Bladnoch 20, ‘Beltie Label’, Bourbon Cask, 55%

Bladnoch is a weird distillery. Especially these releases from a decade or more ago are very unique and not always in a good way.

Currently, under new ownership, the distillery is still releasing its own product with its own flavor profile, although it has become a bit more ‘normal’ over the years. These older bottlings tend to be freakish, in a similar way to older Bruichladdich bottlings breaking the mold.

Image from Whiskybase

In the case of Bladnoch that tends to come forward with flavors like cream and butter, with hints of acidity that are unique to the distillery. It definitely is not everyone’s cup of tea, and unique is not always better. But, I tend to quite like these oldies. Of course, there is some utter trash among the bottlings, so let’s find out where this one sits!

Milky, yeasty, and sulfury in a ‘boiled vegetables’ kind of way. Wet barley, fenugreek, a light kind of cheese and ammonia. It’s a unique kind of dram, so to say.

Very dry with lots of oak. Creamy, a touch of vanilla, porridge (that wet barley note), fenugreek and cheese. After a while it’s a bit more sugary with simple syrup, butter cream and icing sugar. Barley, oak.

The finish is very consistent and quite fiery at first. A dry bite of oak and green malt. Very consistent with the palate.

While this sounds horrible, it’s actually quite a tasty dram if you’re okay with a unique taste on Scotch. As said before, Bladnoch used to do its own thing, especially under the Armstrong ownership, and they’ve become a bit more middle-of-the-road since. Unfortunately, if you ask me. Fortunate, I guess, if you ask the share holders.

Absolutely not an easy drinker, but with some attention it’s really cool!



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.
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