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Drink a Dram with Delin: Bourbon- Glenfiddich vs Blanton's

by Delin Watmough

Hello again all. Here we are again still in lockdown, but for the first time in over a year we are seeing glimmers of hope of life returning to normal. The FSC is still going to be running their band camp this summer with the hope that our highland festival will be able to happen (at least in some form) this August. While I am on the topic of our band, I would like to encourage anyone who is interested to come on out and see what it is all about. Hell, if I can do it (well, kind of anyway), then anyone can. We have numerous people of all levels who are willing to help others learn to play both pipes and drums and there is always room for more band members. We are fortunate that a lot of our instructors who come to our band camps and workshops are indeed world class players. As one who has benefited immensely from these sessions, I can assure you, you will both learn and have a great time doing it.

Now, I can hear everyone saying: “Great, but what has this to do with whisky?” Well, I am going to tell you. Since we can’t have practices, I have been practicing on my own. But lately I have been having some issues with my pipes- so much so that I was contemplating buying a new bag in order to straighten things out. In desperation, I gave Ian- one of our fearless leaders- a call (technically a message) to help me fix my pipes. Ian responded with a resounding yes, and since we had to meet at the Alehouse to fix up my pipes, I also roped him into helping me out with my blog this month. (While drinking alone can be fun, my wife is beginning to think I have a problem LOL).

This month, we are going to do something a little different. I am sure everyone, like me, has been watching a lot of TV lately. I have been noticing a lot of commercials for a Glenfiddich 14 Bourbon Barrel Reserve so I thought: let's compare this new whisky to a real top end bourbon just to see how much of a similarity there is between them.

It has been a pretty well kept secret, but I am a closet bourbon fan so I have a bottle of high end, Blanton’s Single Barrel Bourbon in my cupboard that I drink when I feel like changing things up a bit (my wife also uses it when she makes bourbon pecan pie). Anyways, after Ian and I finished with my pipes (turned out I only needed a new reed), I poured us each a small bit of each in identical glasses and had Ian taste them side by side blind just to see if he could tell the difference and choose which was which. Sure enough, he was absolutely correct in his choices despite the fact the two are very similar in taste with the Blanton’s being a bit sweeter than the Glenfiddich 14 but both having hints of orange peel with woody spices and summer fruit. Ian and I both favor the Glenfiddich over the Blanton’s.

Blanton’s Single Barrel Bourbon

Produced at the Buffalo Trace distillery in Frankfort, Kentucky. Blanton’s is the first single barrel bourbon ever produced. Because this is truly a single barrel bottling, every bottle will be slightly different. Flavors expected are caramel, smoke, orange peel, spices and wood notes. This bourbon has won numerous awards and is widely considered one of the very best bourbons on the market.

Glenfiddich 14 Bourbon Barrel Reserve

A single malt whisky that spends 14 years is ex bourbon barrels and then is finished in new charred American oak barrels from Louisville, Kentucky and delivers complex flavors of wood spices and summer fruit with caramel, char and baking spice and finishes with a chocolate note. Some of the reviews said it would pair well with pecan pie. I would be willing to bet it would, might even taste good in it.

Well, once again, that’s it for this month. For next month’s blog, I had a suggestion from Doug Brown that I do a review of Canadian single malt whisky’s, so that’s we are going to do. So hopefully next month, Doug, Ian and I are going to get together and taste a few whisky’s made here in Canada. If anyone has any suggestions of what they would like to see reviewed or any ideas for my blogs, please feel free to reach out to me or the FSC.

May your days be long and your glasses full


Delin Watmough


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