Ian Macleod’s Blending Room recently announced the release of a limited-edition blended Scotch whisky born from a collaboration with young distillers from The International Centre for Brewing and Distilling at Scotland’s Heriot-Watt University.
A statement from the university explained that a team of four students worked alongside a team at Ian Macleod Distillers to identify an ideal method for finishing blended Scotch whisky in virgin American oak casks.
They looked at four key variables for this blend … fill strength, blend formulation, time in the cask, and toast or char level.
The result is a one-cask release which Ian Macleod Distillers calls “equal parts ‘A+ coursework’ and a ‘Master Blender-certified dram.’”
It’s the first collaborative bottling between The International Centre for Brewing and Distilling and Ian Macleod, and the project is set to become an annual limited-edition release.
Ian Macleod Distillers continues to build up the partnership with Heriot-Watt as they are gifting equipment to the sensory suite to aid the studies of the blenders and distillers of the future.
Emma Newton, blender at Ian Macleod Distillers, said, “As a graduate of Heriot-Watt’s Brewing and Distilling program, I think this has been a brilliant collaboration with great results. Ian Macleod Distillers has a storied history in distilling and long-earned expertise in blending, so I think it’s very fitting that we’ve had the chance to share this experience with the distillers and blenders of tomorrow.”
Annie Hill, professor at Heriot-Watt University, said that the students she’s worked with have been given an experience that will help elevate their career in the whisky world. “We have blended something really special and one that myself and Ian Macleod’s Blending Room are really proud of.”
The four students who took part in the project are Euan Martin, Matt Priaulx, Kellan Cowan and Jake Adcook, who won the Dr. Chris Greig Prize for the best distilling project by a Scottish student in 2021-2022.
The whisky they helped build spent three months finishing in a virgin American oak barrel, giving a nose of toffee and coconut with a warming base of clove and cinnamon. On the palate is a coating of sweet coffee and chocolate, finishing with spice and lively oak character.
Bottled at 44.4% ABV, the Ian Macleod Blending Room 01: Heriot-Watt Release is available to purchase directly from Ian Macleod’s Blending Room for £35.
For more information or to get a bottle, check out www.ianmacleod.com.
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Gary Carter has been at the helm of metro newspapers, magazines, and television news programs as well as a radio host and marketing manager. He is a writer/editor/photographer/designer by trade, with more than 30 years experience in the publishing and marketing field. Gary enjoys working to build something great, whether...