Whisky blends are somewhere between 92% to 96% (depends on your source) of the entire whisky market which is quite mind boggling – our love is to an almost aforementioned segment (quantity and economically wise) and most of it is taken up from brands like Ballantines, Bells and many others (cheaper and pricier).
So following my review of Ballantines Finest last Friday – how about we try some other blended whisky? It appears to me that Black Bottle is positioned as higher level blend than the It’s definitely produced in a lower quantity and the black color of the bottle does looks nicer. Let’s check how it tastes, shall we?
Black Bottle (40%, Buy here for £20, available in most most liqueur shops)
Nose: Starts off with sweetness of sherry with raisins, berries, some weak underlying layer of smoke and peat. whiffs of harsh grain notes. Chocolate. Overall the nose is very gentle and sometimes feels a bit under-powered.
Palate: Starts with smoky peat, then some sweet caramelized fruits and honey, leaving behind tingly sour red berries mixed with charred oak. Very rich and much better than the nose.
Finish: long lingering caramelized oak wood and cinnamon.
Conclusion: I’ve heard that the previous version (which I didn’t taste) was peatier and smokier. I know the move did made some black bottle fans angrier, but the truth is that this new version is quite a nice blend. For me it is better than the Ballantines Fineset, So if you look for decent blend for good price – this one should be in your list.
(Official sample courtesy of Burn Stewart Distillers)
I am enjoying your reviews of cheap blends. Good info to have in an emergency — i.e. when cheap blends are the only thing to choose from — or when we feel like slumming it a bit without getting down in the dirt.