Black Bottle

Gordon Graham’s Black Bottle Blended Scotch Whisky

1. What they say

This expertly blended Scotch Whisky owes its reputation to a finely honed recipe and a large dose of Victorian know-how. BLACK BOTTLE Master Blenders gently marry a select group of malts with strict attention to peaty Islay’s, then double mature in charred virgin oak barrels for a distinct rich smoky flavour like no other. All part of a refined set of blending techniques we like to call ‘Ingenious Alchemy’.

Amongst the carefully selected elements used in our marrying process are certain distinct malts taken from the hallowed Island of Islay, home to a tradition of distilleries using peat smoked barley and crucial in delivering our renowned smoky flavour.

A unique blend of the finest Islay, Highland and Speyside malts, blended with exceptional grain whiskies returning in a distinctive full, rich and slightly smoky Scotch with a warm, long finish.

2. Official tasting notes

  • Nose Fresh and floral with freshly-sawn oak aromas. Spicy with hints of smoke.
  • Palate Silky, mellow and fruity with balanced smoky peaty flavours, then sweet oak and heather honey.
  • Finish Soft, elegantly spicy, nutmeg, pepper and a gentle lingering smokiness.

3. Details

  • ABV 40%
  • Age NAS
  • Bottler OB (Distell Group)
  • Bottling Black Bottle
  • Cask Virgin American Oak
  • Category Blended scotch whisky
  • Cost £20
  • Released 2013

4. What I say

Another virtual tasting event and this time with something of a difference. To celebrate the launch of two new iterations of Black Bottle we were treated to a sensory experience revealing how sounds, music and colours can affect our tasting perceptions and experience – much more on that later. To start with however it’s high time I reviewed the standard Black Bottle blended scotch whisky expression, widely available and competitively priced it offers a gateway to Islay peated whiskies.

5. The Whiskyphiles tasting notes

  • Colour Full amber gold (10/20), quick, medium-large tears and legs.
  • Nose Malty, oak wood, treacle toffee, flapjacks, raisins, soft peat smoke, prunes, plums and molasses.
  • Taste Soft and spicy, toffee, treacle, some peppery smoke, cinnamon, gingerbread, touch of fruit and nut cake, cooked fruits, tart tatin, creme caramel and chocolate.
  • Finish Medium-long, woody oak, gingerbread with honey and golden syrup.

6. Overall

Black Bottle offers a characterful blended scotch with good structure and strong flavours. A delight amongst insipid vanilla & lemon blends that let far to much youthful grain spirit shine. An easy equal to many a single malt and much more chewy and substantial than JW Black Label (for example). This has rapidly become my ‘go to’ Blended scotch.

7. Score 83/100

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