Black Bottle ‘Andean Oak’ and ‘Smoke & Dagger’ follow up last year’s multi-award-winning releases: ‘Double Cask’ and ‘Island Smoke’.
– ‘Andean Oak’ is the first Scotch Whisky to be made using virgin Andean Oak casks; ‘Smoke & Dagger’ utilises unconventional blending techniques
– Both expressions will launch both at Manchester’s Cane & Grain bar where Black Bottle will use EEG technology to challenge taste perceptions around smoky whisky
Black Bottle Scotch Whisky has today announced two brand-new single-batch-produced expressions in its award-winning Alchemy Series – Black Bottle Andean Oak and Black Bottle Smoke & Dagger. Both expressions will be available globally from 10 October, however UK-based Black Bottle fans will be able to get their hands on them from 3 October via Master of Malt.
Drawing inspiration from the story of brand’s founders over 140 years ago, the Alchemy Series pays tribute to the relentless experimentation of Gordon Graham and his brothers in creating Black Bottle. This year’s ‘experiments’, follow on from the success of last year’s Alchemy Series expressions which received incredible acclaim, scooping category winner accolades at the ISC, IWSC and World Whisky Awards.
A true experiment, Black Bottle Andean Oak is the first Scotch Whisky to be created with virgin Andean Oak casks at the heart of its recipe. These casks impart a similar character to American Oak, but with more tannins and spice than their continental neighbour. Featuring a high malt content with a smoky undertone, Black Bottle Andean Oak delivers flavours of spiced stone fruits, vanilla pod and smoked almonds.
Black Bottle’s whisky alchemists have combined smoke and charred oak to create Black Bottle Smoke & Dagger: a dark, smoky and intriguing spirit with a hidden edge. Fusing together smoother, older malts with a one-off, supercharged, highly-peated Moine, Smoke & Dagger offers a powerful yet balanced taste. Featuring a mix of unconventional blending techniques, Smoke & Dagger delivers a powerfully peaty taste with waves of golden barley, vanilla cream and coastal sea spray, finishing with lingering smoky salted caramel.
Both expressions are bottled at 46.3% ABV, featuring natural colour and no chill filtration.
Julieann Fernandez, Master Blender for Black Bottle, said: “Fearless experimentation is so important to Black Bottle and this year’s new expressions perfectly capture that ethos. We pushed ourselves this year to try something never attempted before in whisky and couldn’t be happier with the result. Both expressions offer drinkers the opportunity to explore the world of smoky whisky in new and exciting ways.
“Andean Oak explores the sweeter side of smoke and gives way to all the incredible flavours that this rare cask imparts. Having never worked with this cask type before, we didn’t know what to expect but the end result is just beautiful! Lots of nutty spice and stone fruit with that lovely hit of smoke that Black Bottle is known for. Smoke & Dagger is a real powerhouse with a double hit of smokiness coming from the malts of course, but the grains finished in ex-peated casks really elevates it and balances it with a rounded sweetness too. We’re really proud of these and hope our Black Bottle fans love them as much as we do!”
Black Bottle will mark the global launch of these new limited-edition expressions with a three-day mind-reading pop-up in Manchester that will challenge taste perceptions around smoky whisky.
Using cutting edge electroencephalography technology (EEG), Black Bottle will measure electrical activity inside a person’s brain at the Cane & Grain bar in Manchester’s Northern Quarter as they watch video footage showcasing an abstract visualisation of tasting notes and ingredients. The technology will track the viewer’s brain response, revealing that their tastes might not be what they think.
Craig Black, Global Brand Manager for Black Bottle, said: “Whisky drinkers are looking for new and exciting spirit experiences, becoming less concerned with traditional whisky categories and instead are shopping across the whisky – and indeed premium spirits – spectrum. The Black Bottle Alchemy Series highlights our incredible story whilst offering the perfect blend of authentic heritage, incredible spirit quality and bold, unconventional character.”
The Alchemy Series launched in 2021 with two experimental releases (Double Cask and Island Smoke). They were the only two blended Scotch Whiskies to scoop a highly coveted ‘Master’ award at the Scotch Whisky Masters. Island Smoke was also named Best Scotch Blended whisky in the 2022 World Whisky Awards, whilst Double Cask was announced category winner at both the 2022 ISC and IWSC awards.
The two new limited-edition expressions join Experiment #1 and #2 as well as Black Bottle’s Original and 10-year-old expressions. Experiments 3 & 4 of the Alchemy Series are available globally from 10 October and in the UK from 3October via Master of Malt, strictly while stocks last.
For more information and to sign up for the free Taste Experiment event, visit alchemyseries.co.uk