Over the past two decades we’ve seen a new wave of producer emerge from almost every country in the world that drinks whisky. Free from the traditions that so often dictate how things should be, they’ve challenged perceptions of what whisky can be and incorporated shape shifting ideas at a liquid and philosophical level that, as curious whisky lovers, we find hugely exciting. All of this added up to us feeling that such was the potential for new flavours, new perspectives and new connections to distillers everywhere that we had to seek to blend beyond the borders of our home, Scotland.
SUPERBLEND is our first expression in this ‘world whisky’ space, but there will be more.
The project to get these liquids, and get them into a bottle legally has been a genuine challenge. But, now that we’ve navigated the process once and found a partner (which had to be) outside of Scotland who can marry together our recipes and allow us to bottle the product legally, we can’t wait to share more of these incredible flavours from right around the world and hopefully, play a role in shining a light onto the produce of these passionate distillers found… well, everywhere!
WHY DID WE DO THIS?
The first reason is flavour. We wanted to use a broader spectum of flavour to create a whisky that was complex enough to do literally anything. Drink well neat, stand up in punchy cocktials or elevate long serves and highballs. A whisky from anywhere that can do anything. So versatile it feels like a superpower.
The second is curiosity. With so many new whiskies emerging - we wanted to create a way in which we can help shine a light on passionate producers who are making great liquids everywhere.
Lastly - Our long term business model. How sustainable is the movement of liquid from one side of the world to the other? Now that great whisky can be produced in multiple countries it is our ambition to establish blending houses in multiple locations. If we can understand where certain flavours come from geographically, we can create local products that reduce movement of liquids, making countries around the world less dependant on importing foreign produce.
WHATS IN A NAME?
The name Superblend came from a comment that Pete made when exhaling the joys of blending with a multitude of different styles of whisky from multiple origins. He felt like he had whisky maker superpowers - the palate of flavour he could access suddenly became much greater. This euphoria had to be kept secret and whilst we’ve been spending the first year of our existence producing and speaking about exclusively whiskies from Scotland the weight of this clandestine excitement and the work going into this journey felt like a second whisky blending identity that had to be kept secret. Our own whisky infused Clarke Kent.
WHAT IS WORLD WHISKY?
There are more distilleries in New York state than there are in Scotland. 30 in England, And now after a two decade long craft distilling revolution that has stretched from Austin to Australia has yielded a new breed of distiller. These producers are creating not just replicas of Scotch Whisky from some far off place but new styles yet to be defined - forged through the same passion and commitment to the craft that has made Scotch so dominant in the world of Whisky. New perspectives, techniques and cultures are infusing into the spirit - creating a spectrum of liquids with new nuances and stories to tell.
We are curious creators, and we set about tracking down casks of interesting whiskies where-ever we could find them. England, The USA, Germany, Ireland. And many more yet to arrive in our warehouse, others yet to be blended.
What we found wherever we turned was flavour. Some familiar, others not so much. And when we got the samples to our studio it was like opening up an extra box of paints, with new colours and shades that we'd not been able to find within the whiskies we'd been blending in Scotland.
SHOP SUPERBLEND HERE
We're not saying Scotch is finished or that it’s palate of flavour is in any way insufficient. Quite the contaray - what we’re learning is that flavour within Whisky is infinite and we hope to take the learnings of our overseas adventures and apply them to our Scotch Whisky Making! And we're not saying New World Whisky is uniformly great. Passion does not always equal a quality product and there are many new world producers that are clearly still finding their groove. But bringing our philosophies about blending into this new world space allow us to explore what happens when we blend without borders. We believe that within blending lies the keys to supporting these emerging global whisky projects. Curiosity, sharing of knowledge and ideas, forging new connections and friendships that span right around the world. For us, that’s what our experience of whisky has always been and we hope, will continue to be about. Superblend is about all these things. Choosing whiskies not based on where they were distilled but how they taste and their ability to contribute something to the blend.
Superblend goes beyond Scotch and the result is not a blend that tastes like it is from Scotland. The parts are distinctive -as are the distinctive qualities that each part brings to the blend. It was important for us that they remain so in the blend. But as with all blends - the resulting experience isn’t about the parts - it’s about the whole. And Superblend is an experience that demonstrates the superpower like and potential of blending across borders, but at the same time celebrates the individual parts for what they bring to the party. The last thing is that as we’re not labelling this product as Scotch Whisky (we are working hard to communicate that this is NOT Scotch Whisky) we become untethered by the necessary and important rules in place to protect the Scotch Whisky Category. These ensure that there’s nobody messes with Scotch in a way that might bring the category into disrepute, and do a great job. But some of the rules limit what we can talk about in relation to blends. We can not be 100% transparent about the ages of the components that make up blends for example. But by creating a whisky outside these rules we are able to give the precise details of every component in the blend: something we know that a small group of interested drinkers will find interesting.