Label 5 Classic Black

Blended scotch whisky

40% ABV, £20 for 70cl or €16.25 per 1L

Score: 77/100

Label5

What they say:

Label 5 Classic Black blended scotch whisky, matured in oak casks, made in Scotland.

Nose: Rather sweet with vanilla and sticky toffee pudding. Hints of ginger and cinnamon.

Palate: Apples, pears and a subtle grassy note or two. A little citrus and caramel.

Finish: A clean finish with lemon zest and brown sugar.

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What I say:

Owned by La Martiniquaise, Label 5/Glen Turner Scotch whisky is produced at the Starlaw distillery in Livingston, a stone’s throw from where we live. Label 5 is relatively unheard of in Scotland but has a huge market in France where the majority of their products are exported to. Label 5 is easily found on most of the major French supermarket shelves, and is popular with both older Scotch (likely on the rocks) drinkers as well as having a huge following with younger drinkers as an excellent mixer for short drinks (whisky & coke) and cocktails – something the advertising dept. at Label 5 have realised with regular releases of cocktail ideas and recipes;

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In a cocktail glass, mix 3 cl of LABEL 5 Classic Black, a spoon of honey, one quarter of lemon and add a pinch of wasabi.

Perhaps not designed for drinking straight, here’s our thoughts on their entry level classic:

Colour:

Full amber gold (9/20), medium-fine droplet tears

Nose:

Fruity with distinctly toffee oak undernotes, baked/smoked apple chips, a light oilseed rape honey, perfumed apple blossom, zesty oranges, cereal cornflakes, clean and crisp

Taste:

Medium sweet, honey nut cornflakes, cereal maize, barley, gristy in places, vanilla cream icing, zesty and juicy fruits, candied peel, baked or poached pears and apples before a final mealy/husky cereal.

Finish:

Medium-short, sweet syrup thins into honey and plenty for fruity zest

Overall:

A typical Scotch blend, not as short and sweet as we were expecting. some complexity and depth of body to be found here which would help carry it into cocktails and through mixers. Quite fruity and zesty – which has previously led to the suggestion of plenty of Speyside type malts in this mix (with the grain whisky presumably coming from their Starlaw distillery). It is interesting to note La Martiniquaise purchased Glen Moray from the Glenmorangie Company some years back, perhaps indicating a good proportion of Glen Moray in this blend perhaps? Considering the price we were pleasantly surprised with this blend and it is easy to see how French consumers are clearly voting with their palates. This makes an excellent light summer or aperitif whisky and works beautifully with a rock or two, or a splash of cooling soda or lemonade.

Thanks to Tom (@TomsWhisky ) and Franck () for the generous sample.