Taste Review #82 – Century Of Malts
The one thing I am hope that you are beginning to notice with this blog is that I am not afraid to try blended whisky. While I am trying to pick the more interesting or at least vintage whiskies that I can, often they arrive as the result of a bulk auction purchase, with this release I am away to try being one such example.
The last blend I tried was the Collectivum XXVIII, a blend of 28 single malt whiskies from each of Diageo’s Scottish Malt Whisky Distilleries. Well, superlatives are meant to be broken, and this blend certainly does that with no less than 100 different malts in the mix.
For the record, the malts are; –
Aberfeldy, Aberlour, Allt a`Bhainne, Ardbeg, Auchentoshan, Auchroisk, Aultmore, Balblair, Balmenach, Balvenie, Banff, Ben Nevis, Benriach, Benrinnes, Benromach, Blair Athol, Bowmore, (Royal) Brackla, Braeval, Brechin (North Port), Bunnahabhain, Caol Ila, Caperdonich, Clynelish, Convalmore, Cragganmore, Craigduff, Craigellechie, Dailuaine, Dallas Dhu, Dalmore, Dalwhinnie, Deanston, Dufftown, Fettercairn, Glen Albyn, Glenallachie, Glenburgie, Glencadam, Glen Craig, Glen Elgin, Glen Esk, Glenfarclas, Glenfiddich, Glen Garioch, Glenglassaugh, Glen Grant, Glengoyne, Glenisla, Glen Keith, Glenkinchie, The Glenlivet, Glenlochy, Glenlossie, Glen Mhor, Glen Moray, Glenrothes, Glen Scotia, Glen Spey, Glentauchers, Glenturret, Glenugie, Glenury Royal, Highland Park, Imperial, Inchgower, Inchmurrin, Inverleven, Isle of Jura, Kinclaith, Knockando, Ladyburn, Lagavulin, Laphroaig, Ledaig, Linkwood, Littlemill, Longmorn, The Macallan, Macduff, Mannochmore, Miltonduff, Mortloch, Mosstowie, Ord, Pittyvaich, Old Pulteney, Old Rhosdhu, Scapa, Speyburn, Springbank, Strathisla, Strathmill, Tamdhu, Tamnavulin, Teaninich, Tomatin, Tomintoul, Tormore and Tullibardine.
The whiskies in bold italics are distilleries that are no longer with us. 20 Ghost Malts. Pretty much all of them have disappeared off the face of the planet, with no trace they were ever there. But does inclusion of such malts give this blend a better quality or not. I personally don’t agree with using such rare malts in blends nowadays, as I think it is the last vestiges of the distillery that can last way beyond the buildings; once the liquid is gone that is the last physical proof of the distillery was ever there.
I’ve tried to do a little research about this blend and the thoughts behind it, but there is precious little on the internet about it. I was quite intrigued by it, as the miniature has a very stylish looking bottle, but the temptation was too high for me to ignore so it got cracked open. Let’s dispense with the thoughts and start dealing in the dram facts.
Chivas Century Of Malts
Region – N/A – Blend Age – NAS Strength – 43% Colour -Amontillado Sherry (0.9) Cask Type – N/A Colouring – Yes Chill Filtered – Not stated but assuming Yes Nose – Hazelnut, red apple, pear, a hint of peat, honey, vanilla, orange peel, grassy. Palate -Oily and smooth, restrained on spices, heather honey, covered in smoke but not that peaty although it is in the background. Hints of dried fruits upon swallowing Finish -medium long with heather, apple peel, wood spices. Warming with a touch of bitter sweet sensations. At the very end I got currants.
Initially it seems a feat that there are 100 malts in this blend, and some rare or discontinued malts at that. But don’t let that blind you, as with that amount in the mix, you are very unlikely to get a taste of any distillery or individual cask character. If you can, I bow my head to you.
One of the small issues I have with this blend is that in the miniature I had of 5cl, on average each distillery is only represented by 0.5ml of fluid. Even in a full size bottle, the average is going to be 7ml. Just over a quarter of a standard Scottish dram. I repeat, if you can taste individual distilleries, then fair play. For me, this is as much a novelty whisky as the Beinn Dubh black whisky.
But in my opinion it shares something else in common with the infamous Beinn Dubh – it doesn’t taste that bad. To be honest I actually could say that even though it wouldn’t be a flavour profile that would attract me to be a regular drinker of this blend, it was a very pleasant sipper. Once I quickly calculated that I wouldn’t be able to pick any flavours out, I made out my tasting notes and sat down to enjoy the rest.
This is still available to buy retail, however only on the secondary market. I’ve seen miniatures for sale at £18 and full size bottles at £160, but this is without any shipping taken into consideration. Is it good value? I would have to say no, I wouldn’t pay that for this whisky, but if you ever get a chance to try it, I would say that it is worthwhile as long as you haven’t over paid for a miniature or cracked open your own full size bottle.
Yours In Spirits
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All Photos – Authors Own