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Black Bull Deluxe 30 Year Old

Average score from 3 reviews and 6 ratings 94

Black Bull Deluxe 30 Year Old

Product details

  • Brand: Black Bull
  • Bottler: Unknown
  • ABV: 50.0%
  • Age: 30 year old

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Black Bull Deluxe 30 Year Old

So I have been enjoying a bottle of this for a couple of weeks now. My first taste was from samples at a bar, and I liked it so much I had to track a bottle down for myself. This has been a difficult review to write, because my tasting notes seem to change almost every time I have poured a taste. Always enjoyable, to be sure, but what has been most surprising to me with this bottle is what I am NOT getting. No cloves, no all spice, no cinnamon, cardamom. No figs, no raisons, no dried fruits. This does not taste "autumnal" or particularly old for that matter. I had drawn comparisons, based on samples at bars, to Yamazaki 18, but as I nurse my bottle, I do not get that...At all. So what do I get? Strawberry pie.

The nose is dense fresh baked pastry pie shell, ripe strawberries and that awesome sweet red jelly the berries get slathered in. There is whipped cream, not fresh, but from one of those nitrous bottles (whippits anyone?). Later nosings are full of Twizzlers, red licorice whips.

The taste is where the age of this phenomenal blend becomes more apparent. The strawberries take on a more over-ripe, jammy taste. The wood slowly begins to make itself known - the more you hold it in, the more it asserts itself. After the swallow you are left with slightly tart berries and popsicle sticks, all becoming sweeter as it all slowly fades away. Wow.

I gotta say, this is right up there with the Balvenie Tun series for me. As good a whisky as I have ever tried.


Black Bull is een blend containing grain and malt in equal mesure, fifty-fifty. What makes Black Bull so special is the fact that both the grain and malt whisky were put together after distillation in the late ‘80s of last century to mature for over 30 years together. I believe they call it married at birth.

The nose is juicy and succulent. Loads of dark fruit like raisins and figs, but also coconut and banana. Hints of choclates, filled with liqueur. Orangettes. Menthol? Nah, eucalyptus. Espresso, the sweetened kind. Very balanced.

It is creamy and spicy (nutmeg, cloves, ginger) on the palate. The chocolate and liqueur return, as does the espresso. The whole is upholstered with cherries, mashed banana with brown sugar and some apple pie. This is truly great.

The finish is pretty long, spicy on tobacco leafs and chocolate.

Well, speaking of a successful marriage. They say 30 years in matrimony is a pearl wedding. This Black Bull 30 is definitely a pearl. Oh, look, I just scored a blend 90 points.

Mark: It is indeed a truly great whisky, and certainly the finest blend I've ever tasted. Thanks for another fine review.

I can only add that this is the most-loved whisky I've ever shared with friends, whether they've been enjoying whisky for 30 years or 30 days. The highest-rated whisky in my cabinet, and one of only two blends that earns an A-minus from the L.A. Whisky Society (notoriously tough graders). It's not cheap, but with such abundance of flavors, I'd say it's a bargain.

Having this tonight at a bar in MD. Such a gorgeous sherry nose! Like Yamazaki 18 and Sonnalta PX (in my limited experience)had a baby. Great burn. Long finish. If I ever saw bottle, I would buy it. Thanks for the great review, which encouraged me to take the plunge!


One of the finest whiskies I’ve ever tasted, and certainly the greatest blend I’ve tried, Black Bull 30 yo is an entire chocolate caramel factory in a bottle. I was fortunate enough to have blind samples of this plus a couple of premium single malts (IBs: HP 23 and Mortlach 21), and rather surprised myself when I chose the blend out of the three*. But then, it is Bull 30, after all.

The magic number for BB 30 is 50: it’s bottled at 50% ABV, and it’s a unique blend of 50% malt and 50% grain whiskies. It’s also a blend for which the grain whisky serves a purpose greater than its usual filler-and-smoother role. In part because all blending takes place before a 30-year rest in sherry casks, the grain is fully integrated into the flavor profile in a most complex way. There’s nothing here that tastes like a supporting player for the A-list stars, if you know what I mean.

Nose: Deep, rich, thick, complex, and just too marvelous for words. A malty caramel bomb with plenty of chocolate underneath. Also strong traces of wood, sherry, citrus, and banana cream pie. But it’s what’s lurking down underneath that makes this a whopper of a nose. Earthy, grassy, leathery tones emerge after a few minutes from under the surface, like a string bass making a late entrance to and add a deep, rumbling texture to a 100-piece orchestra. Complex chord structures, and everything’s in perfect harmony. Best nose I’ve ever experienced? Maybe. Most complex? Definitely.

Palate: The charge of the not-so-light brigade. Thick, syrupy, malty arrival that awakens any taste buds that have been slumbering for the past 10 years. Everything that’s on the nose is here, plus nuts, oranges, cherries, coffee, and peppery spices. The long finish is a perfect balance of caramel, cinnamon, and oak.

This is a blend that will impress even the snobbiest of single-malt snobs. Expect to pay about the same as for a bottle of Johnnie Walker Blue. Unlike the Blue, however, the Bull is worth every penny.

(*It was a close call with the Mortlach.)

Update, seven months on: My bottle's only about 1/3 of the way down at this point (it's a "special occasions" whisky, after all), and I'm sipping my first dram of BB 30 since early spring.

Still great stuff, but changes have definitely taken place. The nose remains about the same, but the palate has become tamer and more smoothed-over. It's a little more difficult to pick out the individual tastes now, even as I get a touch of cocoanut I didn't get before. Much more maple and malt in the finish -- in fact, I'd say the finish is now the outstanding component of the entire experience.

I might knock a point or two off my score, but it's still an awe-inspiring whisky.

@WhiskyBee Sounds like quite the beast!

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