Whisky Focus - Turntable Scotch Blended Whisky Core Range Reviews

Turntable Scotch Blended Whisky Core Range Reviews

24th October 2023
Review of the new Glasgow based blending house 'Turntable' core range of premium Scotch blended whiskies Paradise Funk, Bittersweet Symphony and Smokin’ Riff.

Turntable Invention, Firestarter and Purple Haze Scotch Blended Whiskies.

With the dark nights now closing in and Christmas now fast approaching I am sure many of you will be looking for a few new drams to get you through those long dark nights. How about a premium blended whisky from the new Glasgow based blending house 'Turntable' which is a new small-batch premium blended whisky brand founded by Glasgow brothers Gordon and Ally Stevenson, the brand launched back in April this year with some limited edition releases.

Building on the success of the first limited edition releases, Turntable then unveiled three core expressions which is said to reflect the brothers’ commitment to crafting extraordinary blends. Retaining the musical theme of their predecessors, (hence the brand name Turntable) the core range comprises Turntable Paradise Funk, Turntable Bittersweet Symphony and Turntable Smokin’ Riff. All three blends are naturally coloured, non-chill filtered and bottled at 46%ABV.

Turntable have been very open about the component whiskies which make up each blend, which is great to hear, as you can see from the list below all 3 whiskies which make up their core range are single malt rich Scotch whisky blends.

Turntable Paradise Funk:
30% Unnamed Speyside Virgin Oak Barrel, 20% Benrinnes Chinkapin Barrel, 18% Invergordon Ex-Cognac Barrel, 13% Knockdhu Virgin Oak Barrel, 11% North British Virgin Oak Barrel, 8% Blair Athol Bourbon Barrel. A voyage of exotic delights.

Turntable Bittersweet Symphony:
22% Craigellachie PX Puncheon, 21% Balmenach PX Puncheon, 21% Craigellachie Oloroso Butt, 19% North British Virgin Oak Barrel, 17% Blair Athol Virgin Oak Barrel. Fiery sweetness and bold malt character.

Turntable Smokin’ Riff:
28% North British Virgin Oak Barrel, 24% Craigellachie Ex-Puncheon, 21% Knockdhu PX Puncheon, 18% Caol Ila Bourbon Barrel, 9% Caol Ila Ex-Red Wine Barrel. An explosive campfire smoke solo.

"We are beyond excited to introduce our core range to the world," said Ally Stevenson. "Whilst most blenders strive to achieve perfect consistency, we put quality first every time. We will never shy away from blending exceptional casks out of fear that we cannot recreate that exact flavour profile in the future. Our core range will evolve each time we bottle, bringing different nuances to the whiskies –and we love that.’"

As Turntable aims to establish itself as a key player in the blended whisky market, the core range holds significant promise. While the initial releases were limited editions, the new expressions will benefit from greater availability, making them even more accessible to connoisseurs and enthusiasts alike.

"We were delighted by the response to our limited editions in spring, and we’re confident we’ve crafted an outstanding range to follow up with the core blends," said Gordon Stevenson. "These new expressions will be available in the same countries as before [UK, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Taiwan] but we’re on the cusp of opening up several new markets, too. We can’t wait for people to sample what we’ve come up with."

Turntable has once again turned to Glasgow creative agency Thirst Craft to help bring their product to life. Inventively packaged, the dumpy-style bottles are designed to stand out on even the most crowded gantry.

The Turntable core blends Paradise Funk, Bittersweet Symphony and Smokin’ Riff have a RRP of £53 and will be available f
rom specialist online whisky shops such as Master of Malt

Turntable Paradise Funk Review

Bottled at 46% ABV, natural colour, non-chill filtered.

William Morrison's Tasting Notes:

Nose: Enticing sweet vanilla toffee and distant shortbread all with a lovely apple, pear and cognac soaked raisin edge.

Taste: A delicious slightly candied tropical fruit syrup mix (with cognac soaked raisin, apple, pear and pineapple) leads, sweet toffee, a touch of sugared almond and not far behind is some lovely vibrant peppery oak spice.

Finish: Longish finish, the sweet tropical fruit syrup led by the cognac soaked raisin, toffee and peppery oak spice tussle it out for an age to have the final word.

Comment: The virgin oak and delicious cognac cask along with the portion of sweet grain whisky have made for a delicious very easy drinking blend where toffee, tropical fruit and peppery oak spice are the stars from start to finish. A youngish ( I would guess) very well constructed blend which could give any single malt a run for your money. Are Turntable the next compass Box, I hope so!

SMW Blended Whisky Score 89/100

Turntable Bittersweet Symphony Review

Bottled at 46% ABV, natural colour, non-chill filtered.

William Morrison's Tasting Notes:

Nose: Lovely enticing sherried fruit, dark cherries. orange, also some ripe pear, a nice touch of vanilla sweetness. Dark chocolate and a little nuttiness lurking in the background.

Taste: A deliciously rich smooth delivery of lovely sweet sherried fruit - raisins and sultanas, apricot, peach, plum and dark cherry all with a bit of a sugar candied edge. A little vanilla and treacle toffee peaks through from behind the fruit, some lovely dark chocolate. A touch of nutmeg and then the appearance of some gentle cinnamon and dry ginger and a late dusting of pepper.

Finish: A long lingering sherried finish with sherried fruit and some sweet treacle toffee which gives way to coffee and mildly drying oak spice and some delicious lingering sugars.

Comment: An absolutely delicious sherried dram, if you are a fan of quality sherried drams such as GlenDronach, Macallan (some), GlenAllachie etc then you will love this and it is a blend! A high quality, very well constructed sherried blend.

SMW Blended Whisky Score 91/100

Turntable Smokin’ Riff Review

Bottled at 46% ABV, natural colour, non-chill filtered.

William Morrison's Tasting Notes:

Nose: A gentle touch of sweet peat smoke, some vanilla toffee, a little heather honey and a light barley sugar sweetness, distant raisin and the the very faintest note of almonds lurking in the background.

Taste: A blend of gentle sugary sweet peat smoke interlaced with gentle spiced honeyed toffee, a touch of fresh pear and some raisin. Some late cinnamon and gentle oak spice joins the party.

Finish: A delicious long, lingering finish with some vanilla, raisin and gentle sweet sugared peat.

Comment: The fruit comes through more after a few mouthfuls, a high quality peated blend where the sweet grain sugars boost the peat to make a delicious peated blend

SMW Blended Whisky Score 90/100

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