Saturday, 4 January 2014

Hankey Bannister Heritage Blend


Hankey Bannister Heritage Blend
Inver House Distillers
No Age Statement
Strength: 46%.

A few months ago I wrote a review of the regular Hankey Bannister and this time I am reviewing the new Heritage Blend. Inver House recently came into an old bottle of Hankey Bannister from the 20s and the master blender Stuart Harvey set out to recreate it. It has been marketed in the old style black glass which was popular with several bottles (see Black Bottle blend) at the time but stopped during the war as it was made in Germany. The black glass is really slick and aristocratic and I am a big fan of it as it kinda takes away the need to use as much caramel colourings in the whisky as well. While the regular blend is made up of 20 odd malts the heritage blend is only made up of malt coming from Inver Houses own distilleries of: Balblair, Old Pulteney, Knockdhu, Speyburn and Belmenach.

Nose: The grain dominates straight out of the bottle, and my nose is telling me Invergordon as when I was having a tour of Inver House's blending room I got to try Invergordon new make and the blender told me to look for notes of dolly mixtures in it - and this I get here. After a while the malt emerges so it is worth letting it breathe in the glass a while. Smoky notes of insence  and coal fires. Fruity elements of blood oranges, cooked apples, peach, mango and melon. Marmalade on burnt toast. Some savoury notes of bacon and brown sauce. Some birthday cake with maybe a strawberry jam and marizpan icing, werther's originals sweets and after 8 mints chocolates.

Palate: The extra abv of 46% makes itself known and is fairly weighty and rich in the mouth. Smoky and creamy butterscotch and white chocolate.

Finish: Sweet and savoury smoke with some young malty and spirity notes.

Comments: I like this mostly because of the 46% as with most common blends, the 40% can be too watery on the palate. The extra kick helps boost the drink where the younger stuff can be detected and pulls it together a bit more. It is also pretty cheap at £30 a pop, and I would say better than many entry level malts at the same price.

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