Origin: Lowlands (Scotland)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ageing casks: Ex-Bourbon
Added coloring: No
Owner: David Prior
Average price: € 54.00
Official website: www.bladnoch.com
We extend the meagre list of whiskies from the Lowlands with a distillery that is new and yet old, with roots in 1817 when it was founded by John and Thomas McClelland in the town from which it takes its name, Bladnoch.
Management remained in the family for a long time, with an exponential growth in production that led to expansion in 1878, and the arrival of the crisis at the end of the century caused all the distilleries in the area to close, leaving only Bladnoch to carry on the tradition.
The family management was followed by several changes of hands, including Irish owners, leading to closure between 1949 and 1957, when Bladnoch Distillery Ltd. bought the company, restarting operations and expanding production in 1966.
In 1983 it was taken over by Bell’s (in turn acquired by the United Distillers Group), which worked on modernising the plant and increasing its efficiency, but this didn’t prevent it from closing again in 1993.
But Bladnoch’s destiny is to be reborn under new owners: the Armstrong brothers discovered the plant during a holiday in 1994, and after the purchase, committed to getting the business back on its feet, managing to produce the first 8-year-old single malt in 2009.
But even the enthusiasm of the two brothers wasn’t enough to keep the company going, which went into receivership in 2014, only to find itself in the hands of the current owner David Prior (Australian by birth) the following year, who, after various structural interventions, reopened production in 2017.
The relaunch of the reborn distillery took place with bottlings made from stocks in the warehouse and chosen by Master Distiller Ian MacMillan: the NAS Samsara, a 15 year old and a 25 year old. MacMillan was succeeded in 2019 by Nick Savage from William Grant & Sons and Macallan.
A relatively young company then, with a rich and varied portfolio that includes the blended premium Pure Scot, and which marks a return of interest in Lowlands whiskies after many years of indifference from the public.
Straw yellow in the glass.
Soft and fresh nose, slightly herbaceous and floral, of butter, vanilla, hazelnut, malted biscuits, peach, orange and a hint of lemon. Classic whisky profile, no frills but compact.
Spicy on the palate, with wood with hints of pepper and ginger, adding to the fruity profile of citrus (orange, cedar) and peach hints of anise, vanilla, hazelnuts. Impressions of coconut and liquorice, on which remains a herbaceous structure in the background.
Medium-long finish, spicy with citrus, anise, hazelnuts, wood.
A classic but not predictable whisky, which enlivens an otherwise predictable aromatic palette with edges that enliven and make the dram original and refreshing.
Reviews of Bladnoch whisky in the blog: