John Begg Blue Cap, 70 proof, 757ml

Image from Whiskybase

A bottling from the ’70s based on the fact that the alcoholpercentage is mentioned, and the contents are too. Older bottlings don’t always have that information, and newer ones have a barcode. The Italian tax label on the cap stating ‘da litri 3/4’ is also a hint in that direction.

The label also states ‘old scotch whisky’ but since they don’t make it specific, that could mean anything. Generally, in that era, it would mean it’s about 5 to 10 years old.

The owner of the brand also built Lochnagar distillery in 1845, after which he quickly got the ‘royal’ warrant to go with that name, due to his neighbours being the royal family at Balmoral Estate.

The brand was swallowed up by what eventually became Diageo, and dropped in the 1980 or 1990s, after which the trademark elapsed (info from

Since the brand also consisted of a ‘Gold Cap’ and a ‘Deluxe 12 years old’, I think this one isn’t even 10 years old, but I guess we’ll never know for sure.

There’s quite a lot of Old Bottle Effect (OBE) on the nose, with hints rusty screwcaps on top of coppery spirit. There’s wet barley, tea, old oak and cracked leather. Hints of autumn leaves too.

The arrival on the palate is rather gentle, but not thin. Apple and pear juice, simple syrup some grass and a whiff of oak.

The finish quickly returns to the massive notes of OBE with hints of overaged beer, chocolatey and yeasty. Barley and rusty tins.

I’m a bit of a sucker for these OBE notes, and they’re quite pronounced here. The combination of a rather rich whisky behind it all makes it work quite well. I expect this whisky to contain a rather high proportion of malt, made with a very old production process. In short, I quite like this!


You’ll have to look at auctions to find stuff like this, of course. Prices can vary wildly.


About Sjoerd de Haan-Kramer

I'm very interested in booze, with a focus on whisky. I like to listen to loads of music and play lots of Magic: the Gathering, and board games too. I'm married to Anneke, have two daughters Ot and Cato, a son Moos and a cat called Kikker (which means Frog, in Dutch). I live in Krommenie, The Netherlands.
This entry was posted in - Blended Whisky, John Begg and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s