Bladnoch as a bit of a difficult history. This most southern of Scottish distilleries was founded in 1817, expanded in 1878, but then closed in 1938. It was not reopened until 1956, but in 1993 it closed again. Raymond and Colin Armstrong – two Irish brothers, no less – reopened it again 1995, but were not permitted to distill until 2000. The first release did not see the light of day until 2009. After a business dispute between them, the distillery was sold in 2014 to David Prior, an Australian business man. Since then some new official releases have hit the market, but we will try some independent releases this week, some young, some old. Let’s start with this 20 years old that Blackadder put out in their famous Raw Cask series.
A pleasant, fresh and fruity nose on stone fruit like yellow plums and peach, upholstered with some banana, pineapple and apple sauce. Soft note of oak that gives it some weight. Ideal as an aperitif on the nose.
Good body! That’s a pleasant surprise. Nicely oily and immediately very fruity. Even a bit waxy. All the fruit from the nose, joined by some sultana, pineapple, pears, gooseberries and even some kiwi. Some wood spices (pepper and quinine) give it a feisty, somewhat bitter note. But this is mostly a candy-like fruit basket and very good. A veritable spring whisky.
The finish is medium long. It offers nothing new, but does convince me to pour another glass.
Mr Prior, give this one a go and match your official releases where possible. This is wat Bladnoch should be.