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- Brand: Berry Bros. & Rudd
- ABV: 45.6%
Berry Bros. & Rudd is a very old wine and spirits merchant in London. Established in the 17th century, they also selected casks and bottled their own whisky, much like other establishments such as John Walker & Sons. They continue to bottle all sorts of single malts, and are one of the better known premium independent bottlers.
Blue Hangar is an annual release of blended malt, made by Doug McIvor from an unknown number of malts. The whisky is non-coloured and non-chill-filtered.
The colour is burnished copper. On the nose, dates, rum-raisin and the faintest trace of peat. Also a trace of sulphur, or something metallic - this is very sherried. Fruity with blood orange and blackberries - I'm sure there are a lot of Speyside malts in here. Vanilla pods. Extremely rich, less so with water.
On the palate, spices such as cloves, more vanilla and some sulphurous wood. Still something metallic here that is throwing me off, which seems to become more prominent with a drop of water. Milk chocolate, Christmas spices and coffee grounds. A step down from the nose, for sure, but very interesting.
The finish is rather bitter, leaving traces of smoke from a freshly extinguished matchstick. A bit like a red wine that's gone slightly off after the bottle's been open for a few days - not a pleasant finish. Whisky Advocate awarded this the Best Blend/Blended Malt Award this year, but I fail to see why. It is undoubtedly interesting, especially if you love sherry bombs, but I find the off notes a little too challenging.