Bladnoch 17 years

"Expect a lot of sweet and sour fruity notes, you either love or hate it"

(Photo from Whiskybase)

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Most of you know the story of Bladnoch with the take-over by Australian millionaire David Prior after the distillery went into administration. The radical change of the bottle design into a modern and fancy appearance brought fear into the whisky community that this distillery might go down the “Macallan-route”. When the storm settled, it appeared that the price of the bottlings was still within range and some of them were actually not only appreciated by collectors. I was not really fond of their 10-year-old bottling that came out as one of the first new bottling, but I am always willing to give a distillery another try. Certainly when someone puts it in front of me without me knowing it. So without prejudice.

Nose

Sweet entrance with wine, honey and sugared pears cooked in wine. This must be matured for some time in a cask that has formerly seen some sweet wine. More nuances are hidden beneath the alcohol vapours. After some time in the glass, more red fruits like cranberries, sweet red cherries, and some strawberry liquor. Lots of honey, some floral notes and a particular kind of astringent fruitiness. It is a strange one. The sour notes of the wine and the sweet notes tend to dominate the nose, which prevents it from going into more depth.

Taste

Wine, peaches, honey, and other sweet things. Honey sweets and honey liquor. Some water brings out more floral notes. Sweet, oily and full with a mix of sweet yellow and red fruits like peaches, nectarine, sweet cherries, fresh prunes and even a hint of lychees. A drop of sunflower oil, honey, sweet cookie dough. We will be using the word sweet a lot. Golden raisins. There is some floral and even soapy current behind all the sweets fruitiness. It has also a sourish site just beside the alcohol kick. Cherry hard candies, sour candy strips, sweetened lemon juice. The after taste is sweet and sour, reasonably long and kinda strange.

Overall

At first I was rather fond of this whisky. However, after sniffing and tasting it over a longer period, parts of it (in particularly the sweetness) became less appeasing to me. It is indeed intensely sweet, although it also contains a protruding sour note that does not always comply with the sweet notes. A whisky that only fits certain moments when I am into it, and maybe a cocktail or two. For those who like sweetness though, this might in fact be a very likeable sipping whisky. I guess this is what the call a perfect “like it or hate it” bottling.

What others say

Whiskybase: 84.76 (120 votes)
Read for yourself

This sample was part of organised by Norbert Terbarts!

Scores

these are my personal views, so do not take them too seriously… nothing beats tasting these for yourself •

Cask influence
70%
Sweet <-> Spicy
10%
Nose 86.5%
Taste 85%
Balance 86%
Depth 84%
Finish 85%
Score