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Bladnoch 10 Year Old Sheep Label

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@NozinanReview by @Nozinan

28th Apr 2024


Bladnoch 10 Year Old Sheep Label
  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

This will be my last review on Connosr, as tomorrow it will become a read-only site. In the lead-up to Passover (I seal my cabinet for the duration of the holiday and it ends on Tuesday, after the change) I made a number of tasting notes so that I could post some of the many reviews that I had wanted to get to for a long time.

My relationship to Bladnoch goes back a long time. When I first started my whisky journey, I relied heavily on Ralfy Mitchell’s video reviews. When a friend told me he was making a business trip to Europe and offered to bring back a bottle for me, I reached out to Ralfy to ask what he recommended (I created a facebook account just to contact him). He suggested Laphroaig 10 YO. Needless to say I was disappointed. I had asked him to recommend something less common, something I could not get in Canada. But I remembered his Bladnoch videos and was impressed with the craft presentation of the whisky, and so I took a chance and ordered a bottle of the 10 year old on The Whisky Exchange, as well as a few miniatures that brought the total volume exactly to 1.14L (the duty free limit in Canada).

I really enjoyed that bottle, and it was the first whisky I reviewed on Connosr. I eagerly bought as many bottles as I could whenever my friend went overseas. I remember when the 11 YO and the 12 YO were released. I was able to get a cask strength bottling as well. I tried to make a private order through the LCBO but there were too many administrative hurdles. When I heard that the distillery was going into receivership, I ordered as much as I could and had it sent to my friend in Florida, where he was living at the time. He has since muled over all but 2 of those bottles, and I am not sure what will become of the rest because he has since lived in California, Spain and Turkey…

My understanding is that most of the 55% ABV age-stated sherry cask-matured bottlings were of single barrels, some with lightly peated distillate and some not. You pretty well get a surprise every time you open a bottle. My first 10 YO was fabulous. The 11 YO was great too. I liked the bottle of the 12YO that I opened but only after a couple of years, ungassed, because there was a weird vegetal note that eventually dissipated.

Because my first review was a Bladnoch, I felt that my last review should be too. This is, I believe, the third bottle of the 10 YO I have opened. The second was lightly peated. This one had no information associated with the bottle, but when I opened it on Dec. 10, 2022, at a tasting with friends, it turned out to be unpeated. When I tasted it on April 19 for this review, it was still over 2/3 full, gassed after each use. I don’t know how much water was added to get the ABV down to (a very respectable) 55%, but the only cask strength bottle I own is 57.1%, so I suspect there was not too much dilution. As far as I know, none of Armstrong's releases were chill-filtered or had caramel colouring.

This expression is reviewed in my usual manner, in a standard Glencairn (just like my first review), allowing it to settle after which I take my nosing and tasting notes, followed by the addition of a few drops of water, waiting, then nosing and tasting.

Nose: 22/25

Rich nose. Sweet sherry on first impression. Fresh. Medium range red fruits. Hint of leather and baking spices. Water warms the nose up slightly. Hint of milk chocolate emerges. 22.5/25)

Taste: 21.5/25

Sweet, spicy arrival. Dark fruits typical of a sherry cask. Thick mouthfeel. A bit hot. Water sweetens and deepens the flavour. (22.5/25)

Finish: 22/25

Slightly astringent, peppery, red wine on the exhale. No change with water.

Balance: 22/25

A little hot, but the nose and palate complement each other. Water brings it all together a bit more. (22.5/25)

Score: Neat - 87.5/100 With Water: 89.5 /100

Score based on it being my last review on Connosr, reflecting my appreciation for this site: 99/100

This is a very good whisky. I admit that I have a bias toward the Armstrong era Bladnochs, as I was impressed with the owner in the videos, with my brief communications with him, and with his attempt to make the distillery work under difficult restrictions. I discovered Bladnoch during a very impressionable point in my learning curve. There was a time when it was my favourite distillery. Despite this subjectivity, I believe that my palate has developed enough to determine what I like primarily from smell and taste, and not simply from nostalgia. This whisky definitely deserves a score of 89.5.

Just as the Bladnoch Armstrong era came to an end, Connosr is in its final hours. It is with a mix of sadness and gratitude that I post my final review on this platform. Connosr has been integral to my whisky education and I have made lasting friends thanks to this site.

건배 ! ! א דאנק

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Astroke commented

I guess the review of Gold Bar will now never happen. Hunted down sample all for not. grimacing

about one month ago 0