Here is a blend of straight whiskeys I made recently (cocktail-style, making 4 ounces in total). I was attempting to duplicate the taste of Michter's as seen in Hirsch 16 years old. I followed Michael Jackson's information (1987) that the mash for Michter's was 50% corn, 38% rye and 12 percent barley malt. I took some Dickel, two ounces, added an ounce and a half of Lot 40 (the all-rye Canadian straight whisky) and a half ounce of Cape Breton Single Malt Whisky. The latter is an all-barley whisky made in Nova Scotia from unpeated malt. My proportions were not exact because the Dickel has some rye and barley malt too, but I was close enough. In the nose, the blend was similar to Michter's, it had that "flat" smell that I think comes from the barley malt. It tasted somewhat like Michter's too but was not of course the same. I asked a couple of people to blind-taste the two; each picked out the Michter's as better. So, I have some work to do. Still, I found the result interesting and enjoyable. (I am thinking now if I had used JD Single Barrel I'd have gotten closer to the smoky quality of Hirsch 16). Michter's of course mixed the grains in one mash and did not blend different whiskies. That alone would make a big difference, I guess. Still, I feel my approach is legitimate too - some Canadian distillers blend different straight whiskies into their ryes, e.g. they will add some corn (bourbon-type) whisky, maybe some all-barley whisky, etc. (Some still add rum, sherry, prune juice or other flavourings following practices originated over 100 years ago by the blending and rectifying establishments of the time. Such non-whisky additions seem however only to make sense when using in the blend neutral spirits or whisky distilled at over 160 proof).

My next plan is to make an 1800's rye whiskey. I will add 1 part of the Cape Breton (or any unpeated or low-peated Scotch single malt, e.g. Balvenie) to 4 parts of the Lot 40. As they used to say then, hey presto!

Cy