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What we are about to taste now is a champion. The Black Bull 40 Year Old is a deluxe blend of different whiskies between 40 and 44 years of age. It consists of 90% malt whisky: Bunnahabhain, Glenfarclas, Glenlivet, Glenburgie, Highland Park, Miltonduff, Springbank, Tamdhu. The remaining 10% is grain whisky from Invergordon. It won quite a few prizes already: gold at the International Spirits Competition 2011, Best in Glass (no typo) 2011, gold at the International Spirits Challenge and a silver medaille from the Malt Maniacs.
But perhaps it does not belong in the line-up of peated whiskies that I have been trying lately, for the smoke is very discrete. En lieu you get a fantastic fruit basket with both white (apple) and exotic fruit (pineapple, blood oranges, grapefruit and apricots) and some Turkish Delight. A lot of vanilla and honey with a leaf of mint or two. Very fruity, very soft and frankly very good.
It is nicely creamy on the palate with a lot of vanilla and apricots again, but also a bitter lining – but not oaky at all! – and light spices. Some dried dades, coconut and liquorice. For an auldie, this is very round. It could do with a little more punch, though.
The finish is shorter than expected, but very fresh and clean.
The only downside is the ABV. This Black Bull is more like a calf. But very good and friendly priced for a 40 Year Old (albeit a blend). Somewhere between 150 and 200 EUR, depending on where you look. A second batch has recently been released.