Not sure how it happened but there wasn’t a single Bladnoch review on the site so it’s time to right the wrong here and since we’re entering the weekend, let’s do a double review.
We’ll start with the basic 10 Year Old matured in ex-bourbon casks and then we’ll try the 17 Year Old release which was finished in Californian Red Wine Casks.
Bladnoch 10 Year Old Bourbon Cask (46.7%, £49.90/€49.95)
Nose: Lactic, vanilla and wet cardboard dominate at first. After a few minutes in the glass it relaxed and there’s honey, coconut, grassy side and vanilla perfume, Eventually it even develops a floral edge.
Palate: It ain’t pretty at first with moss and rotting cardboard but then it recovers with a quick hit of spice and white pepper followed by honey, coconut, grassiness and floral edge.
Finish: Short medium length, sweet honey, grassy and floral.
Thoughts: This 10 year old could have benefit from better casks management. Maybe the limited funds back in the 2000s led to compromise when selecting casks. I think that the approach that Loch Lomond used is the best treatment for those casks – re-cask into 1st rate first fill ex-bourbon casks.
And what about this even older stock? It was finished in wine casks to enrich it (and maybe fix some of those bad attributes we see in the 10 yo).
Bladnoch 17 Year Old Californian Red Wine Finish (46.7%, £89.95/€79.90)
Nose: At first an underlying moss and wet cardboard, then dry and earthy red wine, redcurrant, cranberry and raspberry, wood spices. After a few minutes some bladnochness peeks through with slightly green gassy meadow and white flowers petals notes.
Palate: Very earthy, red wine, redcurrant, cranberry, milk chocolate, slightly dry with tannins, white pepper. wt a bit of cardboard, grassy and meadow greenery
Finish: Medium length, winey, earthy, dry, oak spice and meadow greenery.
Thoughts: This 17 Year Old is far better than the 10 yo and the extra time and/or the wine cask finish did wonders here to alleviate it to a good and solid lowlands whisky.