In conjunction with Master of Malt, the two blends were sent out to 270 potential judges of which 259 judges responded. Neil achieved 59 per cent of the votes.
The rules were very simple:
1. The first fill will be a Highland malt, Clynelish, of equal measure (1 litre).
2. All the regions of Scotland need to be incorporated: Islands (which includes Islay), Speyside, Highlands (already accounted for), Lowlands and Campbeltown. There is no order as to when these are used, but in each issue, the details of the whisky must be revealed but not the quantity.
3. No bottle of whisky used must cost more than £50 RRP except for the wildcard detailed below and must be commercially available in UK.
4. There must be at least one grain whisky but there are no rules as to its origin.
5. A wildcard must be chosen – this can be anything, from anywhere. The only rule here, is that it cannot be over £150 RRP. Also it must be commercially available in UK.
6. The blend must be under 50% ABV when finally bottled.
7. A minimum of 15 litres of blend must be prepared.
8. There are no rules as to how much of each individual whisky category that you can add.
9. The blend must be complete by 1 September 2015 when it will be sent out for tasting and the the closing date is 9 October 2015.
The whiskies included in both blends are detailed below and a full deconstruction of the winning blend will take place on Friday 18 March at Whisky Live London 2016
Neil Ridley’s blend: Springbank 10 Years Old, Hazelburn 12 Years Old, Overeem Port Cask (Tasmania), Bowmore Darkest, Arran Machrie Moor, Highland Park Svein, Glenkinchie 12 Years Old, Auchentoshan Three Wood, Nikka Coffey Grain No Age Statement, Dailuaine 16 Years Old, Aberlour 12 Years Old, Clynelish 14 Years Old
Dave Broom’s blend: The Glenkinchie 12 Years Old, Distiller’s Edition, Ardmore Legacy, Kilkerran Work in Progress, 6 matured in ex-Bourbon casks, Springbank 12 Years Old, Aultmore 12 Years Old, Caol Ila 12 Years Old, Greenore 8 Years Old, Cameronbridge No Age Statement, Girvan Apps No.4, Teaninich 10 Years Old, Clynelish 14 Years Old
For further information please contact Rupert Wheeler, email@example.com
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