Beinn Dubh is a whisky that is marketed as ‘The Black Single Malt Scotch Whisky”. I must admit that for me, the honor of having the “Black Whisky” title belonged to Loch Dhu (which was distilled in Mannochmore distillery) but it’s not produced anymore and instead we have on the market two candidates for the Black whisky title but as both are coming from the Speyside Distillery (which of course resides in the Speyside region), I supposed that the torch did move on to them. The first one is ‘Cu Dub’ which is more or less a recreation of Loch Dhu and the other one is the recently launched ‘Beinn Dubh’ which is the focus of today’s post.
‘Beinn Dubh’, similar to ‘Cu Dub’ is aged in heavily charred casks and then finished in Ruby Black Port casks which impart further dark colors to the whisky. Unfortunately, we’re missing a lot of information on the whisky: Is it the natural color of the whisky or was E150a involved here? Is it chill filtered or not? (BTW, I assume it was CF due to the low 43% ABV). Some general information on the different time duration would be useful too.
Nose: Starts off with some youth and malt then the ruby impact quickly covers it with plums and raisins, redcurrants and blackcurrant. After a minute there’s honey, artificial sweetener, vanilla and smoke.
Palate: Dark and bitter oak wood, black currants, chocolate, honey, quite dry.
Finish: Medium length, dry, caramel, honey and oak wood spices, lingering rough and artificial flavor in the throat.
Thoughts: It’s a below average whisky for me. In fact, It feels like a gimmick whisky, like a one time sell in the fair market with selling point of black color. It lacks integration between the original spirit and the finishing cask and the finish totally kills it. I think it should age for longer period in the casks, and spend more time in the ruby casks, drop the caramel and chill filtering (if those practices are held) and then it may be unique, interesting and good whisky.
(Official sample from Speyside distillery)