I wasn't particularly fond of either of the whiskies going into this blend, so I ended up futzing around to see if there was a way to improve them. Maybe two wrongs would make a right.
1:1 Hazelburn 12 Year/Laddie 10 Year Blend
Nose: maritime, Juicy Fruit, purple sherry, floral, Laddie peat reek underneath becoming stronger with time, musty oak. After adding a few drops of water, it becomes creamier, the raisin notes become less sweet, some berries and new make grain pop out, something like lemongrass hand soap, and coffee/mocha.
Taste: malt and sherry have blended almost seamlessly, a bit floral at the back, sour apples, very light peat and oak, sweet up front fading towards bittersweet at the back. After dilution, there is burnt sugar, bittersweet raisins, more sour apples or new make, and peppery honey.
Finish: light sweet sherry and malt, raisins, sour apples, bittersweet tannins
Enhhhh... while I think this is something of an improvement, the only real plus was bringing out more maritime influence on the nose. For some reason the combination seemed even younger than either by itself and there was no getting around the Laddie's unpleasant peat reek. Water also helped a bit, but the hand soap notes on the nose were not particularly welcome.
So be it. They can't all be winners.
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