Friday, 3 January 2014

Black Bottle (old style)


Black Bottle Blend
Burns Stewart Distillers
No Age Statement
Strength: 40%.

Black Bottle is a name I am very aware of, even from when before I liked whisky because it is blended in my home town by Burns Stewart Distillers and is often to be found in pretty much every pub in the area. Black Bottle is an interesting blend in that this is pretty much only sold in the UK, when the UK isn't a big market for blended whisky. This is a very Islay centric dram with malt from handful of Islay distilleries, and I imagine a good bit of Bunnahabhain which of course is Burns Stewart's own little piece of the Islay world. I have decided to right up my notes for this as the brand has completely been overhauled both in marketing and also more importantly - in the recipe. I will be following this up with a report of the new Black Bottle.

Nose: This is sweet and honeyed with the initial aromas quite savoury and slightly salty with smoky bacon, worcestershire sauce, and soy sauce. There is also a distinct pickle like note which is like a picked onion you get with your fish supper, or dare I say it picked onion monster munch - which I hate and my wife loves - but I like this, and she hates whisky! hmm! A little wisp of cuban cigar smoke lingering around as well. Some smoked cheddar cheese, pepper, cloves, and on the fruitier side of things there is some red apple, and peach. Vanilla, cream fudge and Ovaltine malt drink. The grain is fairly obvious there as well of course.

Palate: Smooth and creamy, with a touch of milk chocolate with salted caramel. Slightly nutty and like chewing on a battenberg cake.

Finish: Vanilla custard with cream, a little carbolic and smokey. Medium length.

Comments: This is probably one of the best value for money blends you can buy if you like a good dose of Islay malt. Unfortunately the stocks of the old style will be getting less and replaced with the new blend. Hoard a few bottles if you can.

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