The Half-Century Blend is the third release by The Blended Whisky Company, a subsidiary of Master of Malt / Atom Supplies.
This blend is over 50 years old and contains malt and grain whiskies distilled before the ‘whisky boom’ of the late 1960s and 1970s – before the shift towards increased yields, they say. In a way this blend honours less efficient barley strains, floor maltings, inefficient yeasts, lenghty fermentation times and direct-fired stills.
The Half-Century Blend 50 yo (45,5%, Master of Malt 2016, Batch #1, 768 btl.)
Nose: lovely buttery apple aromas, alongside polished furniture and warm leathery notes. A little guava. The old grain whisky isn’t hidden here, the marzipan / vanilla combination is clear. A little maple syrup, some rummy notes. Hints of smoky cedar in the background. Cinnamon. Tobacco. Excellent.
Mouth: oh wow. I was expecting a slightly thin, wood-driven profile, with lots of spices. Instead this is surprisingly thick and surprisingly fruity. Subtle tropical fruits à la BenRiach (pink grapefruit, guava, a slight hints of passion fruits). Some bourbon-like leather and vanilla cream. Chocolate and brown sugar. Toffee apples and honey. Very gentle herbal notes. Hints of kirsch maybe. Really great.
Finish: long, just a tad drier, with tobacco notes, walnuts, but also gingerbread and lingering fruits.
The (old) grain whisky is showing on the nose, but the old malt is talking on the palate. Juicy fruits (including some tropical hints). A great mash-up really. Expensive, but also very impressive. Available for around € 670 from Master of Malt among others.