Basically they are an independent bottler trading into different market areas with different brands - I've tried whisky from all but one of these companies and been impressed with everything they do. They can be a little pricey but the quality is always very good.
The brands I've yet to try is The Blended Whisky Company, they sell a range of three high-end blended whiskies - The Lost Distilleries Blend, The Half-Century Blend and the XL Blend, but thanks to Ros at Atom Brands I'm able to try the last one on the list.
Bottler info: This remarkable blended Scotch whisky combines whiskies of no less than 40 years of age taking its inspiration from the legendary whiskies produced in the 1960s and 1970s. The Roman Numerals are far more than just a 40 year old age statement however. The XL blend is distinctly “extra-large” in flavour and in maturity, with most of the blend being of much greater age which is. Combining some of the most XL-ent whiskies from across Scotland, this Speyside-led union is rich and intense, with ancient grain and old Sherry cask-matured whiskies from the 20th century’s boom period of Scotch whisky distilling.
My thoughts: lovely dark gold colour, swirls cling to the glass leading to slow thick legs.
Nose: Dunnage warehouse or old musty book shop fills the senses but underneath there's some complexity - dried fruit, tropical fruit, bitter chocolate and a hint of smoke.
Palate: Thick honey arrival but not overly sweet. Chewy dried pineapple dominates but there's also some black cherries and plums. Hints of liquorice and sour berries develop over time. There's a slight smoke note but little spice to be found.
Finish: Long and warming with a drying effect. Black cherry notes linger.
Overall: To be honest I was expecting a sherry bomb Christmas cake dram from what I'd read but that's not the case, the addition of some 'ancient grain' has transformed it adding tropical notes to both the nose and palate. A delicious dram, just need to find a rich uncle!
The XL Blend went on sale from Master Of Malt in the week before Christmas - it's a limited edition of 1,000 bottles priced at £548.95.