The Perfect Fifth, an American independent Scotch Whisky bottler known for its rare, ultra-premium single cask Scotch Whiskies, is introducing a new line, Oran, a blended Scotch Whisky created by whisky expert Jim Murray, author of “Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible.” Murray has long served as a behind-the-scenes blender for many distilleries world-wide, but his partnership with The Perfect Fifth is his first public foray into an official blending role with a company, allowing his 40 years of sensory experience as a whisky taster, blender, and evaluator to shine in his new position.
Murray designed Oran to be an “old school” blend recognizable to whisky lovers of the heyday of blended whisky some 100 years ago, Oran’s grain and malt components are created separately but ultimately combined as the perfect complement to one another. Oran, which means “song” in Gaelic, is a harmonious blend of the finest grains and single malts, unveiling layers of flavor much like the musical layers in a melody.
“There is a temptation to disregard blended Scotch in this time of single malt, yet the blend of grain whisky and malt is a creation which offers myriad possibilities,” said Murray. “The objective in the creation of Oran is to offer delicate complexity and finely tuned balance. I believe we have achieved that in the first two releases, and we look forward to creating additional bends in the future which showcase the same attributes.”
The first two releases, Blend No. 1 and Blend No. 2, are both 50-50-50 blends, 50 percent single malt Scotch Whisky, 50 percent single grain Scotch Whisky, and 50 percent alcohol by volume (ABV). Both blends are limited releases, containing only 465 bottles each.
A total of 11 different casks were used to make both blends. Some of the casks were split between both blends but with differing ratios. Blend No. 1 is composed exclusively of Ex-Bourbon casks. Tasting notes for Blend No. 1 describe it as having a nose with the lightest of smokiness heralding the fruitier elements. The taste has a beautiful mouth feel in which the malt and grains form juicy layers through which the spices easily permeate. The finish has a distinct chocolatey feel.
Blend No. 2 distinguishes itself with the addition of a sherried cask component. It is described as having a sweet grassy and lush nose, followed by a salivating delivery with beautiful honeydew melon sweetness, giving the malt a pleasant softness. The finish is described as being long and linear, with tingling spice.
“Throughout my travels to Scotland, I’ve always been touched by its beauty. Not only the physical beauty in the landscapes but also the beauty in the craftsmanship of its whiskies and the flavor of its single malts,” said Karl Schoen, founder and chief executive officer, The Perfect Fifth. “Oran is an extension of those experiences, meant to blend together the appreciation for the rugged beauty of the land with the homage to its whisky makers, united in perfect harmony.”