Review: The Exceptional Malt – Blended Malt Scotch Whisky

exceptional blend

The Exceptional Blended Malt is a line extension of The Exceptional Grain Whisky, which came out earlier this year.

The Exceptional Malt is a blend of single malts, with no grain whisky added, including: a 16-year-old Ben Nevis, a first-fill sherry butt of Glenburgie, a vatted barrel of Balvenie, Kininvie, & Glenfiddich, a 13-year-old Speyside, a 25-year-old Speyburn, and a 30-year-old Macallan. The conflagration is then blended for further aging in first-fill Oloroso sherry casks.

There’s not much to dislike in that lineup, at least on paper, and The Exceptional is a mighty and quite engaging whisky. The nose starts things off with a ton of malt and big, roasted cereal grains. No sugary breakfast cereal here, this is a hearty bowl of toasted barley, straight off the stalk. Sherry makes a moderate appearance after that, along with some lighter astringent/hospital notes.

The palate runs straight to the sherry, with grainy notes folding in atop that. Initially it’s a bit simplistic — a friendly duo of citrus and cereal — but over time notes of green banana, pound cake, and a slight vegetal character emerge. This adds a bit of depth, but the finished product isn’t 100 percent cohesive. I wonder if the collection of barrels that went into this blend were ultimately a bit random? Stuff that wouldn’t cut it as a single malt so, what the hell, let’s blend them all together.

As the finish emerges, nice caramel notes soothe the palate and smooth out the whisky — which has the tendency of making you forget many of your complaints. What was I saying, then?

86 proof.


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1 Response

  1. d'Artagnan Clark July 14, 2016 / 3:31 pm

    There was a part of this review that I had to wonder why it was even written. To say that the single malts that were meticulously blended together to make the The Exceptional Malt perhaps couldn’t stand alone so they were thrown in with the thought of “what the hell?” Is preposterous. The least expensive single malt in this make up is priced at $194.99 U.S. and the list jumps considerably from there all the way to the $4,000 per bottle Macallan 30. So to assume that things were done with a laissez-faire attitude is completely wrong. The two men who came together to create this masterpiece are themselves masters of the whisky industry. These men had access to whichever single malts that they wanted from any distillery they wanted no questions asked. In tastings all over the world The Exceptional has beat whiskies priced thousands of dollars over its mere $100.00 price and wins every time it goes up against any other. Mark my words and watch this wee whisky become the best of the best because right now only the guys who are the mega giants within the industry really even talk about it on a grand scale. It is on the precipice of blowing up and dominating all others. This is only my humble opinion (But it’s absolutely right). sláinte mhaith !

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