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Black Bottle

Islay United

1 1079

@jeanlucReview by @jeanluc

1st Jul 2010


  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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I stopped in at my new local pub for a cheeky dram on way home last night. Conveniently it has an excellent selection of nearly 100 whiskies to choose from (much more than I previously thought).

Of all the fine whisky brands that stood tall in front of me Black Bottle, a diminutive figure with low slouched shoulders and a fat neck, caught my eye in the corner.

It's a blend of whiskies from Islay - a sacred place revered by whisky lovers and worshiped for it's single malts - apparently Black Bottle includes whisky from all seven distilleries on the island.

Not much further information is available on what proportions go into the blend, though I can tell you that it's most closely aligned with Bunnahabhain who are owned by the same group, Burn Stewart.

So, an Islay blend.... intriguing!

First up it's not overly smokey - the characteristics you may associated with Islay - the peat is there but it's soft and sweet.

Nose: fruity and light with a peat smoke infusion and a hint of Honeysuckle. It's 40% so you don't get any strong wafts of alcohol.

Taste: Soft and velvety (it was slightly warm in the glass being a hot day), waves of light smoke. There is something both sweet and savory about it, like caramelised onions.

Finish: Lingering with a honied sweetness and light glowing ember of charcoal smoke.

A very enjoyable whisky and excellent value. A worthy addition to any collection.

Related Black Bottle reviews


dougwatts commented

Agree that Black Bottle is a great value blend,and it is sometimes nice to have that smokeyness coming across more as a gentle wave than the intense hit you get with many of the islay malts. Nice review Jean-Luc.

13 years ago 0

markjedi1 commented

Thanks for sharing. I enjoyed my bottle very much as well. A nice intro into Islay whisky for beginners as well.

13 years ago 0

OJK commented

totally agree, a brilliant blend and one of my everyday favourites. up there with black grouse and bailie nicol jarvie. sounds like a great bar by the way!

13 years ago 0

tommeiklejohn commented

Yep, although I'll normally go with a single malt sometimes a blend is just what you want and I reckon Black Bottle is one of the best out there. As someone else here said: lots of bang for your buck with this one.

13 years ago 0

jeanluc commented

Would be interested to taste the Black Bottle 10 year old. Anyone tried it?

13 years ago 0

OJK commented

@jean-luc: afraid not but would likewise be very interested. comes in a very good-looking bottle as well!

13 years ago 0

JeffC commented

I agree this is very nice and my first intro into Islay malts. Although I only have the regular version I am going to try the 10 year old in a few days when I visit someone that I know has it so perhaps then I can do a comparison. I also need to write a review at some point of the regular version which I have had a few times now. If you are looking for an intro to Islays, I would say that for about the same price this is is vastly superior to the McClelland's Islay which is rumored to be a young Bowmore.

12 years ago 0

JeffC commented

I have tried the 10 year old version a few times now. Unfortunately I don't have the regular version with me to do a side by side comparison and am going off memory. The 10 year old in my mind has a fuller, less watery mouth feel. The taste profile I find similar albeit a bit smoother. The nose is very similar. All in all I would recommend.

12 years ago 0

BlackBottle commented

Thanks for all the great feedback! keep checking the black bottle page for up and coming black bottle news, info and events!

12 years ago 0

Toastbongo commented

Amazingly available for £10 on Tesco online until 3rd January and now still only £12. A superb bargain for a fantastic whisky!

11 years ago 0

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