Whisky Review: Bladnoch Samsara

Category: Lowland single malt scotch whisky

Origin: Bladnoch Distillery

Bottling: Bladnoch

ABV: 46.7%

Cost: £74.03 from Master of Malt

bladnoch-samsara-whisky

What they say:

Bladnoch Samsara

A tribute to the rebirth of our 200 year old distillery.

Our award winning Master Distiller Ian MacMillan hand selects every cask to bring together this luscious Single Malt – full bodied and fragrant with a rich core and lingering tail.

This unique malt is created by blending Bladnoch Single Malts matured in first fill ex Bourbon casks and first fill ex Californian Red Wine casks – both American Oak – to create a rich and smooth winey palate.

Crafted using only the purest ingredients – pristine water from the River Bladnoch and locally grown barley – Samsara is non-chill filtered, naturally coloured, and a composition of well-aged Bladnoch malts.

The name

“Samsara”, meaning ‘rebirth’ symbolises the reawakening of Bladnoch Distillery and its first release since new ownership.

Tasting Notes

Finished in Californian red wine and ex bourbon casks, Bladnoch Samsara Single Malt is luscious, full bodied and fragrant, with a rich, lingering core.

Colour: Copper gold.
Nose: Quite concentrated, fruit compote, with plums, vanilla and orange blossom.
Palate: A sweet winey start, then drying slightly before more plums and vanilla flavours, some citrus and a malty core. Nicely structured.
Finish: Mellow and winey with a spicy, lingering tail.

Technical Details

Filtration: Non-chill filtered. Natural colour.
ABV: 46.7%
Proof: 93.4%
Ages: Minimum 8 year old plus rare, older whiskies.

What I say:

The much anticipated new releases from Bladnoch Distillery start with this ‘entry-level’ Samsara. Carrying no-age statement and constructed from stocks produced under the previous owner as a necessity as the stills and distilling equipment at Bladnoch are currently being replaced or re-built. Master Distiller Ian MacMillan has been through a lot of the purchased stock and started a programme of re-racking some and marrying others to generate some Bladnoch releases whilst they await their first run of new spirit after redevelopment.

Colour:

Dark copper gold with a ruby hue (9/20) slow large droplets leave medium legs

Nose:

Fruity with orange zest and cherry & red grape, plum sauce, cherry cough drops, red and orange fruit concentrate, a little savoury too – treacle or similar, really sticks to the back of the nose/throat with a rich cloying sweetness

Taste:

Fruity, jam, red berry, orange and ginger marmalade, wine gums or fizzy chewwits, grape, cherry, orange, plum, oaked red wine, quite full and zesty, a core of malty barley with continued pickled ginger root, cola extract, hoisin and plum sauce, toffee, oak wood, but dark fruits are ever present, a touch of leather, tannic tea and tobacco leaf too and a little fizzy sherbet, red liquorice, strawberry laces and cherry lips sweeties

Finish:

Medium-long, oaky red wine, vanilla and orange zest (reminds me of a good cosmopolitan cocktail a little)

Overall:

Bursting with flavour, perhaps the wine casks have been a little too intense? As they predominate in the final flavour of this whisky – but I have to admit I really love it. This is a really powerful flavour statement malt whisky from Bladnoch and I hope a good sign for their future.

Score: 85/100

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