Bladnoch 12 Years Old Sherry Cask Matured 55% (Official Bottling)

55% ABV, £50 for 70cl

Score: 83/100

What they say:

A 12 year old release of Bladnoch’s sherry matured single malt whisky featuring local sheep on the label.

What I say:

A sherry cask matured, 12 Years Old release from the Bladnoch Distillery during its time under the management of the Armstrong Family. This expression was bottled at 55% ABV and features the Blackface Sheep on the label

Colour:

Amber / Irn Bru Orange

Nose:

Sherry leather fizz, grassy, cheesy wotsits (corn/potato starch based snack with cheese flavouring), a little like well worn/old sweaty leather shoes

Taste:

Oily, fruity syrup, honey and forest fruit jam (strawberry, raspberry and blackcurrant), a little ginger and cinnamon spice derive partly from the alcohol strength

Finish:

Medium and drying, fruity sherry-influence and a little chocolate

Would I buy it again:

Possibly not, I remember trying an 11 Years Old Sherry matured Bladnoch at 55% that was much better than this. For me this tastes like it has almost started to ferment (if that is possible?), the sweetness of the Bladnoch distillate and the (at best) mediocre cask influence don’t combine well leaving some reasonably off notes in both aroma and flavour. Perhaps this was not the most active/best sherry cask, some of the fruit comes through but the leather and chocolate influences barely make themselves present. That said this is still a very good whisky from Bladnoch, perhaps more suited to those with a sweeter taste and preference for a  mild sherry influence?