What's in a name? The Home Blending Kit whisky is called whisky because it's produced in Scotland. Were it from America it would be spelled The Home Blending Kit whiskey, rather than whisky.
I'm new to the world of whisky, and mostly bought this kit to give my learning a jump start. Not knowing much means that I am going strictly by taste and smell, which means that I am developing my palate and starting to understand what kind of whisky I prefer. I have made some God-awful concoctions, but also some really nice ones so far. The experience of blending my own whisky has been a great education. For the whisky newbies, I recommend also buying drams of award-winning whiskies so you can calibrate your palate accordingly.
I wish they had sent along instructions ie: let your new blend sit for a week or two to allow them to integrate (which is something I would have liked to know right off the bat), or how to properly clean the kit to ensure no cross-contamination of blends. Also, a few empty drams to store prospective blends in would have been nice.
All in all, a great buy. Lots of fun, and very educational
2nd February 2014
I've just got the home blending kit, which is excellently presented. You're always going to want more supplies and not sure if you can get top-up supplies of these sample bottles? Would be good if you could though.
It would nice to know the relative age of some of the top dressers, rather than old, very old or very very old. Is "very very old" equivalent to a 30 year old single malt? I know it's relative, it's about experimenting with flavours but would be interesting to have a rough idea. A few examples or taste guides would be good too for the complete novice!
13th October 2013
As a Scotch enthusiast and somebody who regularly has to deal with blending in other beverages, I just love the concept of this kit. High-quality presentation is a plus, but I'd rather have more Whisky to play with - and no, not more of the base...
As someone with extreme taste in Scotch (as peaty and phenolic as they get or as oily and sherried as they come), I am missing the "extremes" in this kit that would facilitate the creation of singular calibers such as a "HAIG" or "Black Bottle" type blend.
The aromas of the spirits in the kit are excellent, but none represent a grassy-phenolic or briny Whisky. The Islays are a good start, but limited in their ability to shine through.
I also find both bases to be far too alcoholic (= hot, pungent) tasting and smelling to my perception - I cannot tolerate any of my trial blends which has more than 30% of the base Whisky.
Once you get into Blending Malts (vatting), one can create quite agreeable result. My favorite so far contains 20% base and 30% top dressers, which gives a sublimely rich and faceted spirit with noble "rancio" notes from the old top-dressers. Alas, a bottle of such a blend will run in the vicinity of 100 GBP, but be much more personal than e.g. a Johnny Walker Blue.
Good fun, but merely an appetizer. Fuels the dream of one day blending in a professional blending lab with hundreds of different spirits.
23rd February 2013
Fantastic variety of whiskey, equipment to please the inner chemist in anyone and really good fun.
That said, I found that I ran out of grain base pretty quickly. Given than most blends are going to rely on a large quantity of grain base (and to a lesser extent the malt base) they run short after a few experimentations. I've got pretty much no base whiskey left but quite a bit of everything else, I think most people would get through twice the amount of grain base than is provided and still have top-notes left over.
Overall it's a great little kit though and really good fun to blend and experiment with.
29th February 2012
It will come in the Package in 1/16
15th January 2012