base malt (so the malt there is proportionally most of) is the Mortlach, with the others adding the intricate flavours or dressing to the blend. The touch of dryness and smoke added by the Bowmore  and some apples and pears added by the Inchgower. The best all rounder, in the tasting I was involved in, was the aged Balvenie. So sweet and light, this adds class and balance to the blend.

Our Tasting Notes

Nose: Marzipan, raisins, chocolate, cream and estery notes. A spicy note, like aniseed on mulled wine

Palate: Rich, oaky, raisins, stewed apples and slight earthiness

Finish: Dry and long

What’s so special about it?

It’s a limited – 498 bottles. Of these, less than 400 will actually go on sale to the public. The whiskies within this blend are quite rare, being over 21 years old and it is also unusual for a blend to represent the Lowlands, albeit Grain Distilleries in the Lowlands (North British, Strathclyde and Girvan) Highlands (Highland Park, Royal Brackla and Invergordon) Speyside (Mortlach, Balvenie and Inchgower) and Islay (Bowmore).

I would recommend trying it at the Scotch Whisky Experience bar, where it will be going on sale at the very reasonable £5 per dram. £100 pounds a bottle, a very special treat. You can buy it here


(Just to declare, Lucas and I currently work for the Scotch Whisky Experience as tour guides. If you think this affects my review, taste it yourself and make your own mind up)

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